Give and be blessed, receive and bless

Isaac Blessing Jacob, painting by Govert Flinc...Image via Wikipedia
We know full well that our obedience counts as a blessing, especially in the realm of giving. But it's also true that our obedience in receiving can lead to a blessing. Sometimes our pride can get in the way when people seek to bless us by their giving but we should always be obedient in such matters.

Let me illustrate this and more by way of an example from my pastor. He was on a mission trip to Uganda and was visiting a number of churches. As things go he would often have a lot of people wanting to speak to him at the end of the services. In one instance he was confronted by an old man who insisted that he give my pastor his blanket, a somewhat well worn blanket which in reality would be no use for my pastor. So my pastor tried not to receive the blanket, thinking it would be of more use to the man but he was pulled up by the local pastor. He told my pastor that God is telling him to give what little he has and by not receiving you are taking away opportunity to be obedient to God. So my pastor gratefully received the blanket.

Further on in the mission trip he came across an old man who had nothing, literally nothing. Then my pastor remembered the blanket which he'd tried not to receive. And with that blanket he could bring a blessing to the man who had nothing.

It shows that nothing is as simple as it seems, even the process of giving and receiving. The old man got to be obedient to God. My pastor got to be obedient to God. And in his obedience could convey that blessing to the man with nothing. We always need to be aware that Christ is at the centre, not man or ourselves. We need to have faith to trust beyond what we see or expect.