Faithfulness in Giving
Introduction: Billy Graham: Give me five minutes with a person's checkbook, and I will tell you where their heart is.
Giving is a partnership
There is the obvious financial side of it
Paul speaks of their giving as a partnership Phil. 1:3-5; 4:14 here at verse 14 he speaks of the fellowship in his suffering exactly what he’s saying in Phil. 1:7
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.
Giving is commendable when it’s costly - Paul refers to their sacrifice in Phil. 4:18 Jesus draws attention to the widow’s offering in Mark 12:42-44 - Paul also speaks of a time while in Macedonia of giving ‘til it hurts 2 Cor. 8:2-3
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.
42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,
Giving is transaction
Verses 17-19 are full of financial language - You have the principal of one gives and the other receives
But in Christian giving the paradox is that the giver also receives Pr. 19:17 Paul makes the point in another way in 2 Cor 9:6
17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Jesus takes it up a notch when he talks above loving your enemies Luke 6:34-35 And God sends the same message to his people in Malachi 3:10
34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
Giving shows our trust in God
Those passages and principals from Luke and Malachi take trust on our part.
Look at Phil. 4:19 Break that promise down
19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Do you believe that? Do you trust it? Will you take the opportunity to see it happen in your life?
Blessing: 2 Thes. 2:16-17