Monday, May 23, 2005

A Partnership in the Glory Realm

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul is writing, not only to a church he has established, but to a community of believers who were active partners with him in the Gospel:
Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:15-19)
There was a financial partnership going on here — that is, the Philippians aided Paul’s ministry out of their finances, not just once, but often. Paul actually uses a mercantile metaphor in the phrase “concerning giving and receiving.” The Greek words translated “concerning,” eis logon, are an idiomatic expression referring to the keeping of accounts. “Giving and receiving” is the language of credits and debits.

Because of their financial participation in the ministry of the Gospel, the Philippians were not only giving, but receiving as well. Paul was experiencing an abundance in the area of his ministry needs, and he was believing God to abound toward the Philippians in the same way. Notice the mention of accounts again: “I seek fruit that abounds to your account.” There is nothing we can give to the ministry of the Gospel that will not be repaid many times over. Jesus said,
Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30)
This is what the Philippians were doing, and an accounting was established. We can see that their gifts were offered in faith, for they were pleasing to God, and without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrew 11:6). They were well-qualified in their giving, so they were well-qualified to receive the abundance and prosperity of God.

But what does this have to do with the glory realm of God?

Simply this. By their righteous use of finances in supporting the ministry of the Gospel, they were in partnership, not only with Paul, but with God Himself. God’s promise was that He would abundantly supply all their need according to His abundance in glory. In other words, by their giving, the Philippians were positioned to experience the glory realm of God and see it manifest in the area of their needs.

When you are in partnership with what God is doing in the world, your every need becomes an opportunity to experience the realm of His glory as they are met with His overflowing supply. Are you positioned to enter this realm and receive this abundance? If you are giving in faith to the work of the Lord, then yes — God shall supply all your needs according to the riches of His glory realm by Christ Jesus.