I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
(Philippians 4:18-20 ESV)
Yesterday we learned that God wants us to give our money to support the furtherance of the Gospel message. To that end we should be giving financially to our church as well as evangelistic, Christian organizations and missionaries.
Notice that as a result of the gift sent by the Philippians Paul was now “well supplied”. He now had “more” than he needed. The Philippians had been very generous in their giving to Paul.
When it comes to our money we can be quite protective (i.e. stingy). Certainly money provides some degree of security. It can also be used to buy things we want (but don’t necessarily need). But it is much more important to use our money to spread God’s message than it is to have a new pair of shoes or golf clubs.
God wants us to be generous in our giving in the same way the Philippians were generous. Giving generously is a “sacrifice” and God knows this. That is why the Philippians’ gift was “a fragrant offering… a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God”. God’s ultimate goal for our life on earth is not comfort, but character development. One aspect of our character He wants to develop is concern for others, as we’ve read in this letter to the Philippians [Philippians 2:4].
When we give to the point where it becomes a sacrifice for us we are demonstrating the heart of God. God was so concerned about our eternity that He made a huge sacrifice in sending His Son to earth to take on the penalty for our sins. He wants us to be just as willing to sacrifice for the sake of others’ eternity.
If someone is a born-again child of God [John 1:12] then there is nothing on this earth, beyond necessities, that we must have. Our earthly focus should no longer be on ourselves as our eternity in heaven is secure. Obviously we need to take care of our physical and spiritual health. But beyond that our primary goal in life should be spreading the Gospel message so that others will enter God’s kingdom too.
Spreading of the Gospel message requires money. Churches, charities, and missionaries all need to raise funds to pay their expenses. The more generous believers are in supporting these people and organizations the more people will hear about God’s wonderful offer of salvation and will be saved.
And nothing pleases God more than that.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.
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