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580. Insufficient Funds

Are we making sufficient deposits into our Grace and Mercy account?
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING

Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account (Phil. 4:17)

bank depositIn the fourth chapter of Philippians Paul is expressing his gratitude for the way the church in Philippi had responded to his need. He makes it clear, however, that the most important benefit of their generosity would be the “deposit” they would be making to their own “account.” He goes on to say that God, through them, had supplied everything he needed. His needs had been more than amply met. He then assures them that God won’t forget their generosity:

And my God shall supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

Ancient Philippi

Ruins at Philippi

What Paul seems to be saying here is that God’s riches are limitless. He owns the bank. We, as believers, have an account in that bank, and we make deposits to our account through our obedience to biblical commands. It’s really quite simple, and it makes perfect sense. The Bible talks a lot about rewards for believers’ obedience, and Paul is addressing that very point in his letter to the church at Philippi.

AS I SEE IT

The Bible says that the law and the prophets can be summed up in what we call the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Check out Matthew 7:12. It’s the biblical version of what goes around comes around. God rewards heart-felt generosity and he doesn’t hold back:

Give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return (Luke 6:38).

blood bankIt’s easy to understand how this applies to money. It’s tangible and can be counted. Most of the time, however, God is more concerned about the other deposits we are making-like deposits of grace, compassion and forgiveness. The goal is to have such a sufficient balance in our account that when we need something for ourselves, there’s enough in our account to cover it. It’s like depositing some of our own blood in a blood bank so we know it’s there when we need a transfusion.

Here’s how this seems to work. Every act of grace or forgiveness on ourinsufficient funds 1 part results in a deposit to our account. The more grace and forgiveness we show, the larger our account balance. As with a savings account, the smart thing to do is to make regular deposits. It must become a way of life. If we fail to make deposits, we may be terribly disappointed when we are in need of forgiveness, we need to make a withdrawal, and we get a printout reading INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. The smart thing to do is to determine what we need most from God, and to start making appropriate deposits.

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