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. Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I 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. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. 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 giving and receiving, except you alone. For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 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. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Philippians 4:10-20, NRSV)
This passage contains one of my favorite verses in the Bible:
“for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I 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. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Many times used out of context, but here we see the context. Generous christians supporting Paul and others in their ministry.
Because if I don’t have something I need the community around me should come to my aid and if I have something to give to someone else, then I should because I was blessed to be a blessing.
Reminds me of the first semester of seminary. We had moved from North Carolina to Gettysburg, PA, we had a 16 month old when we arrived and in November we had our second child. We still owned our house in North Carolina, to say money was tight was an understatement. I wasn’t sure how we would pay all of our bills, and for school and then also have Christmas presents. But then one day in mid December there was a knock on our door, and I opened it to find a huge rubber made chest on wheels. I opened it to find it full fo presents for all of us, myself, my wife, our oldest (20 months at that point), our youngest 1 month at that point, and our dog. Yes even the dog got presents. To this day we do not know who was all involved, but it was the community that surrounded us that came together in our time of need to provide for us. And that my friends is what Paul meant.
I can do all things through him who give me strength, grace, mercy, love and every blessing I have ever received.