KNOWING GOD’S SUFFICIENCY
Lord, teach me how to be content in every situation.
Read PHILIPPIANS 4:10–23
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. 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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Cor. 12:9). Thank You, Lord, that You are sufficient.
The Philippian church has sent a financial gift to Paul through their church member Epaphroditus. Paul did not hesitate to request money from churches to help other churches in need, but he refused to do so for himself. While he is deserving of financial support, Paul prefers to support himself and his mission by the work of his hands. Nevertheless, he rejoices not in the monetary gift itself but in the Philippians’ act of sacrificial self-giving.
Paul himself had learned “to be content whatever the circumstances” (11). The Greek word translated “content” is used only here in the New Testament and better translates as “self-sufficient.” In ancient Stoic philosophy, the end game was to become independent through discipline and discovering one’s inner resources to meet any situation. Perhaps tongue in cheek, Paul suggests that his “self-sufficiency” is the sufficiency of God through the inner resource of Christ in him. This God-sufficiency and God-dependency enables him to “face any situation” (which is a better translation than the NIV’s “do all this” in verse 13).
In verse 17, Paul uses the language of an investment consultant. He explains that he is keen, not for the Philippians’ money, but for the interest that it would accumulate in their heavenly account. Paul views their financial gift as a spiritual investment. The world urges us to invest in things that will eventually vanish, but the Bible encourages us to invest in the eternal. As Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).
Have you learned the secret of God’s sufficiency through Christ, to face every situation? Looking at your spiritual investment portfolio, can you find ways to improve it?
Lord, use my resources for the greater good of Your kingdom as I continue to invest in that which never fades away.
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