Tuesday 11 May, 2021

Philippians 4:15-23

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. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 21 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. 22 All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen

I find it incredible the way that God brings things to my attention through His word and my circumstance through themes, especially when I pay attention. 

Four times in the past week, the idea of Godly contentment came up in conversations that I had with different people, plus I read 1 Timothy 6, where it says “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” 

I feel like God wants to teach me how to be more content, and he is showing me what it means to be content in His kingdom. 

I have historically felt that the opposite of contentment is ambition, but God is showing me that I can be ambitious and content at the same time. 

Here Paul is in a really awful situation. Chained between two Roman centurions with a very short chain, under house arrest where he needs to pay the costs of his own imprisonment. Facing death at the hands of Roman execution. Feeling the aches in his aging body that has literally been punished for dozens of years of travel and beatings, shipwrecks and violence, all in the name of Jesus. 

But his attitude and response to his situation is “I have learned to be content, (v11) and the way I have made contentment work is to realise that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” 

This is the ultimate fusion of ambition and contentment! 

Lord, help me to not just learn this truth, but to truly live it! 

Written by Ps Justin Ware 

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