Wednesday, November 14, 2012
My God and Your Needs
Temple Baptist Church - 11-14-2012
A. One of the most quotable verses of Scripture is our verse for tonight. How many times have you heard this verse both quoted and needed! We have found in Paul’s confession the many ups and downs that God’s people have.
1. I have known highs in my Christian experience that made me want to shout and praise the Lord. If you are in one of those tonight, help yourself.
2. I have known lows in my Christian experience that made me say, “I feel so low that I could walk under a snake’s belly without tipping my hat.”
B. Verse 19 is seldom quoted during:
1. The “good times” unless we are trying to encourage another brother or sister as they walk in the valley. We know what God says and want them to be encouraged.
2. The “bad times” unless it is being quoted to us by another brother or sister to encourage us as we walk through our valley.
C. There are truths to be learned in this:
1. In the “good times,” it is the Lord that has met our needs and given to us many of our wants. Thankfulness should be daily but only comes with the contentment that Paul is talking about in verse 11.
2. In the “bad times,” we should both remember and rely upon God’s promise to supply all of our needs though the situation seems dire. To this point in life, I have never had the Lord to let me down so now should not be the first time.
D. Now, I want to establish some things within our context that properly explain and apply this verse.
1. The interpretation of the verse is to a mission hearted local church body!
a. They were the first and, for a while, the sole supporting church of the Apostle Paul. Verse 15
b. They were the godly example that encouraged the Macedonian churches to do so much for missionaries. Verse 16 (2 Corinthians 8).
c. There were times of plenty when they supported Paul and times of carefulness when they wanted to and could not. I call this the seasons of the local church. Verse 10.
d. There came a time when the “careful church” once again became a supporting church. Verse 10.
e. The Philippian Church was well pleasing to the Lord because of their love and sacrifice. Verse 14.
f. The God who supplied Paul’s need was the same who would supply their needs. Verse 19.
2. The practical application of the verse must be to the faithful giver!
a. God blesses the tither! Malachi 3:10-12 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (11) And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. (12) And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts. (Learn this lesson well! It is life or death to the finances of a child of God. I have lived well and done well because of this biblical principle. I tithe out of both love for the Lord and obedience to His Word.)
b. God curses the thief! Malachi 3:7-9 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? (8) Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. (9) Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. (I saw a sermon title on a church sign once which read: There is going to be a holdup Sunday morning! It was at a black church and I would have loved to have heart that sermon!)
c. God blesses the giver! Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (You cannot give until you tithe because gifts are above the tithe which is a debt! You may think that you can put a token amount into church and something to missions and be blessed but it does not work that way. Giving less than a tithe to the church and a little to missions is still “God robbing!” I give to missions because I love the souls of people, missionaries, and my Lord who died for the lost.)
d. God supplies the need of the faithful to tithe and give! Proverbs 3:9-10 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: (10) So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. (Paul did not say “wants” but “needs.” There are times when things are “tighter” than in other times. You will not always have money in the bank and may have to actually pray for your daily bread but the God of Paul is the God of the believer and He will supply your needs. “According to His riches in Glory” shows the immensity of His wealth and power to supply.)