Read Philippians 4:15-20
Paul reminds the Philippian church that they were the only church in Macedonia to support him financially. In those early days of his ministry there as we see in Acts 17, Paul suffered greatly in Macedonia. When he planted the church in Philippi, he and Silas were put in jail. In Thessalonica, he had to escape in the night down to Berea because a mob riot ransacked Jason’s house looking for Paul.
And in the midst of all this, probably what was most painful for Paul was that none of the other churches helped him financially. They failed in their gospel obligation in tithing and giving to the ministry of the Lord.
I want you to notice how carefully Paul words his rebuke to these other churches. They had not shared in both giving and receiving. They were very good at receiving, but not so good at giving. It was a one-way relationship with Paul where they received his pastoral leadership and love, but they didn’t practice financial stewardship.
And yet the Philippian church understood the spiritual maturity of both giving and receiving and gave to Paul, which brought joy to his heart.
Paul was in no way asking them for money or looking for financial compensation. He tells us this in verse 17. He had learned to be content and knew that Christ would meet all his needs, but yet he knew the SPIRITUAL BLESSING that giving would bring to the Philippian church.
Their fruit of giving would add to their account. In other words, they were investing in eternity through their financial giving.
In verse 18, Paul tells them that they had been very generous and given above and beyond what he expected. And he uses this Old Testament imagery of a fragrant and acceptable sacrifice to show the blessing of their obedience.
The bottom line in their giving was that God was pleased. Financial stewardship pleases God. It brings glory to God.
Read Romans 12:1-2
When we practice financial stewardship through faithful giving, we are offering our bodies as a living sacrifice to God and doing His will. I really can’t say it any more plainly than this: Giving of tithes and offerings to God in obedience pleases and glorifies Him, while withholding our tithes and offerings to God in disobedience displeases and offends Him.
While it may seem that giving is painful and that we are sacrificing what we “worked hard to earn” in reality, giving brings spiritual blessings. We don’t give in order to get blessings from God; we give out of obedience to God and His blessings are a byproduct of our faithfulness.
As a matter of fact in verse 19, Paul reminds us that our God is able to supply our every need in the riches of Christ.
Tomorrow, we will gather as a church family to make our 3-year commitment to the Lord in our “Advancing the Gospel…Trusting His Provision” debt reduction campaign.
The second part of our title encapsulates what I’ve been focusing on for the past few days. We desperately need to trust God for His provision. He has provided for our church family in the past, and I’m confident HE will provide for us in the future.
But this will require “TRUST”! It will require brave faith. It will require moving outside our comfort zone and sacrificially giving to the Lord.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I desperately need You right now as I am challenged to make this 3 year commitment. I want to exercise this brave faith and to trust You for Your provision. I know that You will supply all my needs in Christ—not necessarily all my wants! Help me to see the spiritual blessing of giving financially to Your kingdom. Help me to see that this 3-year commitment is more than just paying down the debt on our building, but a faithful way to advance Your gospel.
In Christ’s Name,