Philippiansby David Sanford
In today's verses, Paul blesses the Philippian believers. He talks about how their generosity produces eternal riches and rewards, ″that more be credited to your account″ (Philippians 4:17).
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus and the apostles speak about eternal riches. These come from God through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and are ours to enjoy-now and for all eternity.
Jesus also speaks of the folly of storing up wealth on earth. Instead, He offers ″true riches″ (Luke 16:11). Picking up on this, Paul too speaks of ″the riches of God's grace″, ″the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people″, ″the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus″, ″the boundless riches of Christ″, and ″his glorious riches″ (Ephesians 1:7, 18; 2:7; 3:8, 16). He also describes the ″glorious riches″ and ″full riches″ of the gospel of Christ (Colossians 1:27; 2:2).
The apostles and the ascended Lord Jesus also speak about crowns. These eternal rewards are real, God-given, gospel-based, and to be treasured above anything on earth.
In one of his earlier epistles, Paul spoke of ″a crown that will last for ever″ (1 Corinthians 9:25). In his final epistle, Paul speaks of ″the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing″ (2 Timothy 4:8).
Peter, too, goes on to promise that ″when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away″ (1 Peter 5:4). James speaks of ″the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him″ (James 1:12). And the ascended Lord promises: ″Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor's crown″ (Revelation 2:10).
So, what kinds of generosity will be ″credited to your account″ (Philippians 4:17) in heaven?
They include financial gifts and other tangible aid to the poor, the needy, and the Lord's servants. Jesus says, ″If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward″ (Matthew 10:42). In addition, they include unspecified ″righteous acts of God's holy people″ (Revelation 19:8).
In the end, the what isn't as important as who does it for whom (and Whom). Therefore, do everything in Jesus' name for His honour and praise.
Can you describe a time when you were on the receiving end of a righteous act?
Describe another time when you acted and blessed another believer.