The Blessing of Giving

Learning the Joy of Giving
Phil. 4:15-23
“Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increasing to your account.”

One of the hardest things to do is surrender our finances to the ministry of Christ. We are willing to give of our time and energy, but it is difficult to let go of the purse strings. However, to give God everything, we also need to give Him control of our bank account.
As Paul closes his letter to the church at Philippi, he ends with a commendation and expression of gratitude for the financial support the church has given him for his ministry.  When Paul was ministering to the people at Philippi, they caught a vision for Paul’s ministry and became one of his primary financial contributors. As Paul commends them, he does not just see them only as financial backers but as partners in the work (1:5).  In commending them for their help, Paul makes it clear that he is not writing because he wants more financial support but because he sees their contribution as an expression of faith and worship that will lead to a blessing from God.  

The first lesson we see about giving is that in our giving, we become co-laborers with others.  We often look at the church's ministry from the standpoint of our skills and our direct involvement in the teaching and ministries of the church.  But not all of us are comfortable and gifted to teach others and develop and lead ministries. As a result, we often think that we have nothing to give.  We fail to recognize that when we contribute financially to the ministry of the church and the missionaries, we join with them in ministry. For Paul, the financial contribution of the people in Philippi was just as significant as the work that Timothy and Epaphroditus were doing as co-laboring with Paul.  

Second, giving is pleasing to God. Just as our efforts and activities in ministry are a sacrifice of worship and pleasing to God, so is our financial giving (vs. 18).  God has given us a spiritual gift to serve Him and others within the church. Yet it pleases Him when we give as well. While God does not need our contributions to accomplish His work, He desires for us to give as an expression of our worship to Him so that He might bless us in return.

Third, giving to the ministry of the church results in a blessing from God.  By sharing, we demonstrate that we recognize that all our finances come from God and are a gift from Him.  In response, God promises to bless us in return. In Malachi  3:10, God assures us, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”  God promises to bless those who contribute financially to His work.  

Last, when we give, we express our trust in God for His provision of our needs. In verse 19, Paul reminds us that our financial security depends not on our financial portfolio but on our trust in the sovereign God, who promises to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Too often, we hoard our money because of fear of the unknown needs in the future.  However, God assures us that He will take care of us so that we are free to give to the ministry of God through the church.

Living by faith involves trusting in God’s provision for our daily needs rather than our bank account. We express our submission and trust in God by serving Him with our time, abilities, spiritual gifts, and finances. Trusting God begins when we trust Him with our finances and give sacrificially to His work.

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