“I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” When Paul had finished speaking he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship. (Acts 20:33-38)
Paul was the son of a well-to-do pharisee. He had a lot of silver, gold, and clothing and was so powerful, he could have Christians killed. By the world’s standards, he was a strong man. But God blinded him on the Road to Damascus—a life-changing event. He discovered all humans are weak compared to God, life is empty if you’re receiving and not giving, and that life can only be lived to its fullest when we live through the love and power of the Holy Spirit.
When Paul regained his sight, he learned the trade of tentmaking. He worked hard because he wanted to give, not receive. Paul helped the Ephesians meet their monetary, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs by giving his time and money, telling them about Jesus, and kneeling with them and praying. He charged the elders and us to do the same. Paul was so successful meeting their needs that when he left, the elders wept, embraced, and kissed him.
When we pray and let the Holy Spirit lead us, we’ll have more to give and touch more lives.
Father, I praise You for giving me everything I need. Help me give my time and money, spread your love with empathy, and not expect to receive. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.