Week of November 25
By Skip Heitzig
Today is what U.S. retailers call “Black Friday.” It’s the first “official” day of Christmas shopping, the season they count upon to keep their accounts in the black rather than in the red. A lot of us will be going to the stores today to find Christmas gifts for those we love.
They call it the season of giving…and giving is commended in the Bible.
In Philippians 4:10-19, Paul commends the Philippians for the wise use of their money. Money can be used for good or for evil. The principle is this: Whenever we release funds for God’s glory, for His kingdom, and for His work, it’s good and commendable. Giving is commended because it blesses human partnerships, and because it is pleasing to God. Paul calls their gift “a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God”(v. 18). An offering given in joy is a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God.
Giving is to be invested; as Paul says in verse 17, giving “abounds to your account.” Giving is not all about money; it is a spiritual investment. This is “heavenly bookkeeping.” Do you want to know how God does His books and how He views your financial giving? When we support fruitful ministries, God credits us with the results! This principle is exciting, and sobering. We must carefully consider where and how we give. We should ask, “Which ministries are bearing fruit?” and invest in those. That way, we are “laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven.”
And giving is rewarded. “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”(v. 19).Now, remember the context. Paul says that only the believers from Philippi supported his ministry (v.15). So this promise was to the Philippians: God would treat the Philippian church the way they treated Paul.
Jesus introduced this principle when He said, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you" (Luke 6:38). God rewards those who reward others; He is generous with those who are generous.
So as you dash out to the stores in a giving spirit, remember also to give to the Lord’s work. It’s good in God’s eyes. You’re investing in His kingdom, and that will be fruitful. And your needs will be met out of the glorious riches of Christ Jesus.
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