Thursday, May 05, 2005

Glorious Riches

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen" (Philippians 4:19-20).

As I was reading in Philippians 4 today, I was thinking about the blessings and the beauty of "partnership in the gospel" (Phil. 1:5)...specifically, people whose ministries require them to raise support from other Christians. If you've ever had that experience or have known someone who has, you know that it's an incredibly challenging and stretching faith journey, even frustrating and discouraging at times. Yet I'm struck today by what a blessing it can be for others to participate in the work God is doing in you and through you. Paul says of his supporters in the Philippian church, "Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account" (4:17). My study note suggests, "The investment value of the Philippians' gift is not primarily what Paul received, but the spiritual dividends they received."

How true that is! I can verify firsthand that when you get to partner with someone in a ministry support-raising venture, all kinds of blessings come and faith is built. They see God meet their needs and show Himself as their provider. They get to do the Kingdom work God has called them to, and to see Him move powerfully. You see God's blessing and provision as you're faithful with what He has given you. You get to share in the Kingdom work that God is doing through that person as you invest in them. Both of you receive "full payment and even more" through God's glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

One other thing that struck me about this passage: the study note for verse 20 says, "Paul cannot hold back a doxology, especially as he considers the truth of v. 19." When he stops for a moment to think of who God is and what He has done, Paul can't help but praise Him! May that be true of me...that as I'm reminded of God's faithfulness, I would always be quick to praise Him...

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