Hey Relentless Students! We are on day 23 of our 30-day Devo. This is our last day of practicing serving, tomorrow we will shift into something else.
Our focus verse for today is Acts 20:35 which says,
"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
So, what is generosity? We just talked about it yesterday, it's the idea of giving selflessly to those in need, even when it may inconvenience you. Now, in the verse above we are told: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." This refers to the joy that God provides with selflessly giving to those in need. There is nothing wrong with admitting it feels to good to help those, but that can't be our reason to help the needy.
The issue that occurs frequently though is we become so focused on giving we are unwilling to receive. Imagine with me for a moment, a family who were regularly in the church that was typically in need themselves. The father would give with an open hand to the church, the people, the community. If the church was doing something he would always help in some way. The thing is, they were just as needy as those they were helping. That father would use the money that was needed in order to get by to support other struggling families. Someone in the church would find out just how bad off the family was and try to help them out. How did that father respond? "You are blessed to give, not receive God will provide for us somehow."
Do you see the problem? God was using the family to bless those around them and when the need became great someone else stepped in to help only to get shut down. The father in the family was so focused on giving to help that he couldn't see others giving to his family as helping. It's as if he thought that God would just deposit some money into his saving account to help pay the rent. The other piece here is the father was robbing someone of the joy that comes through giving. Would you still want to be generous if that's how people are going to respond?
When being generous we have to remember it is a two-way street. Serve those around and help the needy. Don't be too proud to admit when you are in need and allow for someone to be the giver. It is more blessed to give than to receive is meant to remind us of the joy that comes with serving selflessly, not block us from being recipients of generosity. So, be blessed through giving selflessly and bless others by allowing them to bless you. Sounds easy enough right? It's all about being selfless enough to serve and humble enough to receive.
Your challenge for today is two-fold. First, continue to find ways to serve those around you today, if you need suggestions just let me know! Second, take time and ask yourself if you are open to receiving and if not how you can move in that direction.
Our prayer for today,
God, thank you for your generosity. Thank you for giving in abundance eternal life and for supplying our every need. May we be as generous to those around us with our time, energy and resources. May we also be open to receiving when we are in need. Help us to embrace selflessness and humbleness. We love you Lord and feel your love for us each and every day. We pray this all in Jesus' name, Amen.