Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
We have all been blessed by what we have received from others. Perhaps, it was a gift that came just at the right time, just when you really needed it. Maybe you were surprised by a generous and wonderful gift that you could never have imagined. Or have you ever received a gift and thought to yourself, “What am I going to do with this?”. Even then you might say, “It’s the thought that counts.”
There is a blessing in receiving but according to Jesus the greater blessing is in giving. He said, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
That question may sound quite negative to you. It may sound more like a burden than a blessing. But God made it clear to Israel that His requirements were essential to their relationship with Him. God requires no less of His people today. To experience redemption from the life of sin and death, to know God, and to have an abundant, eternal life with Him, we, too, must meet His requirements.
Have you ever noticed how some always seem to be so upbeat and positive? It is not because everything is going great in their life, or that things are necessarily going better for them than everybody else. No, it is because they choose to be that way. They decide to look for reasons to be happy and to focus on the good things. In doing so they attract more of the same. It doesn’t just happen; they make it happen.
This is how Paul teaches us to live our lives. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Yes, God encourages us to come to Him for all our needs. He promises to listen to us when we ask and He promises to answer our requests. He gives generously and will never scold us for asking. You can always count on Him for every good and perfect gift.
Read it for yourself in the Bible: Matthew 7:7-11; John 14:13; Hebrews 4:14-16; James 1:2-5, 16-17; 5:16-18; 1 John 5:14-15.
Some of you may be wondering, “Why, then, do I not see this in my life? Where are God’s blessings?” The problem is never with God. It is with us. Open your heart to this teaching from James 1:5-8.
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135