It is More Blessed to Give Than to Receive
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' Acts 20:35
Giving sets us free, while hoarding entraps us (James 5:2). Giving changes the lives of others (John 3:16). Giving brings blessing back to us (Luke 6:38). Giving allows us to store up treasures in Heaven rather than here on the earth (Matthew 19:21).
Paul begins in II Corinthians 8:1 by writing, "We wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia." It is interesting to note that there are more usages of the word "grace" in chapters eight and nine of II Corinthians than in any other two consecutive chapters in the Bible.
Christian giving is the grace of God at work, the free-flow of God's activity consistent with His character. This is predicated on the fact that the Creator – God is the owner of all that He has created:
"Every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. ... everything that moves in the field is Mine. ... the world is Mine, and all it contains." (Psalm 50:10-12)
"The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine; declares the Lord of hosts." (Haggai 2:8)
"Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights ..." (James 1:17)
Since God is the owner and giver of all things, we are but trustees, managers, stewards of His goods. God entrusts some things to us – whatever He can trust us with. It's not "my" home, "my" car, "my" money, or even "my" child. We must avoid being "possessive." We're simply trustees of God's possessions.
Christian giving is not merit-giving. It's not something we do that pleases God that prompts Him to go into action. Our giving does not earn merit-points with God. We cannot buy spiritual favors with God. No one can buy their way into heaven or into God's good favor. No one can "pay off" their guilt of sin and self-concern with guilt payments.
God's action is only by "grace." He took the initiative of grace in giving us His Son, Jesus Christ, who in turn gave His life that we might be "bought with a price" (I Cor. 6:20). "God did not spare His own Son ...; will He not also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). As Christians we became God's purchased possession (Titus 2:14; I Peter 2:9), through whom God continues to give.
There are so many new experiences that will come your way; you can build on the best of those. And mistakes, well they're behind you now. You've learned much from each one.
Help others at a cost to yourselves. If it doesn't matter where you donate your services, and you insist on giving back to your community by sharing your time and talent, let me provide a few suggestions. You could volunteer to help out a senior citizen, young, struggling single mothers at your child's school, at your church ... there's so much we can all do, just look around.
Be thankful for your blessings, and there will be a better chance that you can bring your own dreams to life. Stop thinking about yourself all the time and begin to think about how you can help someone else, it won't take up all of your time, just a few hours each week.
See the purpose God has set forth for your life and begin today, and this time get it right; give of your money, time and talent, and help somebody, and you help yourself.