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Summary: Right after national tragedy. Discussing what we can do for our nation and suffering people.

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Sermon for 9/16/2001

"When Giving is Better than Receiving"

Acts 20:17-35

Introduction:

A. In our Scripture text this morning, Paul was on the way to Jerusalem to be scourged, imprisoned, and he thought killed.

B. They stopped at Miletus on the way to Jerusalem in Asia Minor, and Paul called for the elders of the Ephesian church to meet him at Miletus so that he could speak with them one last time. Paul had a very productive ministry at Ephesus. About 3 years and lots of growth.

C. This message was to the leadership of a church- a Mature Christian audience.

D. Paul left them with the words of Jesus, words not recorded in the gospels but recorded here, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

E. In other words, it is better to give than to receive. More blessed if give. Receiving is fine, but to give is better by far.

F. In our world, this is a statement that seems to be contradictory, but it is true.

G. When I was a child, I loved to receive. As an adult, I love to give more than to receive- Especially at Christmastime.

H. Receive a Greater blessing. To bless in the biblical sense means to ask for or to impart supernatural favor.

I. The blessing of God is on our lives if we give.

Thesis: What things are more blessed to give than to receive? 4 things this morning.

For instances:

I. It is more blessed to give salvation than to receive it.

A. Read Acts 20:21.

B. Being saved is a privilege, but giving salvation to lost people is a prerogative.

C. Imagine where you would be in life is someone had not offered the gift of salvation.

D. My salvation was a wonderful experience and it leaves me with memories that will last for a lifetime. However, to see other people come to salvation, what a greater joy!

E. Oh, how people in our world need the salvation offered through Jesus Christ. From this past week we know that many people are filled with hatred, despise the US and Christians. What a goal in life, to hate.

F. (Phile 1:6 NIV) I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

G. The best way to share salvation is by telling our own salvation experience. Testify.

II. It is more blessed to give of your material possessions than to receive them.

A. Review Acts 20:33- 35a.

B. We can do more by pooling our resources together. In the early church they gave...

C. This past week’s events, World Trade Center, the planes, etc. Give up something this week for the cause.

D. Go Ye Chapel Fund. Go Ye Chapel Web Site

E. Give blood. Give to Fireman Funds, Policmen Funds, etc.

F. Having material possessions and financial resources can be a blessing or a curse. We can bless other people or we can curse ourselves.

G. A mature Christian controls his money and possessions. His money and possession do not control him/her.

H. Need to learn to be content. If not content, will not give. Godliness with contentment is great gain.

I. American Christians have many material possessions and money, but our culture is becoming increasingly impoverished in terms of spiritual depth. Why? Forgot this principle

J. Blessing of God.

K. God gave the best through Jesus Christ, what are we giving.

III. It is more blessed to comfort others than to be comforted.

A. Read Acts 20:28, and 31.

B. (2 Cor 1:3 NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,(2 Cor 1:4 NIV) who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.(2 Cor 1:5 NIV) For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

C. Many of our sorrows vanish when we experience the joy of drying another’s tears.

D. This past week has been exhausting. We are disturbed. We are surrounded by many troubles. Our security and safety in this country has been threatened in many ways.

E. We watch the news stories.

F. However, we need to be comforting others and we will be more blessed. Our fears and troubles subside when we are comforting others. Turn off the TV and do something constructive.

G. Many people shy away from getting involved. Through our mutual hurts, we can comfort other people and we do not worry so much about ourselves. If we don’t get involved, our hurts do not go away.

H. Send notes; letters of comfort. It will help us.

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