|4:10||But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.|
|4:11||Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.|
|4:12||I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.|
|4:13||I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.|
|4:14||Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.|
|4:15||Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.|
|4:16||For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.|
|4:17||Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.|
|4:18||But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.|
|4:19||But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.|
|4:20||Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.|
[Introduction] John D. Rockefeller, the richest person in US history had a life full of ups and downs. In the early years of his business, creating profits was the only thing on his mind, and then he suffered from all the criticism from the society. At the age of 53, Rockefeller was diagnosed with alopecia, and was told he was given less than a year to live. And that was when he stood before God, after years and years of customary religious life. By God’s grace his health was restored and from that moment on, Rockefeller’s life had changed completely. He established the University of Chicago, with 12 other colleges and universities, and approximately 4,900 churches to contribute to the world. But back when Rockefeller was still his old self, gaining billions of dollars a day, but couldn’t even satisfy himself. He was once asked, “How much money is enough money?” and then he replied, “Just a little bit more.” Having more does not indicate a satisfying life. In today’s passage, there is a confession of Apostle Paul who had an abundant, truthfully fulfilling life. I bless in the name of our Lord that through today’s passage may all Yewon believers taste the enjoyment of an abundant life regardless of circumstance, and have evidence.
1. The Life Within the One Who Gives Strength
Towards the ending of Philippians, Apostle Paul expresses thanks again to the believers of the Philippian church. When we look at verses 14-18, it mentions that the believers of the Philippian church did their best to devote to Paul’s missions. Therefore Apostle Paul expresses that he greatly rejoices in the Lord for them. With the joy on their spiritual growth, he mentions the life enjoying the abundant joy in whatever situation. That is the life of self-satisfaction. The meaning of self-satisfaction is being satisfied for oneself. A majority people would say that ‘money’ is the answer. For some people, it would be honor, power or knowledge. For frail people, health would be the answer. However those things can never give complete satisfaction to human beings. On this incomplete satisfaction, Apostle Paul is giving a clear answer about what can be given to us is the absolute satisfaction, not temporary satisfaction. Verse 13 states, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” The secret of living in absolute satisfaction and an abundant life is by only being filled with Jesus Christ who strengthens us. “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content”, “I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” From here, the original words of the expressions “have learned” means “specialized in secret.” If you can communicate with the Lord or when you can be “Only Christ”, you can have a grand confession like Apostle Paul: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” We should see this confession well. Many people fix on their eyes not to the first half but the second half. Pointing to the second half is called “an active way of thinking”. If you fix on your eyes to not to the words “who strengthens me” but “I”, you are really being deceived. Spiritual life is never an “active way of thinking.” I hope all Yewon believers would hold onto, look at and communicate with “Only Christ” in the midst of any situation, and taste the spiritual abundance in the Christ. I bless you in the name of the Lord that may you live the abundant life as the Bible says and be the witnesses who exert good influence of the Gospel.
2. God that Fulfills All Needs
In Philippians 4:15-18, mentioning the devotion of the believers of the Philippian church, Apostle Paul says that it is a fragrant offering and is pleasing to God. ‘Fragrant offering’ means that God accepted and received it. He emphasizes that the devotion is not in vain at all in verse 17. ‘Fruit’, ‘credit’ and ‘increase’ are mentioned in this verse and are the financial terms in Greek. The reason he used these terms is to say that their devotion would be the spiritual investment. Believe that God’ hands are not comparable to our hands. Once God grabs a handful blessings, that’s it. In Ephesians 3:20, Apostle Paul confesses, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” I bless you in the name of the Lord that may you believe that God doesn’t fulfill our greed but definitely meets the needs for the Gospel, and experience God’s purpose.
[Conclusion] I have once talked about Daniel Myung, a management consultant who wrote ‘Who is your background?’ His father was a pastor, who thoroughly educated him about tithe. He said, “A man doesn’t earn money when he follows money. There is a way of God’s calculation in materialistic goods. Think that all that you have belongs to God a hundred per cent, and offer it to Him. Then, God will bless you with even greater things.” He also said, “Take onto God’s calculation, not your own.” The Bible says, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” Citing this verse and Malachi 3:10 saying “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in many house. And thereby put me to the test,” he emphasized that the only thing allowed to test God with was tithes. So Daniel Myung started his career holding onto these Words. He gave his testimony that his income had rose 7 times in 8 years of his career and got hundreds of millions of dollars during his early thirties. I hope all Yewon believers have the evidence of experiencing God’s strength in you spiritual and physical life. Do not pray negotiating and asking God to fill your benefits. I bless you in the name of the Lord that may all Yewon believers experience God’s abundance through the biblical walk of faith and become the witnesses who rightfully have the evidence and testimony as God’s hidden card.