Focal passage: Philippians 4:10-20
Paul acknowledged in the book of Philippians that serving is often done in a partnership with others (1:5; 4:15) and there is joy for all involved. Both the giver and the receiver benefit from the act of giving.
Our lesson writer challenges us to join God in His work of giving for the benefit of others. One of the privileges of being a church member is we are often presented with numerous opportunities to give. There are ministries that need time, talents and financial resources.
As we look at each opportunity, it is helpful to consider Paul’s words regarding how much it meant to him to see believers giving to the glory of God.
Our pastor recently preached a sermon on giving that was so full of joy and warmth that a 92-year-old woman in the church commented, “I have heard many sermons on giving, and that was the best one I have ever heard!”
Although there were three fine points to the sermon, along with appropriate illustrations, I don’t think that is what brought the woman to encourage the pastor. I think it was the joy that was evident in the pastor as he shared from Exodus 35 that we should give together, give freely and give obediently.
He reminded us that giving isn’t something we have to do, but that we get to do.
We set the example for our children when we say, “we get to give our offering today,” rather than, “we have to give our offering today.”
Do we find ourselves giving, but with fingers having to be pried open from a tightly closed fist? Or, are we freely giving with hands open wide?
As you consider the lesson, take a moment to list all the ways you can readily remember how you have benefitted from the giving of others.
Then, make a list of the ways you can quickly think of how you are freely giving to others.
If you observe that one list is rather short, prayerfully consider how God is leading you to give with joy.