God is able to meet your material needs

Published 8:00 pm Friday, October 17, 2008

When I began this series of articles on “God Is Able,” I gave a simple definition of faith: “Faith is to believe that God is able and to personally act upon that belief.”

In my three previous articles I proclaimed that God is able to save you, God is able to keep you saved and God is able to give you the courage you need. Today I emphasize the simple Bible truth that God is able to meet your material needs. The emphasis is not on your material desires and wants but rather on your basic material needs.

The key Bible verse is 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” God’s guarantee to meet our material needs is in the context of obedience to him in the area of living and giving, a trust in him and a willingness to work.

Let’s meditate on such passages in Scripture. The Lord Jesus said, “So do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:31-34). In this passage the emphasis is on giving priority to God’s rule in your life, being righteous before God and living a righteous life. One result will be that every true need in your life will be supplied. This reminds us of the testimony in Psalm 37:25, “I once was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” A similar emphasis is in verse three of the same Psalm: “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed.”

Many of the Bible passages promising that God will supply our needs relate to being a giving person. One that has been proven to me for 68 years is Malachi 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the flood gates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” I was 13 years old when I first heard the Bible teaching about returning the holy one tenth of your earnings to God through the church. I immediately began to give forty cents of my four dollars earned each week from my newspaper route and have continued to this day. God has never failed to keep his promise to me.

Another verse God has proven to me is Luke 6:38, “Give and it shall be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.” Only one example of this began in 1987. My pastor challenged the congregation to give sacrificially to pay off our large building debt. The only property Louise and I possessed was a beautiful lot near Dothan for the location of a manufactured house when we would retire. We decided together to sell the lot and give every dollar. Then, 10 years later, when we really needed a lot to build on in 1997, God placed it on the heart of a friend to give us what we think is the best lot for our house in the best county on earth.

Work is in God’s plan for our needs being met if we have the physical/mental ability to do so. The Apostle Paul gave a general emphasis of the whole Bible in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” But the whole Bible likewise emphasizes that God intends to meet the legitimate needs of older widows, the orphans, the aliens, the poor, those down trodden through injustice, the hungry and the sick through those who can share their possessions, time and administrative abilities. It is God’s plan to do some of this through government responsibility and through faith based programs. This is especially emphasized through the Old Testament prophets.

Spiritual concerns and physical needs have a practical balance in all of Scripture and is probably revealed no clearer than in the prayer Jesus taught us to pray: “…Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread…” God is able to meet your material needs. Place His kingdom first. Ask him for your basic necessities of life. Let us be faithful in living and giving.