“It was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that . . . when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. . . . And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever” (Philippians 4:14-20).
As Christians, we often think about generosity; we plan generously and give generously to our family, to our spouses, to our friends, to our neighbors, and to our church and other charities. But Paul was talking about this in the context of a secret — a secret that some people don’t know about the power of generosity.
Paul was saying, “I never sought for the gift you have given to me. I have always sought the thing that I see is at work in you when you do give to me.”
Do you see the difference there? He could have said, “That $50 you gave me is going to buy me meals for three weeks. Praise God!”
I’m sure he might have been thankful for that fact, but do you know what was going through his mind? He thought, “Praise God! The gospel is working in you because you’re not self-centered anymore. You’re not living in anxiety, holding on to things for yourself. You’re not even living in division with one another. You are giving to people! You are living your life with an outward focus and doing things that you would never do if the gospel had not become rooted in your heart.”