Summary: In Acts 20:35, Paul gives a direct quote from the lips of Jesus Christ himself. Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." What does the word "blessed" mean? I think we know what it means. We say," I sure was blessed the other day.
It Is Still More Blessed
1. In Acts 20:35, Paul gives a direct quote from the lips of Jesus Christ himself. Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
ï What does the word "blessed" mean? I think we know what it means. We say, "I sure was blessed the other day. Let me tell you about my blessing."
ï Something happened that brought joy and happiness to you.
2. "More blessed" indicates that I've already been blessed. Jesus teaches that I am more blessed when I learn how to take my existing blessings and share them with others.
ï In other words, I have the attitude that I am blessed in order that I might be a blessing to someone else!
3. Many people are blessed, but they live their life using all of those blessings on themselves, and then they die. What a wasted life. Christianñthis is not God's plan for your life. Jesusí words are just as true today as they were when He first spoke them.
4. It is still more blessed to give than to receive. God loves a cheerful giver that understands this simple principle.
5. That principle is what the text before us is all about (vs. 17-19). Paul is encouraging blessed believers to not forget where their blessings have come from. Every believer must live in the reality of Godís blessings every day. How can you do this? Ask yourself three questions, and answer them honestly.
First, where do my blessings come from?
1. In verse 17, the phrase "all things" means exactly what it saysñall things! It is clearly God's grace that has given you everything you hold. It isnít something we deserve.
2. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:10, "But by the grace of God I am what I amÖ" What are you?
ï RetiredÖ by the grace of God you lived to see it. A college graduateÖ a professionalÖ a homeownerÖ in retail businessÖ a city employeeÖ by the grace of God.
3. God told Israel in Deuteronomy 8:18 that it was "the Lord thy God that giveth thee power to get wealthÖ "
ï They forgot this, and it led to their demise.
ï As grace believers, I'm afraid sometimes we forget too.
4. But to believe anything else is to be "highminded" (vs. 17).
ï This means ìto be lofty in mind; arrogant.î
ï Have you ever met someone with a lot of money that was arrogant? Why? Because he or she does not understand this truth.
5. When you live in the reality of Godís blessings, you give cheerfully back to God, because you recognize that everything you have comes from God.
ï Illustration: Imagine somebody giving you a $500 Dunkiní Donuts gift card. You happen to see them in Dunkiní Donuts, and they have bought a small coffee and a donut hole and then realize they left their billfold at home, and they cannot pay it. They ask you if you could help them, and you say, ìForget it. Itís my Dunkiní Donuts gift card. It belongs to me.î Is this what you would do?
ï No, you give to them cheerfully, because you realize that they are the very source of your Dunkiní Donuts blessings!
6. You must recognize that every blessing you have is a gift from God.
Second, where is my trust?
1. Notice verse 17, "nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living GodÖ"
2. Here is the danger of wealthñwealth can breed an attitude of self-reliance and independence. Jesus referred to this in Matthew 13:22 and Mark 4:19 as the "deceitfulness of riches." Wealth can deceive people into living like they don't need God.
3. Jesus told a parable of a rich fool in Luke 12:16-21. His problem was his attitude. It wasn't that he was richñhe was trusting in his wealth instead of trusting in God, and it was gone overnight.
4. Wealth is very uncertain, as Paul says here in verse 17. Letís look at
ï Illustration: The sudden deaths of Anthony Burger (44) and Kirby Puckett (45).
ï Our wealth will be left to others and most likely be gone in 2 to 5 years. To get caught up in accumulating wealth is absolutely ridiculous.
5. Grace givers shouldnít build their life on the accumulation of wealth, but on their relationship with Christ.
6. Be honest with yourself, what do you love more, your money or Christ? Your house or Christ? Your car or Christ? God simply wants you to love Him more than anything else in this world. He wants to be the center of your trust, your love, and your affection.
ï Trust in God; not in your wealth.
7. You may say, "I think I love Christ more than these other material things, but how can I know for sure? This brings us to our last point.