Philippians 4: 10-20
10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
14 Yet it was kind of you to share[f] my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.[g] 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
At this time, i want to post about the discussion of the passage which was obtained in Lifegroup community. For Bible in ESV (English Standard Version), the passage’s title was “God’s Provision”.
There were 2 questions from the community discussion:
- From this passage, what can we learn from: Paul, the Philippian Church, and God ?
- Where do you see aspects or principles from the life/death/resurrection of Christ in this passage ?
Paul was very grateful to the Philippian Church. In very limited circumstances in prison, Paul still remember their kindness. If you see any words of Paul, the Philippians quite often provide supply to him, not just once. Even Philippian’s actions were considered already in the form of empathy, Paul showed it in verse 14, “Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble”. This becomes a reflection for me, is if there is someone who is suffering, I can respond with my empathy. Can i can showed the truly love, even give a routine support ?
When we see verse 18, “I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gift, you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God“. The Philippians Church kindness, even empathy, made Paul still feel comfortable, even though he was a prisoner in the jail. My friends have shared an interesting illustration relate this verse, if Paul was in our era the Philippians Church always support in food, goods of daily necessities, and even message from email, facebook, instagram photo sharing, etc.
If I were Paul, I would probably focus to pray to be released from prison, relying incredible miracles from God. It is precisely the attitude of Paul should be become our inspiration to keep looking for another point of view, where the providence of God in us. Paul felt the providence of God through every provision, empathy, and the kindness of the Philippians Church. In verse 19, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus”. In my reflection, actually God had already for us, but we were too busy with our way to solve the problem (the prison). We should be more realize to God’s provision, aware of the kindness around us.
Verse 13: I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Verse 19: And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
When looking at these two verses, we can see Paul was knowing God. Paul experienced any difficulties will be overcome, because the power of God. He realized that although Jesus was sacrificed to death, the power of love will always overshadow and strengthen Paul.
My friend has shared about “Knowing God” which relate these verses. His grandmother was a picture of a person that was very “knowing God”. She always got up early, around 3 AM, for prayer and devotional. She did it everyday for a stay close to God, to always be aware of HIS presence. After she pray, she had shared experiences and inspiration to the family and also the people around her about the goodness of God that had happened to her. This is a great application for us.
We are very need to build intimacy with God in any condition. Providence of God through the kindness of Philippians Church give impact Paul feel closer to God. In verse 18, the kindness of Philippians Church had seen as a fragrant offering, acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. Paul very understand about the sacrifice, it was about giving the full service, loyalty, based on what was done when the Lord Jesus sacrificed Himself. Seeing this, Paul continued to pray for them so that always met their every need, according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
This is the sharing of me, I hope to inspire you to feel God’s provision.