Hi, and thanks for joining me today on a 'Walk of Faith'!
Have you ever found yourself receiving a gift that you weren't expecting? And your delight and surprise at receiving such a gift? And all the great thoughts that come along of the person who sent it to you? Well, we have that taking place in the scriptures, too. Paul is on one of his missionary journeys and he's having a tough time. And while he's acknowledging that God is meeting all of his needs, he receives a gift from one of the churches and it was completely unexpected. And he is delighted and encouraged by that gift. And so he comments on it in the book of Philippians chapter 4. I'll start reading at verse 14. He says:
"But it was good that you helped me when I needed help. You people in Philippi remember when I first told the Good News there. When I left Macedonia, you where the only church that gave me help. Several times you sent me things that I needed when I was in Thessalonica. Really, it is not that I want to get gifts from you, but I want you to have the benefit that comes from giving. I have everything I need. I have even more than I need. I have all I need because Epaphroditus brought your gift to me. Your gift is like a sweet-smelling sacrifice offered to God. God accepts that sacrifice and it pleases Him. My God will use his glorious riches to give you everything you need. He will do this through Christ Jesus. Glory to our God forever and ever. Amen."
You see, Paul understands that whatever God called us to do or sends us to go, God always provides the resources that are necessary to complete the task. And so Paul wanted to take a moment to let the folks in the church know that the gift that they were giving, while it was beneficial to Paul, would provide a great sense of joy and satisfaction for those who gave the gift to him.
And perhaps that's the encouragement that you and I need in the midst of these days we find ourselves in today. That even though the situations we find ourselves in are hard, the joy of giving still remains. The opportunity that we have to share from the abundance of blessings that God has given to us may brighten someone else's day. And when we hear the reports of what happened we can find our own sense of joy and encouragement in sharing those gifts together in the body of Christ.
So as we approach the holiday season, remember not to lose the gift of giving and look for the blessings you will receive from God and the thanks from the people who will receive them.
~ Pastor Kerry