My cup runneth over – That’s Abundance!

Php 4:19

My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

In this passage, Paul who has been generously helped by the Philippian church, assures them that God will supply all of their needs.  And preachers have time and time again used this verse to say that God will supply all of our needs.   But before we (Central Baptist Church) or any other church can claim that verse we need to ask ourselves certain questions:

I. When are we authorized to call God our God? It is not every claim that presumptuous sinners take upon them to advance, that will be found authorized in the Holy Scriptures; for our Lord himself assured many that Satan was their father, at the very time that they called themselves the children of God [Note: John 8:41,44]. But we may justly consider God as standing in this relation to us,

1. When we are born again of his Spirit. While we continue in our natural state, we are enemies to God, and God is an enemy to us; but when we are begotten by the word and Spirit of God, we are privileged to consider ourselves as his children, and to cry to him, “Abba, Father [Note: John 1:12. Gal 4:6.].”

2. When we have devoted ourselves to his service. If we would know “whose we are,” we must inquire, “whom we serve;” for “to whomsoever we yield ourselves servants to obey, his servants we are, whom we obey [Note: Rom 6:16.].” If our consciences testify that we have solemnly dedicated ourselves to God, we may boldly say with David, “O God, thou art my God.” We may be sure that our “Beloved is ours, when we (by a voluntary surrender of ourselves to him,) are his.” When this point is satisfactorily settled in our minds, we may with more comfort ask,

II. To what extent we may expect communications from him? That God who pours out his benefits upon the evil and unthankful, is far more abundant in kindness towards his own children. He will give us,

1. According to our necessities— If we desire temporal things, “we shall want no manner of thing that is good;” if spiritual blessings be sought after, there is not any thing we can need, which shall not be bestowed upon us in the time and measure that Infinite Wisdom sees to be best for us. (see my post on Eph 1:1,2) Are we wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked? He will both suit his gifts to our necessities [Note: Rev 3:18.]; and make the very depth of our misery the measure of his own mercy.

2. According to the riches of his own grace— Let us survey all the tokens of his bounty on earth, and contemplate all the expressions of his love in heaven; let us go farther, and consider the incomprehensible fulness of all the good that is in him as the fountain; and then shall we find the true measure of his liberality to his children. If any partake of his goodness in a lower degree, it is, “not because they are straitened in him, but because they are straitened in their own bowels.”

And finally we may ask:

III. By what channel they shall be conveyed to us— With man in innocence God communed face to face: but, whatever he bestows upon us in our fallen state, he communicates it,

1. Through Christ as our mediator— “God in himself is a consuming fire;” nor is it possible for us to approach him but through Jesus our mediator. Neither our piety towards him, nor our liberality towards his saints, can render him our debtor, (yea, rather, the more we do for him, the more we are indebted to him); if we receive any thing from God, it must come as the purchase of Christ’s blood, and as the consequence of his prevailing intercession. 2. By Christ as our head— It is “in Christ that all fulness dwells.” He has “received gifts for the rebellious,” and imparts them to whomsoever he will: and it is “out of his fulness that we must receive.” He is the head of the Church, and his people are his members; and as every member is nourished by its union with the head, so it is by grace derived from him that we are to increase with the increase of God [Note: Col 2:19.]

This passage should teach us,
1. Contentment in ourselves—

What cause can we possibly have for discontent, when we have God for our God, and an express promise that all our need shall be supplied? God has not only engaged to give his people whatever they need, but on many occasions has interposed in a miraculous manner to fulfil his word. And, rather than violate his truth in any instance, he would feed them with bread from heaven, and water from a rock; he would make the ravens to bring them meat, or their barrel and cruse to supply them with an undiminished store. He has said that “the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the expectation of the poor perish for ever.” What if we have not all that flesh and blood might desire? shall we repine? Surely we should say with the Apostle, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content [Note: Phil. 4: 11.].” We are like minors at present, and limited to the measure which our Father sees best for us: but in due time we shall receive the full inheritance. Shall persons so circumstanced give way to discontent? No: though poor as Lazarus, they should account themselves truly rich.

2. Liberality to others—

God condescends to acknowledge all that is given by us in charity as “lent to himself;” and he pledges himself to “repay it.” He even prescribes the honouring of him with our first-fruits, as the means of securing to ourselves an abundant harvest, and of laying up in store a good foundation against the time to come, that we may lay hold on eternal life [Note: Pro 3:9-10. with 1Ti 6:17-18.]. We must not indeed suppose that our alms-deeds can merit any thing at the hand of God. Nevertheless, if they be a free-will offering, they are “an odour to him, and a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour.” Let then the bounty of God to us, whether experienced or expected, be a motive for liberality to our fellow-creatures.  And let us gladly of our abundance minister to their necessities, that God in all things may be glorified through Christ Jesus.]

3. Devotedness to God— 

Has God given himself to us as our God, and shall not we give ourselves to him as his people? Does God grudge us no blessing which he can give, and shall we grudge him any service which we can render? Are his powers the only limit to his exertions for us, and shall we know any other limit to our zeal for him? Does he do such wonders for us for Christ’s sake, and shall not we labour for Christ’s sake to honour him? Yes, “the love of Christ shall constrain us” to live for him, and the mercies of God to us be the measure of the services which we shall yield to him [Note: Rom 12:1.]

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