Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ ” (Acts 20:35). It is fascinating that when Paul describes the moral conditions of people in the “last days” in 2 Timothy 3, he starts the list with “lovers of self” and “lovers of money.” Shortly thereafter, he says they are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” There’s no debating that they are marked by love – but it is a twisted love. It is self-love. Do not be deceived – this is a hallmark of our culture: the desire to make more money so I can have more fun; the lusting after what is newer, the entitlement to more ease and entertainment, the spending of MY money on MY wants for MY pleasure. Oh, did I mention the words of the Lord Jesus in Acts 20 recently? He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Many young believers have employment. This is normally a good thing, as working is an important part of life and relatively essential to one’s survival. Now what are you going to do with that paycheck? There are bills to pay. You need gas in the car to get to conferences. Good. What else? “Well”, you say, “There’s my weekly trip to McDonald’s, some new music, a new shirt, that’s about it … apart from a few trips to Starbucks, saving up for my big trip, and a new iPod, or adding more texts to my cell package or new headphones.” I am not trying to give you a guilt trip about how you spend your money. It is your choice. But I would love to instill in your young mind the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Giving is better than receiving because it reflects an eternal perspective. People that give are “storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (1Tim 6:19, ESV). You are sacrificing now for God’s glory and reward in His kingdom. This is pleasing to God.
But it is not only pleasing to God; giving means you are learning to be like God. You may have heard of a verse in the Bible that begins like this: “For God so loved the world that He GAVE ….” Our God is a giving God and you are at your best when you are most like Him. He loves “a cheerful giver” (2Cor 9:7).
You have received much blessing from the local church where you fellowship. Now remember, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” What about those in the Lord’s work? Don’t be embarrassed if you can only give a small amount. Read Mark 12:41-44. Your gift is unto the Lord, and He knows your sacrifice. This article is not a request for money. It is “not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account” (Phil 4:17). We encourage you, in your youth and as the Lord enables you, to develop the grace of giving. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”