The Good in Giving

Philippians: A Letter of Encouragement  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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The Good in Giving
Philippians 4:10-23
I. Introduction
A. Around Thanksgiving a few years ago, radio commentator Paul Harvey shared a true story of a woman and her frozen Thanksgiving turkey. The Butterball Turkey Company set up a telephone hotline to answer consumer questions about preparing holiday turkeys. One woman called to inquire about cooking a turkey that had been in the bottom of her freezer for 23 years. That's right—23 years. The Butterball representative told her the turkey would probably be safe to eat if the freezer had been kept below zero for the entire 23 years. But the Butterball representative warned her that even if the turkey was safe to eat, the flavor would probably have deteriorated to such a degree that she would not recommend eating it. The caller replied, "That's what I thought. We'll give the turkey to our church. "Source: Paul Harvey daily radio broadcast (11-22-95)
II. Contentment should be found in every situation (10-13)
A. Explanation
1. This passage starts with a personal message to the Philippian church which has provided support for Paul while he was in prison – an act of love and concern for Paul and the gospel
a. It is an act of love on their part
b. And a reason for Paul to find joy (rejoice)
2. Not that I am speaking of being in need – Here is Paul with very little, but still content in Jesus – He has all he needs
3. He has learned in every situation to be content
a. Contentment is not a state of having enough, but of being satisfied with what you have
b. It is a learned state
c. It is the knowledge that whatever you have, Christ is enough
d. Contentment is being satisfied with what you have – This is difficult in a wealth and stuff-saturated culture. We have been conditioned to always want more.
e. In abundance or poor – Christ is enough
4. The Secret – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
a. This is not the sports team bragging that God can help them win – That would be very unfair of God
b. It is also not us trying to fulfill some great whim and using this verse to encourage ourselves
c. This is the understanding that in every circumstance that we go through as we are faithful and rely on Christ, He will strengthen us enough to walk through it
B. Illustrations – One of my boys had come down on Christmas day to receive his Christmas presents. After oohing and aahing over them for a while one came to me and said, “Dad, next year I want a….” That is the problem with our contentment. We are always looking for something greater. There is nothing greater than Jesus. When we make Him the object of our affection, we can finally be content
C. Application
1. The doorway to true Joy comes through contentment
2. Contentment is when we know that Christ is enough – no matter the circumstance
3. It doesn’t mean that when our sin has brought us low God will get us through it unless we are willing to repent and truly trust Him alone
III. Believers are to be in partnership (14-16)
A. Explanation
1. Kind of you to share my trouble – the church at Philippi has decided to share in the burden of Paul’s imprisonment and future ministry – They are investing in Paul as a missionary because of the difference the gospel makes
2. They alone partnered with Paul in his ministry – They have done it over and over
3. They understood that they had been called to invest in something greater than themselves
B. Application
1. We are also called to give – We hold everything that has been given to us as a stewardship. It belongs to God, and we should hold it all with an open hand
2. When we partner in the gospel it means greater things in the Kingdom
3. Sometimes we see giving as me giving what is mine into the hands of others or giving to the church
4. It is us, pooling our resources for the good of our church and the rest of God’s Kingdom
5. It goes to
a. Cooperative giving
b. Community Outreach
c. Staff to do the local missions
d. Benevolence
IV. Giving produces growth (17)
A. Explanation
1. This is such an incredible statement – Paul sees their giving as being to their credit as they are growing through their faithfulness
2. Giving is an act of spiritual maturity and growth
B. Application
1. It grows us spiritually
2. It grows us together in cooperation and mission
3. It grows His Kingdom
4. We grow when we give
a. It helps us understand who it belongs to
b. We act on faith and get the privilege of God providing for us
5. We should also allow others to provide for us -Often people do not like for other people to serve them. This is an act of pride. We should allow others to serve us so that we can be a church that serves one another. It allows others to grow in their faith
V. Giving is an act of worship (18)
A. Explanation
1. Paul describes the gift as a fragrant offering, a sacrifice pleasing and acceptable to God
2. This is from a new Christian group who would understand the concept of a sacrifice while also understanding that they were no longer obligated to the sacrificial system of Judaism
3. Their act was one of faith and that faith was a sacrificial act of worship
B. Application
1. We worship God every time we give for the cause of Christ – it gives Him glory
2. Again, we are showing knowledge of provision and faith in God’s plan
VI. God promises to Provide (19-20)
A. Explanation
1. The promise – God will supply every need of yours –
a. Not every want – not health and wealth
b. But we can expect that He will provide what we need and continue to lead us where He would have us go
2. According to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus – He has it all. We are trusting in His ability to give –
3. Kids being greedy with candy as Children – They forget who bought the candy and who alone could buy more when they run out
B. Illustration – John Piper once said that the Christian life is not a straight line of one blessing to the next and then on to heaven. It is a winding road of difficulty and blessings. God is not there simply cleaning up the messes of the bad times, he is plotting the course for our good and the glory of God!
C. Application
1. We should trust God’s promise to provide
2. If we are content in Jesus and trust that He will provide again we will find more joy
3. So often today’ lack of contentment comes from wanting more than we could ever provide ourselves and then killing ourselves trying to achieve it.
4. We have all we need in Jesus. Trust Him and watch Him provide your needs
VII. Conclusion
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