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More than Sympathy

Philippians 4:14

Paul trusted God, first and foremost; but he never despised genuine Christian fellowship (Galatians 4:14).  He was not so ‘super-spiritual’ that he proudly refused to be honest about his needs.   The Philippian church had a great concern for their Apostle and would have prayed for him; but they also wanted to be part of the answer to their own prayers.  When they had collected money and provisions, they appointed Epaphroditus to be the courier, and sent him off on a dangerous land and sea journey - only to have the worry of hearing that he became ill and almost died (Philippians 2:25-30). 

Partnership Demands Consistency

Philippians 4:15-16

Paul had experienced true partnership in the gospel from the church in Philippi.  But these verses highlight some alarming contrasts with the ways many other believers thought about the need to support Paul.  They provide a challenge to us today.  Paul built mission training into the earliest stages of discipleship training for the new believers in Philippi.  It was not an afterthought or a 'bolt-on extra'.  Spreading the word about Jesus was an integral part of being a Christian.  When Paul moved south to the rest of Greece, the church in Philippi wanted to become a 'sending church'.  They

Accounting Integrity

Philippians 4:17

Giving should be a normal part of Christian fellowship (Acts 2:44-45).  However, it can expose a minefield of motives, both for the giver and for the recipient.  Paul wanted the church to be clear that in thanking them for their kindness, he was not making a subtle demand for more.  He was grateful; but his dependency was on the Lord, not them.  He certainly did not want to manipulate them for his own advantage - so that he might become rich at their expense (Philippians 4:10-13).

Received with Thanks

Philippians 4:18

God is not mean; He provides abundantly. That is His nature.  He is a giving God.  Indeed, without Him giving of Himself, there would be no creation, no beautiful world, human beings, no compassion for us in our sin, no Saviour, no indwelling Holy Spirit and no hope of heaven.  If God has graciously given us so much to meet out spiritual need, will He not also give us our daily bread and all we need in abundance?

No Worries

Philippians 4:19

Will God look after His people?  This verse says a big 'Yes'!  The poor Macedonian believers had met Paul's physical and emotional needs through gifts and a companion (Philippians 4:18).  They had given to Paul out of poverty (2 Corinthians 8:1-4), but God would give to them out of His great abundance.  They need not be worried that their gift will leave them destitute, because God would certainly meet all their needs (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Glory Unending

Philippians 4:20

At the end of Paul's discussion about missionary giving and God's never-failing provision, he gives the glory to God.  'Glory' is a major Bible word which has its roots in the weighty, majestic solemnity and holy beauty of God.  Glory describes both the magnificently powerful nature of His character and every way in which that is displayed.  The glory of God is awesome.  Moses could not see God's glory and live (Exodus 33:18-23); Isaiah was in fear of his life at the manifestation of God's glory (Isaiah 6:5).  The glory which covered Jesus provided Peter, James and John with an unforgettabl

Business as Usual

Philippians 4:21-23

Paul is positive to the end.  Why shouldn't he be?  He may have been imprisoned far away from the church which had provided his greatest support, but he was not downcast.  These few sentences might have been the last he ever sent to them, but there is no suggestion of gloom, or self-pity.