The Secret of Contentment

August 27, 2023 Preacher: Thinus Meyer Series: Philippians - Journey of a Joyful Life

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: Philippians 4:10–23

After a series of summary exhortations (Phil. 4:1–9), and before his final greetings (Phil. 4:22–23), Paul warmly thanks the Philippians for once again supporting his mission, but he also takes the opportunity to explain that he has learned to be content, with little or much. Our passage outline is divided into four parts:

  1. I Can Accept All Things (v. 10-12)
  2. I Can Do All Things (v. 14)
  3. I Can Have All Things (v. 14-20) 
  4. Final Greetings (v. 21-23)

Christians should, by their nature and their experience of grace, have a strong impulse to give to others—to those in need, to the church as a whole, to missionaries, etc. Having been given so much (in Christ), there is a desire to give much (for Christ).

The key words in this passage are sharing, concern, need, partnership, giving. But the why behind those words is that the gospel must get to the Gentiles, especially those who have not heard (Rom. 15:20). That is why Paul is often in “need,” why the Philippians have “concern,” why “giving and receiving” is necessary. Whether in Paul’s day or our own, missions are needed because God is intent to redeem a multitude from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Rev. 5:9).

Paul describes the Philippians’ gift as “a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God” (Phil. 4:18). The Philippians’ financial support was an act of worship. It was sent to Paul, but in a very real sense it was also to God. It was “pleasing to God”—it smelled good to him. The Philippians, and we today, are called to be deliberate about this worshipful dimension to giving. 

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