Supply My Needs (Part 7)

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV

Dear Heavenly Father – Honestly, I did not think it would take so many posts to study this chapter! It is overflowing in your goodness and love. Thank you for showing us even the little nuances of it. Thank for your providence and blessing. Please open our eyes to see you and our ears to hear from you. Wake us up, and please open our understanding. In the name of Jesus – Amen

Today we shall complete the study of the 4th chapter of Philippians and reach the promise of God’s provisions which we already have the full assurance of! We have learned so much: that we cannot put anything before God, about how God views us and in that truth we can stand fast and be strong in faith, that agreement is a powerful tool which causes the power of God to work, that help is on the way and we should be helpers, that we should rejoice and be gentle, that the Lord is at hand, that He has provided ample tools to combat anxiety, how to wait on the Lord for provisions, that God can use us even in our own need – to bless, not just the immediate situation, but generations to come, and we learned about giving in obedience to God which blesses us with our needs met!
God’s provisions are expressed in this this entire passage! Let us pick up on verse 17 of Philippians chapter 4, as we have studied up through verse 16 Saturday.

17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.” Philippians 4:17-18 NKJV

Can you imagine if you sent me a substantial gift and I sent you a thank you letter saying: thanks, but I have all I need? By the way, I used the gift for the purpose you intended me to, anyway.
I would be like: What?!?! I gave out of my lack – I am going to skip a meal or two this week so you can have and you say you didn’t need it??? And you aren’t giving it back?!?!?
Is it just me, or doesn’t it look like this is becoming a rather ungrateful thank you letter?!

Obviously, we must have a language barrier in the translation. We better take a closer look.
Just before this verse (as we saw yesterday) Paul praised them for their giving! So as Paul now says he wasn’t seeking the gift – he is acknowledging that they gave out of obedience to God. As a true teacher, his concerns are that they learn and grow from this experience.  He has learned, believes and lives in the peace of knowing God provides all our needs and God blesses a cheerful giver.
“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 NKJV

So, when Paul says he seeks that their fruits abound – let me assure you that he isn’t trying to repay them with apples. In John 15:1-17 Jesus tells us that He is the vine and the Father is the vinedresser – as long as we are connected to Christ we can bear fruit – meaning the lessons can mature in us developing our characters. We become more Christ-like. In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus said we would recognize false prophets by their fruits – or the fact that their character does not line up with the scriptures.  Here are what the scriptures call fruits: 
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
As we have made it through most of this chapter we can look back and see where certain fruit was definitely being grown. 
Part 1 of this series we can see where the lessons of God’s love was being taught.
Part 2 and 3 of this series we can see where the lesson of loving others, joy, kindness, goodness, and gentleness is being taught.
Part 4 of this series we can see peace and self-control being taught.
Part 5 of this series we see longsuffering.
Part 6 of this series God’s faithfulness to us as we learn obedience.

Paul was obviously working on growing our fruit!

Now, When Paul says I have all and abound – He is saying I have received all of the gift and it meets every need, in fact he abounds, so it may be more than he needs. But that should not surprise any of you as we have studied the following verse many times:
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV

Paul continues and confirms He has received the things sent from you. And here is where it all gets so beautiful:
a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.

In the Old Testament when 2 parties entered into a covenant they each sacrificed something, cut them in two and then walked between them. Being part of the new covenant – we know Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins.  But when we enter into a relationship with God, through Christ Jesus – we must also make a sacrifice (maybe a few depending completely on your calling and His will for your life).  The first and only required sacrifice is that we repent and give up our old ways – a symbolic death to self. That is the minimal required sacrifice to enter the covenant of grace. It is a process that begins with believing and confessing, and is completed through the process of repentance. And this sacrifice gives us the free gift of a relationship with God, through Christ.
But then, in obedience to the will of God, He asks us to give out of our lack – and that is a sacrifice. Or God asks us to be missionaries and give up our homes and travel, which is a sacrifice. Some will even be called to be martyrs and that is obviously the ultimate sacrifice.  God will, as we grow in the fruits, ask us to make additional sacrifices – separate from old friends, give up music that isn’t edifying and isn’t in the list of things (we are told in this chapter) to think on, or it may be something smaller, or it may be something bigger. We each have our own.
But when we give it up and make that sacrifice – it is nothing compared to Jesus’s death and suffering, and it is nothing compared to the bountiful blessing instore for us after we have sacrificed things we are called to, and made room for the blessing. But to God – it is a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing!!! He is glorified in it. Obedience is the action of faith – but it is also the act of glorifying God.

The Philippian church made a sacrifice and it made way for a blessing which is:

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV
And we finally made it to this verse! But we already understand it deeper and more fully. God’s riches in glory are unlimited. And He can also shift resources here on earth around.  He is in charge of it all. It is finished and taken care of – we must just live within His will and be obedient. This promise is added to all the things before it – so there is no reason to add to this, as it was already fully laid out in the previous verses. 

The only thing Paul can say after that, and the only thing God asks, is that we give God the glory for it:
“Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:20 NKJV

Glory to God!!!

Then Paul closes the letter with a greeting and a prayer:
21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Philippians 4:21-23 NKJV

Let me pray for you: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen Oh that beautiful grace!

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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