6/3 Acts 20:35

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."

Paul was an apostle, an official messenger of Jesus. In Corinth and Ephesus he not only labored hard physically as a tentmaker (Acts 20:34), but spiritually he labored hard, too. Night and day he was teaching the Word of God and its application to the believers' lives. Because many of them were from Gentile pantheistic backgrounds, he had a lot to teach them about life in Christ.

This teaching was not a dispassionate lecture series, but was delivered with tears (Acts 20:31). He was more concerned about grounding them in the faith than he was about his own life (Acts 20:24). His life was the example with which he challenged the elders. How many of us would want to tell the leaders of a church, "Be like me!"? Life is short, and Paul was making up for a lot of lost time. But more than that, he wanted to convey the message of grace that had transformed him.

He challenged the elders to remember a quote from Jesus that we find nowhere else in Scripture. "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Matthew 10:8 comes close to this expression.) This giving mindset is a necessity for servant leaders. We have to have our minds adjusted to this truth that Jesus taught and demonstrated. To be able to give is a blessing if we would be Christlike leaders. How else can we lead others to know this truth if we do not live it before their eyes?

Prayer: Lord, change my thinking from "What's in it for me?" to "How can I be a blessing?" Help me to see that it is more blessed to give than to get.