Gratitude and Generosity

OPENING PRAYER

Thank You, God, for all Your blessings in my life. Above all, thank You for Christ and all that has become mine in You.

 

Read: PHILIPPIANS 4:10-23

[10] I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. [11] I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. [12] I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. [13] I can do all this through him who gives me strength. [14] Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. [15] Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; [16] for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. [17] Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. [18] I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. [19] And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. [20] To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. [21] Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. [22] All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. [23] The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

 

Reflect: IS THANKFULNESS YOUR HABIT?

Paul is warm in his expression of gratitude to the Philippian Christians for all their care for him. They have obviously been generous in sending him gifts, even when others did not respond to his need (15).Consider the fact that Paul is writing this letter and expressing this gratitude from prison. His ability to rise above his immediate circumstances is incredible. There is a steadiness in his inner life that shines through here. Verse 11 sums it up. How are you getting on in the school of contentment? Is there anything you need to learn? A key part of contentment is gratitude. Taking the time to notice the good things we have: family, friends, freedom to worship God, the Bible, food, clothing, a home, etc. and thanking God for them–this is the beginning of contentment. It is also the beginning of generosity. So often we have a “scarcity” mentality–we worry that we do not have enough. Then we are reluctant to give away what we have. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). How do you apply this to your time, talents and treasure?

 

APPLY

The word “content” is related to being “self-contained” or “sufficient in oneself.” Be thankful with what you have.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, You have provided everything we need in Christ. Teach me to be content in whatever state I find myself.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
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