In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Christmas is a time of giving and receiving gifts for most of us. While it is fun to receive, the greatest joy for us as Christians should be to give and bless others as we have been blessed by God. There should be a different joy in letting God use you to be a great help, blessing and encouragement to others that feels like the life of God is flowing through us to enrich others. We all need to receive from God His daily grace and forgiveness and that creates a humble gratitude in us. Allowing God to use you to give to others, however, seem to increase our strength spiritually and help us become more Christlike. God is a giver! If we want to honor Him and be used of Him, we must allow His Spirit in us to perform His desires through us. I believe we are all most like Jesus when we selflessly give and sacrifice in any number of ways simply for the glory of God and the benefit of others; no self-interest involved. If your mind immediately tracks to the issue of money, yes that may involve money, but we can give of ourselves in countless other ways. If we give people our time, our energy, our love, our encouragement, our physical help, our possessions, etc., we are giving also. The Apostle Paul is reminding us in the text from Acts that God blesses us more for our giving than our receiving. If we want God’s best in our lives this holiday season, and everyday of the year, think about how the Lord can use you to give to others in His Name. We work hard to meet not only our own needs, but those of others God leads us to help. We have to have a purpose in life that is higher than our own personal comfort to feel the joy of the Lord working in us and through us. If all we concern ourselves is with what we want and need, that is a dry and empty existence that bears no resemblance of the life revealed in the New Testament for followers of Christ. It takes a daily focus on the Lord and surrender to the rule of the Holy Spirit in us to actually perform this and not just talk about it. We all know giving to others for God’s glory is a good thing and we all like to be blessed by others, the real challenge is will we live this out?! I pray we all choose to make this a priority and practice in our lives as the scripture admonishes us to do. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek