God's Heart

God’s Heart
Words of Faith 7-18-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Acts 20
[33] I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. [34] You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. [35] 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.'"
[36] When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. [37] They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. [38] What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.

What does it look like to live in total dependence upon God? Paul gave us a remarkable model as he parted with dear friends in Ephesus.
Born into the home of a Roman citizen but committed to years of missionary travel, Paul had known both wealth and financial hardship. He would later write to the believers at Philippi, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want (Philip. 4:11b-12).
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world (1 Cor. 4:11-13).
Yet in spite of such hardships Paul was constantly concerned for the poor and regularly received offerings for other people going through difficulty!
Most remarkable is that Paul could say he had not coveted anyone’s wealth. That would be a difficult claim for most of us in such hard times. Paul had discovered that God can be trusted to “meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philip. 4:19). He had learned that worldly treasure pales in comparison to God’s eternal wealth. He had learned that he did not need the power of the world because “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philip. 4:13).
Paul worked with his own hands to supply the basic necessities of life yet even amid significant hardship and he never forgot the poor (Galatians 2:10). Why? Because of a simple truth, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”.
Paul brings to us words of Jesus that are not recorded anywhere else in the Scripture yet ring so true of what we know of Jesus. The saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” has become precious to the people of God. These words of our Lord may have been passed on by one of the other Apostles or may have been communicated directly to Paul by Jesus through the Spirit. We do not know when Jesus said this but it is an eternal insight into the heart of God.
In our humanness, we tend to think that we will be blessed, find joy, by receiving, gaining, getting, capturing or possessing. Yet, our greatest blessings always come when we give.
It may be that this is when we are most like God. God’s nature is to give rather than possess. From the act of creation to the moment of redemption, God has been giving. We can never repay all that He has poured out for us. God so loved the world that He GAVE His only Son. That is His heart. God gave and gave and continues to give. If we seek to be like God it is unavoidable that we will give. This is the truth that Paul had learned to live.

Oh God, teach me the blessing of giving. Teach me the joy of letting go without regard for return. Teach me the wonder of a heart that is like Yours, that finds the greatest joy in giving. In Jesus’ name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2001, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.