Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Blessing of Giving

Sunday, 13.7.08 at the Calvary Disciples’ Church, Thane (Mumbai). India
Philippians 4:10-20. The Blessing of Giving. (Preached by bro. A.Othniel)

1. Giving gives Joy: Paul, in jail says that he rejoiced in the Lord because of the giving of Philippians believers. They revived their interest in him. The began to show concern again as they sent him support to meet his needs. When we remember to help others and continue to giving, we bring joy to their lives. Giving encourages those who are feeling down or depressed. As we share our resources with those in need, we pour joy into their hearts. It is divine quality to give freely and consistently.

2. Giving is caring: How do we care for others? By giving from our resources. Paul needed saints to care for him as he was about God’s kingdom work. It appears he had no family accompanying him on his travels. He depended on God’s people to care for him. Yes, God cares for His people through His own people. We must show interest in others to care for them as and when they need us. As we give for the Lord’s work, we care for His Kingdom as well as His servants.

3. Giving meets needs: The believers at Philippi often sent help to meet paul’s needs in the ministry. Even when others were not doing it, they willingly shared and Paul makes a note of it. Who willmeet the needs of His house if not the people of His house? Who will meet the needs of His servants, if not the saints? We must look for opportunities to meet needs in the Lord’s house. The success of His work is depending upon how much we are willing to meet the needs.

4. Giving gives confidence: Though God’s peole were giving ot meet Paul’s needs, there were times when he did not receive nay support from anyone. SO he had to go through severe trials and practical difficulties in surviving. But he was able to manage in all situations as he testifies, saying, he learnt how to live in poverty and also in plenty. As Christ we able to inject extra strength when he was weak, he had confidence that he could do all things and continue the work and fulfill the mission. As we devlop the habit of giving, it also develops confidence that we can live in whatever circumstances by hrist’s strength. 4:13 is a well-known positive statement of Confidence in God’s sustaining power.

5. Giving is sharing: In 4:14, Paul reminds the believers how they shared in his sufferings for the gospel. Though they had not actually suffered any prison or persecution like him, they became partakers of his afflictions when they upheld him in prayers and helped him practically financially. That’s how when we share from our resources in the gospel work with His servants, we become partners in the ministry and thus share in their sufferings too. We become comforters in the trials for the Lord’s sake. Giving is not just putting some coins in the offering box or sending a cheque for a ministry, it is actual sharing in the very life of the Lord’s servants.

6. Giving is sowing: Paul defends his talk about money by saying it was not for his own needs but that they should get fruits. To reap , one has to sow. So in 2 Corinthians 9, he explains so clearly saying, who sows sparingly will reap sparingly and who sows abundantly will also reap abundantly. The sowing is not throwing away seeds and thus wasting them. It is investing for higher yield. The farmer sows with the sole purpose of reaping. Similarly, giving to God and His work is like sowng seeds in the good field.

7. Giving brings fruit: The farmer is the first partaker of fruits, said Paul to Timothy in 2 Tom 2. SO, when a person gives, he is bearing fruit. Paul wants fruit to their account, as they willingly, generously give and share. In John 15:16, the Lord Jesus tells His disciples that He has chosen them to go and bear fruit and thus God is glorified. As we give of our time, talents, and resources to serve the Lord, we bear fruit that remain for eternity.

8. Giving is profitable: Again, Paul says in 4:17, that it may be credited to your account when you give for God’s work. It is somewhat strange! In accounting work, it is actually debited, when money is removed. But here, he says it is credited!? Why? Because, what is given is paid back by God Himself in so many ways, so your account balance increases! There is profit in giving to the Lord, not loss. SO each itme you give, you add some profit to your account, not necessarily monetarily. God has many ways to bless and enrich you. He is no man’s debtor!

9. Giving is worship: In 4:18, Paul says, the things they sent for him, were like sweet smelling savor to God, an acceptable sacrifice, as in OT temple offerings. So, its like offering pure and acceptable worship to God. As we give we worship Him out of our substance. For worship is giving and not getting. As we worship with sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving from our hearts and lips, we also need to offer the sacrifice of our possessions, time and talents. Giving God money is worship- a pleasing act of saints.

10. Giving assures supplies: Paul assures Pilippians that as they give to God’s work and to meet needs of His servants, God will supply to meet all their needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 4:19. This is a beautiful promise similar to the one in 2 cor.9:8. God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. Giving never depletes our supplies but bring more from heaven to fill our lives. Amen.

Imagine, how much you might have missed God’s blessings by withholding your share in His work! Begin today to give and to experience the abundant blessings of His inexhaustible riches. First make sure, yu repented of you rsins and accepted the Lord Jesus as your own Savior and Lord and then you will able to respond in gratitude to all His goodness and grace. God bless you.