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
On this 19th of November, we give thanks to God for the blessing of giving to others with a loving heart.
When we count our blessings, we usually list all the wonderful things that we have received from God, such as our families, friends, homes, food, and health. We give Him our gratitude for the gifts He gives us of Himself, such as His love, mercy, and grace. But rarely do we give Him praise for the blessing, privilege, and joy of giving to others.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Words spoken by Jesus Himself, and ones we probably heard on many occasions from our own parents. It may have even been one of the first lessons we ever learned, and like every child who loves presents, it may have taken us some time to really appreciate its meaning.
Even as adults, we know we can be selfish beings and think much too much of our own concerns and cares. But we also know the joy of giving. We spend our days caring for others and trying to make their lives happier and better. We enjoy giving gifts to those we love, and we take advantage of opportunities to give to those in need. We give the gift of friendship, laughter, and a shoulder to cry on, and we give our money, time, and resources. We offer a helping hand, do acts of kindness, and try to encourage others.
It is a blessing to know that we are giving of ourselves. It takes our eyes off of our own problems and concerns, and puts our love and focus on others. It gives our lives purpose and meaning and gives us value and worth. God created us to have a loving and compassionate heart. His desire is that we give as He gives – lovingly, generously, and freely. And when we do, we are showing others a glimpse of Him in us. We are honoring Him and His Word by loving others, by helping the weak and the needy, and by being the individuals He would have us be. By giving and serving others, we are serving Him. We are showing not only His love to those around us, but we are showing our love and obedience to Him.
We each have much to give, and what a blessing it is to give of ourselves and to know that we are being used by God to bless the lives of others. And when we do, not only does He give us joy, but we have His loving promise that He will bless us even more.
With these thoughts in mind as we begin the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season – with all the many things on our list to do – may we remember to be grateful for the privilege and joy of blessing others.
Dear God, thank you for giving us loving hearts, for the desire to give of ourselves to others, and for the joy we find in sharing your love and grace. May we bless others with our lives in such a way that they see you in us. Amen