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In the New Year, looking forward (1)

In the New Year, looking forward… we all wish to have a better year than last year.

“I have received full payment and even more. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:18-19

This (Philippians 4:19) is a promise for givers, not for non-givers. It's what God does in return for the expression of your gift. This is a promise in exact accord with our Lord Jesus' own words in the Sermon on the Mount. Remember what he said: Give and it will be given to you. This is a promise for givers. You give, and God will give back to encourage you to give more. Of course it's understood that we have all received freely from him first, and out of that sense of having received from him, let us give. The Lord says, "Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:38)

Notice the source of supply: my God. Not just God will supply, but God known in personal experience, my Father in heaven. Not some remote power running the earth, giving to the just and unjust alike, but a personal Father. This is a family matter. This is a promise for the children of God, those who belong to Him.

Notice also the limits of supply: all your needs. It doesn't say, all your wants. Our wants are sometimes far beyond our needs. The great theologian Dr. H.A. Ironside used to say he delighted to walk through Woolworth's stores because it was always such a comfort to him to see so many things he could get along without. There are so many wants in our lives, and really so relatively few needs. God has promised to supply your needs, and you must let him decide what your needs are.

Notice finally the method of supply. It's according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. There are many kinds of riches. There are the riches of his goodness that are available to all people. He makes the sunshine and the rain to fall upon the just and the unjust. Then there are the riches of his grace that are available only to sinners who admit their need. God's grace takes over and forgives and cleanses and gives us purity and all we need. Then there are the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. All that He has in terms of the glory and fullness of His deity is available to any believer. The weakest saint holds in his hands all that the greatest saint ever had. He has Christ, and in having Christ he has everything.

Prayer this week:

Father, thank you for all you have given me and will give me. You have not only supplied my every need but you have given me untold riches in Christ. Help me to live as one so blessed that I can say with Paul, “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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