Jesus told his disciples in Acts 20:35, “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.’
The first century Christians spent time daily meeting together in homes and devoted themselves to fellowship, to the apostles teaching, to breaking of bread, to prayer and shared what they had with others. Acts 2:43, Luke tells us that after selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone who had needs. Giving to others was a daily activity in the lives of the 1st century Christians and should be ours today as well. Paul writes to the Corinth Church in 2 Corinthians 9:7-8, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” We are to be cheerful givers and not give reluctantly or have to twists our arms.
I love to receive gifts but it is more important to give than to receive. Could you imagine having someone give you a car for $20? Not just some ordinary car but a Mercedes Convertible for what was in your pocket. Well that happened this week to a cook who works at the Pittsburgh Steelers team complex. On the final day in Pittsburgh before leaving for Arizona to be the Cardinals Defensive Coordinator, Ray Horton gave his 1999 Mercedes SL500 to cafeteria worker Maurice Matthews. So on his last day Ray approached Maurice to say goodbye and ask if he can borrow whatever money he had in his pocket. All Matthews had was $20, and gave it to Horton, and Horton sold him his car for $20, which introspect he gave him a car that is worth $17,735. Horton told the Arizona Cardinals team blog, “I’ts just taking care of guys who took care of you.” I like this coaches attitude and generosity to give his car to someone who took care of him while he was in Pittsburgh. There are so many negative stories about coaches and players, that it is great to hear a story about giving from this coach.
We might not have a 1999 Mercedes Benz to give to our neighbor or our paper boy but we have so many other things we can give to others. It’s not always about giving money but about giving our time, our love, our help and our lives. Just this week our AC quit on us and is shutting off because of the heat and our friends gave us their fans to use while we try to get our AC running again. What was even more amazing was that one friend brought over his window AC and installed in in our window. It’s felt so great to receive these fans and window ac unit, but I bet it felt great for them to give them to us to use. Even a few months ago my family was given not just one car but two cars, one for me to drive and the other one for my wife to drive. They are not Mercedes Convertibles but they run and we are so blessed to have them.
Take some time this week and give your time to someone by visiting the nursing home or volunteering to help clean a house; give your love to someone by calling them, sending them a card in the mail, and encouraging them; give your life to the one who gave you life, GOD. God has given us everything that we have from our clothes to our cars. We should always be looking for a way to give back to him by giving to those in need. There is a great story about giving in Matthew 25:34-40,
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,you did it to me.’
Just like Ray Horton giving his car away for only $20, what have you given away lately? God gave you his son and I encourage to BE A GIVER!