Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 13, 2015
Therefore I [Paul] am all the more eager to send him [Epaphroditus], so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ. Philippians 2:28-30
Relational generosity is the richest form of giving. It’s entrusting together two people I know, for the purpose of them getting to know one another. My willingness to use my influence to bring together two people for the sake of a growing relationship can become a fruitful investment. I am a much richer person today because friends have unselfishly introduced me to their friends over the years. Many times I gained a new friend who became a messenger of Christ for me in that season of my life. Relational generosity is a catalyst for God’s will. Jesus works through people.
Paul was open handed with his loyal friend Epaphroditus. His love for his brother, co-worker and fellow soldier in the faith did not keep Paul from sharing this stellar servant of the Lord with other needy saints. Though Paul suffered in a Roman prison he willingly commissioned his trusted friend to serve other friends at a church hundreds of miles away in Philippi. But, Paul implored those benefiting from Epaphroditus’ sacrifice to joyfully welcome him in the Lord. Grateful recipients of relational generosity honor the gift and the giver.
“For he [Epaphroditus] longs for all of you [Philippi church] and is distressed because you heard he was ill. Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me [Paul], to spare me sorrow upon sorrow” (Philippians 2:26-27).
What friend or acquaintance needs an introduction to someone you know? Someone suffering from an emotional or physical illness may need an introduction to a doctor you know who specializes in their area of pain. A new friend out of work could use your recommendation to a company you know is hiring. Maybe you need to release a relationship for a season, so they can serve the Lord in another part of the world. Relational generosity is risky. Things may not work out or someone may get hurt. Your part is to obey and patiently trust God to work out His will.
“I [Paul] have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you [Philippi church] sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, use me to introduce people who together can go further faster with You.
Related Readings: Matthew 5:47; Philippians 4:3; Philemon 1:2; 1 Corinthians 16:18
Post/Tweet this today: Relational generosity is a catalyst for God’s will. Jesus works through people. #generosity #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: 4 minute music video- All Sons and Daughters: Oh How I Need You
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