A New Year’s Wish
A New Year’s Wish
“But my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” Phil 4: 19
Several times the Philippians had sent presents to Paul, to supply his necessities. Though they were not themselves rich, yet they made a contribution and sent Epaphroditus with “an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.”
Paul felt very grateful; he thanked God, but he did not forget also to thank the donors. He wished them every blessing, and as he did as good as say, “you have supplied my need, and my God shall supply yours. You have supplied my need of temporal food and raiment out of your property; my God shall supply all your need out of His riches in glory.”
Every single word sounds as he had thought it over and the spirit of God had guided him in his meditation, so that he should to the fullest extent wish them back a blessing similar to that which they had sent to him, only a richer and more enduring kind.
This verse is particularly sweet for me; for when we were building the orphanage, I foresaw that, if we had no voting and no collecting of annual subscriptions but depended upn the goodness of God and the voluntary offerings of his people, we should have times of trial. Therefore, I ordered the masons to place upon the first columns of the orphanage entrance words: My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
A Great Necessity
“………. all your need.”
What a gulf! What an abyss! “All your need” I do not know how many believers made up the church at Philippi, but the need of one saint is great enough; what must man need? It would not be possible to tell the number of God’s children on earth, but the text comprehends the need of the whole chosen family, “all your need.” We will not ask you to reckon up the wonderful draft upon the divide exchequer which must be made by all the needs of all the saints who are yet on earth, but please think of your own need; that will be more within the compass of your experience ant the range of your meditation. May the Lord supply your need and all your need!.
There is our temporal need, and that is no little matter. If we have food and raiment, we should be therewith content; but there are many of God’s people to whom the mere getting of food and raiment is a wearisome toil; and what with household cares, family trials, sickness of body, losses in business and sometimes the impossibility of obtaining suitable labor, many of God’s saints are as hard put to it as Elijah was when he sat by the brook Cherith. If God did not send them their bread and meat in a remarkable manner, they would surely starve. But their bread shall be given them, and their water shall be sure. You have, perhaps, a large family; and your needs are therefore greatly increased; but the declaration of the text includes the whole of your needs, personal and relative.
After all, our temporal needs are very small compared with our spiritual needs. A man may, with the blessing of God, pretty readily provide for the wants of the body; but who shall provide for the requirements of the soul? There is need of perpetual pardon, for we are always sinning, and Jesus Christ’s blood is always pleading for us and cleansing us from sin. Every day there is need of fresh strength to battle against inward sin; blessed be God, it is daily supplied, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s. As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, we need armor from head to foot. Even then we do not know how to wear the armor or how to wield the sword unless He gave us these sacred implements shall be always with us.
But we are not merely warriors; we are also workers. We are called, many of us to important spheres of labor (indeed, let no man think his sphere unimportant), but here also our hands shall be sufficient for us, and we shall accomplish our life’s work.
You have need to be helped to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right spirit and manner. Your need as Sunday school teacher, as an open air preacher, and especially as a minister of the Gospel, will be very great; but the text meets all your requirements.
Then comes our need in suffering, for many of us are called to take our turn in the Lord’s prison house. Here we need patience under pain, hope under depression of spirit. Who is sufficient for furnace work? Our God will supply us with those choice graces and consolations which shall strengthen us to glorify His name even in the fires. He will either make the burden lighter or the back stronger; He will diminish the need or increase the supply.
Oh, what do we do not need! We are just a bag of wants, a heap of infirmities. If any one of us were to keep a want book, as I have seen tradesmen do, what a huge folio it would to be; and it might be written within and without, crossed and recrossed, for we are full of wants- from the first of January to end of December; but here is the mercy; “My God shall supply all your need”
Are you put in high places? Have you many comforts? Do you enjoy wealth? What need you have to be kept from loving world, to be preserved from wantonness and pride and the follies and fashions of this present evil world? My God will supply your need in that respect.
Are your very poor? Then the temptation is too envy, to bitterness of spirit, to rebellion against God. “My God shall supply all your need.”
Are you alone in the world? Then you need the Lord Jesus to be your Companion, and your Companion He will be.
So, second, for our enormous wants here is
A Great Helper
“My God shall supply all your need” Whose God is that? Why, Paul’s God. Paul called the Lord, “My God,” He is my God, too. My dear old friend why sits yonder and has nothing but a few pence in all the worlds can also say, “And He is my God, too.”
I have been in the Roman dungeon in which Paul is said to have been confined, and a comfortless prison indeed it is. First of all, you descend into a vaulted chamber into which no light ever comes except through a little round hole in the roof; and then, in the middle of the floor of that den, there is another reopening which the prisoner was let down into a second and lower dungeon in which no fresh air or light could possibly come to him. Paul was probably confined there. The dungeon of the Praetorium in which he was certainly immured is not much better. Paul would have been left well nigh to starve there, but for those good people at Philippi. I should not wonder but what Lydia was at the bottom of this kind movement, or else the jailor. They said , “ we must not let the good apostle starve”; so they made up a contribution and sent him what he wanted. When Paul received it he said, “My God has taken care of me. I cannot make tents here in this dark place so as to earn my own living, but my Master still supplies my need; and even so, when you are in straits , will He Supply you.’
“My God.” It has often been sweet to me, when I have thought of my orphan children and money has not come in, to remember Mr. Mueller’s God and how He always supplies the children at Bristol. His God is my God, and I rest upon him.
“I read of Elijah, that the ravens fed him; I have Elijah’s God, and He can command the ravens to feed me if He pleases.’’
It is a great fact that, without the disturbance of a single law of nature, prayer becomes effectual with God; and God, being inquired of by His people to do it for them, does fulfill His promise and supply their needs. Beloved is the God of Paul you God? Do you regard him as such? Your needs come, perhaps at very unexpected times. They may occur in the midnight of despondency or in the noonday of delight, but God is ever near to supply the surprising need.
A Great Supply
“My God shall supply all your need.” The illustration which will best explain the meaning is that of the women whose children were to be sold her creditor to pay the debts of her late husband. She had nothing to call her own except some empty oil jars, and the prophet bade her set these in order and bring the little oil which still remained in the cruse. She did so; then he said to her ‘’ Go among your neighbors, and borrow empty vessels, not a few.” She went from one to another till she had filled her room full of these empty vessels, and then the prophet said, “Pour out”. She began to pour out from her almost empty cruse; and to her surprise, if filled her largest oil jar. She went to another and filled that, and then another and another. She kept on filling all the oil jars, till at last she said to the prophet, “There is not a vessel more”. Then the oil stayed, but not till then.
So will in be with your needs. You were frightened at having so many needs just now, were you not? So the more wants and more needs you have, if you bring them to God, so much the better, for He will fill them all to the brim; and you may be thankful that there are so many to be filled.
How gloriously God gives to His people! We wanted pardon once; He washed us and made us whiter tan snow. We wanted clothing, for we were naked? What did He do? Give us some rough dress or other? Oh, no! He said “Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him.”
The Great Resources Out of Which This Supply Is to come
“My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory.”
The preacher may sit down now, for he cannot compass this part of the text. God’s riches are beyond all thought.
Consider the riches of God in Nature, who shall count His treasures? Get away into the forests; travel on league after league among the trees which cast their ample shade for no man’s pleasure, but only for the Lord. Mark on lone mountain side and far reaching plain the myriads of flowers whose perfume is for God alone.
Look towards the sea; think of those shoals of fish, so countless that, when only the fringe of them is touched by our fishermen, they find enough food to supply a nation.
If you would see the wealth of the creator, cast your eye to the stars; tell ye their numbers if ye can. Vast are God’s riches in nature.
Think of the wealth of God in grace. There nature and providence stand eclipsed, for we have the fountain of eternal love, the gift of an infinite sacrifice, the pouring out of the blood of His own dear son, and the covenant of grace in which the smallest blessing is infinite in value. The riches of His grace!’ God is rich in mercy” –rich in patience, love, power, kindness, rich beyond all conception..
O soul, what insanity is unbelief! What flagrant blasphemy is doubt of the love of God! He must bless us: and, blessed by Him, we must be blest indeed. If He is to supply our needs “according to His riches in glory,” they will be supplied to the full.
The Glorious Channel by which These Needs are to be supplied
“…………according to his riches in glory by CHRIST JESUS.”
You shall have all your soul’s wants satisfied, but you must go to Christ for everything. You are not to keep your wants supplied by your own care and fretfulness. “Consider the lilies, how they grow.” You are to be enriched “By Christ Jesus”.
All this year I pray that you may abide by the well of this text. Draw from it. Are you very thirsty? Draw from it, for it is full; and when you plead this promise, the Lord will supply all your need. Do not cease receiving from God for a minute. Let not unbelief hinder the Lord’s bounty, but cling to this promise, ‘’ My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” I know not how to wish you a greater blessing