Philippians 4:10-13

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.

Spend some time in worship.




Paul knew that the Philippians had never forgotten him although until now they had not had the chance to send him any gift. But now they had been able to do so by sending Epaphroditus to visit Paul. He was grateful that they were generous and had made this donation to support him in his need. However he had learned to be grateful whatever was happening in his life. It did not matter to him whether he had plenty or nothing he lived in a state of contentment. He could face anything because in every situation he had Christ who gave him strength. Paul goes on to reassure the Philippians they had done well in their donation – but it was more a case of doing well for the blessing it gave to them than for what it did for Paul.


What does the word ‘contentment’ mean to you? Why would you describe it in this way?


  • Would you describe yourself as a contented person? Why/why not? What does/would it take for you to be content?
  • Rejoice in what you have: How has God met your needs in unexpected ways? Do you agree with the statement that we appreciate what we have worked for more than when we obtain our possessions, skills etc in other ways? How has God prompted you to use what you have to bless others? Consider how you would answer the : What do you have in your hand?’
    What do you use most in your life? How can you use whatever that is to bless others and promote the Kingdom of Heaven?
  • Rest in your God-given abilities: When you tackle any task do you feel good is enough or do you seek to produce the best? How do you try to improve on anything you do? Are you ever satisfied with the results? Do you trust in your abilities to be the best version of you that you can be? What role does God play when you try to be the best you?
  • Realise your strength: Do you believe you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you? Why do you respond in this way? Think about examples of when you have surprised yourself and managed to accomplish tasks you did not think you were capable of doing? How did you feel? What role did God play in this accomplishment? Were you aware of His help?
  • How would your reaction to any challenge change if you regarded it as an opportunity?
  • Paul talks about ‘all things’. What are the ‘all things’ in your life that you need to re- examine in light of the statement that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us? How do you feel about asking Jesus for help in regard to these things?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Lord, help us to rejoice as we become increasingly aware of Your activity in our lives; help us to rest as we build on the inner resources You have given each one of us; and help us to realise that You, Lord, are the source of our strength in all things.
Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.

Ask God to prompt you during the coming week to tackle a task that will build His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven; then follow His prompt. Be prepared to share what happened with the group next week.

FYI – Observations on Philippians 4:14-23
The gift from the Philippians was not a ‘one time only’ gift for they had supported him earlier in his missionary journey too (Acts 16:1-40; 17:1-34). He is deeply touched and gives effusive thanks to them for their continued support. He uses words that turn their gift to him into a sacrifice that was pleasing to God. Often in the Old Testament sacrifices that were acceptable to God were described as being a sweet smelling aroma for Him.
The Philippians were not wealthy – this gift had been a sacrifice. The promise Paul makes to them now would have meant a great deal to them. God would supply everything they needed. They had helped Paul out of their meagre resources. But God would help them out of all His riches in glory (Luke 6:38).

Paul’s praise of God was sincerely meant. He wanted God to be glorified. Ending this phrase with the word ‘Amen’ is a confident and joyful expression that God would be glorified. He closed his letter by urging the Philippians to greet every believer – rather than naming some of them as he had in other letters. He sent them greetings from the believers in Rome, especially those in Caesar’s household. Nero was the Emperor at this time. He was a cruel, wicked man. Yet Paul had spent time with various officials, servants and slaves in his household and as a result the Gospel had spread even here at this early stage of Church history.
Finally, Paul ended this thank you letter with the only gift he could give – his blessing. He prayed the grace of Jesus Christ on this congregation who he loved so much. This was not a flippant greeting, but a genuine prayer. For Paul, the whole of Christian life began and ended with the grace of Jesus Christ. Once again he ended this prayer with the triumphant ‘Amen’ – so be it!



Philippians Chapter 4

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