Besides the lessons on surrendering to Him, God has been also teaching me about giving and receiving. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35 ESV)
I got the first part down (or so I thought) but I didn’t pay attention to the latter part, “than to receive.” If He said it is better to give than receive, then obviously we also have to do some receiving. Hmmm. Well, I genuinely love to give without wanting anything in return and I rather give than receive. It even frustrates me when I am unable to give. Often times, I would refuse what others were blessing me with and sometimes I would force someone to take what I was giving them. Then God showed me that even though giving is one of my spiritual gifts there were times when I gave without His direction, I gave under compulsion and I gave to make myself feel good. So therefore, my motives were all wrong behind my giving and I was not giving cheerfully. Oh, I had my bubble busted and felt disappointed in myself.
Now as far as the receiving goes, sometimes, my pride would not let me receive. Sometimes I felt like I would be a burden or would be subject to that person (some people have given to me only to want something in return or to manipulate me so this built fear in me). So I would refuse what someone was giving me. Now lately I have learned from others and people who have blessed me that giving is also out of obedience to God, God is blessing them so they want to bless me, they are sowing into me, and I am supposed to receive too.
Someone told me years ago when she blessed me with a bus pass, “I don’t know why I am doing this, but I just want to bless you.” Others have blessed me with clothes, money, their time, their shoulders when I needed to have a good cry and I have blessed others with the same. This week, a family friend blessed my family with a surprise dinner twice. With work, a lot on your plate, and no car, dinner cooked and already prepared for you blesses you tremendously. You ladies know how tired you are sometimes when you get home from work and then you have to cook and sometimes have to contemplate on what to cook.
I thought about how people sacrifice and bless others and began to evaluate my giving and receiving. I want to renew my way of giving and receiving. I want to be a cheerful giver at all times. I want to sow into others, especially my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to give with the direction of the Holy Spirit. I want to also receive what God is pouring back into me without fear or pride. I want to believe that if I am concerned about God’s kingdom, He will be concerned about my needs and my concerns. I want to expect that if I tithe and help others in need that He will in turn bless me. Last but not least, I want to cheerfully give all of me to God, who loves me so much and first loved me. For God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV) That is why we cannot beat His giving, ever.
Thank You for the lesson on giving and receiving. Thank You for showing me how to truly give and that it is better to give than receive. Thank You for also showing that I am to also receive because You want to pour into my life too. Thank You for giving me an abundant life. I thank You that You are the source of all I need and that You will provide for me. Help me to trust You daily and help me to give cheerfully with the leading of the Holy Spirit. Help me to receive the things You have for me—even when they do not look exactly like I thought they would—but to also reject the things the devil offers me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to assess your giving and receiving. Are you trying to be only the giver? Are your motives behind your giving right? Is your failure to receive out of fear and pride? Remember, every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17 NIV) Lastly, remember that we are to give to our faithful Father, who is abounding in love. Give Him ALL you got, it belongs to Him anyway.
As you assess your giving and receiving, reflect on what you bestow upon God every day.
Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She helps assist Chicago Public School students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a compassionate person and encourager so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better through her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”