"God Will Supply"
A Declaration of Our Confidence in God
Sermon by David Chittenden
We are living in a day and time when promises don't mean a whole lot. People talk about New Year's resolutions, but they don't intend to keep them usually much after they have already spoken them, or after a day or two has come along, or after it has inconvenienced them. And it's so sad that when people say they are going to do something, so many times they don't follow through and do what they said they were going to do. You see that so clearly in our legal community, of how that there's nothing that can be a legal document unless it has the signatures that it needs, and several signatures usually, and maybe a notary seal. And still people may not do what they said they were going to do. Now that's kind of a "downside" of it, isn't it?
But I want to talk to you today about something that is on the other side and that's found in a very familiar verse. In Philippians, chapter number 4. What I want to do today, I want to look at a New Year's Promise. If we want to have something to hang our hat on this year, if we want to have an anchor to hold on to and a verse of scripture that can give us the strength that we need for this year. In Philippians 4, verse 19. We find here a declaration of our confidence in God. He said, "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Now I believe if there's anything we need, we need to hold on to the promises of God. You know, I can stand up here and promise you some things, but humanly speaking, there is no way that I can have complete control over those promises, because of our human frailty. But I want you to know today, that when God promises us something, He can follow through. When God says that He can take care of you, God can take care of us. He says here, that "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
1. The Great Necessity
There are several things I see here that I want us to focus in on for a few minutes this morning. And the first thing, I guess is a little bit on the practical side. We find here, he talks about "all your need." When I look at this, I see a Great Necessity. Folks, we're a needy people. There's hardly a day goes by, we don't need something. We need love form each other. We need to eat breakfast. We need our car to start. We need a little more money in the bank. There's hardly a day goes by that we don't need something. And as I read this, I think about the great necessity. And folks, some of you today are sitting here and have some very great necessities. I mean, you just look at the temporal things: you have to continually buy the groceries to feed your house, you have to continually buy the clothes to put on your back, you continually have to buy a car.
You know, I remember when I was a teenager and I couldn't wait to buy my first car, and I thought, wouldn't it be wonderful to own a car. Then I found out, that car owns you. Of course then, you know, I'm a glutton for punishment, I got two of them.
Now folks, there are so many temporal needs that we have. And sometimes I'm afraid that what people do is they try to set God outside of their temporal needs. They have the idea, and I believe that Satan inspires this idea, that God doesn't care about our temporal needs. God care about the clothes that your wear. Did you know that? God knows how many hairs that you have. I saw some of you out there. He's getting personal now. You see, what Jesus said, what Jesus told his disciples, he said, "Take no thought what ye shall eat or what ye shall put on." Now why did He say that? Because we can get so wrapped up in the needs of the NOW. We can look so much at our temporal needs that we forget that God is concerned about those needs and God has a greater purpose through those needs.
Then there is such a Great Necessity here. But even more then that, we find that there are Great Spiritual needs. Today as you are facing maybe some of the greatest battles of your life, you may be a warrior who is just tired of the battle. And you know one thing about serving the Lord is, you can't get in very far in serving the Lord, that you don't find out that there is a spiritual battle out there. You can't get in very long serving Jesus Christ and you find out there are people that don't like you serving Jesus Christ, and the next thing you know, somebody's got to make fun of you; somebody's got to ridicule you, somebody's got to try to put you down. And I want you to know, today, as a spiritual warrior, that the Great Soldier can stand beside you. He knows your pain, because He was there before you were there. Jesus said, "If they hated you, I want you to know they hated me first." You know we have this idea, and you know I don't want anybody to hate me. Can you imagine how Jesus Christ must have felt when the world hated Him, and He had a heart big enough to love the whole world. Then somebody hates us, and, you know, we feel like we've really been under persecution. And I want you to know today, that sometimes in the middle of the battle you get weary. And sometimes when you get out there on the front lines, you begin to look around at all those that are wounded. You begin to look at all those who have fought the battle, but they are hurt and they are bleeding, and they are in pain. And I want you to know that sometimes it gets weary out there on the front lines. There is a great need. And I like what the poet said, "God hath not promised skies always blue, flower strewn pathways all our life through, God hath not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain. But God has promised strength from above, rest for the weary, light for the way, unfailing sympathy and undying love." And I want you to know today, that as God looks down at your spiritual needs, he knows the battle that you fight.
And let me encourage you today as a child of God, I want you to realize, that when you begin to take a stand for God, there is a battle to fight. The flesh is not going to stand still, the Devil's not going to stand still. The world's not going to stand still. There is a battle. Sometimes in the middle of that battle you're going to have to come back to this verse, and you're going to have to realize that God cares about your needs. He knows what your needs are. As a matter of fact, He tells you that He's not going to put more on you than what you can handle.
Worker today, you know you may be involved in trying to teach and you may be involved in trying to reach people for Jesus Christ. And how important it is when you try to get out the message of Christ and when you try to take care of those classes, and take care of those bus routes, and try to visit in those nursing homes and talk to people and get out the message of Christ. Sometimes we just have to look at ourselves and say I just don't know what to do. I want to do the right thing, at the right time, with the right spirit. I want you to know that, that's a great need today. But God knows about that need. He knows about the needs of the suffering. Today if you're in pain. You know C. S. Lewis said one time, that pain is God's megaphone. And though that may be a great need today, to deal with the pain and the suffering, as we read in I Peter, we understand that God cares for us through the suffering. You may be here today, and there may be some sin that is laying on you. You know, you can't live long in the flesh, without realizing that we're still sinful people. You know what we need more than anything else? We need the mind of Jesus Christ. 'Cause Satan's going to do everything he can to try and entice us, and besides what we even bring on ourselves. You see, we have that old sinful nature inside, and that sinful nature is not going to sit still. That sinful nature is against God, it's lazy. It wants it's own way. It's selfish. And if you're struggling with sin today, I want you to know that maybe that great need that you have may seem to be an unsurmountable need. You may be sitting there and say,"Bro. Dave, the sin has got a hold of my heart and a hold of my life and it just seems to be overwhelming me." Let me encourage you from the Word of God. God can help you overcome that. He can give you the power you need. He says there is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able, but with the temptation, also make a way of escape that ye may be able to bear it. He also said we wrestle also not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, and powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places. He tells us that we need to take on the whole armor of God that we may be able to withstand the Devil when he attacks us. And I believe today, we understand our great needs, we need to be comforted by these promises of God's Word. We need to be quickened by His precepts. We need to be strengthened by the great doctrines in the Word of God. And today, whatever your need is today, I'm glad to be able to stand before you and say, He knows your need today. But, I'll take you a step farther. He not only knows about it, He cares about it. Think about this great need, which has to take me to the next thing here.
2. The Great Helper
You notice he says in the first part of verse 19, he says, "But my God." I see here we have a Great Helper. A Great Helper. As I read the verses here, I see a man who is in a Roman prison. I see him as he takes his pen out and he begins to write these people in Philippi, as he begins to give them the instruction that they need, and back in verse 13, he said, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." You realize folks today, that Paul was telling these people at Philippi: Listen, I want you to know that God can take care of you, whether you are in the penthouse or whether you're in prison. That he used the personal pronoun, when he said "my" God. When I look at this I think of how may times the scriptures refers to God in a personal sense.
Think in the Old Testament how many times the scripture talks about the God of Abraham. You see Abraham knew God in a personal way. When God told Abraham to leave his family and to leave his friends and go to a place that he would show him, Abraham packed up. Abraham was a man of faith. He was looking for a city which had foundations whose builder and maker was God. Now he had a personal God. What is it that caused Abraham to pull up all of his roots and just head out? It was that relationship with "my God." Today if you don't know about your future and you don't know how that your needs can be met, let me again remind you, we need to focus on our Great Helper. And that's "my God." He's the one that we can turn to, He's the one that will help us. And I think of how may times it talks of the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. It talks about the God of Elijah, the God of Daniel, the God of David. But folks, you know, you look at those great men and somehow we get lost in the fact that God was their God, but we forget He's MY GOD, too. The same God who took care of them can take care of everybody. He said "my God." You notice he said here that "my God shall supply all your need."
|When troubles assail and dangers affright,|
|Though friends should all fail and foes all unite.|
|Yet one thing assures us the promise beside,|
The prophets assures,
|The Lord will provide.|
|The birds without barn 'or the storehouse are fed,|
|From them let us look Lord|
|To trust for our bread.|
|He says what 'ere bidding will not be denied,|
|As long 'tis written, the Lord, He will provide.|
|Satan tells us we're weak, our help is in vain,|
|The good we seek we never shall attain,|
|But when such suggestions our graces have tried,|
|This answers all questions,|
|The Lord, He will provide.|
|When life seeks a pace and death is in review,|
|The word of His grace will carry us through.|
|No fearing, no doubting,|
|With Christ on our side|
|We hope to die shouting|
|The Lord, thank God,|
He will provide.
3. The Great Supply
I want you to know this great supply is not just a measly portion. As a matter of fact, you look at this, at the word Paul used here in the Greek, and the word that he used here means "to fill to the full". To fill to the full. You see folks, we have a great supply. You know, you remember the woman whose husband had died and she could not pay her debt. And so what they were going to do is they were going to take her sons and they were going to sell her sons to satisfy the debt. And the prophet came along and he told the woman, he said, you get some empty vessels. She went out and gathered empty vessels. Then they took a cruse of oil and they began to pour. And I can imagine what it must have been like when they poured the first time, but that little cruse filled up the whole vessel. And then they got another vessel and they filled that vessel up, and another, and another vessel. Until finally, they said are there no more vessels? Folks, that's the kind of supply that God wants to give you and I. God want to fill us to the full, but do you know what the problem is many times? We don't bring to Him an empty vessel. We don't come to Him and say, "God, I'm willing to let you fill up my life, but I'm not willing to take anything out of my life. God my life's already full." Today, if God is not supplying your needs, I believe you need to set and look at you vessel.
I ask you this morning, is your vessel so full of other things that God can't put anything into it? You see, this great supply that God wants to give us is a supply which comes form the throne of heaven. Folks, God is looking at us. And He wants to know whether or not we will allow Him to fill up the vessel. Like the one man said:
|One by one He took them from me,|
|All the things I valued most|
|And I sat there empty handed,|
|All my glittering toys were lost.|
|So I walked earth's highways grieving,|
|In my rags and poverty.|
|Til I heard His voice employing,|
|Lift those empty hands to me.|
|And so I held my hands toward heaven|
|And He filled them with the|
|Store of His transcending riches,|
|Til they could contain no more.|
|And at last I comprehended,|
|With my empty mind and dull,|
|God can not pour His riches|
|Into hands already full.|
And I believe today, if we're going to receive the great supply we need to reach up to Him with empty hands.
4. The Great Resources
And then we see the Great Resources. You notice he said, "according to His riches in glory." I don't know about you, but there is nothing that God can not supply. I mean, just think of it this way, think of the riches God has in nature. I mean, you look out across the hills and you see all of the food and you see all of the trees. You even look under the ground and you see all the minerals God has placed there. But that's not all of God's riches. You look at providence and you realize how that God protects us and how that God's hand is watching over us. And how as His children He even takes His angels to watch over us, and to take care of us. Oh, how God works in providence. But folks, that's still not all of God's riches. I think of God's reaching out to us in Grace and as He looked at us when we did not deserve to be loved, He loved us. He looked at us when we were in the miry pit and He reached down and He pulled us out of the
miry pit, and He set our feet on a rock, and He established our goings. But folks, even the riches of His Grace is not all that He has.
You'll notice here he says, "His riches in glory." You think of God who could create all of the Universe. Think of a God who provided the very air that you breathe this morning. Think of a God who created the water that you drink. Think of a God who created the earth in such a fashion that we can walk and live and move and have our being. I was reading the other day, do you realize, if there was 1% less sunlight than what we have, 1%, life could not be sustained on earth. If the earth was 2 - 5% closer or farther from the sun, life could not be sustained on the earth. If the mixture of nitrogen and oxygen was not balanced so, life could not be sustained - if any one of these things. If the crust of the earth was any thicker or if it was any thinner, life could not be sustained. Now folks, if God can take care of all of those things, don't you think that God can take care of our needs? According to His riches in glory.
You know, I talk to people sometimes and the real problem, and especially Christians, that they have, is they really are not trusting God. Do you realize today that God can meet your needs? He can take care of every need that you have. You know, I'm looking forward to the series that the teachers are going to be teaching on stewardship. You know, stewardship, people talk about stewardship and the first thing that comes to mind "Oh man, the Preacher's going to be talking about money." You know stewardship is a lot more than money. It's a way lot more than money. You see stewardship is recognizing the ownership of God in all things, God owns it ALL. And once we recognize that God owns it all, then what we realize is that God allowed us to have a part of it. And when God allowed us to have a part of it, then He has given us a responsibility as a steward to take care of what God has given us. Now I believe once we get a hold of that concept, you know it changes your life. You know, I've talked to several people; they told me about when they first started tithing how hard a time they had. You know, I thought how in the world I'm going to be able to give God 10% of what God's given me? And I talk to them and sometimes their tone has been, "How can God be so unreasonable as to ask me to give 10%?" But folks, I want you to realize this morning, that God doesn't just own 10%, GOD OWNS A 100%. And we recognize that God owns 100%, then we determine how is it God wants us to handle that, and how important it is for us to give God the ownership and give it back to Him of what already belongs to Him. And I'll just throw this out, you know, tithing is the "kindergarten" of giving. That's where it starts at, because Malachi said, "You have robbed me of tithes and offerings." And I believe what God wants us to learn how to do is learn how to give to Him and recognize that God CAN take care of us. Amen. Preach it Bro. Dave. That's right. I'm going to camp here for a while. He can take care of you this morning. You know the world doesn't see anything wrong with raising their prices and asking for more money. But, boy, if you talk about money around the Church, "How dare that preacher talk about money! I ain't coming back to church." Well, you're here now. I'm going to tell you the truth, but you know it's the truth that can transform your life. When you give to God what belongs to him, that's only the beginning. What a blessing it was when I got involved with Faith Promise Missions, and I found that God can use us to win souls around the world! What a thrill it is as we have kept record of many of the decisions that have been made around the world through the missionaries we support, and I don't know if you've seen it or not, but there have been over 1300 souls saved, that we know about, this year, through the missions that we gave. And I remember when that I first got involved in giving. You know, praying that God would supply, learning to step out even more on faith, that God would give me what I needed to be able to take care of that Faith Promise. And I can't hardly begin to tell you all the lessons that God has taught me through the years in giving to Faith Promise. But I will tell you this, God has never let us down. And by the way, we've got four children. Some people say, "You just don't know how big my family is and all the expenses. I've got an idea. It's a little idea. Only got two in college now. Folks, it doesn't matter if you've got 2 or a 100 to take care of.
We need to learn to trust God more. God can, now hear me, God can supply our needs. There's nothing that's too big for God. If we put God first, then we put Him to the test, and I say to you today, why don't you just prove Him? Say, well, I gave one time and God just didn't give it back to me. Well what kind of attitude is that? You see, giving, as we learn to give to God, and by the way, one thing we're going to be teaching about, this is systematic giving. Boy, that's really going to be hitting home. But, do you know what the Bible teaches about this? It teaches us that we give the first fruits. You don't give the leftovers to God. You know, I hear people talk sometimes about, "Well, you know we had these groceries to buy and had all these bills to pay, and we just didn't have any money left for tithe." But, see, you approached it the wrong way. You take the tithe out first, because that belongs to God first. You give that to God first and then you ask God to give you wisdom in what to do with the rest. I know, boy, it gets tight when I start talking this way.. But I might as well talk to you about it, it's already tight. Especially after Christmas, you haven't got your credit card bill from Christmas yet. But you know, we live in a society today, we can get ourselves into a big mess just real quick. And I believe if we follow the principles of the Word of God, then we're going to have the blessings of God. And I don't know about you, but I need God's blessing. I need God to take care of me. He's big enough to do it. As a matter of fact, there is no need that God can not supply. And if we can ever get a hold of that truth, if we ever recognize that God WANTS to use us to prove His truth, then I believe it changes our attitude and it changes our life. God will never let us down, not one time.
I like what David said, he said, "I am old, and was young, and have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread." When you put God fist, and I'm not talking about "tipping" God. I had a guy tell me one time, "Well, I don't give every week. I just like to throw a hundred dollar bill in every now and then. Makes me feel good." Folks, stewardship starts with realizing that God owns everything. And we're faithful to Him, we're learning how to build the character of Christ in our lives. Well, it's quiet enough.
5. The Glorious Channel
Notice this last wonderful, wonderful truth: He said according to His riches in glory BY Christ Jesus." This is the glorious channel. This is the channel in which God brings to us all of His riches, it's through Jesus Christ. Now, with the push on today of people wanting to include any type of religion, as long as you believe in God, they say it's enough. You'd better look out when you exclude Jesus Christ. Because the only way to Heaven is by Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby ye must be saved." It was Jesus who said, "I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life. No man cometh unto the father but by me." You see, if you're expecting God to bless you through some other means, you're looking in the wrong place. The blessing only comes through Jesus Christ. And today, if you're here and you've never given you heart to Jesus Christ, I want you to know that the very greatest riches that He can give you is the gift of eternal life. And it's a GIFT. Isn't that wonderful about God? It's a gift. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you've never trusted Christ, you need to trust Him today.
You know, as we think about starting a brand new year, what a way to start a new year, giving your heart and life to Jesus Christ, saying, "God, I want what you want. I realize that without you, I'm, destined for an eternal hell. But only through Jesus Christ can I have the gift of eternal life." I'm glad to be able to tell you that you can receive that gift this morning. But God's not going to force it on you, you have to receive it. Won't you receive it today?