Are you a thief?

Acts 20:35 says: “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”’

Deuteronomy 16:17: “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.”

With these verses as our foundation, think about a couple of aspects of giving. The first is the origin of the blessings. Deuteronomy clearly states that our blessings come from God Himself.

I’m not saying you haven’t earned what you have, rather, that God has blessed your labors either monetarily or with physical possessions. I’m also not saying that you just reach your hands out and cry out to God for Him to drop the proverbial “mana from heaven” into your outstretched hands. You do have to work.

However, there are times that God just wants to bless you with a “free gift”. This is what we call “grace”. God giving you something that you don’t deserve or haven’t earned.

With this said, we can not give away what we have not received in the first place. If you have “nothing” to give, how can you give “nothing” away? If your cupboards are bare, how can you give any food away?

1 Kings 17 tells the story of Elijah asking a widow for food and drink. All she had left in her home was enough bread for a final meal for herself and her son. Elijah told her to go and prepare the bread for him. Then he told her that the bowl of flour would not be exhausted, nor the jar of oil be empty.

Get ready, here’s the point. When we give in obedience, we will receive a blessing. Based on Elijah’s story, it made no sense for the widow to give him anything, yet she gave him what she had. As a result, she received an endless supply of food for herself and her son.

Ready for the second point? When we refuse to receive a gift offered, we are denying a blessing to the giver. I’ve heard many times people say that they can’t take something from someone when it is offered. First, if the person didn’t want to give it, they wouldn’t have offered. Second, maybe the person offering the gift needs to be blessed in other ways.

Case in point, I know an older woman who who is essentially home bound. She can’t drive and depends on others for her transportation. I overheard a conversation with her regarding this issue. She said she didn’t want to take advantage of other people even though they had offered help. The question was posed to the woman, “When you could still drive, did you offer transportation to others?” She replied with a yes. Another question came, “Did you feel blessed because you could help?” Then answer again was yes. A final question was posed to her, “Then why do you want to rob others of a blessing when they want to help you?” The final question left her speechless. She got the point.

So here’s the question for you. Are you denying others their blessings because you refuse a gift offered? Is this just another form of pride?

Here’s the challenge. Not only are we commanded to be a blessing to others, we should also receive so others can be blessed.

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