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Philippians 4:10-18 New International Version (NIV)
Thanks for Their Gifts
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.
It is a wonderful thing when the church comes around family to help support them. Verse 10 and onward is the thank you part of the letter. Paul owes the Philippians thanks. They came through for Paul. Again, and again they supported him, with money, prayer, letters. Now Paul is careful to point out that he’s not just manipulating them for more money. This is genuine gratitude. Paul talks about being content both in plenty and in need.
Paul Received their gift with joy but reminded them that money has no qualities in which to place any trust. Money will not bring contentment, only Christ can do that. Money should not be trusted or worshiped; only Christ is to be trusted and worshiped. It is difficult to be content No matter what, and Paul wasn’t zapped with it by God, he learned it. Learned it from experience. Paul knew need, and he knew plenty. He had to go through it to learn it.
“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Now Paul is not saying, “I can do anything I want because I have magic God power.” He’s talking about being content in hard times. He’s saying, “I can do this. I can persevere. I can stand firm and keep my joy and hold onto God’s peace and be anxious for nothing – I can do all this through Him – because He gives me strength. Strength is how you move – how you bear burdens and carry you cross – how you press on to lay hold of that for which Christ laid hold of you.
When life hits hard - He strengthens me, and I am content. The Lord says, "Ask me if I need anything, anything at all. I’m good. Really good. "
Question: With living in a material world, have you found contentment in the Lord?
(Optional Song): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wNpOeakhEM