A woman recently posted a video of her husband trying to mow their huge lawn with a small push-style lawnmower, an impossible task. But when she looked outside an hour later, she saw several neighbors, people they had not yet met, arriving with larger riding lawnmowers. She was deeply moved by their willingness to step in and help someone in need.
We often turn to friends to lighten our cares. In verse 10, Paul describes his joy over the church’s “renewed” concern for him. Their support had lapsed due to a lack of “opportunity” rather than disinterest. Yet he takes pains to assure them that, as much as he appreciated their help, he was not dependent upon it (v. 11). God’s supply was the secret of Paul’s contentment. He does not mean a supply of things but a constant supply of strength (v. 13). God does not always give us what we want. He does provide all we need.
This helpfulness from the church at Philippi was not something new for Paul. Despite their poverty, they had supported his work since the beginning of their church (v. 15). At one point, apart from Paul’s work as a tentmaker, their help appears to have been his primary source of financial support. The phrase “giving and receiving” (v. 15) was a standard formula for financial transactions where one person gives money to another.
Unlike many false teachers, however, Paul was not for hire. He had no interest in making a profit off the church. He was more interested in the blessing the Philippian believers received through their giving than he was in the gifts themselves (v. 17). Paul used a worship model and not a business model to fund his ministry. He understood that Philippian generosity was a sacrifice offered to and accepted by God (v. 18).
>> The apostle did not discourage them from giving because he was confident that God would supply their need just as He had provided for Paul’s needs (v. 19). He will do the same for you!
Today we pray for our brothers and sisters in ministry who rely on supporters for their income. Remind them that we are all dependent on You for our needs. May they worship You in receiving even as we worship You in giving!