Giving and Receiving

by Esther

Philippians 4:10-10 has long been one of my favourites in scripture because of verses 13 & 19

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

and

“My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Each has stood alone as the circumstance I was in required.

Reflecting on it in this season of my life there is something much deeper going on here. Both verses are necessary in the giving and receiving of gifts.

God is at work. One way He works is through the giving and receiving of gifts. He takes a human tradition and places it in the realm of the spirit.

Paul is rejoicing in the gift he received by Epaphroditus who nearly died in his mission to deliver it. He said it was a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God. He knows it comes from their deep love for God and their desire to serve Him by being a part of His work through Paul. His gratitude goes beyond thankyou. He realizes their gift was a sacrifice to God. They have been God’s hands and feet. It was a gift out of obedience rather than a gift out of abundance.

God ministers to Paul whether he has much or little. God strengthens him to be content no matter what his circumstances are. He trusts God for the material. He is joyful for the Philippians. He knows God prepared the opportunities for them to give. It was a necessary part of their walk with God. It was an outpouring of His love within them which would yield a harvest. It was the fact of their bearing fruit, the spiritual reality above the material that gave Paul joy. He knows that in it all God will provide everything that the Philippians need to serve Him.

The value of the gift came from the heart and sacrifice it was to God. It is above the human level. It is supernatural. It is a process in which God shows love and God’s love bears fruit.

There is a human kindness we express by the giving and receiving of gifts. There is a spiritual work directed by the Spirit which elevates the giver and the receiver and bears eternal fruit. Both are God’s work.

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