Philippians 4:14 -23
Wednesday, 10 May 2023
“But it was right and commendable and noble of you to contribute for my needs and to share my difficulties with me.” – Philippians 4:14 [AMPC]
The Church at Philippi was notable for its sharing attitude- it supported and shared in Apostle Paul’s ministry like no other church did. Paul was full of joy in writing to this church and commending them for this noble trait. Thus they partnered in his ministry.
Paul highlights two areas where he was greatly blessed by the Philippian Church.
· The church shared in his difficulties (V. 14)
Paul was willing to face every kind of suffering for the extension of God’s Kingdom. 2Cor.11:24-27 lists the various troubles and trials he faced for the sake of the gospel. The Philippian Church realized his need and sent Epaphroditus to help. In Philippians 2:25 Paul describes him as:
· A brother with whom he could share his life with
· A fellow-worker who understood and accepted Paul’s mission
· A fellow-soldier who worked, toiled and suffered along with him for the same cause
This support eased Paul’s burdens as he faced the colossal task of reaching Europe for Christ.
We need to ask ourselves today: Can I be a source of encouragement like Epaphroditus to at least one of God’s servants tirelessly working in the mission field? Or else- Am I willing to get out of my comfort zone to be at least a partial support to a missionary in the field?
Today we hear and read of many tough situations workers of the gospel/ missionaries are facing. Can we rise up to become people who would understand and seek to cater to their needs? May we become the messengers of hope and comfort to our fellow-laborers in the Lord’s Vineyard!
· The church shared their finances (V.15 NLT):
Repeatedly Paul speaks of the aid given by the Philippian church to him at various times. He called their gifts, “…a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.” (V.18). Here was a church which not only responded to the physical and emotional needs of Paul, but shared in his financial needs too.
The church which is actively involved in God’s work has varied needs. We as fellow-workers are called to give generously toward the extension and building of God’s Kingdom. How can you bless a need in God’s missions today?
Two qualities were outstanding in the people who brought an offering towards the work of the Tabernacle in Exodus 35— i) A stirred up heart ii) A willing heart (Exodus 35: 21). These were the same qualities the Philippian church possessed and the same that God would love to see in us. You might not have a lot to give; but how you give to God is more important than what you give. 2Cor. 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Men and women who serve God in various fields may be spiritually strong, but they too have needs just like us—physical, emotional and material. Very often unknowingly the church focuses so much on the work done by missionaries that it forgets to replenish and rejuvenate these tired workers of God’s Kingdom. May God enable us to understand how we can support and encourage God’s workers in His vineyard.
The Philippian church refreshed Paul in the way they shared in his needs and difficulties. How about us?
To Act on: And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. (Hebrews 13:16 NLT)
Listen: 'Give to the LORD'