Summary: In rejoicing over the Philippian church’s monetary gift, Paul showed his thankfulness and his understanding toward them, his contentment in spite of them, and his recognition of Christ as the source of all.

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1. Confront people with care

2. Confront circumstances with contentment

3. Confront all things with Christ


A young mother of two opened up the kitchen pantry one afternoon. She knew that she had two cookies left and was planning on setting them out for her two boys when the oldest one got home from school. But when she opened the cookie jar, she only found one. Well, she knew who the culprit was. It had to be her youngest son who was four years old. She thought for a minute about how to deal with him. Then she decided the best way was to confront the situation head on. So, she called him downstairs. “Young man, there were two cookies in this pantry last night. Why is it, there is only one in there now?” The little boy looked up at her and said, “I guess ‘cuz it was so dark in here I didn’t see the other one?” That wasn’t exactly what that mother was looking to get out of her confrontation, was it? But even though that wasn’t the response she was looking for, she did get results. Confrontation always produces results. It’s just that the type of results depend on the type of the confrontation. The mother’s confrontation produced the wrong results because she confronted in the wrong way. She asked the wrong question. We think of confrontation as a bad thing because the kind of confrontation we’re most familiar with is bad confrontation. But some things in life need to be confronted. They just need to be confronted in the right way. Paul was never known as one who backed down from confrontation. Before Jesus got hold of him on the road to Damascus, he was in the business of confronting Christians. After he was saved, he confronted the Jews in the synagogues. He confronted sin in the church. He confronted James and the church leaders at Jerusalem over doctrinal issues. And he even confronted Peter because Peter had succumbed to the Judaizers. Paul was a bold man who didn’t back down from confrontation on the occasions when it was necessary. But later on in his ministry, you notice something. As the early New Testament churches started to become more established, the true focus of what Paul is confronting becomes clear. Last week and this week, we have been looking at a passage Paul wrote as he closed out his letter to the church at Philippi. As we close out this week of Thanksgiving, it’s particularly appropriate that Paul closes his letter with a very thankful attitude. We don’t normally think of confrontational people as being thankful people, do we? But Paul was. As a matter of fact, it was his Spirit-controlled confrontational nature that enabled him to continually give thanks. Even though I’m sure we’ll all be happy when all the Thanksgiving leftovers are finally gone… there is one part of Thanksgiving that I pray will never go away. And that is the Christian hearts that are full of true, humble, thanksgiving before God that comes this time of year. That’s what I want for each of us this morning. I want each of us to experience true Thanksgiving every day. But in order to do that, we’re going to have to be a little bit like that mom with the cookie jar. We’re going to have to be a little bit like Paul with these Philippian Christians. We’re going to have to get confrontational about some things. Not in our attitude or in our demeanor. But in the way we give. We have to have confrontational giving. As a matter of fact, in order for us to continually experience Thanksgiving, we have to have three kinds of confrontational giving. First, we must confront people with care. Look at verse 10:

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