OCTOBER 31

The God Who Gives

Bible Reading: Philippians 4:10-23

Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

“You can’t outgive God!” – Jim Thompson (elder at LCBC)

Newly called to pastor the church in Astoria, we were confronted with an enormous challenge.  The church’s first month’s income was a mere $600!  It didn’t increase that much in the subsequent months, so I met regularly with the treasurer as we tried to figure out how best to meet the church’s various financial obligations.  Fortunately, the church had a parsonage; I had a part-time job, and the church family was generous in helping our young family in other ways.  God met all our needs.

It was many years later that God taught me a big lesson related to our verse.  Pastor Bob Emrich had invited me to accompany him on a trip to Uganda to assist in training pastors.  The church funded the trip, and it was a tremendous blessing!  The opportunity to return later that year availed itself, but I was torn.  How can I go back to the congregation so soon and ask again for funds?  After discussing the matters with leadership, we agreed I should go, trusting God to provide.  We were all pleasantly surprised, as the funds were readily provided.  We continued to send groups of folks to Uganda annually, at a cost of many tens of thousands of dollars.  And we never struggled to finance the church’s outreach to our Ugandan friends.  In fact, the expenditure of funds in that missionary endeavor was more than compensated as the church income grew such that it far exceeded its budget month after month during that period!  We trusted God that He would provide; He was well pleased to meet every need in abundant fashion!

God has promised that.  And we should note this about our verse, it’s best understood in its context.  The Philippian believers had generously sacrificed to support the Apostle Paul in his time of need.  The word “And” at the beginning of verse 19 ties the verse to what precedes.  In view of their sacrifice, God would provide.  That is the same as God has promised elsewhere (2 Corinthians 9:8-11; Malachi 3:10).  God is a giving God, and He’s called us to imitate Him as we walk in love (Ephesians 5:1-2).  He who is rich in grace, is both well able and well pleased to pass on of His riches to those who in turn are ready to pass them on in His name (2 Corinthians 8:9).  As channels of blessing!

The KJV Commentary wonderfully summarizes that which is proclaimed to us in this verse: “We see first of all in this verse a great need. God promises to meet all of their need, not all of their wishes, wants, or whims. Men have physical needs, mental needs, social needs, economic needs. Men have not only temporal needs, but spiritual and eternal needs. Men need perpetual pardon, perpetual peace, and perpetual power. Secondly, we see in this verse a great helper…Paul could not repay the Philippians, but God could and would. Paul does not say my God can supply all your needs, but my God shall supply all your needs. This was Paul’s personal testimony and confession of faith. We see next a great Supplier. There is a total supply for a total need. God’s supply is infinite, abundant, inexhaustible, limitless, boundless. God many times uses the agencies of men to meet our needs. Next we see great resources. God’s riches in glory. Paul says according to his riches, not out of His riches, not off the top. God’s supply is not according to our deserts, but according to His mercy; not out of debt, but out of grace; not according to our emptiness, but according to His fullness; not according to our poverty, but according to His wealth. God has great riches. Lastly, look at the great and glorious channel–by Christ Jesus. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1Timothy 2:5–6). There is no other Mediator; there is no other channel. With such precious truth before us there can only be concurrence with the past, contentment with the present, and confidence for the future. “ (Dobson, E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV Bible Commentary).

FREELY, FREELY

God forgave my sin in Jesus’ name
I’ve been born again in Jesus’ name
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share His love as He told me to

Chorus: He said freely freely
You have received
Freely freely give
Go in My name
And because you believe
Others will know that I live

All pow’r is giv’n in Jesus’ name
In earth and heav’n in Jesus’ name
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share His pow’r as He told me to (Chorus)

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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