Philippians 4:19

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Philippians 4:19  

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19

Paul here is speaking to the Philippian Church thanking them for the much-needed assistance they provided to him.  It appears that the church had stopped providing supplies for Paul’s ministry due to circumstances outside of their control.  “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.” Philippians 4:10.  Notice the phrase “but lacked opportunity”.  This signifies that he believed they had entertained the same sentiments of him, had the same affection and inward care for him all along; but they had no opportunity of showing it, him being at such a distance, with them having no convenient or proper persons to send to him; or were hindered through multiplicity of business on their hands that they could not attend to him.

Paul then says he was not saying this because he had needed anything from them during this time.  “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Philippians 4:11.  He tells them he knows how to deal with little.  “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Philippians 4:12.  Before Christ’s calling of him to spread the gospel, he had been well off and had all his needs met.  He was a Pharisee and one highly regarded by many in Judaism.  However, in his current life he has learned to rely on God for everything.  Yes, there are times when difficulties come and he finds himself lacking in food.  However, in the previous verse he says he has learned how to handle hunger and plenty.  He knows he can do everything God calls him to do no matter what, but he is thankful for their help.  “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.” Philippians 4:13-14. 

Paul then reminds the Philippians that while after he had preached to them, he left Macedonia and ministered throughout the area, no other church helped them in the meeting of their needs.  He wanted to say thanks to them for the sacrifices they made on their behalf.  He also encouraged them through our focus verse.  “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19.  He essentially was telling them that as they have given to him in his distress, God will never suffer them to be in need without helping them in their time.  His fulness and riches are infinite. 

And when we are in need, He will give us what we need through His infinite riches and grace.  All the favors and fulfillments of the provisions given would be given through Christ.  Even the supply of our temporal needs comes to us through the Savior.  The theologian Albert Barnes puts it this way.  “Were it not for the atonement, there is no more reason to suppose that blessings would be conferred upon people than that they would be on fallen angels. For them no atonement has been made; and at the hand of justice they have received only wretchedness and woe.”  And I want to add that often these blessing conferred upon non-Christians can lead to their salvations. 

Therefore, if God will supply all our needs then we need to ask the question, “If God does not provide for what we deem a need, is it really a need or is it simply a desire?  And we must remember that God knows how best to meet our needs, which may not be how we expect or desire them to be met.  So we must have trust and faith in God that however things happen is how He determines is the best way.  God loves us more than we can ever imagine, so much so that He sent His begotten Son to address an issue we could not.   And if He loves us this much to sacrifice His only begotten son, why would He not address other “needs” we may have?  Just be who He has called you to be. “Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches.” 1 Corinthians 7:17. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 1:7

Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 1:7 

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” – Ephesians 1:7

This section of scripture starts with Paul declaring God our Father as blessed.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” “Ephesians 1:3-6. 

Let us look at these verses for a moment.  In verses 4 and 5, many take this to be evidence of Calvinism.  Calvinism is the idea that God chooses whom He will save, and ultimately whom He will not.  However, we were chosen because of God’s foreknowledge and not because He chose us for no reason.  “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30.  The word here translated foreknew means exactly what it sounds like, knowing beforehand.  Now, the idea of ‘knowing’ is an intimate knowing, not just knowing of Him.  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?  And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.” Matthew 7:21-23.

And this salvation, granted to all of us but accepted by but a few, is a free gift from the Father.  It is not  something we earn by working for it.  If that were the case, it would not be a gift but a payment for work performed.  And since no one can live a perfect life, except of course Jesus the Christ, we are unable to earn our salvation.  In this we have a reason to rejoice for He gave us what we needed, not what we earned.  But again, not all have accepted.

Now to our focus verse.  “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”  Ephesians 1:7.  What a beautiful verse.  This is a great cause for celebration for us who have accepted His work on our behalf.  First, we are redeemed through the blood of Christ.  He loved us so much, He was willing to send His only begotten son to die a torturous death to give us the salvation we had no access to except through His sacrifice.  The Son of God was willing to die on our behalf.  And through His death, we have received forgiveness of all our sins.  The penalty has been paid on our behalf.  It is as if we never committed them.  He did not have to do this, however, there is no greater love.  “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.  He gave Himself for us.  He is due all the glory, honor and praise we can give.  And I will add obedience.  “You are My friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:14. 

Christ gave His all for us, the least we can do is give our all to Him. 

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.