Philippians 4:18 (NLT) I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God.
Paul says “I have all that I need. I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me.” This was not just a statement of fact; it was his daily statement of faith.
Generosity is a major key for every Christian. Not only does it activate many of the promises of God in your life, but it also strengthens your faith. Paul was a man of great faith because he was great in this area of generosity.
Yesterday I gave you a model that shows you how we become more like Christ. Let me give it to you again:
Developing the habits of Christ:
1. Jesus says it starts by HEARING God’s Word.
2. Jesus explains in the parable of the Sower, God’s Word has to be ACCEPTED in order for it to become fruitful.
3. Jesus says we must put the Word into PRACTICE.
4. Whatever we act upon is what becomes a HABIT in our life.
This model not only builds Christ-likeness into your life, it also builds faith into your life. That’s because acting on your faith is what grows your faith.
Many Christians spend a lot of their time just thinking about God’s Word and trying to understand it theologically and practically. Thinking about your faith is good – it points you in the right direction, but acting on your faith is what moves you in the right direction.
The Apostle is saying this in Philippians 4:8-9:
Finally, whatever is true… noble…right…pure…lovely…admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.
Paul reveals the virtues of thinking upon the right things, but putting them into practice is what brings the change in your life. That’s what moves God to move in your life and this is exactly how faith works.
Let me give you the three actions of faith:
- Hearing the Word of God initiates faith (Romans 10:17)
- Speaking the Word of God activates faith (2 Corinthians 4:13)
- Doing the Word of God demonstrates faith (James 2:14)
And the way to see God generously meeting all your needs the way He did with Paul so that you can say “I have all that I need…I am generously supplied with gifts…”, is to put generosity into practice in your life. Generosity and faith go hand in hand – you cannot have one without the other.