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The Missionary's God

The Missionary's God

Words of Faith 9-13-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Philippians 4

[19] And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. 

 

 

      We have come a long way in this devotional journey with Paul.  Before signing off, Paul closes his letter with another missionary perspective that has become quite a familiar verse, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." 

       This is one of those great promises.  It is a super memory verse that is rich with power and meaning.  A verse we sometimes claim during tight financial times and also one I have received attached with joy to more than one anonymous gift. 

        Sadly, it is also a verse often plucked from its context as a sort of "name it and claim it" proof text.  So, let's take a moment to note what this verse does and does not say.

        First, notice "the God" Paul identifies is personal.  This is from his missionary heart.  "MY GOD shall supply..."  MY God.  Not "God in General.”  If you do not know Him, you have no claim. My God, the "missionary's God," is powerful and personal. 

        No, this is not a different God, but perhaps more of the reality of God than many of us experience is found in the heart of a missionary.  The missionary's God is not a casual acquaintance or a sometimes friend.  He is VERY personal in the battle of day-to-day faith.  

         Second, "My God shall meet all YOUR needs....”  A common misquote is heard when people say, "MY God shall meet all MY needs."   It would have been so easy for Paul to be self-focused and talk about HIS needs.  But he has a genuine concern for the Christians at Philippi.  Real grace claims provision in the lives of others. Provision is never merely about ME; it is part of the supply given for the Body of Christ.  Certainly, we can receive this same blessing from Paul, but if you claim this promise word for word, you will inevitably claim if for someone else!

          Third, "ALL" your needs.  Not some of them, but ALL your needs.

          Fourth, all your "NEEDS.”  That may be the most crucial point.  What are your "needs?"  If we are sincere, we must confess that we easily get our "needs" confused with our "wants.”  On the mission field, those differences are not blurry at all. 

          I talked to one missionary family who had been asked by a church to construct a "wish list" for Christmas.  They wrote back naming such basic things as "four dental check-ups.”   Those were the "luxuries" that Christmas.  Missionaries sometimes live in a way where even basics are set aside for a time as "luxuries" so that the work of Christ can go forward.  

         Don't misunderstand.  The "missionary's God" is quite powerful and quite wealthy, sometimes providing miracles we would find fantastic.  But living in dependence upon the close touch of God requires that the chaff of many so-called "needs" be burned away.  The most powerful discovery of all is that when we find that all we truly need is God.  

         Finally, Paul says this provision is "according to HIS RICHES IN GLORY.”  When there is a need in our lives and ministries our heavenly Father takes great joy in opening the gates of heaven to pour out a supply through the conduit of His body... if only we, as the body, will not get in the way of passing that supply to where it is needed and intended to go.  Now, name and claim that.  Claim the provision of Your God for those around You today.

 

    Lord, teach me, like Paul, to claim Your provision in the lives of others by faith.  Build in me the faith of trusting You as the "missionary God" of my own life. Father, gently burn away the chaff of the "needs" in my life and focus me on You today.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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