I mentioned in my last blog that the problem with many Christians is that they are still self-centered. That they’re always focused on their wants and needs.
But that is not God’s will for us, and that’s not how the Philippians were. Paul said of them,
When I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only, for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. (15-16)
For a lot of the churches, they apparently received a lot from Paul, but at that point, that’s all they were doing: receiving. They were not really giving of themselves to others and the Lord at that point.
Now as baby Christians, that’s okay. We need to be fed. But as we mature, we need to learn to not only receive, but to give. And from very early on, that’s what the Philippians apparently did.
Paul himself wasn’t so interested in receiving from the Philippians or anyone else. For the most part, he was self-supporting. But he was thankful to see the seeds of maturity in the Philippians in their giving hearts.
And he assured them that God would not forget what they had done, but that they would be rewarded.
It’s very interesting the phrase he uses in verse 17,
I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.
Is he saying that God will reward them because of the fruit of generosity growing in their lives? Or is he saying that their generosity in supporting his ministry will result in the fruit of saved lives, and that God would reward them because of that fruit?
I kind of think he means the latter, but both are probably true.
More, he tells them, that their gifts were a fragrant offering and acceptable sacrifice to God. And then he closes by saying,
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (19)
Sometimes when we give, we wonder if it’s worth it. We wonder if perhaps we’ve given too much. But Paul assures us here that if we are generous, God has more than enough resources to provide for our needs.
To be honest, I’m still learning that. So many times, it’s hard for me to let go of money in my life. But when we give, not only will we please God, but God will be glorified through that gift as people are blessed. And so Paul says,
To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (20)
How about you? Are you a giver? Or just a receiver?
May the gifts we receive from God not simply stop with us, but flow through us to touch those around us.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. (23)