We all know the Bible tells us God only helps those who help themselves because he works in mysterious ways. What we have to do as Christians is remember, “to thine own self be true.” Sometimes this can be difficult, but we know God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. If you doubt this, then just pick up your Bible and turn to the Book of Hezekiah. We find all of these truths within this book. It’s my favorite book in the Bible. I’ll wait while you look it up.

Did you find it yet? Don’t worry if you didn’t find this book because there is no such book in the Bible. Just like all of those sayings aren’t in the Bible either. However, if they were, they’d go into the Book of Hezekiah. The odds are you’ve heard some of those sayings. Some of them, like “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle,” are distortions of actual verses. A misunderstanding of what’s actually being said. While others, like “God only helps those who help themselves,” are just things people might think are in the Bible.

If you thought these were in the Bible, I’m glad you’re here. If you know that they’re not in the Bible, I’m still glad you’re here. As Christians, we need to know what’s in the Bible and what’s not. There are numerous negative consequences for not knowing what’s in the Bible. The greatest of which is a misunderstanding of the personage of God. For example, if we believed God only helps those who help themselves, we might never go to God because we don’t know him. Even worse than not going to God for ourselves is telling other people “truths” about God that are not true.

This leads me to something I read today in Acts.

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.'”

Acts 20:35 (NIV)

In this verse, Paul is saying goodbye to the Ephesians. Here we see two things. We see the shattering of the notion that God only helps those who help themselves. “I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak.” This is followed up by something Jesus said about helping others; “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” If you have a red-letter Bible, this text is in red, indicating Jesus is speaking. This is where we could run into a problem.

In the Gospels, there is no record of Jesus saying this. Even the Apocryphal Gospels don’t include this saying of Jesus. There is no record, anywhere, in any of the Gospels of Jesus saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I can see someone arguing that “Jesus never said this because it’s not in the Gospels (or even Bible).” Someone determined to cause people to stumble. Did Paul just make this up? How do we address this issue?

What does it say in the verse?

Paul encourages his listeners to “remember.” This tells us that this was something they have heard already. Paul likely said this in his teaching before, and it makes sense that it was a widely known saying. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense to tell them to remember it.

What about it not being in the Gospels?

The Gospels do not include everything that happened in the life of Jesus, nor all of his teachings. None of them claim to, and it would be foolish of anyone to think that they did. We have this intelligence from John 21:25, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (NIV). What does this mean? Does it mean we can all go around saying whatever we want and attributing it to Jesus? Of course not!

John 21:25 gives us the confidence to answer anyone who says Jesus never said this (“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”). However, this saying of Jesus is in the Bible. Paul tells us about it here in Acts. Therefore because it is in the Bible here in Acts, we know it’s true. Even if it wasn’t included in the Gospels.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.