Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister…
God takes into account everything we do. He keeps a careful record of our thoughts, words and actions. Paul emphasized this important truth as he thanked the Philippians for their care of him.
Philippians 4:15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity… 17 Not because I desire a gift but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
Paul had no ulterior motive for praising the Philippians. He was not setting them up for another gift or soliciting for more support. As a matter of fact, Paul emphasized the fact that he had learned how to be content – independent of his physical circumstances.
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am , therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound : every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry , both to abound and to suffer need . 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Paul’s purpose for praising them was to encourage them to continue to be gracious whenever and however the Lord might choose to use them. There are many reasons for why we should be gracious in our giving, but perhaps none is more important than how it affects our relationship with God.
Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
To help emphasize this important truth, Paul went back into the Old Testament. There are too many passages of scripture for us to list that describe the Old Testament practice of offering up to God a sweet smelling aroma. For illustration I will call your attention to but one:
Leviticus 4: 31 And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the LORD…
Whenever we give, we should do so as an act of worship to God. The Bible says that God takes great pleasure in gifts that are made cheerfully and with a willing heart. Such glad gifts so please God that He is motivated to reward us.
In closing, consider these words from our Savior – Mark 9:41 And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of My name … I assure you: He will never lose his reward. CSB God will reward, both today and into eternity, all those who give in order to honor Him.