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The Spirit of Generosity

Philippians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Generosity

Introduction: Generosity- the quality of being kind, understanding, and not selfish : the quality of being generous; especially : willingness to give money and other valuable things to others. For the Christian, generosity is a way of life. Paul points this out as he addresses the Church in Philippi. As Paul continues to express his gratitude towards this church, he encourages them to remain generous and liberal as a community of believers.
Transition: As we come to the close of this letter we must not ignore the principles Paul gives this church about generosity. The first of these principles we find teaches.

Generosity Focuses on others (v. 15)

Philippians 4:15 ESV
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.
Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians Resolve to Grow in the Grace of Christian Gratitude and Courtesy (4:14–23)

Paul is saying that even by the time he got to Thessalonica and started preaching the gospel there, before he left there to evangelize Athens and Corinth, the Philippians were already finding ways to help and were asking what part they could play in this great ministry.

The Spirit of Generosity Focuses on others (v. 15)
Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians Resolve to Grow in the Grace of Christian Gratitude and Courtesy (4:14–23)

Paul is saying that even by the time he got to Thessalonica and started preaching the gospel there, before he left there to evangelize Athens and Corinth, the Philippians were already finding ways to help and were asking what part they could play in this great ministry.

phil. 4.
Paul says that when he left Macedonia and even by the time he got to Thessalonica and started preaching the gospel there, before he left there to evangelize Athens and Corinth, the Philippians were already finding ways to help and were asking what part they could play in his ministry. Apparently Paul stayed in Thessalonica only a few weeks, but during that relatively short time, the Philippians came through again and again. And for his part, Paul is not slow to express his profound gratitude.
D. A. Carson, Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996), 120.
Without regard for who else has given
• Without regard for who else has given
• Without regard for who is watching
Illustration: A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church. “Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself,” she told the girl. When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. “Well,” said the little girl, “I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did.”
A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church. “Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself,” she told the girl. When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. “Well,” said the little girl, “I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did.”
Galaxie Software, 10,000 Sermon Illustrations (Biblical Studies Press, 2002).
• Application: don't make everything about ourselves. Be generous to others without expecting anything in return.
Application: Don't make everything about ourselves. Be generous to others without expecting anything in return.
Transition: While generosity focuses on others let us also be encouraged that generosity is continuous.
0. The Spirit of Generosity is Continuous (v.16)

Generosity is Continuous (v.16)

Philippians 4:16 ESV
Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.
Phil.4
The church in Philippi didn’t stop giving. They gave without reservation. Even as Paul’s location changed, when his situation changed, they gave.
Illustration: Captain Levy, a believer from Philadelphia, was once asked how he could give so much to the Lord’s work and still possess great wealth. The Captain replied, “Oh, as I shovel it out, He shovels it in, and the Lord has a bigger shovel.”
Captain Levy, a believer from Philadelphia, was once asked how he could give so much to the Lord’s work and still possess great wealth. The Captain replied, “Oh, as I shovel it out, He shovels it in, and the Lord has a bigger shovel.”
Galaxie Software, 10,000 Sermon Illustrations (Biblical Studies Press, 2002).
Transition: I believe the song is true, “Your can’t beat God giving. The more you give the more He gives to you”
Application: Don't let your generosity be a one time thing. Sometimes once is not enough.

Generosity Pleases God (VV.17-20)

Philippians 4:17–20 ESV
17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 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. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Phil.4.17-20
Personal blessings
Matthew 6:26 ESV
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
• Spiritual blessings
Illustration:
Application: Thank God for the spirit of generosity. Praise God for His blessings.
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