We wrapped up Philippians with a message on contentment. Paul told us the secret to being content in all circumstances is by resting in the strength of Christ. But there was more in the text that did not get covered in the sermon. Let’s take a look at that here!
The reason Paul wrote Philippians in the first place was to say thank you to them. Yes, in your Bible is a Holy Spirit inspired “Thank You” card. Paul was in prison, actually at this point it was more of a house arrest in Rome, chained to a guard 24/7. The Philippian church sent Epaphroditus with some provisions for Paul (4:18). And in this last section in chapter 4, there are 6 principles Paul gives about authentic giving unto the Lord’s work.
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
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.
Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.
Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.
I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Grab your Bible and take a look. And at the same time, as always, take a look into your own heart when it comes to giving.
Authentic giving is:
(see also verse 10) - Our giving is motivated by a heart regenerated by the life and love of God. Authentic givers don’t give out of obligation, or begrudgingly. Authentic givers give out of their resources, but from their hearts.
I don’t just go to church. I belong here. I am part of the body. I am partnering with the advancement of the Gospel with this church. I give because I am personally invested in the work here!
Aw, man. I gave to the church last year. Yeah, and God gave to you last year, too. But knowing you have needs this year, He is still providing. The church has ongoing needs. And God provides through you!
Paul was more excited about the gift the Philippians would receive than the gift he himself received. God records what we give. And that “fruit that increases to <our> credit” refers to our treasure in heaven! He’s keeping track. And He’s going to pay it back in glory.
“Fragrant offering” and “sacrifice“. Sounds like Old Testament worship terms, doesn’t it? That’s Paul’s point here. Giving is an act of worship. Just like singing, preaching, praying, doing works of compassion… giving is just as much an act of worship!
God not only records but He rewards. In heaven, right? Yeah, Paul already covered that. Here, he is talking about earth - here and now! God will provide for every need you have on earth. Count on it. Give to Him, and know He has you covered. How can we be sure? Well, He gives according to His riches. Do you think God ever write a bad check? That’s impossible, when you literally own everything. So relax, He has you covered? Do you trust Him?
Let’s reflect the generosity of God.
p.s. - my Father owns everything