God's Promise to the Generous

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We have been in a study about the Habits of Happiness. We all want to be happy right? As Paul wraps up his letter to the Philippians, he does so with a promise.
Philippians 4:19 NLT
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
will supply - he didn’t say he might supply, he will supply ALL of your needs. Greek word Pas - everything.
Study after study shows that happy people are generous people… generous people are happy people. So the Question is,

Why do you have unmet needs?

Is God a liar? Is it only a hope?
Does it include emotional needs? Financial needs? Physical needs? Relational needs? Spiritual needs?
So why aren’’t all of your needs met?
We have said this before, but there is a condition with every promise. There are over 7000 promises in the bible and they all have something like this in them… if you do this, I’ll do this...
So this promise is not for everyone. You have to meet the premise of the promise. I can’t claim the promise in cs. 19 if I haven’t done what Paul instructed in 14-18 where Paul talks about generosity.
I believe River Church is one of the most generous churches I have ever seen. When there is a need, you give of your time, your talent and your treasure.
Paul talks about a church like that… one that was very generous.
2 Corinthians 8:1–5 NLT
1 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
So Paul is bragging about this church as basically the most generous church or people on the planet. So the question for us is,

Can God brag about our generosity?

With our time… our treasure … our influence… our energy… praise… our words… Would he say this person is an incredibly generous person?
Two kids of people - givers and takers. We have to make a choice. Am I going to be a taker or am I going to be a giver in life? Takers are not happy. Miser is the root for miserable. The more I give of everything I am or have… the more generous I am, the happier I will be.
We have looked a different habits of happiness including integrity… dependability… humility…
Today we want to learn the habit of generosity.
Proverbs 11:17 NIV
17 Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.
Solomon is saying basically that you will get out of life what you put into it. If you are generous and kind, you benefit yourself. this is true in every area of life… what do you need more of?
Friends - be friendly
love - love others
anger and you get anger…
Even energy. There is only one way to get more energy… to expend what you have.
So whatever you need more of, give it to the Lord. If you need more time, give him your time and he will give it back. If you need more money, give him your money and he will give it back… The kind and generous person will benefit himself.

6 Benefits Every time I’m generous…

1. Every time I’m generous, I earn the gratitude of others.

Your reputation improves. The more of a giver you are the more people are thankful for you.
Think about the people you are thankful for in your life, who are they? They most likely are people who have invested in you… time… money… energy… patience… whatever. People who did not invest in you, you are not grateful for.
You earn a living by what you make. You earn a legacy by what you give. You earn the gratitude of others.
Paul gives an example of this.
Philippians 4:10 NLT
10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me.
Philippians 4:14–16 NLT
14 Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. 15 As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. 16 Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once.
Philippians 4:18 NLT
18 At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God.
Paul was grateful for their investment in him and the ministry he was called to do.
Remember back in Phil 1:3
Philippians 1:3 NLT
3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
Philippians 1:5 NLT
5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.
Philippians 1:7 NLT
7 So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News.
Paul was grateful for their generosity.
Is anyone grateful for your generosity? Can you think of anyone who would say, this person is so loving and giving and generous? They are grateful for you.
Thanksgiving project - Write a note or make a call to everyone who has been generous to you and thank them. let them know you are grateful for them being there when you needed them. Then decide to be generous so that they will br grateful for you.

2. Every time I’m generous, I show what really matters most

We show what matters to us when we are generous. Why? What matters most? Things or people? People of course. Things never matter most.
When you give, when you’re generous with your time, your money, your energy, whatever, every time you give you’re showing what matters to you. Tell me how you spend your money, tell me how you spend your time and I’ll tell you what matters most to you.
Jesus said in Matt 6:21
Matthew 6:21 NLT
21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
I don’t really care about Microsoft because I don’t own their stock. If I bought some, I would care about them. Why? Because wherever you put your money, that’s where your heart is.
Paul talked about this many times…
Philippians 1:10 NLT
10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.
Paul wants to make sure we know what really matters and the way I give shows what really matters in my life. It’s not about getting stuff. He who dies with the most toys still dies.
So every time I’m generous with my time, with my money, with my effort, with my energy I really say what matters most is God and people.
Philippians 3:7 NLT
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.
This is what breaks materialism in our lives. Materialism is the idea that having more will make me more happy, more secure and more valuable. None of those are true. Materialism is about getting more…
The antidote for that is giving. You break the grip that materialism has on you by being generous. So every time you take something (time, talent, treasure) and give it away, you are breaking the grip of materialism in your life. Paul says
Philippians 3:20 NLT
20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.
Paul was not living for here. he was living for heaven. We need to store up for eternity. I want to build up a pile on that side… in eternity. So what does my generosity reveal about me? Where we put our money and our time is where our heart is.

3. Every time I’m generous, I become more like Jesus

Why is that? Jesus was the most generous person in the world… ever. Jesus is a giver and when we give we become more and more like him.
God is a giver. If he were not, none of us would be sitting right here right now, or any time. Everything we have in life is a gift from God … air we breathe… the sun that shines on us… the rain… your heart that’s beating… your lungs… your ability to earn money to live on… it all comes from God.
God is generous and he wants us to be like him. Whenever we do something in the name of the Lord, you are becoming aa little more like Jesus.
Philippians 1:11 NLT
11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
This is counter culture, because everything in our culture today says get all you can get. How many of you would agree that we live in an ever increasing self centered culture? It’s all about what we can get more of…
When we are generous it gets the focus off of me and onto others. Paul said,
Philippians 2:4–5 NLT
4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
We really are our brother’s keepers.

4. Every time I’m generous, I strengthen my faith

When I take something I’ve got and instead of using it on me and I use it to help you then I’m going to have to depend on God to help me. Maybe you give someone some money that you kind of need. Now you have to trust God for it.
I’ve only got a certain amount of time and I’ve got to get all my stuff done and I stop and help my neighbor with my time. Now I’ve got to trust God to help me with my little bit of time left he’ll expand it and make it work. So I can get stuff I need to get done.
Every time I give my faith grows stronger. Every time I give it’s like a muscle; it just gets stronger.
Philippians 4:6 NLT
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
IOW, trust God to meet your needs.
Rick Warren - God told him to give away his entire salary for 3 years. Before he wrote any of his books. Wondered how in the world he could live… It meant that he woul d have to depend on God… for everything. That test strengthened his faith.

5. Every time I’m generous, I invest in my eternal home

The Bible says that every time I invest I’m generous. When I give time, money, energy, whatever I invest in my eternal home. Jesus called this storing up treasures in heaven. Jesus said this 6 different times. Anything Jesus says 6 times is important. It’s important because it will go well for you if you do what he says and not so well if you don’t. Jesus doesn’t want you to miss out.

Life is not about storing up things here on earth. Life is about storing up things in heaven.

You can store up things either here on earth or in heaven. The Bible says don’t store up a whole bunch of stuff here on earth where thieves can steal it, where rust can rust it, where moths can eat the clothes away. But it says store up in heaven. After all we will be in heaven a lot longer that we are here.
You can’t take it with you, but you can send it ahead. How do you do that?
The Bible says by investing in people who are going there. There are only two things that are going to last forever – the Word of God and people. You look around. One day this building will crumble, one day these trees will die, one day America will not exist. Nothing on the planet lasts forever. Only two things last forever – truth, because it was true a thousand years ago and it’s going to be true ten thousand years from today. Opinions change. Facts, theories, what we think change. But truth does not change. If it’s true it will always be true.
And another thing that’s going to last forever is people. One of two places – heaven or hell. So you need to invest more in things that are going to last than in things that don’t last.
Look at what Paul says here…
Philippians 4:17 LBP
17 But though I appreciate your gifts, what makes me happiest is the well-earned reward you will have because of your kindness.
He is saying that they are storing up rewards in heaven. It’s like having an interest bearing account… it just keeps piling up.
So, are you investing? Not in your IRA, but in your ERA. Eternal Retirement Account. If you are not, that’s a mistake that you can still change.
Philippians 4:17 NAB
17 It is not that I am eager for the gift; rather, I am eager for the profit that accrues to your account.
Philippians 4:17 CEV
17 I am not trying to get something from you, but I want you to receive the blessings that come from giving.
Paul wants you and I to enjoy the blessings that come from being generous.
So how do we send it ahead? How to do we store up riches in heaven? Look what Paul told Timothy.
1 Timothy 6:18–19 NLT
18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
God wants us to give out time, our talents and our treasure because we learn generosity not because we fill guilty. We give because of what Jesus did for us. We give to help others and it stores up treasures for us in heaven.
So every time I’m generous I earn the gratitude of others, I show what really matters, I become more like Jesus, I strengthen my faith and I invest in my eternal home.

6. Every time I’m generous, I make God smile.

Generous giving is an act of worship that makes God smile.
Philippians 4:18 NLT
18 At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God.
This makes God happy.
Those of you who are parents, are you happy when your kids are selfish and won’t share their toys? No. Are you happy when your kids learn to share their toys? Of course you are. Are your happy when your kids are generous? Of course you are.
So is God. God loves it when his kids learn to be generous. Every time you’re generous – you’re not selfish. You give away money, you give away time, you give away energy, not for your own benefit God goes, That’s my boy! You see how generous he was? That’s my girl! You see how generous she was? They’re my kids.
God is watching you every day of your life to see what you do with what he’s given you. He’s watching to see how generous you are. This, everything I just said, is the premise behind the greatest promise in the Bible. But then he givs us the promise…

The Promise

Philippians 4:19 NLT
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
How many needs does this ver say he will meet? All of them.... Why does he meet them because of Jesus.
This verse is a great antidote to worry. If you don’t have enough time, go to God and tell him… God will meet all your needs. God I’m not feeling too good today, I need some strength… he will give it. Whatever your needs, God will meet them.

When you, like the Philippians, give generously, out of gratitude, to show what matters the most, to be more like Jesus, to stretch your faith, to invest in heaven, to honor and please God

Philippians 4:19 M:BCL
19 You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 NLT
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
There are two ways to be generous…
One of them required faith and the other one doesn’t. over and over again, Jesus said be it done to you according to your faith.
Say you see a tragedy… like we have seen many times and you decide you want to help… to be generous.

2 Ways to be Generous

You can be generous by reason

This is where you look at your budget and see what you can afford… etc. and give. This is Philanthropy… and that’s good. But it doesn’t require faith.

You can be generous by revelation

This make generosity an adventure. it stretches your faith because you pray and hear from God and give what he tells you to… of whatever… your time (Gail - God always gave her her time back) or your treasure. When you ask God, he will stretch you so that you have to trust him.
As we come into the holidays, it’s a traditional time of giving. We usually take up a missions offering at Christmas. We support Convoy of Hope, Bridges Christian College, AG Missions, Center for Life here on the WB, Prison Ministry, and Law Enforcement…
You can discuss, pray and decide


Will I be generous by reason or revelation?


Ask god what he wants you to give.


How I will give… check… online..
If you have not been tithing (10%) set it up online or commit to tithing. It’s a challenge by God with a promise. He says test me… if you are not better off… no gambling… That is a step of growth.
If you are already tithing, consider giving Jesus the same amount you will spend on Christmas this year… after all it’s his birthday.
Acts 20:35 NLT
35 And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”


Philippians 4:19 M:BCL
19 You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.
Why be generous? In his letter to the Philippians, Paul offers at least six benefits. Every time I’m generous, I: 1) earn the gratitude of others; 2) show what matters most; 3) become more like Jesus; 4) strengthen my faith; 5) invest in my eternal home; and 6) make God smile. What would God have us do?
Proverbs 11:17 AMP
17 The merciful, kind, and generous man benefits himself [for his deeds return to bless him], but he who is cruel and callous [to the wants of others] brings on himself retribution.
1. What does Proverbs 11:17 tell us about the benefits of being generous? Think about what you sow in the world—is it what you wish to receive back? It has been said that whatever you need more of, that is what you must give away. It sounds simple enough, but why is it so hard to do?
2. We are most grateful to those who have given their time and energy to us. During this week take time to share how thankful you are to those who have invested in you.
Philippians 4:6 NCV
6 Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks.
3. How is Philippians 4:6 related to your generosity? What are ways you can put Philippians 4:6 into practice?
1 Timothy 6:18–19 LBP
18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give happily to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. 19 By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven—it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.
4. What happens when we give, according to 1 Timothy 6:18-19? Discuss practical ways to invest into eternity.
Philippians 4:19 NLT
19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
5. As a group, repeat Philippians 4:19 several times until you have it memorized. Next week, whenever you face a need, quote this scripture to yourself. Be prepared to share what God taught you.
6. If God promises to take care of all our needs, why are all our needs not met? Paul wrote this letter as a thank you to the Philippians, who had unselfishly supported his ministry more than all others. Read Philippians 4:14-18 and discuss what Paul meant when he said God’s generosity exceeds our own. What does this have to do with getting our own needs met?
7. We can be generous by reason—figuring out what we can afford, or we can be generous by revelation—asking God to tell us what he wants to give through us. What method do you think the Philippians chose? How are they a model for you?
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