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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”—Acts 20:35 (NKJV)
The verse above should grab our attention for a few reasons. For one, it’s the only time in the New Testament where we see Christ’s teaching ministry directly quoted outside of the Gospels. Second, any time Jesus makes a declaration about something, it’s time to sit up and pay attention. And finally, the truth Christ shares here isn’t a one and done . . . it has the ability to define and direct an entire way of life!
Allow me to explain: When Jesus says it’s more blessed to give then receive, the original Greek word being used is the word makarios, which literally means, “to be fully satisfied.” So what Jesus is telling us here is that a lifestyle of giving is also a satisfying lifestyle. Those who are continually giving are actually getting something in return . . . satisfaction!
That’s a provocative thought, because the world around us is trying to convince us that satisfaction is attained through receiving. All you need to feel fulfilled is that new outfit, that new phone, that new car, that new house, that new job, that new . . . it never ends and satisfaction never gets any closer. That’s because it’s actually more satisfying to give than to receive. Jesus couldn’t be clearer about it.
Now, let’s take this truth about giving one step further. If giving is inherently satisfying, then it’s also something that’s sustainable.
Generally, when you do something that subtracts from you, you can only do that thing for so long until the rule of subtraction adds up and you can’t do it any longer. Giving isn’t like that, though, because when we give, we gain satisfaction, which enables us to give again, and again, and again. So the giving life isn’t just a satisfying lifestyle, it’s also a sustainable lifestyle. It doesn’t have an expiration date!
Do you see the wonderful wisdom in giving? It fulfills our lives here in the present, but it’s also something that will never rob us of anything in the future. God knows how we’re wired and what works best for us. Moreover, He prescribes certain things for us with this in mind, things that turn out for our good and are sustainable over the long haul.
Giving is certainly among these things; we have Jesus’ word on it!
DIG: What’s the definition for the word Jesus uses for “blessed” in Acts 20:35?
DISCOVER: Why is it wise to give? Why is giving a sustainable act?
DISPLAY: Try giving today. Pray and ask the Lord who you can give to. It doesn’t have to be big. It could be a cup of coffee, a sandwich for a coworker, or fifteen minutes of your time encouraging a friend.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.