PHILIPPIANS 2018 | DAY XLIV

READ PHILIPPIANS FOUR

Paul concludes his letter to the Philippians with a bold promise:

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

When you read this promise, what is your initial reaction?

If I told you that this promise was for you today as well, what would be your reaction?

If you’re anything like me (and since you seem to like nerdy Bible studies, I’m guessing you are!), you might read this promise with a bit of skepticism. To my modern ears, it sounds a bit like prosperity Gospel preaching, and calls to my mind the image of a white-suit-wearing televangelist who is asking for my money and promising God will return blessings to me as a result. But, when we understand this verse in context, all skepticism quickly fades away.

Look back at yesterday’s study. How should we understand this verse in context?

How does Paul’s own learned contentment, mentioned only verses prior, influence our interpretation of this verse?

Paul wants to leave the Philippian church with a great sense of God’s abundance. They are not just brought into right relationship with God in a legal sense, but they have been brought right into God’s family as sons and daughters. As such, their Father is the Lord of all things! All resources are His – resources of money and time and space and energy all belong to Him.

How does this help us understand the Philippians’ obedience in partnering with Paul in practical, financial ways?

As Christians we do not need to have a scarcity mindset about God’s provision. When we think small things of God, we will cling to our money and time like Scrooge on Christmas Eve. When we think that resources are scarce, we will hold onto what we have with closed hands. And, to our own detriment, we will miss out on partnering with God in the Gospel work He is doing in the world.

If our God owns all things, we have have a mindset of abundance! We can follow His call in our own life with confidence, knowing that He can easily provide for all our needs. As I write this, I am well aware that I am preaching to myself – I am currently trusting the Lord to provide for all our needs as we prepare to plant a church in eastern North Carolina. When I take my eyes off God and think about all that is required – a space, a core team, staff members, financial means, a place to live, a sound system, chairs, and the list could go on and on – it is easy for me to be overwhelmed because I don’t have any of those things. When I think rescues are scarce, I close my hands around what I do have. In fear and anxiety, I pull back my resources, holding them tightly. But, as the old hymn says, “Our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” There is nothing that is not His, and it is such a small thing to our God to provide for every single little need we have.

Our God is not a stingy God, but a God of generosity. When He calls us to partner with Him in being generous with our time and energy and belongings and funds, He will provide for all our needs. The richest inheritance that we could possibly gain (and the one we could never afford) is the promise of being united to Christ. These are the riches of glory that God has promised to His people. When we see the glory of Christ, how could we not trust that God will also put food on our tables? When we see the glory of Christ, how could we not trust that God will give us the energy for an early morning or long week? When we see the glory of Christ, how can we resist laying aside every earthly possession we have and saying, with Paul, “I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

PRAY & REFLECT

Ask God to keep the glory of Christ in front you always. Do you have a scarcity mindset about your own resources? Talk to God about it. Ask Him to help you grow in trusting Him and relinquishing your resources to Him with joy.

Author: amygannett

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  • I love this verse! Thanks for all the discussion and fleshing it out. I feel like the Health and Wealth gospel teaches that God will supply all your wants or the needs that you decide are needs. This verse promises that God knows what your true needs are and He promises by His Name that He will provide those needs. My husband founded a startup, went 5 months without a salary, then took a half salary during the time I had our 4th child. We partnered with an investor who insisted that a new CEO be hired (long story), and then that new CEO fired my husband giving no reason and no severance if he didn’t agree to sign his name to a stack of lying documents and sell all his shares for 10% of their value. We are on month 10 of no salary because we bought a competitor and have been fighting for good jobs, a place to work that values integrity and honesty. It’s been such a hard road to go down, but I can say with everything in me, that God supplied our needs! We are surviving, we are still excited about the prospect of our company, the company is growing, our children are happy and healthy, our marriage is super strong and even in those moments when one or both of us get discouraged and wonder what in the world we are doing, He is faithful to remind us that He lead us here and has a plan if we are patient to wait for it to come to fruition. Sorry for the long story, but this passage is so true and I’ve been living it in a very real way lately. Thank you again for sharing your study and passionately calling others to walk with God along the pages of Scripture.

    • Sarah, your story is such a testimony to the Lord’s goodness! Thank you for sharing! My husband and I have been convicted about this truth lately as well – particularly as we consider church planting. We trust the Lord to build His church, but do we trust Him enough to provide us with a home and to put food on the table and to pay our gas bill? THAT’S where the Lord is reminding us that He is a God of abundance! SO, so glad to have you as part of this study, Sarah!

      • Yes! Those big picture, big ticket things are somehow easier to trust God for sometimes, easier to remember to pray for sometimes. But those small, very real needs, sometimes I think we feel like WE are responsible for these and that if we can’t make ends meet or if we fail at the details, we feel less that it’s God providing an opportunity to teach us dependence on Him and more a lesson on how we didn’t measure up. Mother Teresa said something like, “I know God won’t give me more than I can handle, I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” While I understand her sentiment and regard her highly, I am so thankful for the times God gives me more than I could possibly handle, because it gives me the opportunity to exercise my faith and watch His Mighty Hands work. And then, of course, I’m so VERY glad to be on the other side of it with a neat little story all tied with a bow of how God came through. It’s never easy in the middle of it, but I suppose if it were easy, we might not notice His help and we certainly would have a smaller idea of His power.