by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XVII

July, 1938

Number 12.

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

"Now my God shall be filling your every need in accord with His riches in glory in Christ Jesus," - Phil. 4:19.  

This passage, like all others, must be viewed in the light of its context.  To fail to do so would be to miss the lesson, as would, be the case in every other passage.  

But before noticing the context, let us look at some other passages that deal with the same matter in other administrations.  In Luke 21:1-4, we see rich folks casting oblations into the treasury.  Perhaps some of them put in fifty dollars each; others, no doubt, contributed a hundred dollars each.  In imagination I can see how pleased they were at themselves as they walked back to their seats.  

If they had deigned to look at the Lord, Who was standing near, they would not have seen a look of approbation on His face.  Instead, they might have seen disgust written there.  If they had asked Him, "Don't You think we are exceedingly generous?"  He might have answered, "It is nothing!"  

But just then a drudging widow approached the treasury.  There is no doubt that she felt ashamed of her oblation - it was so small.  She dropped in thirty-nine cents!  I can imagine that the rich folks sneered at her and the pittance she had cast into the box.  Such a small amount could do no good!  Why did not the poorly-dressed woman keep it, and stay out of such excellent company?  

But now the Lord is speaking, and all will hear Him, whether or not they want to.  "Truly, I am saying to you, that this poor widow cast in more than all," He says; and while the people wonder if they have understood Him aright, He continues, "For these all cast out of their superfluity into the oblations of God, yet this woman, out of her want cast in all the livelihood which she had."  

Was ever greater wisdom uttered?  He was not only seeing what was cast in; that which concerned Him, was what was NOT cast in.  The rich had set aside their superfluity of money.  They would never need it.  This they had given to God.  It represented a very, very small portion of their possessions.  But the widow would now eat no more until she had earned more money.  The amount was only thirty-nine cents, but it was all she had.  Therefore she had given, not simply more than any one of the others, but more than they all!  

None is too poor to give a large gift to the Lord!  A nickel given by a person who has only a nickel, is more than a hundred dollars given by one who has a thousand dollars.  It is not a question of how much one gives; the question is "How much did he keep back?"  I told a congregation once, "You should give till it hurts," and one replied, "I'm too poor to give till it hurts."  He is mistaken.  The poor are the only ones who make a sacrifice as a rule.  Although the wealthy may give large sums, they do not feel it.  The poor man with only a dime, gives half his money when de donates five cents.  

Going now into a different administration, we will turn to II Cor. 8, where Paul is writing about contributions for the poor saints in Jerusalem.  That was in the administration when saints among the nations were participating in the spiritual things of Israel, and were under obligations to minister to them in fleshly things, (Rom. 15:27).  

Telling the saints of Corinth about the generosity of those in Macedonia, Paul says, - "seeing that in an extreme test of affliction, the superabundance of the joy and the corresponding depths of their poverty, superabounds to the riches of their generosity, seeing that, according to their ability, I am witness, and beyond their ability, of their own accord, with much entreaty beseeching of us the grace and fellowship in a service for the saints; and not according as we expect, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God," (II Cor. 8:2-5).  

They were in deep poverty, but their joy was superabundant.  These two combined gave value to their generosity.  Perhaps they did not give much, but they gave beyond their ability, and did it of their own accord.  Indeed, they begged for the opportunity to give.  They longed for a part in this fellowship.  The secret of it all is, they first gave themselves to the Lord and His slaves.  When one does this he never regards giving money a hardship.  Rather, it is a privilege.  Such a saint is never looking for an opportunity to not give: he is afraid he will not have the opportunity of giving.  

The same theme is continued throughout the chapter and into the next.  And in 9:9 we have the assertion that "He gives to the drudgers."  The drudgers are the ones who make real sacrifices in this matter.  And God gives to them.  Then in verse 10 Paul prays that God will give material blessings to the givers who make sacrifices in the things of the Lord.  

Passing to the secret administration, when saints are no longer under financial obligation to Israel, Paul shows that giving is to be in the nature of contributions to the evangel, (Phil 1:15).  Works of philanthropy the world has the opportunity of doing, and does do.  Saints are, for the most part, poor.  They, and not the world, love the evangel, and to them it is committed.  By far the larger part of them are not public teachers, but when they give for the progress of the evangel they are serving as well as are those who do teach publicly.  

Timothy, who slaves for he evangel, is held up as an example, (2:19-24).  When a saint has this privilege it should be a matter of rejoicing.  Slaving for the evangel may be merely dusting out the place of worship, or it may be plowing, hoeing and reaping in the fields, with the intention of producing something to contribute to the progress of the evangel.  It may be any one of many lines of drudgery.  

Epaphorditus is another example, (2:25-27).  For long hours, day after day, he had trudged on foot toward Rome, that he might minister to Paul a herald of the evangel.  And though he became ill, he went on.  Nor was he concerned about his suffering.  This is slaving for the evangel.  

Paul, himself, is another example, (chapter3).  Counting all else as refuse, the evangel and a knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord was paramount in his life.  Even ritual of a former period was disdained.  To repudiate the "religion" which God gave to Israel, and to modify previous truth to  make it fit the secret administration brings on great suffering.  To labor in this cause is slaving for the evangel; it is contributing to the evangel.  

Christ Jesus is the supreme example given in this epistle, (2:5-8).  In this, humility and service are the key-words.  To have the same disposition is to be seeking a lowly place to serve and suffer - not a high place where men honor us.  

Now we come to the context of our text, (4:10-18).  There had been times when the saints in Philippi had lacked occasion to minister to Paul, but even then they were disposed to do so.  But this disposition had blossomed.  Fruit followed.  The apostle hastens to assure them that he is not hinting at a want.  Alas! how often it is necessary yet, to disclaim any, selfish motive!  He was aware what it was to be humbled and filled.  He had been initiated into the secret of contentment in every condition.  He was seeking the fruit which would be increasing for their account.  

But the saints had done ideally in contributing to him.  Their donations while he was with them, preaching for them was good, (1:6); now, that he could no longer minister to them except by writing, their contribution was ideal - a stronger word than "good".  So it is today.  There are those who give to me because I preach to them.  That is good.  There are others who send contributions, although the only benefit they get from me is reading the Messenger.  This is ideal. 

It was to saints who are contributing to the evangel, that the promise of the text is made.  He will be filling their every need, and is not limited to the whims of men in doing so.  He will do it in accord with His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  No saint need be in doubt as to those riches.  Material things are under consideration.  

We need not be unduly alarmed at the doings of congress, at the lowness of prices, or at the weather.  God has set Himself to the task of filling our need.  We may disagree with Him as to what we need, and may, therefore, feel that He is not fulfilling His promise.  But, what do you really need?  Not so much as you may imagine.  

I say without hesitancy, that He will fill your every need, and although He does it through others, it is He who does it. 



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