The Philippian assembly tracked the steps and movements of the Apostle Paul with deep interest. Their practical fellowship was sent by the hands of Epaphroditus, at apparent great cost to him (Phil 2:30), almost involving the loss of his life.
Paul, deeply moved by the kindness of the saints, wrote to them to express his appreciation and the value of their gift to him (4:10-16) and to the Lord (4:17-18). But what can Paul possibly give in return? How can he, the human vessel, return anything which would compensate for their care? Having thanked them to the best of his ability, he then tells them of resources which will meet every need they could possibly have. “But my God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Was Paul merely telling the believers that just as they had met his financial needs, so God would meet theirs? Is the full scope of this promise a blank check on the financial reserves of heaven? Something more and greater is here: God is able to minister to every need which an assembly can have.
At Philippi the need may well have been related to the underlying problem for unity and preservation (2:12,13; 4:1-3). There was also the need for strength amidst circumstances (1:27-30), and possibly also for discernment (3:1-3) in light of foes.
God has not changed and is still the God Who has resources to meet the need of every assembly. Is there a need for men in your assembly to preach the gospel? “My God shall supply . . .” Is there a need for leadership, Sunday School teachers, wisdom for outreach, and gift for ministry? Paul’s promise is the same: “My God shall supply . . .” What of teachers and godly character? The promise is the same.
Throughout the epistle to the Philippians, Paul strengthens the believers by revealing to them a God Who is able to minister to the assembly in every need which might confront them. He can give grace for trials (1:27-30) and garrison with peace (4:7). No circumstance taxes His resources or exhausts His reserves.
Each assembly, each “House of God” has this great promise. The well will never run dry, the cruse of oil will never fail, the waterpots will always yield wine in abundance, and the river of God is always full. Ours is to draw from it, to bring empty vessels, to stoop and drink, and to do “whatsoever He saith.” The potential for great things exists even in our day, because we have a great God and a great promise.