Thursday, March 30, 2023

Who Gets The Benefit?

"Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.
Indeed I have all and abound.  I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.

Philippians 4:17-18 (NKJV)

When I was a child, like most children, I did not always want to brush my teeth or go to bed when I was supposed to.  To me, it seemed terrible that my parents would ask me to do such things.  But, was it really the case that my parents were horrible people who were only asking me to do these things for their benefit, or were they asking me to do things that would be for my benefit?  The obvious answer was that the things they were asking me to do were things that would be a benefit to me.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul thanked them for their support of the work he was doing.  Paul shared that he was not simply trying to get something from them, but he was interested in the fruit they would have to their account because they helped him with the ministry he had.  Because the Philippians had supported Paul, they were also going to reap the spiritual fruit of the work that Paul did.  What we do ourselves in serving God, and what we do to help others serve God, will produce fruit and be a benefit to us.

When we hear of a need somewhere or an opportunity to be involved in our church, we sometimes look at it as though we are being inconvenienced or only being asked to do something that will help someone else.  But being involved in our church, helping others, financially supporting our church, and even missionaries, is really as much for our benefit as it is for those we help. When we use our time, abilities, or finances to help others, it not only does them good, but just like Paul explained to the Philippians, it is for our benefit as well.

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