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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 

Saturday-You Did a Beautiful thing


Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 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; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.

 

Philippians 4:14-16

 

Think back at the last beautiful thing that someone did for you or someone you love. It might have been when they reached out and called or sent you a note. They might have given a gift. Or they sent over some homemade chicken soup when you were sick.

 

I’m writing this the day before Valentine's Day, and Mary Ann received a bouquet of white roses out of nowhere. They showed up without any advance notice. There wasn’t even a name to identify who sent them. They certainly were a beautiful thing.

 

You see, no matter what’s sent, or what the other person did, they all have one thing in common. Yes, there were many different gifts and things done. They cost wildly different amounts of time, energy, and money. But they all had one thing in common.

 

No one was looking for it. Nothing had been asked for. No advance notice was given. All these beautiful things were surprises that came out of the heart of the giver. They were motivated into action by their love and affection for the person they reached out to.

 

There was no guilt or trying to repay someone for something they did in the past. There were no expectations of repayment either. They were motivated and inspired from within. And that led to the beautiful thing that they did. What they gave.

 

And that’s what happened when he experienced the beautiful thing that Jesus did for him. Paul totally changed the direction of his life when he met Jesus. That led to him leaving his popularity and reputation behind and started traveling the world to tell everyone about Jesus.

 

This beautiful thing that God did was to send Jesus to make the once-and-for-all payment for all our sins on the cross. The result is that we can be free from being guilty in front of God and guilty inside ourselves.

 

This revelation, this realization, revolutionized Paul’s outlook on life so much that he started going from place to place, telling everyone about Jesus. That’s why Paul came to Philippi. They needed to hear about this Jesus and the beautiful thing he did on the cross for everyone.

 

And in response to Paul’s beautiful thing, the Philippian church did a beautiful thing too. They saw how Paul was in need and they didn’t just sit there. They didn’t just write about it on social media either. They did something about it. Now Paul could have asked for them to give. Heck, he could have even demanded that they pay up. He could have guilted them into giving. He could have sent out a flyer to all the people on his mailing list, telling them to pony up. He could have written something like this.

 

“Hey there Philippians. Remember me? The Apostle Paul. The one that you owe your eternal life in heaven with God to. Well, I’ve run out of money and it’s up to you to dig deep into your pockets right now and send me cash. Not just some money but lots and lots of it. After all, where would you be without me? I need it now. I’m telling you to send it right now. I’m demanding it right now. So get going.”

 

In case you’re wondering, Paul didn’t say or write anything like this. He certainly had the right to ask, even demand that they send him money. But he didn’t. He let the Philippians come to the conclusion on their own. In God’s good timing. But they didn’t stop there. They didn’t get together and say, “Paul’s in trouble. He needs our help. Let’s pray and then sit back. We don’t have to be part of the solution. That’s somebody else’s problem."

 

Yes, they prayed, but it didn’t stop there. Their prayers grew into action. They opened up their hearts and wallets, sending him help. They personally got involved. They became part of God’s solution.

 

Their thinking went something like this. Since God gave them all the resources in the first place, their money really wasn’t theirs to start with. It was God’s. It’s to be used for his glory and the good of his people. And that started with the Apostle Paul, the guy God used to bring them to Christ. Their spiritual father.

 

I can’t speak for you, but it’s a whole lot easier to give to my family. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when Mary Ann asked for a plant that I didn’t immediately buy it. When one of our kids has a need, you almost have to tie me down to stop me from giving.

 

The same is true for our spiritual family. When it came time to tithe the estates of our parents, you’ll never guess which people and ministries received a check. They went to our spiritual family. Our local church was the first check followed by others we think of as family members. Who are the people that you think of as your spiritual family? If you need help figuring out who they are, think about the people that are the easiest to give to. That will be a great marker. And when you send them support, you do a beautiful thing too.

 

Noodling Questions

 

·       How do you react to a generous act of kindness? Why?

·       Is it easier to give or receive? Why?

·       Who are the most difficult people to give to? Why?

 

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