May 17, 2020 | Lee Becknell
“Why financial support is so important to Missions.”
A very wealthy lady in New York decided to throw a banquet for her friends. While waiting for the meal, the Cook called her to the kitchen. "Some mushrooms were delivered that looked a lot like poisonous toadstools." The woman suggested they experiment on the dog. After feeding some of the mushrooms to the dog, they watched him for 30 minutes. He had no adverse reaction, so the mushrooms were served. During the meal a pale-faced butler approached the Lady-host and whispered, "Your dog is dead!” The woman decided the only ethical course was to inform her guests of their situation. Immediately they clutched their stomachs in pain. Some even rolled on the floor, screaming in pain. The hostess began to think it strange that she felt nothing, though she had eaten as much as anyone. She went to the butler and demanded to see the dog for herself. The Cook exclaimed, "I wouldn’t look at him if I were you. The truck that hit him left him in a terrible mess!"
MORAL: IF YOU KEEP BELIEVING THE LIES OF THE DEVIL, YOU WILL EVENTUALLY DEVELOP THE SYMPTOMS!
* The guests made a remarkable recovery! We need to believe the Word of God; we can’t afford not to give to missions.
Title: “Why financial support is so important to Missions.”
Theme: The Apostle Paul finishes the Letter to the Philippians by thanking them for renewing their efforts in helping him to bring the gospel to the nations. This portion of scripture also represents a call to the church today to renew our efforts in bring the gospel to the nations and to our neighborhoods.”
* This month at FBCR, we as a church are preparing to support missions for the next year. We are asking everyone, men, women, boy and girls what will you promise to give each month just for missions. This is above your tithe and is a special gift to the Lord.
* Today, I would like to share with you the following lessons from God’s Word.
1. Giving to Missions must continually be renewed.
Philippians 4:10-13, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
* While Paul was in Rome under house arrest (see Phil. 1:13), the Philippians sent Epaphroditus who supplied Paul with basic living subsistence, as the prison system did not provide food, clothing, or money. The word “renewed” is a horticultural term used of a flower or tree budding or blossoming.
* Beloved, FBCR needs to renew our giving to missions. Paul actually teaches in how to give weekly to missions.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2, “Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. 3 And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem.”
* Notice this was money to be sent back to Jerusalem for mission’s work. Not the tithe or money used to run the church.
* * Paul’s focus was not what they gave but the blessing they would get.
* I have heard people say before ‘I can’t afford to give. I have too many bills to pay, too many mouths to feed, too many needs.’ Well, I would ask you in response if you can really afford not to give, because God promises to supply every need of yours when you do give.
Philippians 4:19, ‘And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
* This is one of my favorite promises in the Bible. It is not a general promise, however, but one conditioned upon giving of your own resources to God and his kingdom work. The promise has three parts:
1."And my God." A personal God. 2."Will meet all your needs." Notice that the promise is to supply needs, though God may not supply them the way you want. 3. "According to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." The fulfillment of the need will be to the extent of and on the scale of God's "riches."
2. Giving to Missions should be a ministry of great joy.
Philippians 4:10, 18, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 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.
* We must also notice Paul’s great joy in their giving. Now some might say his joy makes perfect sense. Of course he is joyful; the Philippians are helping him out. However, in the next verse he makes it clear that he is not joyful because they met his need.
Philippians 4:11-13, “11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
* The word “secret” can be translated “initiated into the secret.”
1Timothy 6:6, “6 But godliness with contentment is great gain,”
* Beloved, I am still working on learning this lesson on contentment.
* The word “content” means to be self-sufficient. It was a word used by stoic philosophers who sought to avoid emotions and to learn indifference to things not under one’s control.
* Paul is essentially saying be “Christ-sufficient.” He could always be content because Christ would give him strength and meet all his needs.
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
* Christ –sufficient!
* The gifts they gave were an offering to God that would be rewarded. Therefore, Paul rejoices greatly in their giving because it brought glory to God, and it would lead to God’s blessing. Similarly, this should be our mindset as well in the ministry of giving. It is something that we should rejoice greatly in as well, not only because it helps people, but because it brings glory to God. It’s a sacrifice that honors God.
2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
* Beloved, our gift even brings joy to our heavenly Father.
Genesis 8:20-21, “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.”
3. Giving to Missions allow us to share in the ministry.
Philippians 4: 14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 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. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 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.”
* When we give to support a person in ministry we not only support them but we enter into partnership with them and their ministry. Verse 15.
* In other words, when Paul led somebody to Christ, they led someone to Christ. They were part of it. When Paul planted a church, they planted a church. They were a part of it. Paul’s ministry was their ministry, because they had given to support that ministry.
Matthew 10:41-42, “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41 The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward. 42 And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”
* Beloved, we share in the ministry of Jesus Christ.
* A little girl, who loved the Lord, longed to share the message of salvation with those who had never heard it. So she contributed a penny to a missionary to help with the work of bringing the Gospel to the people of Burma. That small coin was all she had, but it was given from her heart. The missionary in Burma was deeply touched by the child’s earnestness and decided he would do the most he could with the money. After careful thought, he purchased a Gospel tract and personally gave it to a young chieftain. Apparently the missionary did not know that the tribal leader was illiterate. Even so, God gave the ruler a burning desire to know the meaning of the leaflet, so he traveled 250 miles to find someone who could translate it for him. After he heard the Gospel message, it wasn’t long until the young chief came to faith in Christ. He returned to his people and told them what the Lord had done in his life. Later, he invited missionaries to come and preach to his entire village, and many tribesmen who heard the good news trusted Christ as their Savior.
* And it was all because of one dedicated penny and a little girl who gave * all she had.
*Jesus himself taught this principle of giving and receiving.
Luke 6:38, “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Proverbs 19:7, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
Back in 2014, Brandon Cook was visiting his dying grandmother in a New Hampshire hospital. There was a Panera Bread café nearby. After that visit, he posted the following comment on Panera’s Facebook page: “My grandmother is dying of cancer. I visited her the other day and she was telling me about how she really wanted soup, but not hospital soup because she said it tasted awful; she went on about how she would really like some clam chowder from Panera. Unfortunately, Panera only sells clam chowder on Friday. I called the manager, Sue, and told them the situation. I wasn't looking for anything special just a bowl of clam chowder. Without hesitation she said absolutely she would make her some clam chowder. When I went to pick it up they wound up giving me a box of cookies as well. It's not that big of a deal to most, but to my grandma it meant a lot. I really want to thank Sue and the rest of the staff from Panera in Nashua, New Hampshire, just for making my grandmother happy. Thank you so much! Within days that short post received more than 800,000 likes. More importantly, more than 35,000 people commented on that post, commending the restaurant for their generosity. As a result, that one Panera store had a sales increase of over 28 per cent the next quarter. The quarter after sales were still up over 34 per cent. There is no way of proving that this was all a direct result of the Facebook post, but the rapidly spreading goodwill generated by one person in response to one act of kindness, amplified nearly a million times over, certainly had a significant effect.
Notice that Paul’s words here (verse 19) are not just “I hope you are blessed. He says it as a promise. My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus, not out of His riches, but according to those riches!