A New Year's Promise

5 March 2007

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus"- Philippians 4:19

The Philippian church was special to the apostle Paul. In this epistle he refers to them as "my brethren dearly beloved and long for, my joy and crown." One of the reasons he loved them so much was because of their care for him. When he was in prison they sent to his needs, a gift at the hand of Epaphroditus that he referred to as "an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God." Paul saw his God supplying his needs through the faithful members of the Philippian church, and from this, he makes them a promise. He tells them that the same God that supplied his needs through them would supply them with all of their needs.

This is a large promise, is it not, that God would supply them with all of their need? The need of just one of the Philippians would be much, but to promise the needs of the whole church is a superabundant promise indeed. Yet, we feel this promise goes beyond them. We believe this promise is recorded for every heir of grace, everyone that can say with Paul, "My God".

Since we have said all of that we must now address our needs. What are they? Let us begin by saying that there is a big difference between our wants and our needs! God has promised to supply His people with all of their needs, not their wants. Much could be written about the wants of the human heart, but Solomon, in his wisdom has observed, "He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity." (Eccles. 5:10). In other words, there is no end to the wants of the human heart. This is a constant struggle for us all. When our heart attempts to find its happiness in worldly things, there is no end to it. Many times, we do not have what we need because we have used God's supply to purchase what we want. God has not been unfaithful in His promise. We have been unfaithful stewards with the supply He has blessed us with.

All of our needs can be placed in two, simple categories: spiritual and temporal. That is simple enough. Yet, the complicated thing about it is that we may fail to see which of these two compartments are the most important. There is really no comparison. Our spiritual needs far outweigh our temporal needs, yet our hearts usually run to the temporal when we think of God supplying our needs. Paul summed all of our temporal needs up with two things: food and clothing. Listen to his words to a young preacher: "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." (1 Timothy 6:8). Even if we throw in a roof over our heads this is far less than what we think we need. Is this not a short list?

Now compare this with our spiritual needs. First, we need God's grace to know what we need. We need God's strength; we need His wisdom; we need to be fed spiritually; we need His peace; we need His encouragement; we need to be protected from evil; we need a place to worship; we need fellowship with the saints; we need to understand His will in our lives; we need His grace, mercy and forgiveness; we need to feel the presence of His spirit and know that our prayers have been heard. We need healing. This list is endless, yet my God has promised to supply all. This promise as a check from God, written on the bank of faith, that belongs to every believer. Let us believe his words and cash this check all the year long at God's bank of faith! -Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor, Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, Donaldson, AR (You can hear live audio sermons and read additional articles by Elder Phelan at the church's website: www.harmonypbchurch.org)