Friday, October 28, 2011

Spiritual Investments with Eternal Dividends

The Search for Joy
Spiritual Investments with Eternal Dividends
Philippians 4:14-23
Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. It was written to the Philippians from Rome by Epaphroditus.
Approximately ten years had passed since the Philippians had sent Paul a love gift to help with his needs. Being content when he had plenty and when he was deprived of enough to eat, Paul encourages the church by telling them they have done well in communicating with him in his affliction and relieving his suffering. Sometimes it is thought that servants of God are better off if they are poor and live in a lower economic level than others. This was not Paul’s philosophy because he felt that Christians should share, taking into consideration the needs of others. Paul commends the church and reminds them that when he left for Macedonia, no other church communicated with him about his needs, but them only. To avoid any thought of covetousness on Paul’s part, he says, Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account (v. 17).
Paul looked at their gifts as rich spiritual investments they were making in the lives of those he would minister to, yielding them, eternal dividends. The church gave love offerings to Paul, a spiritual sacrifice and in return, they benefited spiritually from the Lord. Paul understood that the love gift coming from Philippi was truly from the Lord of heaven and though the Philippian church met a need for Paul, God would supply all their needs out of His great riches in glory. 
   Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen (Romans 11:36).
Good works are a spiritual sacrifice unto the Lord. Believers owe God their highest form of service and in return, they enjoy the fruit of His mercies. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (spiritual) service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
Thought: When the child of God is serving Christ with a whole heart and for the glory of God; His promises are sure, every need will be met. The Lord does not say He will provide all your “greeds,” but He will provide, all your needs. Remember that real joy is found in loving Christ and walking in His triumphant work of the Gospel in your life. Learning to love and serve others is your spiritual service to Him. May your search for joy be complete in Him who died for you, “that ye may stand perfect and complete (fully assured) in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12b) for you.

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