Our Generosity Brings Joy (and Glory) to God
Philippians 4:18-20 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. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
These words are not the end of the book; they are the end of this section. He sums up his gratitude and teaching on giving by honoring God. And for good reason. What happens when God meets our needs? Our needs are met, and He is glorified.
“Here is a great discovery. We do not glorify God by providing his needs, but by praying that he would provide ours—and trusting him to answer . . . Prayer is a delightful partnership. God gets the glory; we get the delight.”
- John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist
I like to imagery of the words “a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.” When I am generous, God is pleased. He accepts the gift with delight. We are imitators of Him, a good and giving God, when we practice generosity. And He loves it!
I don’t want to neglect the final words of Paul’s letter, the greetings.
Philippians 4:21-23 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
Paul sends some interesting greetings here. He’s mentioned in the letter a few of the people who are with him, such as Epaphroditus, and he now says hello on their behalf. But more interestingly, especially given the Philippians commitment to helping Paul spread the gospel, is the greeting from “all God’s people here” and “especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.” Let me translate:To you, the church I planted and love in Philippi, I send greetings from the church I have planted here during my imprisonment. Love it!