“The other day,” I began, “we were talking about the apostle Paul’s farewell message to the church in Ephesus.”
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “Paul had some things to say that I think are important in a continually-deepening faith walk.” [Note to reader: See “What’s Your Farewell Message Going To Be?”, posted January 15, 2021].
“After we talked about that,” I said, “I read those verses and saw something I’m not sure I understand.”
“What’s that?” Stan asked.
“The part where Paul says that Jesus said something about it being more blessed to give than to receive. I couldn’t find in any of the four gospels that Jesus is recorded as having said that. Was Paul wrong or did I miss something?”
“Well,” Stan replied, “in the first place, I don’t think you missed anything. From what I know, there is nothing recorded in the Bible that Jesus said that other than in Paul’s farewell message to the church in Ephesus.”
“However,” he continued, “even though Paul didn’t know Jesus personally while Jesus walked the earth, Paul spent a lot of time with Him from the moment when Jesus came into his life on the road to Damascus. Jesus changed everything about Paul and his relationship with God in and through Christ. I don’t know everything they talked about, but if Paul said that Jesus said that, I’m going to go with Paul on that one!”
“I suppose there’s some dispute about whether Jesus said that,” I replied.
“Pretty good supposition,” Stan said with a smile.
“But,” he continued, “don’t let that get in the way of the truth of what Paul said. It is more blessed to give than to receive. However, I also think there’s a qualification.”
“What qualification?” I asked.
“In the context of giving what I have received from God,” Stan replied, “I can’t give it until I have received it. I can’t bless someone with what I have to give them until I have received the blessing of it having been given to me.”
“So,” I said, “it’s a blessing to receive and then another blessing to give. Is that it?”
“That’s what I see,” Stan replied. “Blessing upon blessing!”
In every thing 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.” Acts of the Apostles 20:35.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, . . . . John 3:16.
Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:22.
. . . freely you received, freely give. Matthew 10:8.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all you have given and for all you have allowed me to receive. You have given me life eternally with you when it’s time. You have given me the eternal life of being allowed to know you and Jesus before I step into eternity. I choose to receive and embrace all you have to give me. I ask for your help in giving to others what I have received from you, not only in the sense of material things, but, more importantly, in the sense of the spiritual blessings you have given and I have received. Please help me in following your lead to give what I have been given. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you received God’s free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him when it’s time? If not, why? If you have received that gift, are you pursuing the gift of being able to know God the Father and Jesus the Son on this side of eternity? If not, why? If you are pursuing that, is your pursuit as diligent as you would like? As God would like? Are you blessing others with what you have received as fully as you think God would like?