Citizens: A Study on Philippians (Part 19)

October 25, 2020   /   Jesus Church

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Citizens: A Study on Philippians

(Part 19)

Good Morning – Welcome Online

If you have your Bibles… turn to Phil. 4

  • Last week we studied one of the most popular verses in the Bible
    • And also one taken out of context more than any other verse
    • Phil. 4:13 – I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me
  • And while its true that nothing is impossible with God
    • I can climb a mountain thru Christ who strengthens me
    • I can pass a test thru Christ who strengthens me
    • I can get thru that interview thru Christ who strengthens me
  • Paul talks about being CONTENT thru Christ who strengthens me
    • And Paul is very specific that he had to learn contentment
      • We arent born content… we want what is just out of reach
      • Whether better football team (Cardinals) or newer iPhone
      • We must learn 2 be content… and that only comes in Jesus
    • Also Paul says contentment can’t depend on our circumstances
      • Because contentment isn’t the destination
      • It’s the vehicle
      • And if the vehicle is mistaken for the destination…
        • Then you just keep driving – and you can never arrive
        • Your destination is Jesus
    • Last Paul tells us to be content in both lack and plenty
      • Many times we focus on needing contentment in our lack
      • But we all know the more u have… more you want
      • Must be content just as much in what we have/don’t have

Lets pick up in v. 14 – Paul just talking about generosity

Phil 4:14-20


Story – Joke (God will provide)

A young woman brings home her fiancé to meet her parents. After dinner, her mother tells her father to find out about the young man. The father invites the fiancé out onto their porch for a heart to heart talk.

“So what are your plans?” the father asks the young man.

“I am a social influencer.” he replies.

“A social influencer? Hmmm,” the father says. “Interesting, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in, as she’s accustomed to?”

“I will influence socially,” the young man replies, “and God will provide for us.” The Father paused, not loving the answer that was give. “And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?” asks the father.

“I will concentrate on my followers,” the young man replies, “And God will provide for us.”

Slightly more annoyed, the Father asked another question, “And children… How will you support children?” “Don’t worry, sir, God will provide,” replies the fiancé. The conversation proceeds like this, and each time the father questions him, the young idealist insists that God will provide.

Later, the mother asks, “How did it go, honey?”

The father answers, “The bad news is, he has no job and no prospects, but the good news is he thinks I’m God.”

Paul is telling the Philippians… God will provide

And uses himself as example of provision… and that might seem crazy

  • Because we know Paul’s situation… and its sorta depressing
    • If I was looking through Paul’s eyes…
    • I wouldn’t be talking about provision… be talking about Prozac
    • God… where are you?!?!
  • B/C the problem with provision… one of hardest things 2 believe in
    • Especially when your life is Paul’s life
      • In jail
      • Edge of death
      • Enduring persecution
  • Yet Paul keeps telling his friends: I have MORE than enough
    • And in the same way “MY GOD” will provide for you…
    • Just like he provided for me
    • I’d be like: Can he provide in a “Different” way for me

But Paul has unfair advantage on provision… calls it a secret (last week)

  • Remember what Paul says… I FOUND THE SECRET to standing firm
    • What’s a secret… something I see/know that u don’t see/know
    • Paul says the SECRET… regardless of my circumstance
    • I have a savior that frames my perspective
  • And in context of: This is how you “Stand Firm”
    • I know b/c of perspective… I’ve got my provision
    • Paul’s perspective is “I already have everything I need”
    • And if I have what I need… then I have provision
  • But Paul you don’t have food… water… warm clothes… freedom
    • How can you have everything that you need… u have nothing
    • But Paul is eternally content because he has JESUS
  • It really is all about how you see your situation
    • B/C I can have more provision in Jail because of Jesus
    • Than you can have in the world because of ur wallet

It’s sorta like wearing someone else’s glasses… (Illustration)

  • These aren’t my glasses (I don’t have covid… do you)
    • [Put them on] – Wow that’s a really strong prescription
    • We need to pray for some vision correction
  • U looked great before I tried these… now I can’t see anything right
    • B/C what I was looking thru
    • Changed the perspective of what was looking at
      • Why – Because they weren’t meant for me
  • When you give your life to Jesus – Your perspective changes
    • You are given a NEW LENS to look through
    • And what you look through is what Paul looks through
    • God has prescribed his SON as your new glasses

Michelle… doesn’t have great vision – Scary thing is it use to be worse

  • We decided that good investment to get LASIK for her
    • I remember after the surgery… coming home from Denver
    • She exclaimed “Those mountains have trees on them”
    • The doctor fixed her eyes so she could see details
  • I think some of us need to ask God to do surgery on spiritual eyes
    • So we can start seeing details and not just generalizations
    • That’s why Paul with HIS perspective says…

Phil 4:19

  • And what is interesting is when you look at Pauls Xian walk
    • It begins with an issue of sight.. remember?
    • Paul goes blind in order to meet Jesus
  • Then he receives his sight again & it says the scales fell off his eyes
    • And from then on… everything about his perspective changed
    • And Paul clearly saw Jesus as his provider

TAG: B/C we need a change our perspective in order to see our provider

So Paul’s conclusion is provision…

But how we get there come through verses 15-18

Phil 4:15-18

  • So Paul gets to “My God will supply” thru “Gifts pleasing 2 God”
    • Even though these gifts are given to Paul… its all about God
  • Now why is giving about God
    • Because God is a giver
    • And as his image barer – It is our job to give as well
  • But when u do give… the result is the provision Paul talks about

Phil 4:19 (Because what happens is…)

  • It reminds me of what God says in Malachi about giving/provision
    • If you release what is in your hands
    • I will release what is in my heart

God always uses what you give – And makes it more

Look at how Jesus deals with the little the disciples had to feed 5000

Jn 6:5-9

  • So all they can come up with is 5 loaves and 2 fish…
    • But Jesus doesn’t bypass the little they had… he multiplied it
    • He says: Bring me what u have – Even if it seems too small
    • And watch and see what I will do thru you
  • So the whole process of God providing starts with what u have
    • Regardless of if it seems like its enough to you
    • Your perspective apart from God is irrelevant to God

That’s why God calls us to give regardless of how much it is…

  • Because he wants to show you who he is… and can do thru you
    • I think a lot of time we think… well someday I’ll give to God
      • Someday I’ll start volunteering
      • Someday I’ll start witnessing
      • Someday I’ll start tithing – Just not there yet
  • Can you imagine if the Philippians thought like that
    • Paul would have been dead and we would be studying Leviticus
    • No… God wants you to bring what you have
    • And he will work through you to do things bigger than you

Now whenever talk about giving & provision together… I get nervous

  • B/C there IS false doctrine out there that hurts what Bibles says
    • And giving/provision is biblical (YOU CAN’T GET AROUND THAT)
    • 25% of everything Jesus taught on was about giving & provision
    • But our perspective on provision can be anything but Biblical
  • The prosperity gospel is a manipulation of provision 4 ur own gain
    • If you give $$ to the church – Never have $$ problems again
    • If you serve at the church – Never have problems at ur job
    • If you just do everything right – Never have anything go wrong
  • And the intention is: God I’ll do this for you
    • And in return put me in a world where things don’t go wrong
    • Basically: Put me in a world where I don’t need to be saved
    • God is never gonna make that deal… b/c u do need saving

Here is what I mean… Look at how David starts Ps. 23

Ps. 23:1

  • He is saying: God is the only one who knows what I really need
    • And when I pray “Give me this day my daily bread”
      • It’s not give me what I think I need…
      • It’s God give me what u know I need
  • And B/C God is the only 1 who has seen my tomorrows…
    • He’s the only one qualified to tell me what I need
      • If God knows I needa learn to use a sling against lion today
      • So I can use it again Goliath tomorrow
      • I need to trust him even though I don’t see the reason
  • Listen: God is your provider
    • Your job is not your provider
    • Your retirement is not your provider
    • Your government is not your provider

But can I say the same as David… or the same as Paul

  • My perspective is in my provider / so my contentment in my savior
    • B/C that means… if he doesn’t give it to me
    • I must not really need it…
    • But can I say that… and do I believe that
  • And this can get real personal real fast
    • B/C that sounds nice and good… until it lands in ur lap
    • B/C our brains want to tell us
      • I’m not smart enough to get that job
      • I’m not pretty enough to be accepted
      • I’m not funny enough to be liked
    • I remember working at a church… every pastor was 6’5”
      • And I’m a whopping 5’10”
      • My brain said – You’d have more authority if u were taller
      • How stupid is that?!?! But it was there… b/c what I saw
        • YOU know the voice
  • And there could be 100 people telling you everything you can do
    • The only thing you can hear is the one that doesn’t even exist
    • Telling you what you can’t do
    • Which one do you end up listening to more
  • I’m constantly fighting the “I wish I was like…” thoughts
    • But if God didn’t give it to me… I must not need it
    • B/C “The Lord is my Shepherd & (what) SHALL NOT WANT”

So OK… what happens when I trust in my provider

What happens when I open my hand to God… trust in Him

  • Paul gives an equation specifically about the Philippians
    • It comes in 2 Cor. 8 – Paul references Philippi as an example
    • And I want to start with what happens and then go back to why

2 Cor 8:5 (NIV)

  • Thats the “what” (gave selves to God)… but lets look at the “why”

2 Cor 8:2 (NIV)

    • When you give yourself to the Lord (What)
      • The Joy (Contentment) you find in Him (PLUS)
      • Whatever situation u find yourself it (POVERTY)
      • Will add up to you giving everything u have to God
    • And when u give everything 2 to God… He moves mountains

Which is why Paul says…

Phil 4:19

  • And I don’t know where you are at today… but God does
    • God is calling you to trust in Him – Which creates JOY
    • And take your extreme lack
    • And give it to him – It will turn into rich generosity
  • Your 5 loaves & 2 fish > food for 5000 men plus women & children
    • Your old age (Abraham) will birth a nation
    • Your speech impediment (Moses) will lead a nation
    • And ur (Fill in the blank & then ur name) will change the world
  • You have to stop looking thru the prescription not intended for you
    • And start trusting ur savior who died specifically for youo
    • And let it start today… give God yourself even in ur lack
    • And watch the miracles start to flow



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