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Contentment

Contentment

Welcome to church today! Whether you are a visitor or a regular, we hope you experience the joy that comes from a loving church which values fellowship and sharing of ourselves in ways that build each other up.

Today we complete our 7-part teaching series on Paul’s Letter to the Philippian church. The apostle Paul writes from a Roman prison to the community for whom he had special affection. They had sent Paul an unsolicited gift of money by way of Epaphroditus, who stayed on in Rome to minister to him, for which he was most grateful.

The letter praises the Philippians for their thoughtfulness and generosity, mindful that the giving of a gift enriches the giver far more than the receiver. Paul maintained that that it was a church’s responsibility to support God’s ministers [1Cor 9:14] so he accepted their gift because they gave it willingly and he was in need.

And so Paul sends the Philippian church his blessing and reminds them of the unity and love found in the wider body of Christ which is strengthened through acts of loving kindness such as financially supporting those in need.

Paul knew contentment regardless of his circumstances, keenly aware that God’s promises are true and that Christ gives us all the strength we need to do God’s will.

By cultivating an attitude of thankfulness in all things, and relying on Christ’s power, we too can know the contentment and peace that passes all understanding.

Sunday 2nd September 2012  9.30am Lismore, 6.30pm G’bah

Philippians 4:10-23 [NRSV] Acknowledgment of the gift

10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. 11Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress.

15 You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of givingand receiving, except you alone. 16For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. 17Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 18I 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. 19And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The friends who are with me greet you. 22All the saints greet you, especially those of the emperor’s household.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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