Weds 6th December Philippians 4:10-23
Meditation on Philippians 4:10-23
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
21 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. 22 All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
As we come to the end of this incredible letter we see the blessings of friendship, of fellowship, of partnership and of confidence in God.
Paul speaks of how the Philippians supported and blessed him in spiritual and practical ways. Go back to 1:3-5 where we read, ‘I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you I always pray with joy because of your partnership from the first day until now’.
In the first part of this final chapter Paul writes about the blessings that follow the challenge to ‘stand firm in the Lord.’
In our previous meditation we thought about the importance of unity. He wrote about the promises of God and the God of promises.
‘The peace of God’ and ‘The God of peace.’ Both of these will be with you.
These depend on our responses to His mercy.
The outcome of all this is the well-being of the people of God but this, also, is dependent on our attitudes and commitment.
Do we have concern for others?
v.10 Paul rejoices in the Lord, that ‘you renewed your concern for me.’
- 11-13 Paul writes about his own situation and his confidence in God’s supplying his every need. He is so very grateful to the Philippians for their wonderful support. He doesn’t go looking for support. He makes it clear…
- ‘I have learned to be content in every situation’
- ‘I know what it is to be in need’
- ‘I know what it is to have plenty’
- ‘I know what it is to be hungry’
- ‘I know what being well fed is’
He knows who he can trust. ‘I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.’
His confidence and trust were firmly in his looking to God to supply his needs.
Here is a challenge for us. Where is my trust? In whom do I trust?
What a blessing the Philippian Christians were to Paul…
- they shared in his troubles
- they were the only church that shared in the giving and receiving of gifts
- they sent him aid when he was in need
And the effect on Paul was clear…
- he was very grateful for this support
- he longed that they would be blessed in their giving
- he was so blessed…
- ‘I received full payment’
- ‘I have more than enough’
- ‘I am amply supplied by your gifts’
Not only are their gifts a blessing to Paul.
- ‘a fragrant offering’
- ‘an acceptable sacrifice’
- ‘they are pleasing to God’
How is our giving doing? Do we begrudge our giving to God by not giving to our fellow brothers and sisters who are in need?
Is our giving pleasing to God?
Are we blessing others by our giving?
God will bless such giving as Paul encourages the church in Philippi when he assures them that God ‘will meet all your needs.’
This is not a promise to give us all we want. No, He gives us what we need.
We are encouraged as we give, as well as those who receive are encouraged.
This generosity towards others brings glory to God as well as blessing to many.
Let us not be guilty of having ‘short arms in long pockets’!
At the end of many of Paul’s letters he names specific people in sending their greetings. Not here.
Notice that in these short verses Paul refers to…
- ‘all God’s people’
- ‘the brothers and sisters’
- ‘all God’s people’
We are all in this together – the people of God around the world. There will people in heaven ‘from every tribe, language and nation.’
Let’s learn to greet them before we get to heaven.
As we conclude our meditations in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, to say to each other, ‘the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you (your spirit.).’