During the holiday season it is very easy to focus on receiving – getting – rather than giving, and unfortunately in some cases when we have to give we go as cheap as possible! We always give or spend on things that we consider preeminent.
Therefore, in the series of two posts, I would like to present 5 biblical reasons why we must financially give to the work of the ministry in Philippians 4:14-20.
1. Giving Advances the Gospel (v.14-16) – Paul makes an important transition to assure the Philippians that their financial support was greatly appreciated! In other words, this is Paul’s thank you note to the Philippians for their financial support.
The word, “communicate” means to “share, fellowship, join, link, co-participate.” The Philippians were joyfully willing to associate (share, join, link, co-participate) with Paul’s gospel ministry. Why? Because they had an overwhelming desire to advance the Gospel throughout the land and meet Paul’s needs (“affliction”)! Their sacrificial giving was a noble and honorable thing (read v.15-16) (cf. Acts 16; Acts 17:1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:8-9)!
You know what this reveals? There was a little church in Philippi that was filled with people who wanted to use their financial resources to advance the gospel worldwide! And it was effective! The gospel goes forth when you give! You are responsible for financing the great commission! The mission of the local church is worthy of your investment! Why? Because Christ gave the local church the responsibility of reaching the entire world with the gospel (Acts 1:8).
You want a heart for your local church? Give and your heart will follow. You want a heart for worldwide missions? Give and your heart will follow. You want a heart to advance to gospel? Give and your heart will follow. Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
2. Giving Benefits the Giver (v.17) – Paul wanted the Philippians to know that he was not looking to satisfy his own needs by being greedy, nor was he demanding a gift. He was more focused on informing them how their financial giving to the Lord’s work would benefit them.
Paul pointed out that their giving would be credited/ applied/ deposited to their spiritual account in heaven and that they would accrue interest (“fruit”) that would benefit them!
The day we trust in Christ alone for salvation was the day an eternal bank account was opened in the “Bank of Heaven” for eternal investing. It is the only SAFE, RELIABLE, and RECESSION PROOF investment! Giving through your local church is the best way to see eternal fruit for your giving. The local church is the investment firm that we ought to be focused on and faithful to.
Are you making regular and frequent deposits into that account? Or are you more focused on improving your earthly bank account and investments? Too often we are more concerned about our retirement, financial security, and comfort than fulfilling the great commission of the local church!
J.L. Kraft (1874–1953) was an entrepreneur and inventor. He was the first to patent processed cheese. In 1903, he began selling cheese from a horse-drawn wagon in the Chicago area. By 1914 J.L. Kraft & Bros. Company, which would later become Kraft Foods, Inc opened its first cheese manufacturing plant in Stockton, Illinois. He had given approximately 25% of his enormous income to Christian causes for many years, said, “The only investment I ever made which has paid consistently increasing dividends is the money I have given to the Lord.” (W. A. Criswell, A Guidebook for Pastors, p. 154. // Wikipedia “J.L. Kraft”)
Consider more what the Bible has to say about faithful and cheerful givers…
Proverbs 11:24-25, “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” Giving benefits the giver!
Matthew 6:19-21, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”Focus on sending your finances to impact eternity! Do your giving while you are living so you know where it’s going!
2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” God blesses cheerful givers! For many of us we will be ashamed that we selfishly horded our financial resources for ourselves rather than the kingdom of God!
This is what takes places when you live on God’s Economy rather than man’s economy! Keep checking for part 2. May this Christmas Season and New Year be one of giving!
Photo above taken by: Sibaudio (www.sxc.hu)