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Summary: Part 4 of our series on joy

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Joy to the world

A study of Philippians

Part 4

“ Joy in Giving “

If you have been watching the news or TV lately

It seems that a countdown to Christmas calendar is very common

Shortly after or even before Thanksgiving

We begin seeing – Blank ---days until Christmas notices

Don’t miss out on our special deals they say

One day only these deals won’t last

Hurry – Hurry – hurry

Buy, Buy, Buy

Get – Get – Get

Unfortunately in this messed up world

Christmas has become all about what we get

Instead of what we give

Today we are going to continue our study of Joy as taught by the Apostle Paul

In his letter to the church at Philippi

The book of Philippians was written for several reasons.

First of all it was written as a letter of Paul’s expression of joy.

You see Paul knows that

The Christian life is supposed to be filled with joy.

And he wants us to know it as well

In this letter Paul showed his joy in many situations.

Joy in others or relationships

Joy in serving God and others

Joy in believing

And today

“Joy in Giving”

Second

The book of Philippians was written to be proactive in identifying and defending against problems that would arise in the church

Arguments

Division

False teaching

To name just a few

Third

It is a thank you letter for the gift – the offering that the Philippians gave – as they supported Paul’s ministry.

Let me lighten the mood just a bit before we dig in

Men in particular

I need you to pay attention

First I am going to tell you how not to find joy in giving

Don’t buy your wife sexy under wear as a Christmas gift

First off she knows it is really for you ---not her

And secondly it will really embarrass her if opened in anything other than a one on one gift exchange

Next- men please listen closely

Don’t buy anything short of gloves that require you knowing her size

Nothing good can come of buying something too big or too small

This one is important

Don’t buy anything useful

A spice rack will not be appreciated

Nor will any type of exercise machine

And a new mop or vacuum cleaner no matter how bad she needs will not be seen as a warm, loving or thoughtful gift

Don’t buy Jewelry

What she wants – you can’t afford

And what you can afford – she don’t want

Lastly

Be careful what you spend

Spend too much and she will be mad for having to eat beans for the next month to pay off Christmas

Spend too little and she will ask – is that all I’m worth to you?

And none of these will bring you joy

Women- I am sure you can come up with your own lists as well

I can tell you

He does not want a pocket fisherman

A pocket hose or anything that has an infomercial that says but wait there’s more

All joking aside

Today it is my prayer that we can find joy in giving

Please open your bibles to Philippians 4

Let me start out with verse 1

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters,[a] stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.”

Paul once again is expressing his love for the church

The people not the building

He is once again giving them a word of encouragement for them to keep on with the good work

But he is also expressing his joy in giving

How you may ask?

He says

You are my joy

And the crown I receive

For

“My work”

Now we know that works are not a condition of salvation

But a sign of salvation- evidence of salvation

So we also know Paul is not talking about a crown of salvation here

But instead

A crown of blessings

One of which is joy

Giving his works- evidence of his salvation

His gift of knowledge

His gift of teaching

His gift of sacrifice

His gift of love

Brings him much joy

And also gives much joy

Here in this second half of a little verse in a little letter

Paul shows his joy in giving

He continues as he thanks the church for giving to him as well

This also shows that he finds joy in the receiving of gifts

Gladly and lovingly given

You see there is absolutely nothing wrong with receiving gifts

They can and do bring joy

But

When we focus on receiving instead of giving

We shift the focus from others

To ourselves

I

Comes back into our vocabulary

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