Saturday

I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (vs 18-19)

Philippians 4:15-23 Saturday 14 August 2021

Psalm 38:9-22

Background

Today's text comes from Philippians, which is in the New Testament and is one of several letters written by the apostle Paul. Letters form the bulk of the New Testament, though not all of them were written by Paul.

Paul had a particularly close relationship with the Philippians who were one of the first churches to support him in his work. The study passage is preceded by several exhortations and words of encouragement. This is the final passage in the letter. He once again thanks the Philippians for their gift which would probably have been money. But he sees it as more than a gift just for him. The 'fragrant offering' refers to the Old Testament. When sacrifices were brought to God it was believed that they would please God in a way that would fill God’s nostrils with fragrance.

Paul acknowledges the generosity of the Philippians and sees it as generosity to God. The 'riches in glory' refer to something much more than material needs. God will satisfy the needs of the Philippians not superficially but according to God’s glory and it is to God that the glory belongs. The word 'glory' means, among others, importance. The reference in verse 22 to the 'emperor’s household' refers to the Roman civil service. The Roman empire stretched far and wide and its civil service was based in several places. Many of these civil servants had responded to the gospel. Verse 23 is found in several other letters and is a form of blessing to the recipients.

 

To Ponder:

  • Paul was clearly grateful to the Philippians for their generosity. How do you respond to the generosity of others, that is, by taking it for granted, or with appreciation?
  • Why do you think it is important to be generous?
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