God's word in today's world

A giving heart

Philippians 4:10

Paul is in jail and the congregation he is writing to has sent him a present. He is so grateful: 10I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it.

What a decent guy. He has suffered in jail for so long and this was suffering with a capital S, because the jails of those days were really hard places. You were regarded as a criminal and treated as such. Inhuman treatment. For a long time nobody cared, and Paul didn’t even get anything from the people of Philippa.

But Paul didn’t blame the congregation. He was so decent and thanked them sincerely. He was filled with joy even though it was just a small present that they sent to him. Maybe it was not the size of the present, but the fact that others still cared for him while he was imprisoned that gave him courage again. Now he could lift up his head again and face the day.

A small present changed Paul’s life in jail, because in a way this is about more than the present that was given – it’s about these people’s hearts.

What can be said about our hearts?

See what Auntie Pat’s heart looks like:

Sometimes it feels as if I don’t do enough. Last year Mission without borders visited our church and I was amazed by the photos that they showed of the children and families in Russia and surrounding areas.

So very few people came forward to help.

I’m a widow who struggles to survive, but I felt I could at least try and help one person. Among the photographs of the children one boy caught my attention. I signed on immediately. For R190.00 per month the boy could eat every day and stay at a centre where the missionaries of the church worked.

Sometimes I wish I had more money to help someone else too. I realize there are children and families in our own country who suffer just as much, and I haven’t reached out to help here. But I will keep trying. I believe the Lord will use me as He wishes.

A short story, but one with a big message. I love seeing Auntie Pat’s heart and I know our Father does too. A caring heart. A heart that cries when others suffer. R190 may not be much to you, but it’s a really big amount of money for her, and still she longs to give more.

Maybe that little boy will call to God one day to say thank you for a woman he never knew. Thank you for the money she gave so that he could have food to eat and could hear about the Saviour.

May this be true of you and me. May we have hearts like the members of the Philippa congregation and like Auntie Pat. May we be sensitive and see the need in others and do something about it. However small it is, how little we may have. May our hearts fire us up to make a real difference.


What does your heart look like?

Do you like to give?

Where can you make a difference?


Our Father in heaven, thank you for everything that You give us. Thank you that we can give to others too. Please help my heart to focus on others and to see the need around me. Please help me to do something about it too. Amen

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