Verse: Philippians 4:14-20
Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of given and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Why do you give to certain people or causes? It’s hard to watch the children or the puppies on TV and not be pulled to give. I know I feel that way. Sometimes I give out of guilt because I have it so good. Or I give because it is an expectation to give in certain situations. In this passage, Paul is commending the people in the church in Phillipi, that he started, on being generous to him.

He tells them about the spiritual realities of generosity. Giving reflects the heart. Clearly the Philippians cared about their spiritual leader and the difficulties that he faced. I am sure that Paul had taught them about the importance of giving. That all things come from God. That they are stewards of the gifts that they have been given. He may have told them the same things he told the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 9) that God loves a cheerful giver; that those who sow generously will also reap generously; and that men will praise God because of their generous sharing.

As a spiritual father to them, he is pleased to see that they understand his teachings and that they are obeying what God is instructing them to do. That they are being consistent and faithful in their giving. And that this cheerful giving is seen by God and is a credit to them. It is seen in heaven and is credited to their spiritual account. It is a reflection of their love for Paul and for their love for God and what he has allowed them to do with their gifts from Him.

Lastly Paul tells them of a promise from God that he will meet all your needs according to his abundance. Most of our real needs are spiritual. We are empty without Jesus and the Holy Spirit filling us. God can fill our emptiness just like he filled all the empty jars with oil for the widow in 2 Kings 4. Where we are empty, He can fill us. Where we are hurting, he can heal us. From that position of gratefulness, we can give to others who are also in need. We all can learn from Paul and the Philippians about God-inspired giving.

Thank you, Lord God, for the many gifts you have given me. Help me to see the needs of others and to cheerfully give like you have given to me. Thank you for letting me be part of what you are doing here on earth. Lead me and grow me in this spiritual gift of giving.

Author: Brad Dunn