“ Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 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.” — Philippians 4:14 – 18
The apostle Paul depended on his Lord for all of his physical and financial needs. Paul was a missionary, an apostle, a teacher, a pastor, an evangelist, and a church planter.
Missionaries today face the same struggles as Paul. They depend on the church to supply their needs and it is the obligation of the church to provide for God’s kingdom work as our Lord supplies the source of giving. It is important to remember that when Christians give gifts of financial support, the source of giving is not from the giver. The source of giving is from our Father in heaven who gives to us first. It is then our responsibility to give, not out of abundance but out of sacrifice. Our Lord does not provide more than is necessary. We give out of our daily provision, trusting in our Lord to supply ALL we need and ALL that we give.
In the Christmas season, our minds turn to giving of gifts. For many in our congregation, the 2010 Christmas season will be one of choices for giving. Budgets will be stretched as uncertainties of 2011 loom. But I am proud to be a part of a generous church family.
As a congregation, we must be good stewards of our Lord’s gifts. Spending on ourselves and for our comforts alone is not pleasing to God. I have heard it said recently in these uncertain times that “We should focus on ourselves and not take on so much in giving to others.” Giving is a sacrifice. Our Lord is pleased with sacrifice. He is not pleased in giving solely out of excess.
The true biblical example for the church is to supply the needs of our Lord’s kingdom as HE has supplied all our needs for comfort and for the salvation of our souls through his Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that you will experience the peace of our Lord so that in all things, you will be a giver of gifts that are a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
In HIS Grip