Summary: This sermon looks at the Joy of being a cheerful giver. 1. Giving is an ENCOURAGEMENT 2. Giving is an INVESTMENT 3. Giving is a SACRIFICE
The Joy of Giving to God
We have come to the end of our series on “How to Really Enjoy Life”. Today I want us to discover – how to Experience the Joy of a Giving God.
The book of Philippians was written for two reasons. First of all it was written as a letter of Paul’s expression of joy. The Christian life is to be filled with joy. In this letter Paul expressed joy in numerous situations. Second the book of Philippians is a thank you letter for the gift – the offering that the Philippians gave – as they supported Paul’s ministry. Paul wrote to the Philippians to thank them for the gift they had sent him. Follow along as I read our text for today:
“Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:15-19 (NKJV)
In this passage of Philippians is found – perhaps – the greatest promise in the Bible. It is so all encompassing that almost any other promise will fit under its umbrella. It is found in verse nineteen:
“My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)
God has made us a promise to meet our needs. God says, "I will meet all your needs. I will take care of you."
Why then, do people still have needs? Why aren’t the needs being met? Is God a liar? Is His promise not valid?
The answer to the question is simple – many of God’s promises are conditional. You see – with many promises there is a condition that you must meet – before you can claim the promise. In other words – God says, "If you do this – I will do that." The Bible is full of conditional promises. Take for example the promise found in Second Chronicles chapter seven:
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
God makes the promise that He will hear them from heaven – forgive them – and heal their land – "if" they humble themselves – pray – and seek God’s face. Or what of the promise found in Romans chapter ten:
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 (NKJV)
God promises salvation – but only to those who confess and believe in the resurrection of Jesus – that is a conditional promise. Some conditions are clearly seen as in the two examples that I just gave you – some conditions are not quit so clear. In Philippians chapter four we find that Paul praises them for their generosity. They gave and gave to the efforts of spreading the gospel. Paul commends them for their giving – then he says: