Summary: When we give, we partner with others who preach the Gospel, we plant seeds that result in blessing, and we praise God for the gift of salvation. God wants us to give because we want to, not because we have to. We should give out of the joy of our hearts for all that God has done for us.
The Joy of Giving
Anytime you teach or preach on money, it can get touchy.
Jesus talked about money more than any other subject, so don’t get upset with me for talking about it today.
It is the next text in our series on Philippians so I am just following the progression.
16 of the 38 parables Jesus taught were about money or possessions.
1 out of every 10 verses in the Gospels deals with money.
Why did Jesus talk about money so much? Because He knew that our hearts are bound to our wallets. Jesus doesn’t want our money. He wants our hearts, but he knows our hearts are attached to our money.
Giving is not God’s way of raising funds. It is His way of raising His children. He wants us to love Him with all our hearts and giving is how we learn to do that.
You can say you love Jesus, but if you are not giving to Jesus in some capacity, our words don’t mean much.
Like someone has said, “You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.”
It all has to do with our heart. God wants us to give not because we have to but because we want to. He wants us to give joyfully. That is the overarching theme of the book of Philippians - rejoice in the Lord. We are to rejoice even as we give!
Transition - As we come to the end of our study of Philippians, Paul is thanking the church for their financial offering to him. He is rejoicing knowing that they are thinking about him and wanting to help him. In the text, we learn some things about giving.
When we give, we are partnering. (vs. 14-16). “Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.”
Paul has already referenced this partnership in 1:3-5, “Philippians 1:3–5 (ESV): I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
Paul said they “shared” and were in “partnership” with him. They were participating in Paul’s ministry by giving.
Romans 12:13 says we are to “contribute” to the needs of the saints. That is the same Greek word we find in Philippians 4:14,15. It means “share”, “partner” “contribute. We are to share in their burdens by giving.
Galatians 6:6 says “let the one who is taught the word “share” all good things with him who teaches.” When we give, we are sharing in the load of gospel ministry.
We are to do it gladly and not out of duty. 2 Cor. 9:7 says “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
You might ask “How much should I give?” I would encourage you to give at least 10 percent. Some are able to give more than that. But if everyone gave 10 percent of their income, I don’t think we would have any shortage of resources for doing God’s work.
I am not saying that the tithe is required for a Christian. It was a requirement under the Law for the Jews. There were actually three tithes for the Jews. There was the tithe that was given to the Levites who could not own land and so they lived off the tithes of the people. Then there was a tithe given to the poor. Then there was a tithe for the feasts. That was basically a savings account to participate in the Jewish feasts. Then there was a tithe for the poor that was given every three years. So Jews had to give 23% of their income. Now we are no longer under the Law and we are not Jews. We are the church.
However, giving 10% is a good measure. Before the Law was instituted, we see Abraham giving a tithe. We should tithe because we want to not because we have to. The people in the Old Testament had to. We don’t have to but we should because we want to. Jesus has died for our sins and made us children of God by His grace. We should have a different attitude about giving than those under the Law. I think 10% is a good measure. If you are in a financial position where you cannot tithe, start giving something. If it is 2%, do that. And then, pray and ask God to help you get in a position to do more.