The Porch at Watermark, July 12, 2011
Jonathan Pokluda, Philippians 4:14-23
1) Generosity Meets The Needs of Others; it cares for others (v14-17)
- it was good for them to be generous
- one of the reasons Paul was so fond of them
- it's really hard to not like a generous person
- example: Launch; highest number of scholarship requests this year; the first question staff ask them is whether they have asked their community, because it is good for them to help others
- JP's family: JP hears all chaos break out in the living room, because Presley took Finley's blankie. JP tries to instill the idea of sharing, instead of an attitude that says, "it's mine!"
- that's kind of cute when you're two and a half, but some of us are 25 or 35 and still saying, "it's mine!"
- the scriptures say that we just wealth managers for God
- they also say that we will be judged on how we manage it (in perspective of rewards in heaven, not salvation)
- "generosity marks those who know and understand the gospel"
- Romans 12:6-8, we have different gifts that we are to use
- the call of the believer is to be generous
- Prov. 11:25
- generosity is sensitive to the needs around us
- in situations of need, whether the homeless or anyone, you are to assess it, act, and always give the gospel
- be wise; use wisdom in that; sometimes it is time, water, money, etc
- how do I not enable? Assess the need! Be generous...
2) Generosity Is An Investment (v17)
- Paul doesn't need the gift, but he is seeking the credit to their account
- what if your retirement in the future is based on your generosity now?
- what if the tips you gave are what would return to you?
- this isn't about tithing or giving to the church
- this is about you, me, us being generous as God's children and meeting the needs around us
- illustration: at the end of the Civil War, Confederate currency was valueless. If you were a soldier in the war, you would go exchange that Confederate money for Union money, but you wouldn't be able to use it in the South until the war was over. One day it would have a value to you.
- Matt. 6:19-20, store up your treasure in heaven; this is our insider trading verse
- God is saying in that passage what has value
- it's like being in 2002 and having $10,000 to invest, deciding between Lehman Brothers and Apple
- even if you have lost your job and have no money, you can pray, serve, share the gospel, contribute
- try being generous; there's life there
- Prov. 22:9, take what you need and invest the excess
- if we take more, we are saying we don't believe in eternity and God's promise to provide
- Ex. 16:19-20; Matt. 6; when we begin to store up more stuff for us, it gets funky
- we are to be a pipe not a bucket; stuff should flow through us, not stagnate
3) Generosity Comes From God (v18-20)
- we show others the generosity that God has shown us through the gospel
- Paul is saying that he has nothing to gain from this; the Philippians providing for him is God providing
- we don't give to get; this isn't the prosperity gospel
- be generous
- God will meet your needs if you've trusted in Christ--key word, "needs"
- James 1:17; Matt. 19:29
- mentor someone; give your time
- serve; share your possessions
- be generous with what the Lord has given you to steward
- illustration: sitting with the dying (literally) and seeing the perspective they gain; recent funeral and person after person going up and telling how generous he was; none of them connected but all recipients of his generosity
- live with open hands