Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 4

God’s reward for a generous giver

Philippians 4:17

Many people care much more about a gift, than about the person who gave it. They may thank the giver, but only because they hope to receive more gifts in the future. That is not a grateful attitude; it is greedy and selfish.

Philippi’s Christians had sent their gifts to help Paul. As a prisoner, Paul was poor and he appreciated their help (4:18). However, Paul was not trying to get gifts. What mattered to him much more was the work of God in the lives of Philippi’s Christians.

Paul could see evidence of that work in the gifts that he had received. For example, those Christians truly desired to share in God’s work. That was itself evidence of the great change that God had made in their lives (2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 1:6). Their generous attitudes showed the love that God had given them for other people (1 Corinthians chapter 13).

God will certainly reward the person who gives with such an attitude (Mark 9:41; Philippians 4:19). God accepts those gifts as if the giver has given to him (Proverbs 19:17; Philippians 4:18). Paul compared the reward that God gives to the fruit on a tree. As fruit grows naturally on a tree, so God’s reward is the natural result of those right attitudes.

Christ taught that it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). A person who receives with wrong attitudes, can only benefit from the value of the gift. However, a person who gives with right attitudes, will benefit from the wonderful kindness of God.

Next part: Gifts that please God (Philippians 4:18)


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© 2020, Keith Simons.