Philippians 4:18 “I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.”
Don’t you just love the smell of hot, fresh apple pie, straight from the oven, laced with cinnamon? I do. I love it so much, I invest a small fortune in candles that have that exact smell. There is just something about a fragrant, sweet-smelling aroma that relaxes me and brings joy to my heart.
When we give with the right motives, that gift goes through an amazing metamorphosis. It blesses the receiver. Then, it wafts its way up to the very throne of heaven and pleases our God with the scent of generosity, purity and love. I can just imagine our wonderful Father, breathing it in, saying, “Oh, I just love that smell! My children are baking up a wonderful recipe of love.”
We must remember, however, that the recipe is not completed by our gift. It is completed by our hearts, by our motives. When we give as a tax write-off, or to impress others, or to appease our misplaced guilt, the fragrance takes on a bitter smell. The sweet fragrance comes from the purity of a gift given simply out of love, concern and generosity.
Just as we buy candles so our homes will smell nice, and we wear perfume or cologne so our bodies will smell nice, we need to remember to keep our spirits smelling nice! We don’t want our heavenly Father turning His face away because our souls are sending off a foul odor. We want to please Him. And one way to please Him is to look for ways to bless others with our gifts.
Oh, our gifts need not be large. Just as a pinch of cinnamon goes a long way in a recipe, our generosity, no matter how small the actual gift, will produce a sacrifice that will bless the receiver and bring a smile to God’s face. And a smile from God is oh, so much better than a tax write-off!
Dear Father, Please help me to give to others with a pure heart.