56 - Resourcing Others

Life Lessons with Dr. Steve Schell

15-02-2024 • 57 minutos

It’s amazing to watch the change that comes over a person when he or she gets married. The focus of life tends to move from “me” to “us,” or at least it should. We can all tell sad stories about situations where that shift in attitude didn’t take place. And then, there’s another drastic change when children come along. The focus of life moves from “us” to “them.” There is now a little person who depends on me for his or her very existence. Making time for “us” now takes special planning. Money I used to consider mine to spend as I wished is not mine anymore. It’s put into a family account to cover the many different expenses that come in. My free time disappears into a list of chores longer than the hours available. The process I’m describing is painful. My old way of life must die and give way to another. Most of us discover in the middle of this transition that we are much more selfish than we realized, and it’s only when the needs of others force us to change do we actually let go of our self-centeredness. I described how marriage and parenthood press people to mature, but you and I know only too well, not everyone is willing to reorient their life from “me” to “us,” and then to “them.” We all have sad stories about people who quit and went back to “me.” And no, I’m not saying marriage and parenting are the only way such inner development takes place, but it is probably the most common way humans learn a measure of selflessness.  Through our study in Acts we met the church in Philippi. In that city we watched God draw together a very diverse group of people, and then Paul, Silas and Timothy traveled on, apparently leaving Luke behind. If it weren’t for Paul’s letter to the Philippian church we wouldn’t know what a powerful ministry this group of believers developed over the coming years. They became far more selfless and faithful in giving to God’s work than other churches Paul planted. Why this was so is not said, but I’m suspicious that Lydia and Luke modeled a level of generosity that caught on and became a beautiful part of that church’s culture. They were the church who faithfully supported a missionary named Paul over the next decade, and probably for the rest of his life. Today we’ll study the Philippian church by reading what Paul wrote to them in his letter. We’ll learn from his words of appreciation and observe the effect their faithfulness had on his ministry. And in our study we’ll also discover that there were people like these Philippians who supported Jesus and His apostles. Such people are always quiet about what they do. Jesus said that’s how we should give (Mt 6:3), but the impact of such people on God’s kingdom is great. Not because of the amount of money they give, but because of the love and faith that goes with it. (Lk 21:1-4).

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