Philippians 4:17 “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.”
My son, Foster, will turn six years old in a few weeks. He has been dropping hints about what he wants for his birthday. He wants a guitar. And a race track. And a tent. He is not shy or embarrassed at all about what gifts he would like to receive. But Paul . . . Paul was different.
Paul really didn’t care about adding to his earthly bank account. He trusted God to meet his needs, and he lived from day to day, knowing God would provide. He wanted the Philippians to know that he wasn’t hinting for another gift.
While Paul wasn’t concerned with his earthly bank account, he was concerned with the heavenly account of his children in the faith. He knew the benefits of these gifts were temporary for him. They would provide a few meals, a new coat when he needed one, lodging for a while. For them, however, the gifts were eternal.
2 Corinthians 9:6 tells us, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” The benefits of a gift are temporary. The benefits of giving are eternal. Paul knew that God would provide, and God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Creator of heaven and earth certainly doesn’t need our money. God wants our hearts. And we can often trace our hearts by following our checkbooks.
We may think no one knows about those little gifts sent to the Christian Children’s Fund, or to the orphanage in China, or to the missionary in the Ukraine. We may think that our little bit makes little difference. But God knows, my friend. And God will take our pennies and stretch them into miracles! And as an added bonus, God keeps track not of our pennies, but of our hearts . . . and He will generously reward those whose hearts are bent toward serving Him and serving others.
Dear Father, Please teach me to give.