The one who gives will receive in abundance
Let’s take this bull by the horns: Do you give to others? How often do you give?
(See if you can read right to the end! There’s a promise waiting.)
It’s not easy to face this on an empty stomach. Still it is essential to force ourselves from time to time and do some soul-searching into our willingness to give and yes, it’s not easy to give when you are struggling to get through the month yourself.
The people of Philippi weren’t rich. They struggled to get through the month, but still they felt compelled to support Paul: 15… You Philippians well know, and you can be sure I’ll never forget it, that when I first left Macedonia province, venturing out with the Message, not one church helped out in the give-and-take of this work except you. You were the only one. 16Even while I was in Thessalonica, you helped out—and not only once, but twice.
When others weren’t around and let Paul down, the people of Philippi, who themselves weren’t rich, came forward. They were prepared to help. Out of gratitude for what Paul had done for them and the trouble he took to travel that far to bring them the life-saving message, they sent him a few gifts.
To Paul it meant so much. Much, much more than the value of the gifts. Simply the fact that people far away were thinking of him and valued him so much that they wanted to thank him, already meant a lot to Paul.
When we give, we should give out of gratitude. Out of gratitude for what Christ has done for us. Yes, when you realize what Jesus has done for you, you have no choice but to glorify Him by giving to others. And it need not always be hard cash – it can be anything, even your time and energy.
And the people of Philippi did not stop after doing it once. No, the realized that Paul’s needs weren’t fully met by that once-off giving. Every month demands come knocking on your door – that’s why we need to continue giving.
The following verse is, however, the highlight of this section. It’s a promise: 17Not that I’m looking for handouts, but I do want you to experience the blessing that issues from generosity.
This is so true; I can see it in my own life. God loves those who give freely – yes, the others too, but those who give out of gratitude are blessed even more. Note: out of gratitude. It doesn’t work to give just so that you can receive. That one won’t fly. However, if you give because you want to thank God for what He has given you, you will receive even more from God.
I trust that you will receive abundantly from God because you’re giving abundantly out of gratitude.
Do you give?
How many times do you give?
Do you believe that God blesses the cheerful giver?
Father, it’s not always easy for us to give, while we’re struggling to make our own figures add up. But we do want to give. We simply can’t spend it all on ourselves and those close to us. Please give us the wisdom to bless others in the right way . Amen