Waking the Sleeping Giant #9

Waking the Sleeping Giant

A Call to Invest in the Kingdom

Philippians 4:15-20

Message #9

Intro:

– Last week we looked at a Call to Trust in our passage we saw 3 Motivators to do so: (1) the providence of God; (2) the unfailing power of God; (3) the unchanging promise of God.

– “Hattie Wiatt, a little girl, came to a small Sunday school and asked to be taken in, but it was explained there was no room for her. In less than two years she fell ill, and slipped away on her own little last pilgrimage and no one guessed her strange, little secret until beneath her pillow was found a torn pocketbook with fifty-seven pennies in it, wrapped in a scrap of paper on which was written, “To help build the little Temple bigger, so that more children can go to Sunday school.” For two years she had saved her pennies for the cause which was nearest her heart. The pastor told the incident to his congregation, and the people began making donations for the enlargement. The papers told it far and wide, and within five years those fifty-seven pennies had grown to be $250,000, and today in Philadelphia, can be seen a great church, the Baptist Temple, seating 3,300, a Temple College with accommodations for more than 1,400 students, a Temple Hospital, and a Temple Sunday school so large that all who wish may come and be comfortable.” Story

– Paul writes to the Philippians encouraging them about their investment in the Kingdom by supporting him, and tells them that God will supply their needs.

– In this passage we are going to explore 6 realities of investing in the Kingdom.

1) A lack of investors in the Kingdom (15)

– The Philippians were the only ones that gave support to Paul when he left Macedonia – Acts 16

* Berea, Thessalonica, Neapolis, Apollonia were places that were reached in Macedonia, but didn’t give to Paul

Giving and Receiving – real fellowship is a two-way process

* “Sharing” – is a word that was used in ancient business documents; they shared in the matter of giving (financially) and receiving (spiritually)

2) A lack of repeat investors in the Kingdom (16)

– Before Paul even left Macedonia, the Philippians sent gifts to Paul at Thessalonica, when Paul was in Thessalonica on his 2nd missionary journey they sent aid to him twice – Acts 17:1

* Repeat givers are rare, especially so soon > Acts 17:1- 9;

2 Cor 8:1-5 >

“Now, brothers, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for

the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.”

* “We are not to wait for others in a good work, saying, “I will do so, when others do it.” We must go forward, though alone.” – Jamiesson, Fausset, and Brown

3) The investment in the Kingdom is for the investor’s profit! (17)

– Paul looked at their gift as an investment that would pay them rich spiritual dividends – Wiersbe

* True spiritual investment brings great profit for the giver – which is not always seen this side of heaven

– Paul seeks their spiritual good, which is seen in their producing of spiritual fruit

* Fruit – because many business transactions dealt with crops, this was a natural way to describe this event, Paul trusts that since he cannot pay the Philippians back, that God will reward the Philippians with spiritual interest for their sacrifice on his behalf

– The Philippians show evidence of their spiritual progress by their act of service and love by sending this gift to Paul, and he applauds them for doing well

4) When done properly the investment in the Kingdom is like a sacrifice that pleases God (18)

– In the O.T. when a sacrifice/burnt offering was given with a right heart and in the proper method, it says that the smell pleased God, this is the picture that Paul paints here of the financial gift of the Philippians

* Lev 7:12-15; Rom 12:1; Eph 5:2; Heb 13:15-16

– “The term “fragrant offering” was used in Leviticus (in the Septuagint) for an offering that pleased God. It also was used in Ephesians 5:2 of Christ’s offering of Himself.”

Robert Lightner – BKC

– “Everything received is a gift of God’s grace. All we do for the Lord or for others is out of love and gratitude. What is done for others is accepted as done for the Lord (Mt. 25:40) and can be described as a sacrifice, pleasing to God, fragrant as incense (Ex. 29:18; Ezk. 20:41; Jn. 12:3; 2 Cor. 2:16).” – DA Carson

5) We are not to hesitate to invest in the Kingdom because we don’t think we have enough – God will supply our needs! (19)

– We are not to opt out because we don’t think we can make it financially

* God is bigger than the financial bottom line!

– The gift of the Philippians to Paul was really a gift to God; Paul indicates to the Philippians that God will supply what He knows to be their needs – not their wants

* Hudson Taylor often said, “When God’s work is done in God’s way for God’s glory, it will not lack for God’s supply.”

– “Contentment comes from adequate resources. Our resources are the providence of God, the power of God, and the promises of God. These resources made Paul sufficient for every demand of life, and they can make us sufficient too.”

Wiersbe

– “The measure of God’s giving is infinitely greater than that of any human giving. God’s promise is to supply all that he sees we need” – DA Carson

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 –>

“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;”

James 2:16 >

“and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?”

6) Our investment in the Kingdom is for the glory of God (20)

– Everything we do is to be for God’s glory

* What a privilege to work for God

– “John Wanamaker once made a trip to China to determine how well the money he had given to missions was being used. He came upon an old man plowing with a crude instrument. It was drawn by an ox and a young man. Asking for an explanation, he was told that his chapel needed a spire to be visible for miles around. The members had prayed, but the money was not enough. Then the son had said, “Let us sell one of our oxen and I will take the yoke of the ox we sell.” Wanamaker prayed, “Lord, let me be hitched to a plow, so that I may know the joy of sacrificial giving.” story

Application:

– I have been impacted recently by how often we as Christians in the U.S.A. do not often show our concern or sharing in the affliction of our brothers and sisters in Christ that are suffering in foreign countries

* I was brought to tears with this one question that is often brought up by believers in other countries that are facing persecution – the Iraqi’s, the Chinese, the Sudanese, etc.. – they ask if the Christians in the U.S.A. care about them

* Does anyone remember how in the past I have talked about having belly-button syndrome, I think that I have forgotten that there are believers all over this world that are my brothers and sisters in Christ, and they are giving their lives for the Savior, I don’t often show that it matters to me, this must change

– This brings me to this point, in placing our trust in God for everything, I believe that God has placed the burden within me

* to begin this year with a short-term missions trip to the Bronx to help other believers

* next year it is my goal to have a short-term missions trip here in the U.S. to help other believers, and also a short-term foreign missions trip to help other believers

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