Never Look Back
What if we could connect the dots between giving and all the blessings that come from giving? Paul, while talking to the Christians at Philippi, says their gift is: “a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice and pleasing to God.” When we read this passage in Philippians 4:8 and let it sink in, it motivates us to want to share more fully in the grace of giving. Our greatest pleasure should be pleasing God. Jesus’ sacrifice is described by Paul as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2). Jesus did not consider equality with God something to be used for His own benefit (Philippians 2:6). In His act of being made low, through the sacrifice on the cross, God saw His crucifixion as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. When we give, we are like Christ to the extent we are forsaking ourselves for the best interest of others. Giving should be pleasant because it is pleasing to God.
The more we recognize how much Christ paid, the greater payment we will desire to make.
The Macedonian Christians truly understood the gospel. Paul described them like this in 1 Corinthians 8:1-5. Overflowing joy in their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. They “gave as much as they were able and even beyond their ability.” They pleaded for the privilege of sharing in this sense, and they gave themselves first to the Lord. They knew Christ and the level of His sacrifice and they knew the power of His resurrection. That personal intimate knowledge motivated them to be more generous.
Perhaps the more time we spend cultivating our relationship with our loving God, the more generous we will become. The more we realize He gave up His riches for us, the more likely we will be able to imitate His example.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” 2 Corinthians 8:9.
Most of this material was taken from Craig Ford’s blog. You can find it at: (craig@moneyhelpforChristians.com).
Marshall Cowan - Shepherd