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. Philippians 4:16-19
Gifts are cool. The "thing" received is greatly appreciated. But ... the thought behind the gift is always the best part, isn't it? I believe that's what Paul is getting at in this passage.
The Philippians responded to Paul's need "again and again." Some gifts were personally delivered. He described the gifts as a "fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God." But the gifts were not what excited Paul the most. He anticipated the spiritual rewards that God would credit to the Philippians' eternal account.
Think about it. The gift will eventually go away. The food will be eaten. The money will be spent. The note will be filed away and lost. The kindness will be forgotten. The memory of every good deed will die with the person who held it. But the Spirit-prompted desire and obedient act to meet the need will be recorded in a heavenly register. One day God will open the book and check out the entries by our name. I want Him to read the entries, look up, and say, "Well done!" Don't you?
Father, remind me that what I do today counts forever. May my investments be worthy of eternity. In Jesus' name. Amen.