by Joe Valenti, Cuyahoga Valley Church – Missions Pastor
15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:15-19
There ought to be biblical foundations to everything that we do as church. Every event that we sponsor, every choice that we make, and every initiative we launch. The CVCMissions Supply Drive is no different. Churches partnering with and providing for missionaries is a biblical concept. And not only that, but providing for the needs of those who take the gospel from our church out into the world is an act of worship.
Notice how in verse 18 Paul refers to the supplies and gifts from the church as “a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.” This is why we do the CVCMissions Drive – to collectively worship God by providing for those who have gone out from among us.
But what is astounding about this text is how Paul confirms to the Philippians that the spiritual fruit from his work will be credited to their account! This is incredible! Our giving of physical and financial support ties us directly to the spiritual fruit of the work being done. This, church family, is why we are so passionate about growing in generosity. This is why we do the CVCMissions Supply Drive.
So, as you consider picking up one of the supply drive bags or jumping online to the Amazon wish list, remember that each item represents a tool in that hand of a missionary. Flashlights on Pearl Island, Tylenol in Ghana, Lice Shampoo for El Salvador, Kleenex for those in Appalachia, and hot chocolate mix for Care on the Square are not just items on a list – they are tools to be used to take the good news of salvation found in Jesus Christ to those who desperately need it. These are things that will bear much fruit, and that fruit will be credited to your spiritual account. What a great and beautiful blessing. And what an easy way to be a missionary!
So, go, pick up a bag or click on the Amazon link and let us emulate the Philippians in order that our missionaries might say with Paul, “I am well supplied.”