Giving and Receiving

Sermon on the Mount of Beatitudes

The Mount of Beatitudes is a natural auditorium. A small cove at the base of the hill is where great crowds gathered around Jesus, so he got into a boat and taught them.

The Mount of Beatitudes is now farmland.

“Modern tests have confirmed that where there was a hillside location that formed a natural “Y”-shaped auditorium, thousands of people could sit on that hillside and hear one person speak.”

Dr. Jim Solberg, National Director, BFP United States

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Ascending the Mount of Beatitudes.

This is the view the people had while they listened to the Sermon on the Mount!

Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.” New English Translation

“‘Blessed.’ The word means more than ‘happy,’ because happiness is an emotion often dependent on outward circumstances. ‘Blessed’ here refers to the ultimate well-being and distinctive spiritual joy of those who share in the salvation of the kingdom of God. See notes on Psalms 1:1, … ‘Poor in spirit’ in contrast to the spiritually proud and self-sufficient. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom is not something earned. It is more a gift than a reward.”

New International Version Study Bible notes on Matthew 5:3

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“… ‘Blessed.’ The happy condition of those who revere the Lord and do His will….and who put their trust in Him… Reference is not first of all to health and wealth but to the assurance and experience that they live under the guardianship and faithful care of the gracious Lord of Life.”

New International Version Study Bible notes on Psalms 1:1

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Giving

Matthew 5:42, “Give to the one who asks you, and do not reject the one who wants to borrow from you.” New English Translation

“Probably not a general requirement to give to everyone who asks but a reference to the poor. …”

New International Version Study Bible Notes on Matthew 5:42

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This verse does not give me the right to ask someone to give me something. I may borrow it but I cannot demand anything.

On the other hand, when God blesses me, my first thought is, “I’m unworthy. I don’t need this. Maybe I am to give it away to someone with a greater need.” I leave the gift in the box and wait.

That’s just as wrong. God gives me things to use and enjoy! I have some boxes to open!

Luke 6:30, “Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away.” New English Translation

When I loan something out, I trust God for its safe return. I am not to nag the one I loaned it to.

John 6:9, “Here is a boy who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what good are these for so many people?” New English Translation

The boy had faith that Jesus could multiply his lunch. When we give, we have faith that God can multiply it and meet our needs, too. The boy was hungry just like the rest of the crowd.

Receiving

Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” New English Translation

“…If a small child asked you for something dangerous, you’d refuse. If he or she asked for something healthy, you would gladly give it. Likewise, God knows what is good for us and what isn’t. Because He’s a good Father who loves His children, He will give us only what is beneficial for us. In this context, He invites us to ask, seek, and knock.

Jesus described God as a loving Father who desires to give good gifts to His children. When you pray, do you believe this? Ask God to help you trust Him with the outcome of your prayers. Ask Him for everything on your heart. Then trust Him and expect good results!”

New English Translation notes on Matthew 7:7-11

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Luke 8:17, “For nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, nothing concealed that will not be made known and brought to light.” New English Translation

My hand mixer broke as I was finishing Christmas baking, see “God Rewards My Work.” I posted on Facebook: “Christmas baking is done – my mixer broke.”

The responses ranged from: “Get out a wooden spoon” to “I’ll loan you mine.” Several recommended investing in a Kitchen-Aid mixer.

My secret desire was no longer hidden. I admitted that I was saving for one and was three-fourths of the way there. I went online and researched the best models. The prices had gone way up! I decided to buy the best hand mixer that I could find.

Luke 8:18, “So listen carefully, for whoever has will be given more, …” New English Translation

A card came in the mail after reading this verse. I saw the “Thinking of You” sticker on the back of the envelope and thought, “This can’t be for me! It must be for my sister who is recovering from surgery.”

I opened it and found a check with my name on it! The card said, “Enjoy this gift! Buy your Kitchen-Aid and any accessories you need!”

Seeing the check, David said, “It’s like God added a zero to the check I just mailed to the missionary and gave it back!” (I pray that God adds a zero to this check and gives it back to the giver!)

“When you witness a miracle, do you skeptically dismiss God’s power or rejoice and tell everyone you know?”

New English Translation note on Luke 8:26-39

Hey, everyone! I’m getting a Kitchen-Aid mixer!

My heart desired it and I wouldn’t even admit it to myself but God knew!

God is not like Santa Claus but He loves blessing His children. Why not share the desire of your heart with Him?

Give. Save. Ask.

Join me in reading the 2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide. I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!

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