“For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability” – 2 Cor 8:3 (NIV).
In his mission to proclaim the Good news of Jesus Christ Paul set up Churches in Galatia, Philippi, Thessalonika, Corinth and Ephesus and lots more. He always felt an attachment to these churches. On Paul’s second missionary journey, he returned to Galatia. “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers” (Acts 16:5).
Each church was unique with particular good gifts. The church in Antioch of Syria was deeply involved in the missionary work of Paul and Barnabas. “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on themand sent them off” Acts 13:2- 3).
When it came to the church in Phillipa it excelled in giving. The believers in Phillipa were not self centered for as Paul noted to them, “How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me” (Philippians 4:10).
It’s quite clear that when it came to giving, they didn’t need much prompting. He went on to add, “As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once” (vv 14-16).
We all know there are places and individuals who will count every penny before donating a piece, which there are then quick to remind the recipient. Such donors never forget “how much they gave” and find every occasion to remind the recipient of “that last gift we sent you!” Here we see that it is actually the opposite- recipient is one who takes the trouble to remind the donor of their gifts.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all emulated the habits of the believers in Phillipa! One way is to start by being concerned with the needs of others beyond self. And once an opportunity comes we can’t wait to be part of a great and rewarding effort. The blessings are for us; “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (vv 19).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I thank you for all the blessiings in my life that I may never hesitate to share the same through giving, as you enable, this I pray in Jesus’s name.