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.'"
According to Jesus it is more blessed to give than to receive. Just think about it for sometime. It doesn't say that it's not a blessing to receive but it says it is more blessing to give than to receive. So it's blessed to receive but even more blessed is to give. In other words, receiving is single blessing but giving is double blessing because the person who gives is blessed and the one who receives gets blessed too.
Giving is an interesting word because it sounds the same as forgiving because giving helps us only when we forgive others. Most of the time we understand that giving as in materially giving but here Jesus is talking about helping the weak. How does Jesus say we should help the weak? Jesus says by our hard work we can help the weak. It is not easy to help the weak - it is hard work to help them. We should be able to give to others.
We are good givers when it comes to giving advice. If somebody comes up to us with a problem it's easy to say, 'this is how to do it, this is how to change it, these are the things you need to do so that you'll be fine'. Sometimes we feel that even that kind of advice is not given by people. We don't believe that giving is more than receiving. We think that receiving is blessings all the time. How do we give? We should give without remembering but we should not forget what we received.
1. How does God bless us when we give?
2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
And this thing we know very well that when we give we've got to give in secret. There's a reason for it. If we give openly and someone appreciates us for it, that means our reward is over. But if we give it in secret and no one appreciates us, our reward is in heaven. But the temptation is to let others know when we give. It makes us happy but we lose the reward. Giving to the Lord has to be in secret and that will bring blessing. The Bible says that whatever we give - whether openly or in secret- there is always a reward. We are assured that we will be paid back.
2. How to give?
2 Corinthians 8:1-5
1 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,
4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.
5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will.
Here it talks about how grace helps us to give to others. How do they give? Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. So these people were not rich - they were poor- and yet they gave from their hearts. How did they give? They gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. He goes on to say, 'And they did not do as we expected, but gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will'.
We all need to become excellent in giving to the church. When we don't give we block the blessing of God which should come to us. All the people who give get their blessings from God.
2 Corinthians 8:7
But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us --see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
3. Who to give?
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.
7 Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Give to whoever needs it, whoever asks for it. Give to those people. The Bible also says in Matthew 6:33 that we need to give priority to the kingdom of God and that's very important.
The world is composed of givers and takers. The church should be filled with givers. The takers may eat better but the givers sleep better. God has given us the opportunity to be cheerful givers.