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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 



Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.


Philippians 4:17


Living in Florida, there’s lots of interest in sunken treasure. There’s a whole raft full of professional and amateur treasure hunters that patrol the waters with advanced sonar and cameras looking for that magic blip that will make them rich and famous. According to shipwreck hunter, Sean Fisher, there’s about $60 billion in sunken treasure. He says that’s about 10 percent of what the Spanish took from the America. Sean also says that there are several wrecks at the bottom of the ocean each worth several billion dollars[1].


Every once in a while, there’s a piece in the news about a treasurer hunter that’s made some discovery. After years of looking and looking, they stumble on some debris on the ocean floor. Eventually they find the wreckage of a ship that went down long ago. And then that’s when it gets interesting and the fun begins. Everybody gets really excited about the possibility that they’ll discover gold and other precious cargo. They run to the site and start treasure hunting for themselves.


I don’t know about you, but the idea of treasure hunting is about as interesting as watching mold grow. The odds are probably worse than hitting the Mega Millions lottery[2]. And while there’s the definite probability that you’ll get sunburned looking for sunken treasure, I’ve never heard of anyone being eaten by a shark buying a lottery ticket.


I don’t know of any count for the number of treasure hunters out there. But I do know that everybody goes after something. Everyone desires to find someone. Have something. And that desire doesn’t just sit there like a bump on a log either. It moves and goes into action. It turns from a thought and goes into action. It starts looking. Seeking.


Paul’s desire for the Philippians is just like that. His inner longing moved out and turned into seeking. But Paul’s seeking wasn’t a hobby that he did whenever he had an extra hour or two. He didn’t just do it while he was waiting for a haircut. It wasn’t something he’d get to sometime in the future.


Not on your life. Paul’s seeking was intentional. It had purpose. He put everything he had into his seeking. It wasn’t haphazard but was habitual. He was presently and actively seeking on their behalf.


And what was he seeking after? Not their money. He wanted their good works and gifts to be recorded in their name. To their credit. In their account. He didn’t want their good works and gifts to be forgotten in heaven or here on earth.


Paul was looking out for the Philippians and their best interests. He wanted to be sure that the Philippians were recognized and encouraged for their generosity. But a side benefit of making their giving known is the encouragement of others.


You see, giving breeds giving. One gift encourages others to give. And then others to give. It’s like a wheel; once it starts spinning it’s hard to stop it. Once it’s moving, all you have to do is nothing for it to keep spinning. And spinning. And spinning.


Think back on the events and people that have encouraged you in your faith. How did they inspire you to a deeper, more serious relationship with Jesus? How was their honesty about their faults and failures an encouragement that you weren’t the only one.


And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds


Hebrews 10:24


We’re to be constantly and actively encouraging one another. And why? So that we’re continually loving more and more. Doing more and more good things. We’re not to be satisfied with where we are. We’re to want to grow more and more in Christ.


Sometimes that encouragement is a kind and gentle word. Sometimes it’s a little poke in the side. And other times it’s a swift kick in the butt. Or, as in my case, a big, hot cast iron frying pan upside the head.


We all need this kind of a friend. Someone, who like the Apostle Paul, is willing to stick his neck out and say something that we need to hear. Something that we may not like hearing, but our need to hear it is worth the risk. This kind of friend is more than a brother. They stick closer than a brother[3]. A brother, after all, had no choice but to be a brother. They just came out that way. But this kind of friend is someone that chooses to be close. Chooses to do the hard things. Say the difficult things.


Do you have such a friend? Someone that’s willing to risk it all for your good. For your benefit. If not, you need to take the first step. Go out and become that kind of friend. Then, you might just be surprised to find out that you’ve got that kind of friend. If you do this, you won’t have to seek very far to find that you’ve become one. And that you’ve got one.


Noodling Questions


  • Describe a time that you accidentally found something really good.

  • What does a really encouraging person do for you?

  • How can we better seek out encouraging people?

[1] What's the Total Value of the World's Sunken Treasure?, Popular Mechanics, 2012

[2] Mega Millions lists the odds of winning the grand prize at 1 in 302 million

[3] Proverbs 18:24 NLT

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