Philippians 4:14–16 (NIV): 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.
Paul walks a fine line in today’s verses. He has spent his entire letter telling the believers that joy and contentment come from your relationship with God and NOT in what you have in your physical world.
So, how does he handle thanking the church in Philippi for their generous financial gift? Because the truth be told, if I was reading this letter as a believer in Philippi, I might be a little offended that he didn’t really need the money that I sent.
Listen now to see how Paul handles this situation!
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Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth.
In Philippians chapter 4 starting in verse 10, Paul expresses genuine appreciation for the financial gift from the church in Philippi. However, Paul has spent a large part of his letter teaching that our joy doesn’t come from material things, but instead our true joy comes from a relationship with Christ.
So, Paul faces this difficult task of expressing his gratitude for their financial gifts that they’ve given for the past 10 years, but he also wants them to know that his joy and his contentment doesn’t depend on their support or upon his needs being met. Whether he’s got plenty or he’s in need, he can do all things through Christ who infuses him with power and strength.
What a fine line to walk here. Thank you for your gift, but really I don’t need it? Hmmm. This could really step on some toes there in Philippi. Paul realizes that and so that they’re not misinterpreting his words, Paul writes in Philippians chapter verse 14, “Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.”
So, Paul’s saying, “You sympathized with me. You’ve helped me through this with your prayers and your financial support. Not only did the money help supply my physical needs while in prison, but it also helped to sustain me knowing that you haven’t forgotten me.”
As Paul continues in Philippians 4 verses 15 thru 16 with, “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.”
So, the church in Philippi sent Paul money on more than one occasion. Paul says, “you shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving.” That word “matter” in the original Greek language was used as an accounting term and it gives the idea of sharing back and forth of different things, including finances. Meaning that they gave money, Paul gave Godly insight and teachings. They each shared a deep friendship with one another, they shared prayer, and the many other wonderful gifts that a Godly friendship shares.
So, your Simple Truth for today: Paul was very grateful for the partnership with the church in Philippi that helped meet his needs AND he helped meet their needs, too. So, who is God laying on your heart to partner with to help financially and spiritually?
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