Let's take our Bibles this morning, turn to Philippians chapter 4. And I am so excited about this week, and I want to begin with this message from Philippians chapter 4. If you would, stand, please. And if you're a guest with us, welcome to Lancaster Baptist. You'll find the outline inside your bulletin. And I want to bring a message for the opening of this Missions Conference on the subject "The Church that Cares."
If you have noticed on the news there's a lot of divisiveness and even hate in our society today. Just yesterday we saw the anti-Semitism in Pittsburgh, and many people were killed. And we live in a nation and in a world that does not know enough of the love of God, and I want our church to be a church that cares at such a time as this to get the gospel out to people with hurting and heavy hearts all around the world. And we're going to study this morning a church in the New Testament, the church at Philippi that really did a great job of caring. And so, let's look, if you would please, at Philippians 4 and verse 10, a familiar passage, and we'll read down through verse 19.
"But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."
Verse 13: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Shall we pray together?
Our Father, this morning we come before you to thank you for your love and your goodness to us. And we would ask you, Lord, that you would allow us to continue to be the caring church that you've called us to be. Thank you for some in this room who have just been saved in recent weeks. May they get right onboard with missions is my prayer, May they have a heart to help others, know Jesus, even as they have been saved. So, Lord, teach us and guide us.
We pray for those in Pittsburgh who have hurting hearts. We pray that you would comfort and that the gospel would be made known to that city as well. And we ask this all in Jesus' name. Amen. You may be seated.
I often try to consider the reasons that God has blessed the Lancaster Baptist Church. If you've been around Lancaster any length of time there's no question that God is at work at Lancaster Baptist Church; and yet sometimes I think about, "What are the ingredients that the Lord has blessed?" And I truly believe one of those ingredients is the fact that this has been a church that has cared for the needs of others, particularly through our missions emphasis.
I remember when I came here as pastor. For the first sixteen months there was no salary offered, because the church was just kind of a missions project, we were just getting started. And I found out that the church had made a commitment to two missionaries to support these missionaries: one was in Chile, one was in Mexico. And as I learned about this, I felt it would be important that we keep our commitment; and that even though there was no pastor's salary, that we would support missionaries, that we would seek first the kingdom of God. And I believe God honored the fact that we began supporting missionaries in a very, very early time in our church. Those missionaries have now grown, and we have the privilege of supporting more than 200 missionaries around the world from Lancaster Baptist Church.
As the apostle Paul was writing this particular epistle to the Philippians, they had heard about his missionary work. They had been the recipients of his missionary work. They were the first church he started in Philippi there. And then he went to Thessalonica and to many other cities.
But unfortunately, he had been placed in prison in Rome, and so they had sent from their church at Philippi a man named Epaphroditus to bring a special offering to the apostle Paul in Rome. Either Epaphroditus would have come by sea across the Aegean Sea, or he would have come 1,700 miles around the north of Italy and down to Rome where the apostle had been imprisoned for the faith. And as we consider the relationship between this church and this missionary, I want you to notice a key word in verse 10 where the Bible says, "I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again." I want you to see that phase, "hath flourished again."
Here was a church that not only had begun well, not only had they flourished initially, but they were flourishing again. The term here is an agricultural term. The term here speaks about the sprouting of a flower or a blossom. How many of you are like me, you appreciate the spring blossoms? You appreciate that. You walk out into your yard or out into a park and you go, "You know what; look at this. This is a testimony to the power of God flourishing again."
You know, some churches have a season of flourishing, and some Christians have a season of flourishing, but then they fall away and never flourish again, they never bear fruit again. But the Philippian church flourished again and again and again. And the reason we have this conference, we don't want to be a church that cared back in the day, but we want to flourish again for the cause of worldwide missions. And so, this church flourished again and again.
My grandfather used to say to me, "Paul, you'll be able to tell a man's character by reading the ledger in his checkbook." And if you've been around here any length of time and you've been faithful to the Lord, maybe every ten or twelve items in your checkbook there's going to be a check for Lancaster Baptist Church; and that check includes our tithe and our missions giving, and it's a testimony to the fact that we don't flourish just for a season, but we flourish again and again as a caring church. And so, this morning, I'd like to take a few moments and define biblically, "What is a caring church? What does a church that really cares do? And how can we be known as a caring church?"
I want you to notice, first of all, very simply stated, that a caring church is a giving church, a caring church is a giving church. The Bible says in verse 15, "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only."
Now many times over the years you've heard me say the famous quote from Amy Carmichael: "You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving." Okay? Let's say that together: "You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving." So one of the reasons we know that this church cared was by their giving, because it was an expression of their love.
I heard about a businessman that took a trip, and he wanted to get his wife a gift on the way home. And so he went into a gift store at the airport and he walked inside, and he saw some perfume and he thought he might get the perfume. He said, "How much does the perfume cost?" and the lady at the counter said, "Thirty dollars." And the man said, "Thirty dollars? That's incredibly expensive for a little bottle." He said, "Can you show me something cheap?" She said, "Sure, look in the mirror."
Sometimes folks get that way not only with loved ones, but even with the Lord. You see, when you love someone, you want to give to them. When you love the Lord, you want to give to him as well. And the church at Philippi loved the Lord, they were a giving church.
Now what was the purpose of their giving? Was the purpose of their giving just so that they could say they did something benevolent-wise toward other missionaries? Was it something that was just kind of a remote control thing in their life? Why did they give?
Well, I want you to notice in that verse once again. It says, "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the," what's the next word say, "gospel," the beginning of the gospel. The reason they gave was for the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many people like to talk about the gospel, but not everybody wants to give so the gospel can go forward. These folks were giving for the furthering of the gospel. They had given at the beginning of his missionary journey in Macedonia, now they were giving even once again.
In your notes you'll find Philippians 1:12. It says, "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel." So Paul was there in Rome furthering the gospel of Jesus Christ. And when they supported him, and when they sent gifts to him, they were helping to further the gospel of Jesus Christ. And so, the purpose of giving is the furthering of the gospel. These 25 missionary families that are with us this week, they have one goal in life, and that is to take the gospel to another country, to further the gospel to another country. And that's the purpose of our giving.
Notice, secondly, the priority of our giving. This church made giving a priority; and I want you to see this in verse 15. The Bible says, "Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only."
Now notice, no other church jumped right onboard, but the Philippian church said, "We're going to make this a priority. We're going to get behind the apostle Paul as he begins this second missionary journey." And the Philippians had an immediate heart to help. Others waited. Others waited maybe for a convenient time in their budget. But here, this church immediately got involved; and as soon as Paul left Philippi to go to Macedonia, they were communicating with him, and they were identifying with him.
Now I want you to notice a word as we study this morning and preach this morning. Notice the word in verse 15, it says, "No church communicated with me." Would you say that phrase with me? "No church communicated with me." I want to speak to you about the word "communicating," because this week is not merely about giving money to missionaries, this word "communicate" means "to fellowship with them," "to identify with them," and, yes, "to support them."
So Brother John, if you'll come up here for just a moment. Brother Johnson's been a missionary in Brazil for 16 years, and I know that he's done a wonderful work there. And I want him to come over here. And, Brother Johnson, I know that you need money to live in Brazil. What is the need typically for a missionary family in Brazil per month?
Brother Johnson: About $6,000.00.
About $6,000.00 would be the need for living expense and missionary work for a missionary. By the way, how many of you believe what I believe that the laborer is worthy of his pay? And so, we understand that there's a need for support. You've got to get a house, you've got to get a car, you've got to educate your kids just like all of us do.
But Brother Johnson is not here simply saying, "Support me financially." He's asking that our church would communicate with him. And the word "communicate" is the Greek word koinóneó, and it means "to fellowship." It means that while he's here he'd like you to shake his hand. It means he'd like you to get his prayer card and pray for him. It means that he would really appreciate it if a year from now when he's not here you would remember him. It means that we should be his partner in the ministry. And so, missions is not simply sending the money, but it's also identifying with and saying to these missionaries, "We stand with you." That's why we make these annual commitments, and we recommit, and we say, "We're still standing with you."
Sometimes missionaries come back and churches that had once supported them aren't what they used to be, and they drop their support. But we don't want to be a church that used to flourish, we want to flourish again and again. Thank you, Brother Johnson, that we can identify and communicate with you.
Randy Alcorn once said, "I hear people say, 'I want more of a heart for mission.' I always respond, 'Jesus tells you exactly how to get it. You put your money in missions and your heart will follow.'" What does the Bible say? "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Years ago there was a company called the Butterball Turkey Company, and the Butterball Turkey Company had a telephone hotline in case you needed help getting ready for Thanksgiving and so forth. And one lady called the line and she said to the operator, she said, "I found a turkey in my freezer." And she said, "I looked on the date of it and," she said, "the turkey is 23 years old." Is there anybody here that wants to testify that may you have something in your freezer 23 years old? It is possible.
And she said to the lady on the other line, she said, "I don't really know. I just wanted to see what you would say about cooking a turkey that's 23 years old." And the lady on the other line, she said, "You know, it's probably not a good idea. It's probably deteriorated, probably has some freezer burn. I don't think I'd recommend that you eat a 23-year-old frozen turkey," to which the caller replied, "That's what I thought you would say. We'll give the turkey to the church."
And sadly, oftentimes that's the spirit that people have when it comes to their giving. Kind of like tipping someone if we have a little money left over. But the Bible says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." Tithing is the first part. Missionaries deserve our thoughts, our fellowship, that we would stand with them.
But I want to ask you this question this morning: "How is your giving communicating? How are you communicating with your giving? How are you communicating to the Lord or to the missionaries?" We want to stand with these missionaries.
Hebrews 13:16, "But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." Galatians 6:6, "Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things." So we see they had a purpose in giving; that was the gospel. They had a priority in giving; that was to identify with the missionary. And notice, thirdly, they had a persistence in giving. Notice verse 16, the Bible says, "For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity."
Now I know some of you are filling in the notes there. Go ahead and do that: "The Persistence of Giving." But look at this verse with me, if you would, verse 16, and let's read it together, all right. Fellows, let me hear you say it with real manly voices; ladies, with a real feminine voice, all right? Let's read verse 16. Ready, begin: "For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity." Now there it is, "once and again, once and again."
You see, with giving, we don't ever want to say, "Been there, done that, got the t-shirt." Giving is not something we do once, it's something we do once and again. This church cared and cared and cared. How many of you ladies want a husband that didn't just tell you he loved you when he married you, but that once and again his care is flourishing for you? And how many of you husbands would say the same?
And this was a church that cared and cared and cared, and they gave when Paul was at Thessalonica, and they gave for the offering at Jerusalem, 2 Corinthians 8:2, even though that they were in a great trial of affliction, and even though they were in difficulty. The abundance of their joy and deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. You see, the Philippians were not a rich church, but they kept giving to the Jerusalem church and to the apostle Paul. And you see, you know they cared because they gave.
Now let me tell you, Macedonia where the Philippians church was, it was a poor region in the Roman Empire. But by the grace of God, something happened in their hearts. They were so glad they were saved they said, "We want to help the apostle Paul."
Let me tell you something about Lancaster. I don't know if you know this or not: Lancaster is not Beverly Hills. Lancaster is not Malibu. Lancaster is way better than both of those places.
Now I want you to understand something. In the Bible, what mattered at Macedonia was not that they had so much outwardly, it was they had so much inwardly. They had such a love for the Lord that they wanted to be a part of the work of almighty God. Even though they were in Macedonia, they were a giving church.
Secondly, a church that cares is a giving church, a church that cares is a worshiping church. This church did all of these things to the Lord and for the Lord. Now look at verse 18, it says this: "But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God."
Now I want you to note, first of all, they were worshiping God with a sweet sacrifice. Paul said, "When Epaphroditus brought me your offering, and when he gave me this offering," he said, "it was an act of worship, it was an odour of a sweet smell."
Now in the Old Testament when the priests would go to the brazen altar and they would offer a sacrifice unto God. Sometimes it was referred to as a sweet-smelling sacrifice. In fact, other times it's referred to as a freewill offering. The Bible says in Number 15:2, "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them,' When ye be come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you, and will make an offering by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performance a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savour unto the Lord, of the herd or of the flock."
So in the Old Testament when they came and brought the animal for sacrifice, it was called a sweet-smelling offering. It was an offering that was pleasing unto the Lord. And it also was a freewill offering. They gave of their heart to the Lord. In the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 9:7, it says, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
Now there are three kinds of givers that I have noticed. First of all, there are those that are grudge givers, there are those that are duty givers, and there are those that are thankful givers. The grudge giver says, "I have to do this." The duty giver says, "I ought to do this." The thankful giver says, "I get to do this." And when God touches your heart and you're growing in the grace of God, you'll be able to say, "You know what; I want to do this. This is something of my freewill. I want to make a commitment to get missionaries around the world, and I'm glad that I can be a part of that." It will become a sweet sacrifice.
When we prayed with the missionaries yesterday, we prayed, "Lord, help our church family not to do something out of grudge or duty, but help our church family to feel the moving of grace in their hearts. Help us with a sweet-smelling savor to offer offerings unto the Lord and to the missionaries." And so, it was a sweet sacrifice.
But notice verse 18 again. It says that it was acceptable. It was an acceptable sacrifice. Now we no longer offer animals to the Lord. But as we come together unto the Lord in worship, the Bible says in 1 Peter 2:5, "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices." Sometimes people say, "Are you a worshiping church?" Yes.
Let me tell you some of the ways we can worship God. First of all, we can worship God with our praise, when we come to the Lord, singing to the Lord, and making melody to the Lord. The Bible says, Hebrews 13:15, "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." God says, "When you come together and you praise me, that's a sweet-smelling savor." That is a worship from a holy priesthood, from people that are believers, who come directly to God, praising God.
We praise God. We also can pray to God as believer priests. You don't have to come to me in a little booth and tell me your sins, and then I tell them to God in heaven; you can come directly to God through Jesus Christ – isn't that a blessing? – as a believer priest, and we can pray together and bring our sacrifice of prayer to the Lord.
And then, thirdly, we bring our offerings to the Lord. These are well-pleasing and acceptable to the Lord. And the only way our offerings are acceptable is because they come through the Lord Jesus Christ. And so, we worship the Lord in praise and prayer and bringing our offerings to the Lord. And I want to always remind you that when we give, we're giving to the Lord. We're not giving to the church, we're giving to the Lord through the church, and we're praising and worshiping God with our giving.
Now in the Bible there are three ways that I see, dominate ways that people gave, three different kinds of giving that people did in their worship. First of all, we've all heard of the tithe. And I want you to notice that the regular tithe or offering that we make. And some of you maybe have not been tithing, and so I would encourage you that this is the beginning point, the top part of our commitment card this week.
Notice what the Bible says in Malachi 3:10, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
Now how many of you have heard of the Pepsi challenge? Remember the Pepsi challenge? All right. This is the God challenge. God says, "I want you to remember the tithe, and I want you to prove me and see if I might open the windows of heaven and meet your need."
In fact, the Bible says in the book of Proverbs chapter 3, the tithe is the Lord's. So if God gives you $500.00 this week, then $50.00 of that would be the tenth part. And the tithe is the Lord's. And it's something that many of you have been involved with for years, and others are just becoming involved with recognizing, "Wow, I didn't get that job for myself, God gave that to me. I didn't get that from my good looks, God blessed me with this, and I want to honor him in return."
Two years ago in San Francisco, every household in their annual charitable giving averaged $1,300.00 per week. And in South Dakota, every family also averaged $1,300.00 a week. Interestingly, however, San Franciscans earn 78 percent more than South Dakotans earn. They make 78 percent more, yet they gave the exact amount, which means that they actually gave 75 percent less than those who live in South Dakota.
And someone went to a group in South Dakota called the South Dakota Community Foundation, and they asked the president, they said, "Why is it that South Dakotans are so generous? They give much compared to their very small salaries." And the president of the foundation said, "Because here in South Dakota we've been taught to tithe. Fifty percent of our state goes to church on Sunday, and when we go to church on Sunday, we give the tenth part to the Lord."
You come to a pagan city, a city that has very few that attend church, like San Francisco, and you'll find that their giving is very, very small, because their faith is very, very small. But to those of us who've been washed in the blood of the Lamb, it would only make sense then that we would say, "Lord, I honor you with my tithes and with my offerings."
The tithe is the Lord's, and the bible says, "Bring the tithes in." And the Bible says it in 1 Corinthians 16:2, "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, such as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." You see, God not only prospers you to raise your standard of living, but also to raise your standard of giving. God says, "I'm going to bless you, but I want you to honor me as I bless you." And it's a beautiful thing to see God at work. And so, our regular tithe and offering.
The second kind of giving we see in the Bible is the missions giving. Second Corinthians 8:4, concerning these Macedonian churches, "Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints." Paul said that the churches at Macedonia said, "Please take the gift. We want to communicate. We want to fellowship with those churches in Jerusalem and in Rome, and we want to be a part of the missionary work."
And so, this is our week when we make an offering and we make a commitment to missions. And then the third kind of offering you see throughout the Old Testament is the building of the tabernacle and the building of the temple: buildings. And the Bible tells us in 1 Chronicles 29:6 that, "The chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes," the Bible says, "the rulers of the king's, they offered willingly," so that the temple would be raised up.
And so, what do we learn from this? We learn that a caring church is a giving church. You cannot love without giving. And we learn that a caring church is a worshiping church. In our prayers, in our praise, and in our offerings, we're saying, "Lord, this is holy unto you, and we worship you in this way."
And then I want you to see this and what a blessing this is: A caring church is a blessed church. A caring church is a blessed church. Let me ask you a simple question: "How many of you want the blessing of God on your life?" Right? I think everybody in here does. I think that's partly why we're here. We don't want to resist God, we want to follow God. And I want to show you how God blesses.
Look at this verse here. First of all, in verse 17, Paul says, "No because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account." Right? We'll define that in a moment. Then look at verse 19: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
So if we are a part of a giving church, the first thing that we can expect is that there will be fruit to our account, eternal fruit to their account. He said, "I desire fruit that might abound to your account."
Now the beautiful thing is this: here are 25 missionaries; and a we give to missions – and once a month Lancaster Baptist sends a check out to all of the missionaries – then they see people saved in Brazil and Africa and the Philippines, people that we might never meet. But those people that are saved, that becomes fruit to our account. That means we're going to meet people in heaven from all these countries. And I believe this, I believe they're going to say, "Thank you for giving to the Lord. Because you sent the missionary, I was saved." And that is fruit to your account, it's an eternal investment.
And, my friend, we need to be doing our giving while we're living, so we'll be knowing where it's going. Don't leave your money to a bunch of unsaved kids that are going to fight over it; but invest in the work of God. And what a blessing one day to meet someone from Brazil, and they're going to say, "I'm fruit to your account. You sent the missionary and I got saved."
So Paul says, "You're going to be blessed when you give. You're going to have fruit to your account." This is way better than buying Apple stock for $5.00 a share in the very beginning – everyone here wishes they would have done that. But our best investments are investments made for eternal things and for souls.
Notice, secondly, we're going to be blessed with provision in this life, provision in this life. Now is there anyone here that has a need physically in your life right now? I do. Anybody else got bills to pay and needs? Look at verse 19, notice what it says. It says, "But my God shall supply all your need." Now it doesn't says "all your greeds." It doesn't say a boat, a Winnebago, you know, cryptocurrency, whatever you want, you know. It say, "But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Now as Bible-believing Baptists we try to rightly divide the Word of Truth. We don't try to make the Bible say what we want it to say. We want to get this in context, so let's do a little exercise on this, okay?
Is the book of Philippians written saved or unsaved people?
Right. So this promise is made to saved people. It's written to the church at Philippi, okay?
And then, secondly, was the church at Philippi – I hope you've been listening today – were they a church that supported missions? Yes or no?
Yes. So contextually, when God says, "I will provide all of your need," he is saying that to saved people who are giving to missions. God says, "You take care of my business, I'll take care of your business. You take care of my missionaries, I'll take care of your business," right? "I'm going to provide for all of your needs according to my riches in glory by Christ Jesus." That's the great God that we serve. He's going to take care of you.
I got to see my mom this week, and she's over in Phoenix, Arizona, and I was able to see her for just a couple of hours. And so, she's been battling Alzheimer's, and many of you have been praying for her. And so, I went to her hospital facility there where she stays, and my father and brother were there, and we were able to take her out, and took her to Cracker Barrel restaurant for lunch. And she can't say many things because of her Alzheimer's. You can tell she wants to say things, you can see her trying to think and process, but not many things can she say.
My dad said to her, said, "Do you know who this is?" and he pointed at me. She looked at me, she said, "No. But I like him." So I could still see her heart a little bit coming through there, you know.
And then we went to the restaurant. And I don't know if it's the Alzheimer's, but my mother loves sugar anymore, she just loves sugar. She got three big ol' pancakes, she put all kinds of syrup all over those pancakes, and all kinds of whipped cream, and she ate every last bit of those pancakes, and she just enjoyed it so. But then she kind of watched me and my dad and my brother talking, she couldn't understand so much of it.
And so, we finished. And if you've ever been to the Cracker Barrel, they have a little store next to the restaurant. And so we went to the store, and I said, "Mom, I want to get you a sweater." I said, "It's going to start cooling down, so come with me." And I have to hold onto her, she's very fast, she'll run; you have to hold onto her. The doctors say, "Your mother is very fast, Mr. Chappell," and she just can scoot along there.
And so I was holding onto her, and we picked out a green Christmas sweater with snowmen and little sprinkles on it, and that's the one she liked. And so we went to the register, and I was holding onto her. She hadn't said a word for the past hour, and she looked up at me, she said, "You don't have to buy this for me, buy something for yourself." And I thought, "That's my mother's heart." That's how she's always been, always thinking of others first, always wanting to take care of others first.
And I want to tell you something, that we have a God who loves us with this kind of a love. We have a God that says, "I'm going to provide for all of your needs according to my riches in glory by Christ Jesus." He cares for you. He wants to take care of you. And he knows your needs today, and he said, "I'll supply every single need that you have."
Not only all of our needs, but he says, "I've got endless provision." Notice that, verse 19, he says, "according to my riches in glory by Christ Jesus." He says, "I've got an unlimited supply." Some of you struggle with tithing every week, or now giving to missions. I just want to tell you something: you cannot outgive God. He loves you, he's going to care for you. He's the one that gives promotions, he's the one that settles issues. God will take care of you.
Look in your notes at Luke 6:38. It says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Listen, friends, this week as you look at that card, don't let it make you nervous, but get filled with faith and trust in the Lord.
My grandfather was such a tremendous blessing in my life. I have his hat here this morning. His name was Paul Brian Chappell. My name is Paul William Chappell. And this was his dress up and go to town hat. He loved this hat, he always wore this hat. And that was his other hat right there. I almost didn't want to show it to you, lest I offend anybody; but it's a Bush Cheney hat right there. Just my granddad's a farmer from Colorado, and that's the last time I saw him right there, and just out on the farm with him.
My granddad was out farming one day back in the 1940s and a missionary came to his farm. This was a home missionary. He was from Moody Bible Institute, and he was going from farm to farm telling farmers about Jesus. He waited at the very end of a row; and my granddad came, and he heard the gospel, and he accepted Jesus Christ as Savior over that John Deere tractor.
After my granddad got saved, then my grandmother got saved, and my father got saved, and my uncle got saved, and then my aunts got saved. And my one aunt married a preacher, my dad became a preacher, both of my brothers became preachers, I'm a preacher; and the fact is that there are tens of thousands of people in heaven or on their way to heaven today because a missionary led one bean farmer to Christ. You never know what one missionary will do. That's the power of the gospel.
My granddad after he got saved he just lost his interest in farming. He memorized the book of Romans. He wanted to tell everybody about Jesus. He started a little church in Arriola, Colorado, and he's just sitting there telling people about the book of Romans, telling them about the book of Romans and leading them to Christ; and they built a building.
And one day he said, "I'm going to go up to Moab, Utah," about an hour-and-a-half away, and big red rocks up there; and he went to Moab. And I remember he called me, and I actually preached one of my first sermons there in Moab. He said to me, he said, "Paul, these Mormons don't know the real Christ." He said, "They think that Jesus was a man who became a god." And he said, "I'm teaching them that he always was God and that they need to be saved."
And slowly he started leading people to Christ and he started this church in Moab, Utah: the Moab Baptist Church. Pastor Cole Howe is the pastor there now. My granddad built this church physically and financially built this church. He heavily invested in the work of the Lord. About once a year Pastor Howe sends me a letter or calls me. He says, "Want you to know, this is how many God saved at the Moab Baptist Church this year."
Brother Howe's son is a student here in the college. My grandfather, though he's dead, he's still speaking. You see, when you give to the work of the Lord, God just does things with this for many, many years to come. And I often thought about that. I've thought about his gift and how wonderful it was to see God use my granddad.
But this week I thought of something more. You see, I have a grandmother in Colorado who's a hundred years old, and she is a firecracker, I'm telling you, I'm telling you. If you ever wonder where I got the fire, just let me tell you more about my grandparents. My grandmother, she can't get out of bed; but when those nurses come by her bed she witnesses to them. When I was there this summer, she said, "Paul, here's my nurse right here. She's a Mormon, she's not saved, she's not on her way to heaven; pray for her."
I looked a little surprised. She said, "I don't have a lot of time to make flowery speeches." That's the truth of the matter, you know, she's a hundred years old and she just gets right to it. She's led many nurses to Christ.
But I was thinking about it this week; here she is a hundred years old, she needs 24-hour care. That care is continually being paid for. My granddad, when he began tithing back in the 1940s, when he began supporting missionaries, when he built an entire church from his own retirement fund, he was claiming this verse: "God will supply all my needs." And I don't think he knew that one of his needs would be a 100-year-old wife someday that needed 24-hour help; and yet out of his estate, those bills are being paid years and years after he's already died.
What I'm trying to tell you is this: you cannot outgive God. And when the Devil tries to tell you, "Well, you can't give to the Lord," you tell the Devil to go on back where he came from, and you keep trusting the Lord Jesus Christ, because you cannot outgive God. "My God shall supply all of your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
A caring church is a giving church. A caring church is a worshiping church. And a caring church is a blessed church, and God's blessing comes. And I'll tell you the greatest blessing of all: John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he," what, "gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Friend, if you're here this morning and you have never received Jesus Christ as your Savior, God does not want you to worry about what you need to give right now, he wants you to receive Christ as your Savior. But, if you've received Christ as your Savior, then like the Philippians, you're going to say, "Who else can I help so they can know him?" Like my granddad, you're going to say, "There's a town over there, they don't have a church. They need to know Jesus Christ." Saved people want other people to get saved and to know Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.
Lancaster Baptist Church is a flourishing church. This is our opportunity to flourish again for the glory of God.
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