|December 2, 2019
Giving and Receiving
“Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.” (Philippians 4:15)
As Paul went on his missionary journeys, he never asked for money for himself from the people to whom he preached. He later wrote to the Thessalonians, “Because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9). He did stress the teaching of Christ that “the labourer is worthy of his reward” (1 Timothy 5:18; Luke 10:7) and that “even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:14). But he himself said: “I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me” (1 Corinthians 9:15).
Thus, he was especially moved when the impoverished Christians at Philippi, without being asked, “sent once and again unto my necessity” (Philippians 4:16), and they were the only ones who did! This act of generous concern came about, Paul recognized, because they “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:5). As a result, Paul could assure them: “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Not only their material need, but every need.
They had learned a wonderful truth that every Christian needs to learn. As Paul told the Ephesian elders: “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Therefore, let each of us give in His name, “not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8). HMM