ODJ: Blessed by Blessing

December 30, 2018 

READ: Philippians 4:10-19 

God . . . will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus (v.19).

When a government wants to save money, its first target is often funds going to unstable foreign nations. After all, how does it serve a country to give huge amounts of financial support to a failing one on the other side of the globe? But philanthropist Bill Gates argues that foreign aid is one of the best investments a nation can make into its own security. He believes that a stable world is a safer world—not just for needy Third World nations, but for wealthy First World ones as well. So by helping others, a nation in many ways is helping itself.

The Philippian church was a helpful and generous one. Despite all the trials they faced as the first church in all of Europe, they supported the apostle throughout his ministry. And this support didn’t go unnoticed by Paul, who held a deep affection for the church. He wrote, “How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again” (Philippians 4:10).

Paul went on to describe all the ways in which the Philippians’ support was a blessing not just to him but to themselves as well. Through their generosity, they had the opportunity to share in his life (v.14), and whatever they gave was a credit to them before God (v.18). In addition, Paul was confident that God would go on to provide all that they needed: “God . . . will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (v.19). So even as they blessed the apostle, they were experiencing rich blessing in return.

As believers in Jesus—the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53:3-4)—serving others in His strength is the right thing to do. But we should remember that abundant blessings from Him can also be found as we serve others.

—Peter Chin

365-day plan: Revelation 21:1-27

Read Luke 6:38 and consider what it says about the outcome of our generosity to others. 
When have you experienced joy in serving others? What made that experience so joyful and enriching?