Today’s reading is Paul’s conclusion to his letter to his friends in Philippi and to us. Did you have a striking take-away today? Share that in the comments below.
There are several points I’d like to touch on: satisfaction and generosity. Paul is giving us a great picture of being satisfied and content. He is in chains for heavens sake, and yet he is feeling blessed. He has all that he needs. He assure them he is not looking for an offering or anything.
How satisfied are you with your situation in life? What is it that you think would tip the happiness scale for you? John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil Company, was replied when asked what is it that makes a man happy, “Just a little bit more than he has.” That statement comes from a man who had millions of dollars. I’m afraid for many that is true. We are always chasing that new shiny object, wanting just a little bit more believing we’ll finally find true happiness.
But true contentment is not found in things is it? True contentment is harvested when we are living in relationship with our creator. It is manifested when we realize who is in charge and what he has done for us.
Paul says it well in verses 12 and 13, “ I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 has become a life verse for me, one that keeps me grounded. My strength and contentment come from the Lord, and with him, we can do all things. So long as I remember that, my joy does not waver. Circumstances may bring sadness, but my joy is full.
When my heart is content and joy is overflowing, my generosity is at an all time high. I don’t want to keep of all of this joy to myself. One of the best gifts we can give another person is our love, and that’s exactly what we have been called to do. We are to love God first, and then love each other.
Our giving to others of our time and resources is a generosity that will pay over and over again. It’s like planting a seed and watching it grow and grow and grow. One small seed, or act of love and giving, can grow into a big tree or a big faith. God will use each blessing we share with others. He is counting on us to be there for others. He expects us to be someone’s light in the darkness. Guard your heart that you share for the benefit of others, not to see what your reward will be. Satan can often mess with our motives. God sees our heart.
Who can you help today? How are you responding to your contentment?
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Let’s pray. Heavenly Father, I come to you today with a heart overflowing with gratefulness for where you have brought me in life. The road may not be all that smooth, but I know that you are helping me with the jolts and curves. I stand ready to be your angel to others. Thank you for your support and guidance, for the strength that you give me to get the job done. Forgive me for my self-limiting behaviors. Ignite the passion in me again. In Jesus’ name. Amen.