Summary: Encouraging people to give - not only their money, but themselves.
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19 (NIV)
One of the more familiar scriptures in the Bible – and for good reason… We all have needs!
But is this promise to all believers? Is this promise to all churches?
Let’s look at the context (vs 15-19)
15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18 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. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:15-19 (NIV)
The Paradox of Christianity
If we want to find life, we must be willing to lose it.
He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. Matt 10:39 (NKJV)
If we want to be in authority, we must become a servant.
But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. Matt 23:11 (NKJV)
If we want to be exalted, we must be humble.
And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Matt 23:12 (NKJV)
After all – we are followers of Christ, and this was his way. This paradox is the mind of Christ.
Consider another familiar passage:
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:9-11 (KJV)
But again – let’s look at the context. (Tenney: When you see a “wherefore” you need to look and see what it’s “there for”)
6 Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Phil 2:6-8 (NKJV)
But what is the writer really trying to get across to us?
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus… Phil 2:5 (NKJV)
The “wherefore” spoken to Jesus (God has highly exalted Him) – will also be ours if we have His mind!
So – how do we have the mind of Christ? This scripture tells us what Christ did – but not why. In order to think like Him, we have to know why he did what he did.
Let’s look at another familiar scripture – perhaps one of the most familiar in the Bible… John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)
I am willing to cross great cultural divides.
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. Phil 2:6-7 (NKJV)
I do it because I have a genuine love for people.
And the second, like it, is this: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Mark 12:31 (NKJV)
After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it… Eph 5:29 (NIV)
I am willing to give my only…
Earlier today, we shared with you our vision for supporting pastors in India. That specifically was a discussion about money. But now – I’m not really talking about money. I’m talking about you.
What is it that God is asking you to give today? Here is what I’m confident of… What God asks us to give doesn’t make sense in human terms. Your friends, who are not missions-minded, will say “You are giving what???”
Why does the Lord demands that we give – our money – our lives?
It’s not because He needs it.
It’s because we need to discover the true source of our supply. (text)
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. Luke 6:38 (NIV)
What is God asking you to give today?