4 Minute Read + Scripture readings
TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Philippians 4:19 (CSB): “And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
The verse that I have chosen as Today’s Bible Verse is often ripped out of context. It is often forced to say something that God never intended for it to say.
All too often, well-intentioned but uninformed Christians take this verse to mean that God is always going to meet their needs.
Now, you may read my last sentence and say: “Well, isn’t that exactly what Philippians 4:19 promises?”
May answer is a resounding, “No!”
It is an unfortunate practice of too many of God’s children to simply grab a verse off the pages of Scripture and apply it. But, that is not how a serious student of God’s Word treats their Bible. Among other things, they realize that verses are in the context of all of the verses around them. To understand a verse, you have to read all of the verses (maybe even the biblical book) around that verse.
So, in Philippians 4:19, we have the apparent assurance that God will take care of our needs. But, now, let’s give it a little context.
Philippians 4:18–19 (CSB): “But I have received everything in full, and I have an abundance. I am fully supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you provided — a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Did the context help you to understand Philippians 4:19 a little better?
Essentially, Paul was doin missionary work. He was getting the Gospel out to the masses. And, in order for him to do that, he needed the financial resources for boat trips, meals, lodging, and so much more. So, Paul said that as the Philippians Christians were providing for his needs (as he did Gospel ministry), God would return the favor and take care of their needs.
Essentially, it is the same message that Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount:
Matthew 6:33 (CSB): “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”
Again, the principle is this: If we use our resources to fuel what is important to God (the Gospel, increasing the size and influence of His kingdom, etc.), then God will take care of us. If we are good stewards of the money He has already entrusted to us by using it for His purposes, then He will take care of our most basic needs.
We cannot rip Philippians 4:19 out of context and say that God will take care of our needs if we are using all of our resources on ourselves and on temporal pleasures. The promise only applies to those who leverage their resources for Kingdom purposes.
But, one more thing. God is the one who gets to define what our needs are, not us.
So, my friend, do you see how important it is to look at the context of a verse before assuming that we know what that verse is saying? If we are to be serious students of God’s Word, we cannot handle His Word recklessly. We must work to understand exactly what God is saying so that we can accurately apply it and teach it to others.
2 Timothy 2:15 (CSB): “Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.”