Posted by: rcottrill | July 19, 2009

Lord’s Day Meditation – Godly Giving

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me….And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:13, 19).

Verse 13 is not intended as an absolute. Even God cannot do everything. He cannot do that which is contrary to His holy nature. (For example, He cannot lie.) In the context, the “all things” involves God’s enablement to be content both in times of privation and of plenty. Paul explains that he has learned to handle being in physical want or in abundance (vs. 10-20).

But certainly the statement may be applied more broadly to anything that is within the will of God for us, anything that a wise and loving Providence sends our way. By the grace of God we are able not only to endure it but to flourish in the situation. This is, in fact, the secret of rejoicing–the apostle’s theme throughout the epistle. Joy is inwardly motivated (Gal. 5:22), so it can be present even at times when happiness is not being outwardly stimulated.

The Philippian church had been supporting Paul’s ministry financially, assisting him over and over (vs. 10, 14-16, 18). We get the sense that this was done sacrificially, beyond what would normally be expected of them. (He pictures it as a “sacrifice,” vs. 18.) And even when no one else aided Paul’s ministry in this way, they did (vs. 15).

They had given much. But on the basis of his own experience Paul could assure them that the Lord would meet their needs. (Not their greeds, but their needs.) And notice it is not merely a wish or a prayer, but a bold statement: This is what God will do. Where there is a great need, there is, from His throne, an infinitely greater resource to meet it.

Aren’t you grateful for those in your congregation who give sacrificially to support the work of the local church? And are you such a person yourself? In giving, we can be assured of two things. First, that as we give generously and wholeheartedly to the Lord, He will see that our needs are met. And second, as this becomes the norm in a Christian assembly, there will always be sufficient to carry out any ministry the Lord has planned for that group of believers.

William Walsham How speaks of the stewardship of our resources in an 1864 hymn, based on a prayer of David’s (I Chron. 29:14).

We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be:
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.

May we Thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive,
And gladly, as Thou blessest us,
To Thee our firstfruits give.


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