Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.
…a sweet smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. Philippians 4:17-18
It is not uncommon to be reticent in the discussion of matters of financial giving towards the church for believers. Certainly a contributing reason for this is the abuse in these matters by many so called “ministries” who continually beat the drum to contribute and give. Paul does not avoid this sensitive subject. Not one bit, in fact he hits it full force and head-on.
Interestingly he is not concerned one iota about his own welfare. Rather, his concern is for the long-term… longer than long-term, the eternal fruit of building an account of record in Heaven as one being a giver. Heaven is soon…real soon. When the person who gives the Lord’s tithe and offerings above and beyond gets to Heaven he is not going to wish he spent a bit more money on a better barbeque or an upgraded patio set. Eternal reality dictates that the wise use of resources here are those which have an influence into the things of eternity. It is an absolute delight and privilege to invest in fruit for the eternal kingdom. It will be as Paul says “fruit that abounds in your account.”
There is an old adage which is so true: “You can’t take it with you… but you can send it ahead.” There will be some incredibly wealthy people in Heaven. A portion of reason for their wealth will be the fact they were wise investors while here on earth. They chose not to rob God of the tithe and they did not keep every penny for their own pleasure.
I am delighted that today we will hear testimony of the gospel and church plant ministry that went on in Kenya two weeks ago. Those were resources well used. I have no doubt that such use of resource would be a type of “sweet smelling aroma…well pleasing to God” which Paul writes on in verse 18. There is no greater delight to God than the salvation of a man or woman, boy or girl. He delights in His church. He died for it. Though we meet in a rented building, I am pleased we were able to be used by God in His provision for a place for believers to meet, rain or shine. And to give so that the gospel could be shared truly in a white-fielded harvest. Thank-you for being a giving church! Keep it up, well done! Paul would perhaps say “that’s a sweet aroma!”
With Micah and Marla in Brazil, sharing the gospel and building the church… I am so delighted we are linked with them. We are wise to be a part of the ministry of our Lord Jesus through them. Our brother Heath and the local Love Inc. ministry… Heath is determined to share the good news with those who are struggling in our culture. Lord willing, we will be able to share in the continued fields of Kenya. And may we be faithful here to build the body of Christ growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus! He is the giver of all good things! Live with Heaven in mind, place your treasure there…it’s gonna be soon!