The book of Philippians is essentially a thank you note from a missionary, the Apostle Paul, to his supporters in the Philippian church. They had sent him a monetary gift as well as the encouragement of a visit from one of their own members, Epaphroditus. No wonder it’s a book full of joy!
As I was reading Philippians 4:10-20 this morning, I was struck by all the benefits of supporting God’s workers that Paul references. Let’s look at them together:
- Verse 10: “I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me.” Our gifts bring joy to the recipient. That should be reason enough to share!
- Verse 10: “Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.” We can see God open doors for ways to share that may have been closed in the past.
- Verses 11-12: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” God uses our gifts to remind the recipient – and indeed to remind us – that we can rest contented in His provision. What a powerful secret!
- Verse 13: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Our support shows both parties where our true strength comes from and the limitless nature of that strength.
- Verse 14: “Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.” Our gifts bind us together with the recipient as sharers in trouble – a huge encouragement to them.
- Verses 15-16: “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; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.” Financial gifts, especially regular giving, serve to remind us of our long, beautiful relationship with each other.
- Verse 17: “Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.” Our gifts today are credited to our heavenly account.
- Verse 18: “I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent.” In God’s economy, the gifts we offer – no matter the size – are part of his ample supply to the missionary.
- Verse 18: “They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.” Our support is much more than a business arrangement between two earthly parties; it is received by God as a pleasing, fragrant sacrifice.
- Verse 19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Our gifts to others help build our confidence in the God who richly meets all of our own needs as well.
- And best of all, in verse 20: “To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Our Heavenly Father gets the glory he deserves and we receive the satisfaction in him through that glory.
There aren’t many things we could spend money on that multiply benefits in so many ways. Have you tried personally supporting a missionary? Is now the time to prove him true to these precious words?
If you are interested in connecting more with one of Calvary’s missionaries in this way, please contact me ( ) to find out who has needs.
All scripture from: Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.