– Henry Beecher
The Giver is Blessed
Paul wrote to “remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). Where did Paul hear this? Was he listening to some of Jesus’ teachings before he was converted? Did he receive this teaching directly from Christ? I couldn’t find it in the gospels, but apparently Jesus said it. The point is, the one who gives is more blessed than the one who receives, and since all blessings flow from God, it must be God Who blesses the giver. I don’t know exactly how this works, but it must because Scripture teaches it, and I believe Scripture!
The Giver is Rewarded
We don’t live for rewards today when we help others. Jesus said that on the day of His visitation, we will receive our rewards from Him for all that we do for others for His sake. Jesus stressed giving “so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matt 6:4) and “whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward” (Matt 10:42). Your rewards do not all come today, although I believe God will bless the generous person, but they are to be given in the kingdom, and none of us will “lose his (or her) reward.” God promises a reward for the one who is generous, as Proverbs 19:17 says, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.”
The Giver Receives
If you think giving is a one-way track to losing what you have, you couldn’t be more wrong. The Bible says that “the liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that waters shall be watered also himself” (Prov 11:15). Think about that. I water my tomato plants, but these will later make me fat. God is not talking about someone becoming overweight. When the Bible speaks about being made fat, it means they will have plenty and want for nothing. Just like giving a drink to my plants, it will be like being watered myself when it’s time to harvest the tomatoes. Jesus showed that giving has a cause and effect relationship when He said, “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38). Notice you give and it’s given back to you, not only by the same measure, but in “good measure,” and then to get even more in, it’s “pressed down” and finally “shaken together” so that more yet can be received. After all that, then it’s running over into your lap. Truly the giver receives more than he or she gives.
Just like Henry Beecher said, “In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich,” and that is God’s principle, too, because the giver is blessed, the giver is rewarded, and the giver receives more back from God than what they gave in the first place. That is truly a win-win if ever there was one!