While the promise of Phil. 4:19 can have personal application for individual believers, it was originally made to a group of believers – the church in Philippi. From Philippians chapter four we learn that the church in Philippi was a strong supporter of missions. The apostle Paul was a great missionary-evangelist to the Gentiles, and Philippi was a supporting church. As a matter of fact, at one point in Paul’s missionary endeavors Philippi was his only supporting church (v15).
Obviously, their support enabled Paul to continue his missionary work in Europe of preaching the gospel and planting churches. But something else was happening that Paul brought to their attention in v17. As they gave, fruit was building up in their heavenly bank account. Not only that, but their continued giving to missions was a sweet-smelling aroma to God (v18). It was an acceptable sacrifice. It made God happy!
Did the church in Philippi have needs? I’m sure they did. Could they have used the money for things at home? I’m sure they could. But when they made missions a priority, God made their needs His priority! This is the context of the promise, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
God Himself has promised to bless and provide for a missions-giving church! River of Life is a testimony of this. Our financial needs are great. Our monthly mortgage payment is staggering. The interest rate is more staggering still. And yet in spite of this, we have made missions a top priority. We now support over 40 missionaries and missions organizations. We are in the top 400 Assemblies of God churches nationally in missionary support. By the end of 2013 we will have had 14 different missionary guests.
Missions matters at RLA. Is it any wonder that God is providing for our needs?! We’re not swimming in cash, but we’ve never missed a payment and we never will. How can I be so certain? I believe the promise of God! And what works for a church will work for you and your family. Put God first. Be a faithful giver. Make missions a priority. And then hold on to the promise of Philippians 4:19. It will not fail!
Pastor Todd Weston