[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”16179″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;” margin_design_tab_text=””]God has blessed you to be a blessing to someone else.

 

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Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.

Recently I read a poignant testimony on the Samaritan’s Purse website of an indigenous pastor and his family who remain in a war torn country despite security risks. He talks about how his burdens seem heavy and too much to bear at times, yet he feels honored to help carry the load with his brothers and sisters in Christ. Deep concern motivates him to share in their suffering. He mentions how many other believers have also moved from their countries, families and jobs to help and he wishes to pay them back.

The concern this pastor has is the same concern Paul and the Philippian church had for each other. Their suffering and concern persistently endure to further the gospel in a desperate place. Sitting in prison and feeling this burden of concern, Paul tells the Philippian church, “You gave to meet one of my needs, but my God will meet all of your needs. You gave even in poverty, but God will supply you out of the riches of his glory” (Philippians 4:19). Paul wants this caring and concerned church to realize that God will do for them what Paul cannot. Paul cannot repay the Philippians, but God can and will.

Paul also doesn’t seem to find joy in receiving the gift itself. Instead, he finds joy in what it did for the Philippians. It’s not that Paul didn’t value their gift, but Paul knows the gift of loving concern that prompted it was the precious offering to God. Paul speaks in accountant’s terms – their gift makes a credit on their ledger. Because, their hearts are for Paul’s ministry and spreading the gospel, their gift is given out of spiritual maturity, genuine love and deep concern. Their offering invests in encouraging and building up the church, for God’s eternal kingdom, with heavenly rewards.

James Boice writes: “Money that is given to help another Christian is called fruit. Our gifts to others are encouraged by God, noticed by God, and much desired by God.” God wants to use you to be a channel to help those spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and those who have need. For now, you probably don’t sit in prison or live in a war torn country, yet you may find yourself in a giving crisis. It’s too easy to live for ourselves and spend everything on our interests. Paul Ryan’s sermon series on Philippians encourages us to get our hearts in the right place, with Godly priorities and perspective. Let the care and concern for brothers and sisters spreading the gospel motivate you today. Consider one ministry you’d feel honored to share in their burden and who might benefit from your gift. For some ideas, look at South’s Global Outreach page and start giving to one of South’s ministry partners. God has blessed you to be a blessing to someone else.

 

For I do not mean that others should be eased
and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness
your abundance at the present time should supply their need,
so that their abundance may supply your need,
that there may be fairness.
As it is written,
“Whoever gathered much had nothing left over,
and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
-2 Corinthians 8:13-15

 

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By Donna Burns

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