This week's study of Euodia and Syntyche brought us to a pretty familiar passage in Philippians, and it contains a verse that many have clung to over the years.
Let me show you which one:
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)It struck me as I read, that verse 19 means nothing without the verses that precede it. Let's look at the whole passage:
Are you seeing the same light at the end of the tunnel that I saw? (Grin)
It's almost like, if he were talking instead of writing, that Paul might have said, "and as a result of your sacrifice and giving attitude," .....my God will meet all your needs......
I'm not balmy, I promise!
Let's look at the clues . . .
First, they sent aid to Paul more than once. And now that he received their gift, he is "amply" supplied. Not that he needed much, since he had learned to be content, whether he had a lot or a little! He called their gift a fragrant offering and a sacrifice . . . sounds like he knew his peeps at Philippi, and that they may not all have been as wealthy as Lydia. They may have given even more than perhaps they "should" have, because of their love of God, and their love for the man who taught them about Jesus Christ.
Sacrificial giving . . . sounds familiar.
So should we take Paul's words in Philippians to mean that (like some ole time television speakers used to say) Christians have a pipeline to riches and wealth and if you're not rich, you're not doing it right?
Umm, in a word, no.
Paul doesn't say that.
Some people have tried to make it so. But that, as my grandma used to say, "don't make it so." The rewards we are promised are not part of making a deal with God. He is sovereign, and we can't MAKE Him do anything! Our motives must be rooted in simple thankfulness for His mercy and His grace.
But guess what! He truly will supply all of our needs . . . not our wish list, but our necessities. (Grin) And when the "books are closed" and we are thinking about things while we're in heaven, none of us will ever say that we gave more to God than He gave to us.
Have you an inspiring verse to share?