Silence and Centering
“Be still, and know that I am God!- Psalm 46:10
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
Reading & Devotional:
Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister…
God keeps an account of everything we do. He records our thoughts, our words, and our actions. Paul emphasized this important truth as he thanked the Philippians for their care of him.
Philippians 4:15 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. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity… 17 Not because I desire a gift but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
Paul had no ulterior motive for praising the Philippians. He was not setting them up for another gift or soliciting for more support. As a matter of fact, Paul emphasized the fact that he already had everything he needed and regardless of his circumstances, he was always content.
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Paul’s purpose for praising them was not to get more support, but to encourage them to continue to be gracious whenever and however the Lord might choose to use them. There are many reasons for why we should be gracious in our giving, but perhaps none is more important than how it affects our relationship with God.
Philippians 4:18 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, well pleasing to God.
To help emphasize this important truth, Paul went back into the Old Testament. There are too many passages of Scripture for us to list that describe the Old Testament practice of offering up to God a sweet-smelling aroma. For illustration, I call your attention to the book of Leviticus. “And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the LORD…” (Leviticus 4: 31)
Whenever we give, we should do so as an act of worship to God. The Bible says that God takes great pleasure in gifts that are made cheerfully and with a willing heart. Such gifts please God so that He is motivated to reward those who give.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
In closing, consider these words from our Savior – “And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of My name … I assure you: He will never lose his reward.” (Mark 9:41) God will reward, both today and into eternity, all those who give to honor Him.
2 MINUTES OF SILENT REFLECTION.
The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.