I know how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot.
In this verse, Paul is writing from prison, thanking the church of Phillipi for their recent gift and support. He was extremely fond of this church, so you can almost detect a smile as you are reading some of the passages. Although he was in prison, his attitude was one of strength, not weakness. Christ was more precious to him than all life could give or death could take. Material possessions were no longer important. Let’s look at several concepts that apply here.
Trust – First of all, Paul had total trust that he would be provided what God intended for him. Through Christ, he had the strength to accept both pleasant and difficult circumstances.
Stewardship – The church giving out of poverty moved him: their resources were small, yet they understood the value of giving generously to support those proclaiming the gospel. This gift was not only blessing him, the recipient, but the church as the giver as well.
Ownership – “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord;”
Gratitude – Paul encouraged followers to be “overflowing with gratitude.” (Col 2:7) Once you accept that the earth and everything on it belongs to the Lord, you should be grateful for anything you receive, regardless of the amount. Paul’s joy was that Christ was glorified in him.
Several years ago, one of my favorite non-profits was having an online Christmas auction. My only successful bid was a $100 gift certificate to a local auto repair shop. My next task that day was to get our Salvation Army Angel Tree gift assignment. Instead of a child, this one was from an older man. God’s amazing plan was revealed when I discovered his only request was $100 to get his car repaired so he could go back to work. God provides, and He blesses both the giver and the recipient.
How do you view your own material wealth? Success is great, but at what point do you become a slave to it? What is enough? Can you be content with what you have?
When circumstances provide you with abundance, do you see it as an opportunity to accumulate more or to share more?
If you have very little, do you totally trust that God will continue to provide, and have gratitude for each gift?