Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
What’s the answer to our insatiable desire for something more or different? We need a heart that is overflowing with gratitude. In Colossians 2:6–7, Paul says, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.”
Paul reveals that his own heart was overflowing with gratitude in his letter to the Philippians. Remember, Paul had founded this church ten years earlier, and the church had financially supported Paul’s ministry over the years. As Paul was under house arrest in Rome, the church leader, Epaphroditus, brought a love gift to Paul in Rome. So Paul wrote them a thank-you note.
Look at what Paul said to the church in Philippi: “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity” (Philippians 4:10).
Apparently, these Philippians had interrupted their financial support of Paul. We don’t know why. Maybe there was an economic recession in Philippi. Maybe there was no one to bring the gift to Paul for a period of time. But whatever the reason, Paul said he was thankful that their financial gifts were starting to come in again. So he thanked them for sending the gift to him.
He said to the Philippians, “I’m glad you’re giving to me.” Paul said that their gift to God’s work not only benefited him and his ministry, but it also benefited the people who gave the gift. Look at how he described this mutual benefit: “Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account”(v. 4:17). That word account in this verse refers to an investment that pays rich dividends. Paul was saying, “I don’t mind asking you for money because I realize that when you give, it not only benefits me, but it benefits you as well.”
The truth is, when you invest in God’s kingdom’s work, God is going to bless you. Now, that blessing may or may not be financial. But there will be blessings that accrue to your account. It’s the blessing of a good conscience, confident that you’ve done the right thing and obeyed God. It’s the blessing of joy and contentment in knowing that you’re giving to a cause bigger than yourself. It’s the assurance that there will be eternal rewards for you in heaven because of your faithfulness. Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous man will be prosperous.”
Paul didn’t hesitate to ask for money because he knew he was blessing his fellow believers by giving them an opportunity to give. And when he received the gift from the Philippian church, Paul didn’t hesitate to thank them. His heart was overflowing with gratitude. His contentment in life was not based on external circumstances but sprung forth from a heart of thanksgiving.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Developing a Content Heart” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.