Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
In verse 9 the apostle Paul was directed by God to challenge the saints to pay attention to the things that they had learned, received and heard of him. Biblical learning is more than just something that we put into our heads. People can memorize things, but still not be directed by those things. There are many people who know certain laws, but they do not abide by them. There are many people who have heard Bible truths, but they do not live by them. The nation of Israel learned many things, but they just became rituals to them.
Learning must be received. A person must agree with what they are being taught. Learning also requires hearing. Instructions are important. Paul also reminded the saints that they needed to learn and receive and hear from a reliable source. He told them that they needed to see those things in him. Paul was not teaching some new thing here.
Jesus chose twelve disciples. As He chose them, He told them to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. He would teach them both by His Words, but also by His deeds. With Jesus, there was never any deficiency between what He said and what He did. He is the perfect teacher. He is much more than a perfect teacher.
Paul further stated that if the saints would do as he wrote here, they would know the peace of God. It is so important to know the peace of God. We need that peace with us. There are many people who claim to be saved, but they do not have the peace of God with them.
Psalm 127:1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
The cure to sleepless nights is to know the LORD and submit to His building process. It is futile to fight against Him. He promises to give His beloved sleep. Sleep comes to those who are at peace with God.
How is it with you today? Do you fret and worry over things? Have you ever observed how useless that is. You cannot change things by worrying about them. You can rest in the LORD if you are saved. You may not know the details of what you are facing, but He certainly knows. He knows the way He wants you to go and He will guide you safely along each step of the way. You need to know Him and trust Him.
In verse 10 Paul stated that he rejoiced greatly in the Lord. Again we see the key is “in the Lord”. There are many things in this life that are not worthy of rejoicing. They do not bring joy. There are choices that people make that rob them of that rejoicing. It is important to learn that God is the all wise counsellor. He will direct your steps if you will let Him. You must know Him first of all as your Saviour and Lord.
In our text Paul rejoiced because he knew that the saints in Philippi cared for him. They were true saints. They knew he had needs, being in prison. They were moved by the love of God to care for him. They had wanted to send funds to sustain him in prison, but they did not have a safe way to get them to him, earlier. The highways were not safe and if someone would know a person was carrying money, they might be robbed. Thus they needed to find a safe way to deliver the funds they had for him.
Paul was not complaining. In verse 11 he stated that he had learned to be content in whatever state he was in. This is an important lesson for God’s children to learn. As we have noted before, Paul would not have chosen prison as his home. He did choose to follow God. He chose to be a faithful servant of God. This was the cause of his being in prison. He hoped that he would be released again and be able to travel to Philippi once again. He trusted that this would happen. However, he was not going to allow the devil to rob him of the joy of the Lord just because he was in prison. He was also not going to be discontented because he may have lacked funds for a time. He trusted the Lord to supply his needs according to His riches in glory. He sought to be an encouragement to other saints.
At this current time, we may need to learn this lesson of contentment in a much greater way. Thus far, we have had a fairly good life in Canada. We have food in the cupboards, and if we lack anything we go to the store and they have more than we need. However, there are plans in the works to change that. The government wants much greater control over the daily life of those living in this country. Mr. Trudeau knows how to spend big on his monthly wants. He is not likely to change that. However, he wants the rest of us to have less so that we will be more willing to listen to him and do as he says. He wants us to think that he is being so generous when he throws a few crumbs our way.
There could be much more unrest in the future. We are not in the same mental state as a nation as we were back in the “dirty thirties”. I did not live through that time, but my parents and grandparents did. I have heard stories of how they scraped things together to get by during those years. They were not of the mentality that they should try to steal from others who had more. They worked hard to make ends meet.
Today, more and more people believe that others owe them a living. They are not content to go and work a little harder to provide for their needs. They would rather go and steal it from others. This could make life more of a challenge in the future. Those that are saved may need to pool their resources more to help other saints who are lacking.
God will direct and He will also supply our needs if we walk humbly with Him. As we do so, we will be able to bring joy to the hearts of other saints, as they do the same for us. The Christian life is the only life worth living.
Today is the Lord’s day. It is the day that God has blessed us with as the day to set aside our busyness and to go to a true local church to learn of Him. I trust that each one reading this devotional will get ready to go to a good church this morning. Whether you are saved or not, the right place to be this morning is in a true local church. God has a blessing in store for each one that will listen to Him and follow His way. Don’t rob yourself of His blessing today.