Commendable Giving

Bible Reading: Philippians 4:10-23

Philippians 4:14-18, “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.”

Paul was in prison.  Having become aware of Paul’s situation, and his needs, the Philippians responded.  They made the need known.  They took an offering and gathered up funds and then sent Epaphroditus to Paul with a gift.  It was a major effort on their part.  They repeatedly sent gifts to Paul to help him with his missionary endeavors.  Even when no one else helped, they did. They were full of love towards Paul and wanting to assist in whatever way possible.  Though Paul had not sought such a gift, he gave thanks for their act of love towards him equated to an act of worship to God Himself!

Paul elsewhere spoke of the financial sacrifice of the believers of Macedonia, commending their example to the church in Corinth.  So keen was their desire to give they begged Paul for the opportunity (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).  Those believers gave: sacrificially (i.e., out of their “extreme poverty” and “beyond their means”); joyously (“their abundance of joy”); generously (“in a wealth of generosity”); beggingly (“begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part”); lovingly (“for the relief of the saints”); and in a surprising fashion (“and this not as we expected”).

Theirs was not a reluctant “how much is this going to cost me?” kind of gift.  Why did they give as they did?  Paul explained, “They gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us” (2 Corinthians 8:5).  They gave as an act of worship.  Their hearts and lives and love already belonged to God (2 Corinthians 5:15).  They were Spirit-led to give in a sacrificial way according to Christ’s example.  He Himself came as a heaven-sent gift of “inexpressible” worth (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 9:15).  He did not merely give out of His riches, He gave and gave and when He had given all that He had in this life, He gave that up too (Philippians 2:5-8).  He impoverished Himself so that we might be made rich.  “For you know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).  When it comes to the matter of giving His example reigns supreme.

The cheerful and sacrificial giving of the believer is ultimately sourced in God Himself.  It is by His grace in salvation that rebels are transformed into worshippers and created anew with the desire to give.  It is by His grace that we are enriched, for “what do (we) have that (we) did not receive” (1 Corinthians 4:7)?  It has all come to us by grace—salvation, provision, strength, motivation and ability to serve.  By the grace of God, we are what we are (1 Corinthians 15:10).  Whenever we see that spirit of giving, as was exemplified to us by the believers in Philippi, we can trace it ultimately back to God, who is the greatest giver of them all (James 1:17).  And we are encouraged to do likewise to the glory of God!


Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth;
Throw your soul’s fresh, glowing ardor
Into the battle for truth.
Jesus has set the example,
Dauntless was He, young and brave;
Give Him your loyal devotion;
Give Him the best that you have.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth;
Clad in salvation’s full armor,
Join in the battle for truth.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give Him first place in your heart;
Give Him first place in your service;
Consecrate every part.
Give, and to you will be given;
God His beloved Son gave;
Gratefully seeking to serve Him,
Give Him the best that you have (Refrain)

Give of your best to the Master;
Naught else is worthy His love;
He gave Himself for your ransom,
Gave up His glory above.
Laid down His life without murmur,
You from sin’s ruin to save;
Give Him your heart’s adoration,
Give Him the best that you have (Refrain)

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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