Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Devotional Thoughts: Language of love - gift giving

Am looking at Philippians 4:10-23 this morning.

As I read it, I found myself thinking of the book, The Five Love Languages. If you aren't familiar with the idea, the author believes that love is expressed by five different languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

In this Letter to the Philippians, there are Word of Affirmation a plenty throughout. Here is a good example.

In Paul's plans to send Timothy and his hopes of eventually seeing them, he shows the desire for Quality Time.

In this last passage, we see a lot on Receiving Gifts.

Take a look:

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Paul got a care package from the Philippians!

Gift giving is not completely one-way. Certainly the receiver gets something as that is definitional. However, as you can see from the text, Paul points out that the giver gains something as well.

It can be hard for us to need help or ask for help but in life, the feeling of autonomy is mostly illusionary. Whether we like it or not, whether we admit it or not, we need help all the time. Can we recognize that in our need, we can give someone else the opportunity to learn and show love in meeting our need?

Paul finishes off the letter with blessings and greetings:

To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar's household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

The family of faith spans the globe. Paul was in Rome and the Philippians were in Philippi (Macedonia).

We may live in different parts of the world but the desire to Glorify God is an aspiration we share.

You might be clicking onto this web page where it is night time as I typed this in the morning and yet, you too need Jesus like I do.

So where ever you are reading this, I send you greetings from Los Angeles and may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit!

No comments: