An Unpopular Path To Happiness
Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Jesus said that. That’s a quote from Jesus in Acts, one of the few places he’s quoted outside the Gospels. And Jesus said it’s more blessed — satisfying, fulfilling, rejoicing, happy — it’s more blessed to be a generous person, a giving person than a getting person.
If you say, “I’m going to use you. I’m going to use you to make me happy,” you won’t be happy that way. The only way your soul is designed to be happy is to be receiving from the Lord and giving to others. You are made to be a conduit, and when the water, the living water, is flowing freely from God into you — satisfying your soul — flowing out in generosity, you sleep well at night. You are designed that way. And you will be laying up treasures for yourselves in heaven so that when you get there, your bank account will be really full and your reward will be great.
“It’s more blessed to be a generous person, a giving person, than a getting person.”
That’s all hedonistic language, right? Don’t lay up treasures on earth. Why? Because they get eaten by moths; they get stolen in embezzlements. Lay up treasures in heaven. Why? Because you’ll be rich when you get there, and your reward will be phenomenal. You’ll have greater taste buds for Jesus. Christian Hedonism changes the way you handle your money.
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Second Corinthians 9:7: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” That’s a radical verse. If you’re about to give, and you don’t want to, but you do it because the people around you are watching you, God is not happy with that. I don’t care if it’s a million-dollar check for this. He’s not happy with that. He doesn’t love that.
Well, if he doesn’t love it, what do you have to do? You have to get happy in giving. I mean, that’s what it says. God loves not reluctant, not under-constraint givers; he loves cheerful givers So if you don’t feel it, get it. That’s why I’m here. I came to Texas for that. God will use these moments to change you and make you a lover of him that is so satisfying, you will give.