I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. Philippians 4:18b
Listen: Philippians 4
When we give to others—we are giving to God. God doesn’t need our gifts, but he delights over our gesture of dependence and our desire to bless others. Paul described this to the Philippians by calling their gifts to him a “fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.”
Though foreign to us, offering sacrifices were common in both the Hebrew and Greco culture. To the Philippians, it would have been a significant adjustment to not go to the temple to offer gifts to God. Instead, God was pleased and honored with their generosity and love towards each other.
Our acts of generosity or service towards others demonstrate our dependence on God. But we might ask, “if I care for God’s interests, who will care for mine?” The answer is God Himself. This is the cycle of care—we care for God’s interests and he cares for ours (see also Matthew 6:33).
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Our joy and contentment come from a focus on the generosity of God that expresses itself through gratitude and praise even in seasons of extreme pain and deep disappointment. In the craziness of the holidays, take time today to slow your heart and focus on God’s goodness to you. His blessings can free you to be joyful when it is hard, content when you are lacking and generous with your love and resources. Write out a prayer of thanksgiving to God for his many blessings.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.