by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Philippians is Paul's love letter. The epistle is also a good instrument for learning the secret of this great man. Paul considered living Christ and dying gain. And, although he wrote from a prison cell, his refrain was "Rejoice in the Lord always."
Not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving except you only (Phil. 4:15).
Paul has a strange way of saying "thank you" for the monetary gift he received from the Philippian church. That's because this isn't just a matter of money changing hands. The church in Philippi and the apostle Paul are together in a very special partnership, and the statement of income and expense always balances—pretty well.
Paul retained his independence while he preached the gospel of Christ. He constructed tents and provided for his daily bread. He never depended on the charity of churches, except in the case of the Philippians. With them he had, from the day he landed in Europe, a "partnership of giving and receiving."
The church of Philippi and Paul had a mutual investment in each other. They had a joint venture going. They prayed and paid for God's mission, which was also their mission.
It's a shame that offerings in the church of Christ are often reduced to fundraising with worldly gimmicks. The church is not a charity organization that depends on the generosity of some people to keep it alive. The church of Christ is the greatest enterprise in human history. Christians are not invited to support it but to share in it. You are either a partner in this enterprise or you are not.
When Christians share in the global mission of the church, the benefits far outweigh the small investment they make.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version