Feb. 21, 2021. Philippians 4:10-13

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THE CONTENTED CHRISTIAN LIFE.  Philippians 4:10-13.  02/20/2021. #20.

Philippians 4:10-13 [New King James Version]

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

  1. Philippians—1st in mission support
    1. One of reasons for letter was a Thank You note to Philip.
      1. For the 3rd time Philippian sent Paul a gift (4:16)
      1. No other church had sent Paul an offering after he had left the church (4:15), not even Antioch
    1. The Philippian church established the pattern of ongoing support for missionaries
    1. Paul commends their care for him & rejoices
      1. There is nothing more encouraging than receiving a care package while serving in a remote & difficult location
      1. Showing care puts action to thought
    1. Philippian were least able to give than other churches
      1. II Corinthians 9:2 they were eager to give out of their
      1. poverty (many were on a meager soldier’s
      1. pension)
      1. Often, the least able to give are the most generous in supporting God’s work (widow’s mite)
    1. Paul emphasizes that he knew all along that the Philippian cared for him & that they desired to do more, but lacked opportunity (Epaphroditus must have apologized for a late response)
  2. School of content
    1. Paul greatly appreciated the gift, but was totally dependent upon God to supply his needs
      1. Paul did not minimize the Philippian sacrifice
      1. Philippian will receive great reward for what they did
      1. Paul was not looking for a gift, for his reason for serving God was to please him and not for money
    1. Paul learned to be content in all things
      1. As a Pharisee, Paul had an abundance of wealth
      1. Paul had previously lacked for nothing
    1. Paul had to learn how to depend upon God always
      1. Paul never lacked food & shelter before
      1. There were times that Paul had little food & no place to stay, but the ground
      1. Paul had to trust God’s care for him, even when his sack contained no food
    1. Paul learned to be content (satisfied) in all things
      1. Content (autarches) = auto (self) + arches (rule or control) => Paul was not dependent on others for his wellbeing (complete within himself)
      1. Paul was not claiming self-sufficiency, but rather having everything he needed for satisfaction within him (the Holy Spirit & support of God)
    1. Paul knew how to go hungry or how to have plenty
      1. He didn’t despair for lacking, nor become haughtily self-sufficient when in abundance
      1. Paul was able to trust God no matter what state he was in & never did he feel independent of God
    1. Most people don’t know how to flourish in prosperity
      1. Joshua, David, & Uzziah all fell into sin when they believed that they no longer needed to depend on God, but relied on their own wisdom
      1. Prosperity is more of a snare than poverty is a burden (not to minimize want)
  3. Spiritual vitality
    1. Paul states that he could do all things in Christ, who makes him strong (not supernatural things, but everything God calls upon him to bear)
    1. “All” can mean all manner of things (1 Tm. 6:10 the love of money is the root of all manner of sin)
    1. If we are content, rejoicing, praising, praying, submitting…

Key verse: I Timothy 6:6-12

6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, [a]and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.