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Asbury Bible Commentary – B. God Will Honor Their Generosity (4:14–20)
B. God Will Honor Their Generosity (4:14–20)

Paul warns them to see that their sharing in his troubles (v. 14) is of mutual benefit. He was indeed helped by their gifts (v. 18), but he reminds them that their sharing can be credited to their own account as well. Such loving service is actually laying up treasures in heaven.

V. 19 poses an interesting difficulty. As it stands in the NIV, it reads as a promise: “My God will meet [supply] all your needs.” However, some ancient texts read it as a wish/prayer: “May God supply. . . .” Hawthorne (p. 194) prefers the latter, “a reading which better reflects the apostle's own reverent attitude. He . . . prayerfully asks God to come to their aid.” This view certainly is not unfitting to Paul's thought generally. Whether promise or prayer, v. 19 is not to be viewed as a mechanical compensation of their charity, but as the gracious care of God. These glorious riches are in Christ Jesus, the sphere of all God's resources.