Authored by Lou Geense
Philippians 4:14-16 – Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 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 giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.
Paul was quite clear that he had learned to be content in whatever his present situation was due to his reliance on the Lord. That did not mean that he desired to be poor and destitute. Still, everyone needs a little help from friends now and then. And there is nothing wrong with admitting that.
The Philippians had helped Paul by supplying him with some money, and perhaps some food and clothing, on more than one occasion. That did not go unnoticed, and Paul did not pretend that he didn’t need the help, or that he would have been just fine without it. Paul admitted that it was kind and helpful of the Philippians to send their gifts to him.
Paul was not above being bold in his comments and openly admits that the Philippian church had done a better job of supporting him than other congregations had done. Paul affirms that this action was helpful and encouraging to him. For Paul, generosity was clearly a part of the whole Jesus package. Living generous lives shows that we “get it” when it comes to the gospel. In response to God’s amazing grace, we give too! And Paul dearly wanted everyone to understand this—because getting Jesus right is the most important thing in the whole universe.
Living generous lives blesses others but it also blesses us more than we really know. Next time you have opportunity to be generous, try to do so and see what a blessing it can be.
Lord Jesus you gave yourself completely for our sake. Help us to catch the vision of giving and to lead generous lives of self-giving always. In your name, Amen.