Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Blessing of Giving Yourself

"It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

A common verse, right? Yes! During the reports from the week that preceded the health expo, our students learned the rich blessing that comes from giving of yourself – your time, your talents and your energies to bless others less fortunate.

One student shared her experience by saying, “When we arrived at the small store of one of our interests, we saw she was smiling that we had come! I began to pray that God would open her heart and that she would let us share another Bible study with her. She had not been able to make our scheduled study the previous week and now we had come to invite her to continue again. But she complained that she didn’t feel well and asked us to massage her hands instead. As we did, we began to share with her about the next Bible study and she gladly listened! I was so blessed to give her massage and more importantly – to share God’s Word with her!”

She added another experience, “After that Bible study, we went all through our area distributing flyers. When 5:15 came, we went to see one of our interests that we have been giving simple health treatments to. She was ready to receive us and had already prepared herself for the treatment. As I began working on the knots in her back, she asked me why do we do this for people. I shared with her that we desire to help people as God would do where He here on earth. She listened attentively all throughout the treatment and at the end, decided to accept a Bible study from us! Sometimes we are required to sacrifice ourselves so that others will be blessed. I have found it a joy to do so in serving the Lord! My strength and wisdom and all my talents are from God and to be used only for Him.”

Another student who is partnered with one of our foreign students said this, “One day this week, I was not feeling well. I was so tired and wanted to go back to our dorm to sleep because I felt like I had a fever. But I decided to go out on outreach with my partner anyways. I prayed, ‘Lord, please help me not to be sick so I can serve you.’ As we went out, there was a time when I was so tired and weak that I had to sit down on the sidewalk and let my partner (the foreigner) do the surveys and inviting for Bible studies. I just smiled at him and tried to inspire him. Suddenly, my partner called me, ‘Come! I found someone who wants to do a sit-down Bible study, but we cannot understand each other! They don’t understand English too well!’ So I went there and did my best to share myself in sharing God’s Word with them. Through all this, I learned that even if you are not feeling well, you still have to continue to work for the Lord – to give of yourself. He will extend His grace to help you overcome your sickness and to renew your strength. I also learned that the very best medicine when you have a fever is – to give a Bible study to someone and surely you will feel better!

What’s the common Bible verse? “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

One student said this on her outreach, “This week we visited a 97 year old lady. [Here in the Philippines, it’s very unusual for a person to reach that age.] Even though she is old, yet she still continued doing her chores and I truly saw God’s love to sustain lives. When we asked her daughter how she was able to live so long, she told us that her mother eats very healthy food. God has provided for us the best food that we need to make us healthy and let us serve Him more efficiently! And if we follow Him, we will surely be blessed!”

She continued, “We met our drop-off study interest along the way as we were distributing flyers for the seminar. After we invited her to come also, she told us some reasons why she might not be able to come. But what she said next really inspired us! She said she was very eager to have us give her the next lesson so she could read it and answer the blanks. She added that though she has a Bible for many years already, yet this is the first time she could really study it and understand it! This was amazing because she was 87 years old! We were so blessed to hear that from her and are so excited to give her more lessons so she can continue studying from God’s Word on her own! I learned to pray more for God’s help and to befriend people and show care for them. As we give of ourselves and smile at people, it really opens their hearts to what we have to tell them about God.”

Another student said, “One of our Bible interests got sick and we went to visit her. There we prayed for her and did some simple treatments to help her get well sooner. She was so happy and we were so blessed to be a blessing to her! Though we invited her to come to the seminar, she said she was very busy but she let her grandchild come with us to the seminar’s children’s program. Praise God for using us to work for Him!”

Yet another one said, “When our outreach time cfame this week, my partner and I prayed earnestly to God because we didn’t have any money for our transportation to go to our assigned territory. We really could experience the phrase ‘walk by faith and not by sight.’ But God was so good to us! As we were sharing to others of ourselves and our talents, God was blessing us! He used people to be channels of blessing to us and we went back and forth to our territory several times this week – all through the money of people who were generous to share with us! God also gave us divine appointments that we never expected. He is so good to us!”

And one more said, “This week our Bible student actively interacted during our Bible study. She talked a lot and shared what was inside her heart. Then she began telling us her life story and I was inspired when I listened to how God had really taken care of her all through her life. After she was done, we prayed for her and I felt so blessed after that visit! I had been getting discouraged, but as we shared of ourselves to her, we felt encouraged and inspired! God is really a God who hears and answers us and I thank Him for all the lessons He gave us this week!”

If you have not experienced the joy of giving of yourself to be a blessing to others, just step out and do it! You will be amazed what a rich blessing you will receive in return.

Remember, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Keep watching for more exciting stories!