A DIFFERENT TAKE…Philippians 4: 10-20

One of the challenges of moving is finding a new church home.  All of you who have done such know what I mean.  Whether it’s the music or location or what the pastor preached about, it’s a difficult decision.  When I was writing my ‘Reflections’ devotional book,  I was so preoccupied that simply going to church was enough.

A friend has prodded us to now find that church home.  So we go here and there asking ourselves, on our way home, how we liked it.  Mostly positive.  Some not so.  Others we may try again.

We attended another new church a short time ago.  A large one with five services on Christmas Eve.  The first begins at 9am.  An early eve indeed!

The service we recently went to was a ‘normal’ one.  The young pastor was preaching on Paul’s letter to the Philippians chapter 4–about giving.  Oh no!  Why did we pick this Sunday?  Lock my wallet!  Would be most embarrassing to up and leave!

Nevertheless, a good message.  Balanced without any hint of heavy-handedness or spiritual ‘snake oil’.  He urged us to expand our giving, which would bless us, others, and most of all, the Lord.

As I read the Philippians’ passage, I perceive something different.  Paul talks about the gifts they have given him (v.18).  Never refers to money, though that could be implied.  What other gifts would they give him?  Any ideas?  Besides money.  And what gifts can we give?  Besides money.

Recently we stopped supporting a missionary couple I’ve known since Bible school days, as they are returning to the States to retire.  What we are now giving them is not monthly monies, but our continued prayers, love and genuine interest in their lives.  Those will be gifts.  Imagine someone showing honest-to-goodness fascination with your life!  Talk about a gift rarely given!  Something money can’t buy.

We did give a few ‘shekels’ to a friend and pastor, who was teaching briefly in Thailand and Vietnam.  More importantly,  daily prayers and e-mails were gifts given while he was away from home, connecting him to the Lord and us to him.  Little gifts that can mean a lot.

Wonder what you can give to someone this Christmas season, which costs only the thought behind it?  Any ideas?  I’ve decided to offer my devotional book to some who need a break on cost so they can give to someone they love.  All at no profit for me, sad to say!!  Within hours of the offer, thirty-two books were reserved and on their way.  And more since.

Think about what gifts you can give this Christmas season!  Think outside the box.  Things money can’t buy!

Prayer:  Dear Lord, all the love in the universe was wrapped up in Jesus at Christmas.  The best gift ever.  Thank you.   Amen.




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