Friday, December 30, 2011

Abounding as Needs are Met

In Philippians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul showed that he understood what it meant to abound and to suffer need. We are so blessed in this country that few people here really know what it means to “need” food. Sure we might have times when we are hungry because we cannot find a drive thru restaurant, but few have to worry about starving to death. - Still, most of us know what it means to live on a budget. In other words, we do not have a limitless supply of money to buy whatever we want to. That is actually a good thing, because it teaches self control and responsible stewardship. - Part of our stewardship as a family involves keeping a small emergency fund set aside. This fall we were grateful that we had it because both vehicles ended up needing repairs, a couple of us visited the hospital for minor issues, and a new baby was added to our family. In spite of all these challenges, by God’s grace, we have been able to pay all our bills. - Our story probably sounds quite familiar to many of you who are going through similar times in your home, but our story took an interesting turn about a week before Christmas. Our new baby had a slight tongue tie. It was not serious enough for the local doctor to even be concerned about it, but it was causing serious problems with his nursing. - We found a specialist in Lincoln, NE that could do a minor surgery, but it would cost $250 plus the expense of driving out there. After talking it over, we decided that even though finances were tight, we should go ahead with the procedure and trust God with the rest. As we made that decision, we received a gift of $50 in Bancroft Bucks. Then while we were gone to Lincoln, a couple of men stopped by with another $50 in Bancroft Bucks. Then the next day a lady stopped by with a bunch of groceries and a $150 gift card. The Bancroft Bucks and gift card replaced the $250 we spent on the surgery. - We were overjoyed that our only expense for the procedure was our cost to drive out to Lincoln which came close to $100 in gas. Then the next day we received an envelope with our typed address and no return address with a $100 gift card to Fairway. - We were praising God for His provision through the loving charity of others, but it did not stop. We also received another $50 gift certificate for gas and another Johnson’s Grocery gift card. Further, we also received gifts from other individuals. What a wonderful Christmas it has been. The Miller family knows what it means to abound. - Philippians 4:12-20 says, “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. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 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. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 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. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” - I want to thank God and all those He used to help us abound.

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