March 13, 2016 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Luke 6:46)
A. Money. What a scary word!
B. Because everything and everyone today is out to take as much of our money as possible
1. From water bills, to taxes, to fees, to charities
2. Everybody wants their pound of flesh
C. The fact is, things cost money
1. Ignore the politician who says you are entitled to so much
a. He is just trying to BUY your vote by promising you someone else’s money
2. We have to pay our bills
3. We have to be responsible with our money
4. We are supposed to work, and earn money, and save money
5. And, we are supposed to support our church
D. Giving our money, our tithe, and our Faith Promise is part of our worship
E. God doesn’t need our money (Psalm 24:1)
F. But we need to learn how to manage our resources as Christians so that we can be more than just greedy, selfish TAKERS, but actually GIVERS.
II. Background (Philippians 4)
A. Paul was always doing the unusual things – the hard thing… going from town to town, preaching and teaching the Gospel, starting churches everywhere across Europe!
B. Doing it without any regular income
C. Constantly experienced hard times
D. Worked a job on the side making tents
1. Act 18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
2. Act 18:3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
E. All so that he could do it free of charge and show Christians how to give, and NOT just take!
1. Act 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
2. Act 20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
3. Act 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
A. Paul Lived as an Example of the Christian Life (4:9)
1. What a way to live!
2. Paul was not mainly a PREACHER of the Gospel, but a LIVER of the Gospel – someone who LIVED the Gospel
a. Lived the way Jesus lived
b. Loved people the way Jesus lived
3. Paul was a Christian in his actions as much in his beliefs!
4. So much so that he could encourage others to watch him, and copy his way of life!
5. KNOWING that it is THE best way to live! If you want the least stress, and the greatest joys!
6. This is how Paul starts to address the area of money, and giving!
7. To start to look at the examples God has given them, both in the Scriptures AN in their own church
B. The Philippians Christians were… Inconsistent (4:10)
1. These Christians had been won to Christ by Paul
a. Started with Lydia getting saved by the side of a river in Acts 16
b. Then with a Jailor and a whole load of criminals getting saved
c. Then countless others throughout that small city near the Mediterranean coast of Greece
2. Taught the Bible by Paul
3. Helped to turn Philippi upside down by Paul
4. But they sometimes forgot about Paul
C. Paul Didn’t Blame Them (4:10)
1. He COULD have blamed them
a. Hey, When you are hungry, and cold, and alone, and those who are family forget about you, you could get very upset and bitter against them
2. Instead, Paul gave them the benefit of the doubt – believed the best about them
a. That they still cared
b. And that they just didn’t have a way to minister to him
3. So, Paul let God teach HIM some things through his times of need
4. And what did God teach Paul about money?
D. God Taught Paul to be Content (4:11,12)
1. Do you know where money starts and ends in the Christian’s life? Contentment
a. Really content
b. The proper definition is, “contained within limits; quiet; undisturbed; having a mind at peace; satisfied. To satisfy the mind; to make quiet, so as to stop complaining; To be pleased with what you have right now.
c. Paul learned how to be Happy with whatever he had
2. Listen to what the Bible says about contentment
a. Luk 3:14 And the [Roman] soldiers likewise demanded of [John the Baptist], saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. WOW!
b. 1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
c. 1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. DID YOU GET THAT?
d. Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
3. Paul LEARNED how to live in every condition possible:
a. Abased – at the bottom
b. Abounding – with more than you could ask
c. Full – we all know how to live that way
d. And Hungry – most of us have never been truly hungry like 25% of the world’s population is every day of their lives!
e. And willing to Suffer Need
1) 2Co 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
2) 2Co 6:5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
3) 2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
f. How did Paul LEARN that contentment?
E. God Showed Paul How by the Life of Jesus (4:13)
1. Paul Remembered how Jesus lived – and he decided to live the very same way
2. “Through Christ” – through His example, and His power
a. Jesus was Paul’s example
b. And Jesus was Paul’s power
1) 2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2) 1John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
3. What a great Scripture! To believe, AND to live by!
4. Could do ALL things necessary, with, and without money
5. As long as Paul had the Saviour, as long as Paul had the presence of Jesus, he could do anything hard!
6. So can YOU Christian!
F. Paul Was Just Glad for the Care of the Philippian Christians (4:14-18)
1. It brought such joy to his heart
a. When a man named Epaphroditus showed up at Paul’s door with gifts and money…
2. NOT because of the gift Epaphroditus brought
a. CHILDREN enjoy gifts
b. But mature Christians enjoy watching people learn to GIVE!
3. But because of the kind of Christians the Philippians were becoming
b. Lovers in DEED as much as in word
c. The Philippians Christians had started right
d. And now they were continuing
4. God kept records – an Account
a. The Philippians were earning eternal rewards in heaven – laying up treasures THERE instead of here (Matt 6:20,21)
b. More about that later!
G. Their Giving was a Wonderful Sacrifice (4:18)
1. And it WAS a sacrifice for them
a. They didn’t have money
b. These were not the wealthy
c. These were the workers on the farms
d. In deep poverty
e. They had their own problems and bills, and taxes and fees
f. So every hard-earned penny they gave, was offered in worship to God
g. Was GIVEN as if given to God
h. So, it was a sacrifice, just as real as sacrificing a fatted cow
2. Paul praised God for their giving
3. Paul personally was so blessed by their giving – knowing they GAVE
4. It was like the sweetest smell you can imagine when you walk into a room full of incense, or like the smell of a great cup of coffee!
5. And it blessed God to watch them give
H. That’s Why Paul Promises That God Takes Good Care of the Giver (4:19)
1. It is a promise not for every believer
2. But only for those who learn contentment with what they have, so that they can:
a. Start to give away their money
b. Start to meet the needs of people around them like Jesus did
c. Take care of their church expenses
3. God will owe no man (Mal 3:10,11)
4. If you tithe, if you give, God will make it up to you
a. Probably NOT in money
b. But in the things that matter most
5. God especially will take good care of you
a. Meet your needs
b. Not your wants, but definitely your needs
IV. Application to Us
A. WE are supposed to be Examples of the Christian Life
1. Not just preaching the Gospel, but living it
2. Does anybody around you NOTICE the way you live and see that it is THE best way to live? And brings the greatest joys?
3. I don’t know if you have noticed, but Philippians chapter 4 is How THIS Church Operates
a. We do the unusual things – the hard things… preaching and teaching the Gospel, conducting Men’s Camps, Youth Camps and Bible Clubs, starting churches, and helping churches, everywhere, all across Europe and the world!
b. We do it without any regular income – we don’t sell anything. We just take whatever comes in that green box
c. We constantly experience hard times. We are not a business. We constantly run out of money. It’s the nature of Christianity to do without, and to suffer!
d. And we preach free of charge – no cover charge, no entrance fee
e. And it is awesome – the best way to have church!
B. Let’s NOT Be Like the Philippians Christians … Inconsistent
1. Starting out excited and passionate about church services
2. Excited about tithing, and giving to Missions
3. And then cooling off, and forgetting about the necessities
4. Look at our Expenses…
5. Remember our Missionaries…
C. I Won’t Blame You
1. I COULD, but as your pastor, I give you the benefit of the doubt – believe the best about you
a. That you do care about this church
b. And that you just lack opportunity, or just forget
2. Well, it teaches me, and all of us who DO faithfully give, to be content with what we have and what we can do
3. YES, I want to DO so much more
4. But God knows, and I can wait
D. Because God is teaching us as a Church to always be Content
1. Really content
a. When we are Abased – at the bottom
b. When we Abound – with more than you could ask
c. When we are Full – we all know how to live that way
d. And Hungry – most of us have never been truly hungry like 25% of the world’s population is every day of their lives!
e. And even when we Suffer Need
E. Because We are Following the Life of Jesus
1. What a great Scripture! To believe, AND to live by!
2. I can do all things… WE as a Church can do ALL things through Christ, which strengtheneth us!
3. As long as we have the Saviour, and as long as we have the presence of Jesus, we can continue to do all the hard things!
F. I am Just Glad for the Care of the Christians in THIS Church
1. It brings such joy to my heart watching people learn to GIVE!
2. Earning eternal rewards in heaven – laying up treasures THERE instead of here (Matt 6:20,21)
3. God notices every act of Love you do for others – and keeps Account
4. Account? Yeah!
5. Forget your bank accounts HERE! Make sure you accounts in heaven have a value to them
a. By meeting the needs of one another
b. By giving away your money
c. By learning contentment, so that you can give to what is truly needful!
G. Make Your Giving a Wonderful Sacrifice to God
1. How much should you give?
2. It starts with a tithe – one tenth of your income (Lev 27:32)
a. If you made €220 this week, your tithe is €22
b. If you earned €500, your tithe is 50
c. It is THAT simple. No deductions. No loopholes. Just straight up
3. But it doesn’t end there.
4. Strive to Give above and beyond duty, more than the tithe, out of a loving, grateful heart for all that God has done for you – doesn’t matter how much, or how little you give, as long as it is because you love and are worshipping the Lord!
H. And you know what? God Takes Good Care of the Givers
1. God will owe no man
2. If you give, if you tithe, if you take care of people, and missionaries, and churches, and the poor, God will make it up to you
3. Probably NOT in money
4. But in the things that matter most
5. Meet your needs. Not your wants, but definitely and always, your needs
I. Come tonight at 7pm and see all the numbers and needs of this church as we hold our Annual General Meeting!