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Words from GOD – Words to GOD

Spurgeon: Commentary on Philippeans 4 – Uwe Rosenkranz, Archbishop, MA,DD

Philippians 4
Philippians 4:1–9

Amphi-Car
Exposition

1 So then Every doctrine of the Word of God has its practical bearing. As each tree bears seed after its kind, so does every truth of God bring forth practical virtues. Hence you find the apostle Paul very full of therefores—his therefores being the conclusions drawn from certain statements of divine truth. I marvel that our excellent translators should have divided the argument from the conclusion by making a new chapter where there is least reason for it.

my beloved See how the heart of the apostle is at work; his emotions are not dried up by his personal griefs. These saints at Philippi were in a special sense Paul’s spiritual children; they were very generous and kind to him, and his heart was very warm with love to them, so he called them, “my beloved and greatly desired brothers,” and then again, “dear friends.”
He could never forget the time when he and Silas prayed with the women at the riverside, and afterwards prayed and sang praises unto God in the prison, when the prisoners heard them. Lydia and her household and the Philippian jailer were among the firstfruits of Paul’s work at Philippi, and there was always a very intimate love between him and the members of the church in that place. They cared for him, and he cared for them.

my joy It was such a joy to him even to think of them as his spiritual children, and especially to see after what a godly and generous fashion they behaved themselves.

and crown A garland which he had won in spiritual wrestling. The Christian man’s converts are his joy here, and they will be his crown forever in glory.

stand firm It is a great joy to a minister, as it was to the apostle Paul, to have converts; but that joy is greatly diminished when they do not stand fast: then, indeed, every supposed joy becomes a sorrow, and instead of the roses which yield a sweet perfume to the Lord’s servant, thorns begin to prick and wound his heart.
Paul was deeply anxious that those in whom he had been the means of kindling the heavenly hope might be preserved faithful until the coming of Christ. He trembled lest any of them should seem to draw back, and prove traitors to their Lord. He dreaded lest he should lose what he hoped he had gained, by their turning aside from the faith. Hence he asks them to “stand firm.” He expressed in the sixth verse of the first chapter his conviction that he who had begun a good work in them would perform it, but his intense love made him exhort them, saying, “Stand firm in the Lord, dear friends.” By such exhortations final perseverance is promoted and secured.

in the Lord Paul joyfully perceived that his beloved converts were in their right place. It is a very important thing indeed that we should begin well. The start is not everything, but it is a great deal. The only position, however, in which we can begin aright is to be “in the Lord.” This is to begin as we may safely go on. This is the essential point. It is a very good thing for Christians to be in the church; but if you are in the church before you are in the Lord you are out of place. It is a good thing to be engaged in holy work; but if you are in holy work before you are in the Lord you will have no heart for it, neither will the Lord accept it. It is not essential that you should be in this church or in that church; but it is essential that you should be “in the Lord.”

2 I appeal to Euodia and I appeal to Syntyche These two women had fallen out with one another. He does not say which was right and which was wrong. Paul thought it so important that there should be perfect unity and love in the church at Philippi, as well as everywhere else, that he besought these two women, of whom we know nothing else, that they would be “in agreement in the Lord.”
Notice that he asks each of them in exactly the same way: “I appeal to Euodia and I appeal to Syntyche.” He has an ask for each of them. Perhaps, if he had written, “I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche,” the latter lady might have fancied that he was not quite so earnest about her as he was about Euodia, so he puts it, “I appeal to Euodia, and I appeal to Syntyche, to be in agreement in the Lord.”
There should be no disagreements among Christians. You cannot tell what hurt may come to a church through two members being at enmity against each other. Little differences, even between obscure members of the church, may hinder the work of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is like a dove. Doves love quiet places; they do not come where there is noise and strife. Love should reign; peace should predominate. If there is anything contrary to such a state as that, God grant that it may soon be brought to an end!

3 true yokefellow We do not know who this “true yokefellow” was. Very likely it was Epaphroditus, who carried this epistle to Philippi. Whoever it was, it was someone who had worked with Paul shoulder to shoulder. If two bullocks bear the same yoke, and yet do not agree, they make it very uncomfortable for one another. If one tries to lie down, and the other wants to stand up, or if one goes faster than the other, the yoke becomes doubly galling.
There is an office in the Church of Christ that we do not sufficiently recognize, but which ought to be abundantly filled. Paul mentions it in writing to the Corinthians. He says, “and whom God has appointed the church: first, apostles, second, prophets, third, teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, administrations, kinds of tongues” (1 Cor 12:28). It is the office of certain Christians to be “helps.” May we always have many such “helps” among us! Did you ever notice that, almost every time that Bartholomew is mentioned in Scripture, we read, “and Bartholomew”? He is never spoken of alone; but it is written, “Philip, and Bartholomew” (Matt 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14), or “Bartholomew, and Matthew” (Acts 1:13). It is good to have some Bartholomews who are always helping somebody else, so that, when there is any good work to be done, Bartholomew is always ready to share in it; for he shall also have a part in the reward at the last.

who struggled along with me in the gospel What an eminent place women have ever held in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ; and here Paul speaks of them as laboring with him in the gospel! Surely, Lydia must have been one of these.

my fellow workers He tenderly thinks of all those who had helped the work of the Lord, and, in return, he would have all of them helped, and kindly remembered, and affectionately cherished. May we always have this tender feeling toward one another, especially toward those who work for the Lord with us! May we ever delight in cheering those who serve our Lord!

names are in the book of life According to some learned commentators, a man’s name may be in the book of life for a time, but it may be removed. If their teaching is true, that book will be very much scratched and blotted. I thank God that I do not believe in any such book as that. If the Lord Jesus Christ has written my name in the book of life, in the great family register of the redeemed, I defy all the devils of hell ever to get it erased.

4 Rejoice People who are very happy, especially those who are very happy in the Lord, are not apt either to give offense or to take offense. Their minds are so sweetly occupied with higher things that they are not easily distracted by the little troubles that naturally arise among such imperfect creatures as we are. Joy in the Lord is the cure for all discord. Should it not be so? What is this joy but the concord of the soul, the accord of the heart, with the joy of heaven? Joy in the Lord, then, drives away the discords of earth.

in the Lord Notice the sphere of this joy: “Rejoice in the Lord.” We read in Scripture that children are to obey their parents “in the Lord.” We read of men and women being married “only in the Lord.” Now, no child of God must go outside that ring, “in the Lord.” There is where you are, where you ought to be, where you must be. You cannot truly rejoice if you get outside that ring; therefore, see that you do nothing which you cannot do “in the Lord.” Mind that you seek no joy which is not joy in the Lord; if you go after the poisonous sweets of this world, woe be to you. Never rejoice in that which is sinful, for all such rejoicing is evil. Flee from it; it can do you no good. That joy which you cannot share with God is not a right joy for you. No; “in the Lord” is the sphere of your joy.
But I think that the apostle also means that God is to be the great object of your joy: “Rejoice in the Lord.” Rejoice in the Father, your Father who is in heaven, your loving, tender, unchangeable God. Rejoice, too, in the Son, your Redeemer, your Brother, the Husband of your soul, your Prophet, Priest, and King. Rejoice also in the Holy Ghost, your Quickener, your Comforter, in Him who shall abide with you forever. Sometimes, brothers and sisters, you cannot rejoice in anything else, but you can rejoice in the Lord; then, rejoice in Him to the full. Do not rejoice in your temporal prosperity, for riches take to themselves wings, and fly away. Do not rejoice even in your great successes in the work of God. If the Lord be your joy, your joy will never dry up. All other things are but for a season; but God is forever and ever. Make Him your joy, the whole of your joy, and then let this joy absorb your every thought. Be baptized into this joy; plunge into the deeps of this unutterable bliss of joy in God.
Joy Speaks for Itself
Preaching Themes: Joy
There may be such a thing as a dumb joy, but I hardly think that it can keep dumb long. Joy! Joy! Why, it speaks for itself! It is like a candle lighted in a dark chamber; you need not sound a trumpet and say, “Now light has come.” The candle proclaims itself by its own brilliance. When joy comes into a man, it shines out of his eyes; it sparkles in his countenance.
always Not only now and then, on high days and holidays, have a time of joy, but “rejoice in the Lord always.” If you ever rejoice in the Lord, you may always rejoice in the Lord, for He is always the same, and always gracious. There is as much reason for rejoicing in God at one time as at another, since He never changes.

again I say, rejoice He had said this before, as you will see in the first verse of the third chapter, which begins, “Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.” Now he writes it again, and repeats it in the same verse: “Rejoice … rejoice.” It is so important that believers should be full of joy that Paul writes three times over in a short space, “Rejoice in the Lord”; “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.”
What does that mean, “Again I say, rejoice”? This was, first, to show Paul’s love for the Philippians. He wanted them to be happy. I also think that perhaps he said it twice over to suggest the difficulty of continual joy. It is not as easy as some think to always rejoice. I think, too, that he said it twice over to assert the possibility of it. You can be happy. God the Holy Ghost can lift you above the down-draggings of the flesh, and of the world, and of the devil. You may be enabled to live upon the mount of God beneath the shinings of His face. Also, do you not think that this was intended to impress upon them the importance of the duty? Some of you will go and say, “I do not think that it matters much whether I am happy or not. I shall get to heaven, however gloomy I am, if I am sincere.” “No,” says Paul, “that kind of talk will not do; I cannot have you speak like that. Come, I must have you rejoice. I do really conceive it to be a Christian’s bounden duty, and so, ‘Again I say, rejoice.’ ”

5 gentleness The best translation would probably be “forbearance.” Do not get angry with anybody; do not begin to get fiery and impetuous. Do not push your own rights too far; stop short of what you might fairly demand. And when you feel, at any time, a little vehement in temper, check yourself, hold yourself in, bear and forbear. Go not as far as you may, nor even as far as some think that you ought, in defending your own rights; let your gentleness, your yieldingness, be known unto all men. Be forbearing, for the Lord is at hand. You cannot tell how soon He may appear. There is no time to spare for the indulgence of anger; be quiet; be patient. And if there be anything very wrong, well, leave it. Our Lord Jesus will come very soon; therefore be not impatient.

The Lord is near Christ is coming; why do you put yourself out? The Lord is near you to help you; why are you so excessively anxious? Why are you so carried away with the present temporary trial?

6 Be anxious for nothing Notice that the apostle, after he had said, “Rejoice in the Lord always,” commanded the Philippians to be anxious for nothing, thus implying that joy in the Lord is one of the best preparations for the trials of this life. The cure for care is joy in the Lord.
Do not fret; do not worry; do not make other people miserable by your fretting and fuming and fussing. You cannot turn one hair white or black, fret as you may. You cannot add a cubit to your stature, be you as anxious as you please. It will be for your own advantage, and it will be for God’s glory, for you to shake off the anxieties which else might overshadow your spirit. Be anxious about nothing, but be prayerful about everything, and be thankful about everything as well.
Unable to See Because We Breathe on the Telescope
Preaching Themes: Fear, Prayer, Stress
I have often used the illustration of taking a telescope, breathing on it with the hot breath of our anxiety, putting it to our eye, and then saying that we cannot see anything but clouds. Of course we cannot, and we never shall while we breathe upon it. If we were but calm, quiet, self-possessed, and God-possessed, we should do the right thing. We should be, as we say, “all there” in the time of difficulty.
That man may expect to have presence of mind who has the presence of God. If we forget to pray, do you wonder that we are all in a fidget, and a worry, and we do the first thing that occurs to us, which is generally the worst thing, instead of waiting till we saw what should be done, and then trustfully and believingly doing it as in the sight of God?
in everything When I think of what a great God He is, it seems to me that this poor little world of ours is just one insignificant grain of sand on the seashore of the universe, and not worth any notice at all. The whole earth is a mere speck in the great world of nature. If God condescends to consider it, He may as well stoop a little lower, and consider us. And He does so, for He says, “Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Therefore, in everything let your requests be made known unto God.

by prayer and supplication If any distinction be intended here, I suppose that by prayer is meant the general act of devotion and the mention of our usual needs; and by supplication I think would be intended our distinct entreaties and special petitions. We are to offer the general prayer common to all the saints, and we are to add thereto the special and definite petitions which are peculiar to ourselves.
Praying Faithfully, but Without Thanksgiving
Preaching Themes: Humility, Petitionary Prayer, Obedience and Disobedience, Pride, Thankfulness, Worship
I might illustrate the willfulness of many a supplication by that of a little boy who was very diligent in saying his prayers, but was at the same time disobedient, ill-tempered, and the pest of the house. His mother told him that she thought it was mere hypocrisy for him to pretend to pray. He replied, “No, mother, indeed it is not, for I pray God to lead you and father to like my ways better than you do.”
Numbers of people want the Lord to like their ways better, but they do not intend to follow the ways of the Lord. Their minds are contrary to God and will not submit to His will, and therefore there is no thanksgiving in them. Praise in a prayer is indicative of a humble, submissive, obedient spirit, and when it is absent we may suspect willfulness and self-seeking.
with thanksgiving Is not that a beautiful trait in Paul’s character? He is a prisoner at Rome, and likely soon to die; yet he mingles thanksgiving with his supplication, and asks others to do the same.
Observe how frequently he commences his epistles with a blending of supplication and thanksgiving. Turn to Romans and note in 1:8–9 this fusion of the precious metals: “First, I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being proclaimed in the whole world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I make mention of you.” There is “I thank my God,” and “constantly I make mention of you.” This was not written with a special eye to the precept of our text; it was natural to Paul so to thank God when he prayed. Look at Col 1:3: “We give thanks always to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ when we pray for you.” To the same effect we read in 1 Thess 1:2: “We give thanks to God always concerning all of you, making mention constantly in our prayers.” Look also at 2 Tim 1:3: “I am thankful to God, whom I have served with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.” And if it is so in other epistles we are not at all surprised to find it so in Philippians itself, for so we read when we turn to 1:3–4: “I give thanks to my God upon my every remembrance of you, always in my every prayer for all of you, making the prayer with joy.” Nor need I confine you to the language of Paul’s epistle, since it is most noteworthy that in Philippi itself (and those to whom he wrote must have remembered the incident) Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God at midnight, so that the prisoners heard them (Acts 16:25). It is clear that Paul habitually practiced what he here enjoins. His own prayers had not been offered without thanksgiving; what God had joined together he had never put asunder.
Giving Thanks Before Receiving the Thing Prayed For
Preaching Themes: Prayer, Petitionary Prayer, Thankfulness
We ought to pray with thanksgiving in its highest of all senses, by thanking God that we have the mercy which we seek. I wish we could learn this high virtue of faith.
When I was conversing lately with our dear friend George Müller, he frequently astonished me with the way in which he mentioned that he had for so many months and years asked for such and such a mercy, and praised the Lord for it. He praised the Lord for it as though he had actually obtained it. Even in praying for the conversion of a person, as soon as he had begun to intercede he began also to praise God for the conversion of that person. Though I think he told us he had in one instance already prayed for thirty years and the work was not yet done, yet all the while he had gone on thanking God, because he knew the prayer would be answered. He believed that he had his petition, and commenced to magnify the Giver of it.
Suppose you had promised to some poor woman that you would give her a meal tomorrow. You might forget it, you know; but suppose when the morning came she sent her little girl with a basket for it. She would be likely to get it, I think. But suppose that she sent in addition a little note in which the poor soul thanked you for your great kindness; could you have the heart to say, “My dear girl, I cannot attend to you today. Come another time”? Oh dear, no. If the cupboard was bare you would send out to get something, because the good soul so believed in you that she had sent you thanks for it before she received your gift.
Well, now, trust the Lord in the same manner. He cannot run back from His word. Believing prayer holds Him, but believing thanksgiving binds Him.
let your requests be made known to God Have no care, but much prayer. Prayer is the cure for care. If you are in trouble, “Let your requests be made known,” not to your neighbors, but “to God.”

7 and the peace of God That peace, that conscious calm, that divine serenity, which is described as the peace of God, is not produced by prayer alone, but by prayer with thanksgiving. If we bless our gracious Lord for the very trouble we pray against; if we bless Him for the very mercy which we need, as though it had already come; if we resolve to praise Him whether we receive the boon or not, learning in whatsoever state we are therewith to be content, then “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

surpasses all understanding It is not only beyond a common understanding, but it passes all understanding. Some have said it means that the ungodly man cannot understand it. That statement is true, but it is not a tithe of the whole meaning, for even he who enjoys it cannot understand it. It is deeper, it is broader, it is sweeter; it is more heavenly than the joyful saint himself can tell. He enjoys what he cannot understand. What a mercy that such a thing is possible, for otherwise our joys would be narrow indeed! Reason has limits far narrower than joy.
Peace That Passes Understanding under Persecution
Preaching Themes: Peace, Persecution
When one of the martyrs was about to burn for Christ, he said to the judge who was giving orders to fire the pile, “Will you come and lay your hand on my heart?” The judge did so. “Does it beat fast?” inquired the martyr. “Do I show any sign of fear?” “No,” said the judge. “Now lay your hand on your own heart, and see whether you are not more excited than I am.”
Think of that man of God, who, on the morning he was to be burned, was so soundly asleep that they had to shake him to wake him. He had to get up to be burned, and yet knowing that it was to be so, he had such confidence in God that he slept sweetly.
In those old Diocletian persecutions, when the martyrs came into the amphitheater to be torn by wild beasts, when one was set in a red-hot iron chair, another was smeared with honey, to be stung to death by wasps and bees, they never flinched. Think of that brave man who was put on a gridiron to be roasted to death, and who said to his persecutors, “You have done me on one side; now turn me over to the other.”
Why this peace under such circumstances? It was “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.”
guard The Greek word is phroureō, which signifies keeping guard, keeping as with a garrison: so completely and so effectually does the peace of God keep our hearts and minds. Is it not an odd thing that a military term is used here, and that it is peace that acts as a guard to the heart and to the mind? It is the peace of God that is to protect the child of God; strange but beautiful figure!

your hearts The way to keep the heart, according to the text, is to let it be filled with the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. A quiet spirit, calm, restful, happy, is one that will neither sink nor wander.

and your minds The text also adds that this will keep our mind as well as our heart. We cannot move one single inch from the truth that we have been taught by the Holy Ghost in our soul, and it is only such truth as that which can bring into the heart the peace of God that surpasses understanding. When the Lord has brought His own truth into our minds by His own power and made the sweet savor of it to pervade our frame, and given us to drink of it till we have been filled with joy and peace unutterable, we cannot, then, depart from it. Truth taught us by man we may forget, but that which the Holy Ghost engraves upon the inmost heart we cannot depart from. So help us God, we must stand to it, even if we die for it.

in Christ Jesus Without Christ Jesus this peace would not exist; without Christ Jesus this peace, even where it has existed, cannot be maintained. Daily visits from the Savior, continual lookings by the eye of faith to Him that bled upon the cross, continual drawings from His ever-flowing fountain, make this peace broad, and long, and enduring. But take Christ Jesus, the channel of our peace, away, and it fades and dies, and droops, and comes to nothing. A Christian has no peace with God except through the atonement of his Lord Jesus Christ.
No peace is to be found out of Christ. No peace can warm our heart while we forget Christ. “He is our peace” (Eph 2:14). Never go for your peace to the law or to your own experience, to your own past achievements, or even to your own faith. All your peace is in Jesus. And then our hearts and our minds, mentioned in the text, must all be in Jesus: the heart loving Him, and loved of Him; the mind believing Him, resting in Him, using its faculties for Him—all in Him.

8 whatever things Everything of this kind concerns you, therefore help it as far as you can. Be on the side of every cause that may be thus described. If it vindicates truth, uprightness, reverence, religion, chastity, holiness, be on that side. If there is anything the reverse of this, do not have anything to do with it. But if there is any movement in the world that will help forward things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, “think about these things,” and so think upon them as to increase their influence among the sons and daughters of men.
If there is any really good movement in the world, help it, you Christian people. If it is not purely and absolutely religious, yet if it tends to the benefit of your fellow-men, if it promotes honesty, justice, purity, take care that you are on that side, and do all you can to help it forward.

9 practice these things Paul was a grand preacher to be able to say that; to hold up his own example, as well as his own teaching, as a thing which the people might safely follow.

the God of peace In the seventh verse, we had the expression, “the peace of God.” In this ninth verse, we have the mention of “the God of peace.” The God of peace is always with those who receive His dear Son, and who help His gospel. It is one of the privileges of true believers that the God of peace shall be constantly with them. May we first enjoy the peace of God, and then be helped by the Spirit of God to get into a still higher region, where we shall be more fully acquainted with the God of peace!
Application
Rejoicing Is Commanded

I want you to notice that this rejoicing is commanded. It is not a matter that is left to your option; it is not set before you as a desirable thing which you can do without, but it is a positive precept of the Holy Spirit to all who are in the Lord: “Rejoice in the Lord always.” We ought to obey this precept because joy in the Lord makes us like God. He is the happy God; ineffable bliss is the atmosphere in which He lives, and He would have His people to be happy. Let the devotees of Baal cut themselves with knives and lancets, and make hideous outcries if they will; but the servants of Jehovah must not even mar the corners of their beard. Even if they fast, they shall anoint their head, and wash their face, that they appear not unto men to fast, for a joyous God desires a joyous people.
You are commanded to rejoice because this is for your profit. Holy joy will oil the wheels of your life’s machinery. Holy joy will strengthen you for your daily labor. Holy joy will beautify you and give you an influence over the lives of others. It is upon this point that I would most of all insist: we are commanded to rejoice in the Lord. If you cannot speak the gospel, live the gospel by your cheerfulness. For what is the gospel? Glad tidings of great joy, and you who believe it must show by its effect upon you that it is glad tidings of great joy to you. I do believe that a man of God—under trial and difficulty and affliction, bearing up, and patiently submitting with holy acquiescence, and still rejoicing in God—is a real preacher of the gospel, preaching with an eloquence that is mightier than words can ever be, and that will find its secret and silent way into the hearts of those who might have resisted other arguments. Do, then, listen to the text, for it is a command from God: “Rejoice in the Lord always!”
When are we to be glad? “Rejoice in the Lord always,” that is, when you cannot rejoice in anything or anyone but God. When the fig tree does not blossom, when there is no fruit on the vine and no herd in the stall, when everything withers and decays and perishes, when the worm at the root of the gourd has made it to die, then rejoice in the Lord. At the stake itself have martyrs fulfilled this word; they clapped their hands amid the fire that was consuming them. Therefore, rejoice in the Lord when you cannot rejoice in any other.
But also take care that you rejoice in the Lord when you have other things to rejoice in. When He loads your table with good things, and your cup is overflowing with blessings, rejoice in Him more than in them. Forget not that the Lord your Shepherd is better than the green pastures and the still waters, and rejoice not in the pastures or in the waters in comparison with your joy in the Shepherd who gives you all. Let us never make gods out of our goods; let us never allow what God gives us to supplant the Giver. Shall the wife love the jewels that her husband gave her better than she loves him who gave them to her? That is an evil love, or no love at all. So, let us love God first, and rejoice in the Lord always when the day is brightest, and multiplied are the other joys that He permits us to have.
Turn Cares into Prayers

Cares are manifold; therefore, let your prayers be as manifold. Turn into a prayer everything that is a care. Let your cares be the raw material of your prayers, and, as the alchemists hoped to turn dross into gold, so do you, by a holy alchemy, actually turn what naturally would have been a care into spiritual treasure in the form of prayer. Baptize every anxiety into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and so make it into a blessing.
Go, then, to your God with all your cares. If you have a large family, a slender income, and much ado to make ends meet, and to provide things honest in the sight of all men, you have so many excuses for knocking at God’s door, so many more reasons for being often found at the throne of grace. I ask you, turn them to good account. I feel free to call upon a friend when I really have some business to do with him, and you may be bold to call upon God when necessities press upon you. Instead of caring for anything with anxious care, turn it at once into a reason for renewed prayerfulness.
Say what you want; for this is true prayer. Get alone, and tell the Lord what you want; pour out your heart before Him. Do not imagine that God wants any fine language. No, you need not run upstairs for your prayer book. Pray for what you want just as if you were telling your mother or your dearest friend what your need is. Go to God in that fashion, for that is real prayer, and that is the kind of prayer that will drive away your care.
First Pure, Then Peaceable

Should we, through divine grace, carry into practice the Pauline teaching in Phil 4:9, we may claim the promise which is now open before us. And what a promise it is! God, who loves peace, makes peace, and breathes peace, will be with us. “Peace be with you” is a sweet benediction, but for the God of peace to be with us is far more. Thus we have the fountain as well as the streams, the sun as well as his beams. If the God of peace be with us, we shall enjoy the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, even though outward circumstances should threaten to disturb. If men quarrel, we shall be sure to be peacemakers, if the Maker of peace be with us.
It is in the way of truth that real peace is found. If we quit the faith or leave the path of righteousness under the notion of promoting peace, we shall be greatly mistaken. First pure, then peaceable, is the order of wisdom and of fact. Let us keep to Paul’s line, and we shall have the God of peace with us as He was with the apostle.
Sources
March 16 (Phil 4:9) The Chequebook of the Bank of Faith: Being Precious Promises Arranged for Daily Use with Brief Comments
The Peace of God (Phil 4:7) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 24
Prayer Perfumed with Praise (Phil 4:6) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 25
The Watchword for To-Day: “Stand Fast” (Phil 3:20, 21, 4:1) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 33
Exposition by C. H. Spurgeon: Philippians 4 The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 40
Prayer, the Cure for Care (Phil 4:6–7) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 40
Expositions by C. H. Spurgeon: 1 John 4; Philippians 4:1–9 The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 41
Exposition by C. H. Spurgeon: Philippians 4 The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 41
Joy, a Duty (Phil 4:4) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 41
Exposition by C. H. Spurgeon: 2 Kings 4:1–7; Philippians 4 The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 57
How to Keep the Heart (Phil 4:7) The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 4
Philippians 4:10–23
Exposition

10 I rejoiced So Paul was himself in a happy mood. These saints in Philippi had sent to him in prison a gift by the hand of one of their pastors, and Paul, in his deep poverty, had been much comforted by their kind thoughtfulness about him.

you have renewed your concern for me These Philippians had cared for him, and he praises them for being careful of him. They had lovingly thought of him who was their spiritual father, and when they knew that he was shut up as a prisoner in Rome, and suffering want, they took care to send something to relieve and cheer him.
Very beautiful, to my mind, is the sight of “Paul the aged” immured in his prison at Rome, likely by-and-by to be put to death, but calm, quiet, peaceful, and joyful. Just now he is so happy that a gleam of sunlight seems to light up his cell, and his face shines like that of an angel. He is exceedingly delighted because he has been, in his deep poverty, kindly remembered by the little church at Philippi, and they have sent him a contribution. See how cheerful the man is—I was about to say, “how contented,” but I drop the word because it falls far short of the mark. He is far more happy than Caesar overhead in the palace. He is charmed with the love which has sent him this relief.

11 I have learned to be content The apostle Paul was a very learned man, but not the least among his manifold acquisitions in science was this—he had learned to be content. That was not an easy lesson to learn, especially when one of those states meant being in prison at Rome. If he was ever in the Mamertine, those of us who have been in that dungeon would confess that it would take a deal of grace to make us content to be there. And if he was shut up in the prison of the Palatine hill, in the barracks near the morass, it was, to say the least, not a desirable place to be in. A soldier chained to your hand day and night, however good a fellow he may be, does not always make the most delightful company for you, nor you for him, and it takes some time to learn to be content with such a companion. But, says Paul, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”
Contentment in all states is not a natural propensity of man. Ill weeds grow apace; covetousness, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man as thorns are to the soil. You have no need to sow thistles and brambles; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth. So you have no need to teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education. But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care. Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated. It will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be especially careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace that God has sown in it. Paul says, “I have learned to be content,” as much as to say he did not know how at one time.
Is not that a splendid piece of learning? Paul was a learned man, and so are you, if you have learned this lesson. You may not be able to put D.D., or LL.D., after your name; but you are a learned man if you can say, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”

12 I know how both to make do with little and I know how to have an abundance These are two grand things to learn. There are some who know the first, but who do not know the second. I have known several of God’s children who seemed quite eminent for piety when they were abased, but they were never worth anything after they grew rich. They did not know how to abound; they became top-lofty, and far too great for their place.
It was not so with the apostle. When he had much, he knew how to use it. He had asked of God that he might be kept humble—that when he had a full sail he might have plenty of ballast; that when his cup ran over he might not let it run to waste; that in his time of plenty he might be ready to give to those that needed; and that as a faithful steward he might hold all he had at the disposal of his Lord. This is divine learning.
Prayer Against the Temptation of Prosperity
Preaching Themes: Prayer, Temptation, Wealth
There was once a square piece of paper put up into George Whitefield’s pulpit, by way of a notice, to this effect: “A young man who has lately inherited a large fortune requests the prayers of the congregation.”
Right well was the prayer asked, for when we go up the hill we need prayer that we may be kept steady. Going down the hill of fortune there is not half the fear of stumbling. The Christian far oftener disgraces his profession in prosperity than when he is being abased.
I have learned the secret Was he not a true Master of Arts? He had mastered the art of being hungry without murmuring, the art of being full without boasting, the art of suffering need without impatience, the art of abounding without setting his affection on worldly things.
There is nothing in hunger, or thirst, or nakedness, or peril, to invite our contentment. If we are content under such circumstances, it must be from higher motives than our condition itself affords. Hunger is a sharp thorn when in the hands of stern necessity. But hunger may be voluntarily endured for many an hour when conscience makes a man willing to fast. Reproach may have a bitter fang, but it can be bravely endured, when I am animated by a sense of the justice of my cause. Now Paul counted that all the ills that befell him were just incident to the service of his Lord. So for the love he bore to the name of Jesus, the hardships of servitude or self-mortification sat lightly on his shoulders, and were brooked cheerily by his heart.

to be filled and to be hungry When men have too much of God’s mercies—strange that we should have to say this, and yet it is a great fact—it often happens that they have but little of God’s grace, and little gratitude for the bounties they have received. They are full, and they forget God. Satisfied with earth, they are content to do without heaven. Rest assured, it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry. To know how to be hungry is a sharp lesson, but to know how to be full is the harder lesson after all. So desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God! As soon as we have a double stock of manna, and begin to hoard it, it breeds worms and becomes a stench in the nostrils of God.

to have an abundance and to go without These are both hard lessons to learn; I do not know which is the more difficult of the two. Probably it is easier to know how to go down than to know how to go up. How many Christians have I seen grandly glorifying God in sickness and poverty when they have come down in the world, and how often have I seen other Christians dishonoring God when they have grown rich, or when they have risen to a position of influence among their fellow men! These two lessons grace alone can fully teach us.

13 I am able to do all things by the one who strengthens me There is no boasting in this declaration; Paul only spoke what was literally the truth. The former part of the sentence would be a piece of impudent daring without the latter part to interpret it.
Three Who Trusted In Their Own Power to “Do All Things”
Preaching Themes: Power, Pride
There have been some men who, puffed up with vanity, have in their hearts said, “I can do all things.” Their destruction has been sure, and near at hand. Nebuchadnezzar walks through the midst of the great city; he sees its stupendous tower threading the clouds. He marks the majestic and colossal size of every erection, and he says in his heart, “Is this not the great Babylon which I have built?” (Dan 4:30). “I can do all things.” A few hours and he can do nothing except that in which the beast excels him. He eats grass like the oxen, until his hair has grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
See, too, the Persian potentate Xerxes. He leads a million men against Greece; he wields a power that he believes to be omnipotent; he lashes the sea, casts chains upon the waves, and bids it be his slave. “I can do all things!” His hosts melt away; the bravery of Greece is too much for him. He returns to his country in dishonor.
Or call to mind Napoleon. He marches to Russia; he defies the elements; he marches across the snow and sees the palace of an ancient monarchy in flames. No doubt as he looks at the blazing Kremlin, he thinks, “I can do all things.” But he will come back to his country alone; he will strew the frozen plains with men; he will be utterly wasted and destroyed.

What shall we say to our apostle, little in stature, stammering in speech, his personal presence weak, and his speech contemptible, when he comes forward and boasts, “I can do all things”? Impudent presumption! What can you do, Paul? The leader of a hated sect, all of them doomed by an imperial edict to death! You who dare to teach the absurd dogma that a crucified man is able to save souls, that He is actually king in heaven and virtually king in earth! You say, “I can do all things.” What! Has Gamaliel taught you such an art of eloquence that you can baffle all that oppose you? What! Have your sufferings given you so stern a courage that you are not to be turned away from the opinions which you have so tenaciously held? Do you rely on yourself? No, “I can do all things,” says he, “through Christ who strengthens me.”
When Paul said these words, he meant them. Indeed, he had to a great measure already proved the strength of which he now asserts the promise. Have you never thought how varied were the trials and how innumerable the achievements of the apostle Paul? Called by grace in a sudden and miraculous manner, immediately—not consulting with flesh and blood—he essays to preach the gospel he has newly received. He retires a little while, that he may more fully understand the Word of God. From the desert of Arabia, where he has girded his loins and strengthened himself by meditation and personal mortification, he comes out, not taking counsel with the apostles, nor asking their guidance or their approbation. At once, with singular courage, he proclaims the name of Jesus and protests that he himself also is an apostle of Christ. After this, he undertook many difficult things. He withstood Peter to the face—no easy task with a man so bold and so excellent as Peter was. But Peter might be a time-server; Paul, never. Paul rebukes Peter even to the face.
And then mark his own achievements, as he describes them himself: “with far greater labors, with far more imprisonments, with beatings to a much greater degree, in danger of death many times. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked. A day and a night I have spent in the deep water. I have been on journeys many times, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own people, in dangers from the Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers because of false brothers, with toil and hardship, often in sleepless nights, with hunger and thirst, often going hungry, in cold and poorly clothed. Apart from these external things, there is the pressure on me every day of the anxiety about all the churches.” (2 Cor 11:23–28). Bravely spoken, beloved Paul. Yours was no empty boast. You have indeed, in your life, preached a sermon upon the text, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

14 sharing with me in my affliction I do not suppose that they sent him very much; but he knew the love that prompted the gift, he understood what they meant by it. I always had a fancy that Lydia was the first to suggest that kind deed. She, the first convert of the Philippian church, thought of Paul, I doubt not, and said to the other believers, “Let us take care of him as far as we can. See how he spends his whole life in the Master’s service, and now he may at last die in prison for want of even common necessaries; let us send him a present to Rome.” How grateful is the apostle for that gift of love! What gladness they had put into his heart!

15 except you alone The Philippians were the only Christians who had sent any help to this great sufferer for Christ’s sake in the time of his need.

16–17 the profit that increases to your account So great was the disinterestedness of Paul that there was nothing of selfishness about his joy. He did not speak in respect of want, for he knew how to suffer need without complaint. But he looked upon the kindly contribution as a fruit of the grace of God in the Philippians—a generous proof that they were lifted out of heathen selfishness into Christian love.
There was little enough of kindness in the old Roman and Greek world into which Paul went preaching the gospel. Those were times of great hardness of heart, even to cruel heartlessness. There was no sort of provision for the poor. If a man was poor, why, that was his own look out, and he might starve and die. You know how hardened the people had become through the fights in the amphitheater, so that the sight of blood produced a fierce delight in their brutal bosoms, and human suffering was to them rather a thing to be rejoiced in than to be prevented. There might be here and there a tender hand that gave a small coin to the poor, but, for the most part, charity was dead. The voluptuaries of that most degenerate age planned no hospitals and built no orphanages; they were too intent upon their gladiators and their mistresses. Self was lord paramount in Caesar’s court, and all over Roman realms.
But here are people at Philippi thinking about one who had preached the gospel to them, and who is now suffering. They are moved by a new principle; love to God in Christ Jesus has created love to the man whose word has changed them. They will not abandon him; they will out of their own slender means cheer his sad condition. There were churches that had no such bowels of mercy; alas that so early in the gospel day holy charity should be so rare! There were people whom Paul had blessed greatly, who even quarreled about him, and denied that he was an apostle of Christ, but not so the beloved church at Philippi. They had again and again ministered to his necessities, and Paul now rejoices in them again because he delights to see another instance of the transforming power of the grace of God upon character, so that those who were once selfish now rejoiced, unprompted and unasked, to send their offering to him.

18 I am well supplied I do not suppose that it amounted to much, but it was all that the apostle needed.
I have been in the Roman dungeon in which Paul is said to have been confined, and a comfortless prison indeed it is. First of all you descend into a vaulted chamber, into which no light ever comes except through a little round hole in the roof. Then, in the middle of the floor of that den, there is another opening, through which the prisoner was let down into a second and lower dungeon, in which no fresh air or light could possibly come to him. Paul was probably confined there. The dungeon of the Praetorium in which he was certainly immured is not much better. Paul would have been left well nigh to starve there, but for those good people at Philippi.

I received from Epaphroditus what you had sent I am sure that, when they read this verse, they all felt glad that they had had a share in the subscription to relieve the apostle’s wants.

19 And my God Whose God is that? Why, Paul’s God. That is one of the matters in which the greatest saints are no better off than the very least, for though Paul called the Lord “my God,” he is my God too. When you turn over the pages of Scripture, and read of men who were in sore trouble, and were helped, you may say, “Here is Abraham. He was blessed in all things, and Abraham’s God will supply all my need, for He is my God. I read of Elijah, that the ravens fed him. I have Elijah’s God, and He can command the ravens to feed me if He pleases.” The God of the prophets, the God of the apostles, the God of all the saints that have gone before us, “this is God, our God forever and ever” (Psa 48:14).

will fulfill your every need “You have supplied my need out of your poverty; my God shall supply all your need out of his riches. Your greatest need shall not exceed the liberality of his supplies.”
Paul is speaking to the Philippians, and I think that there is point in that pronoun, “My God shall supply all your need.” You have been generous in helping the Lord’s servant, and the Lord will repay you. Up to the measure of your ability you have served his church and helped to carry on his work in the world, and therefore God will supply all your need. This is not spoken to hoarding Judas, but to the generous who had voluntarily yielded of their substance when a fit opportunity was given them.

according to his riches in glory As rich as God is in glory, so rich is He in giving. He never demeans Himself in the mercies that He gives. He gives according to His rank, and that is the highest conceivable. He gives so as to bring Him new glory. I never heard of one of His children receiving a great blessing from Him, and then saying that it did not glorify God to bestow it. No, no. The more He gives, the more glorious He is in the eyes of men. He delights to give, that His glory may be seen, and that the riches of His manifested glory may be increased. Withholding would not enrich the Lord of heaven; rather would it impoverish Him in glory. But giving enriches Him with more revealed glory, and He therefore delights to scatter His bounty.

in Christ Jesus You shall have all your soul’s wants satisfied, but you must go to Christ for everything. You are not to have your spiritual wants supplied by going to Moses, and working and toiling as if you were your own savior, but by faith in Christ Jesus. Those who will not go to Christ Jesus must go without grace, for God will give them nothing in the way of grace except through His Son. Those who go to Jesus the most shall most often taste of His abundance, for through Him all blessings come. My advice to myself and to you is that we abide in Him. For since that is the way by which the blessing comes, we had better abide in it.
God’s Provision for Spurgeon’s Orphanage
Preaching Themes: Providence of God
This precious text is one which, years ago, when we built the Orphanage, I caused to be cut on one of the pillars of the entrance. You will notice it inside the first columns on either side whenever you go there. “My God will fulfill your every need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). This I took for the foundation of the institution, and set my seal to it as true. And it has been so. Time would fail me if I were to tell how often God has interposed there for His numerous family—those children that are cast upon the divine Fatherhood. He has honored His own promise and our faith, and I believe He always will. There on the forefront of the Orphanage stands also the word, “The Lord will provide.” You shall see whether it be not so. As long as that place stands my God shall supply our need, and it shall be a standing encouragement to us all.
Think of the far more extensive orphanage of our brother George Müller, of Bristol, with those two thousand five hundred children living simply through prayer and faith, and yet as abundantly supplied as the Queen in her palace. Nothing is wanting where God is the Provider. The Lord will supply without fail; let us trust without fear. Go and plead this promise with the Lord your God, and He will fulfill it to you as well as to the rest of His saints.
20 to our God and Father be the glory He blesses us; let us bless Him. He supplies all our need according to His riches in glory; let us extol His glory forever and ever.

21 Greet every saint Give him a shake of the hand. Say, “How are you, my brother? I wish you well.” The religion of Christ is full of courtesy, and it is full of generous thoughtfulness. These hearty salutations ought to be common in every Christian assembly. I always deprecate that wonderful respectability that exists in some places of worship, where nobody knows anybody else; they are too respectable to become acquainted with their brothers. I do not think that he can be a Christian who has no knowledge nor care about his fellow church-members. If you are in Christ Jesus, get to know one another.

The brothers with me greet you They saw that he was writing a letter, and they therefore said, “Send our love to the Philippians.”

22 those of Caesar’s household Only think of saints in the household of Nero, saints in the service of such a demon as he was, and saints who were first in every good thing. Exposed to the greatest perils, and yet brave to confess Christ.
I suppose most of these were only slaves in the imperial household. There may have been one or two, perhaps, of a higher class; but, in all probability, the gospel first reached the slaves in the Roman palace, that pandemonium of vice, where lust and cruelty abounded. There were saints even there; and God still has some of His jewels lying on dunghills.

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit Thus with an affectionate wish this fragrant letter of love comes to its close. May more of the tender spirit that it breathes be found in each one of us.
Application
Learning to Be Content

We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him, if we too might by any means attain unto such a degree of contentment. Do not indulge the silly notion that you can be contented without learning, or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually. The very words of the text might suggest this, even if we did not know it from experience. We need not be taught to murmur, but we must be taught to acquiesce in the will and good pleasure of the Lord our God.
Some of you have, as far as your circumstances are concerned, all that the heart can wish. God has placed you in such a position that you have not to toil with your hands, and in the sweat of your face gain a livelihood. You will perhaps think that any exhortation to you to be contented is needless. But a man may be very discontented though he be very rich. It is quite as possible for discontent to sit on the throne as it is to sit on a poor broken-backed chair in a hovel. Remember that a man’s contentment is in his mind, not in the extent of his possessions. Alexander, with all the world at his feet, cries for another world to conquer. He is sorry because there are not other countries into which he may carry his victorious arms, and wade up to his loins in the blood of his fellow men, to slake the thirst of his insatiable ambition. To you who are rich, it is necessary that we give the same exhortation as to the poor: “learn to be content.”
Those who are poor should seek, if you can, by superior skill, steady perseverance, and temperate thriftiness, to raise your position. But at the same time, be contented. Where God has placed you, strive to adorn that position, be thankful to Him, and bless His name. You should be well content with your position because, depend upon it, it is the fittest for you. Unerring wisdom cast your lot. If you were rich, you would not have so much grace as you have now. Perhaps God knew that if he did not make you poor, He would never get you to heaven at all. So He has kept you where you are, that He may conduct you there. Remember this, if any other condition had been better for you than the one in which you are, God would have put you there. You are put by Him in the most suitable place, and if you had had the picking of your lot half an hour afterwards, you would have come back and said, “Lord, choose for me, for I have not chosen the best after all.”
And now just one or two words to sufferers. All men are born to sorrow, but some men are born to a double portion of it. They are the Jeremiahs of our race; they do not often know an hour free from pain. If these brothers and sisters mourn, we are not the men to blame them, because, when we are sick, we brook it ill, and murmur more than they. Sick men can see a great deal more of glory than men do when they are in health. Perhaps, you that are frequently tried and frequently pained, would have been scarcely worth anything in the vineyard of Christ if it had not been for this trial of your faith. You have sharp filing, but if you had not been well filed, you would not have been an instrument fit for the Master’s use; you would have grown so rusty. Be content, then; but I feel as if I hardly must say it, because I am not sick myself. But nevertheless, be it so; try if you can and imitate this beloved apostle Paul: “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”
You that do not love Christ, recollect that you are the most miserable people in the world. Though you may think yourselves happy, there is not one of us that would change places with the best of you. When we are very sick, very poor, and on the borders of the grave, if you were to step in and say to us “Come, I will change places with you; you shall have my gold, and my silver, my riches, and my health,” there is not one living Christian that would change places with you. We would not stop to deliberate. We would give you at once our answer: “No, go your way, and delight in what you have; all your treasures are transient, they will soon pass away. We will keep our sufferings, and you shall keep your gaudy toys.” Saints have no hell but what they suffer here on earth; sinners will have no heaven but what they have here in this poor troublesome world. We have our sufferings here and our glory afterwards; you may have your glory here, but you will have your sufferings forever and ever. God grant you new hearts, and right spirits, a living faith in a living Jesus, and then I would say to you as I have said to the rest—in whatsoever state you are, be content.
Three Messages from “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me”

First, it has a message of encouragement to those of you who are doing something for Christ, but who begin to feel painfully your own inability. Cease not from God’s work, because you are unable to perform it of yourself. Let it teach you to cease from yourself, but not from your work. If we did but believe ourselves great things, we should do great things. Our age is the age of littlenesses, because there is always a clamor to put down any gigantic idea. Everyone praises the man who has taken up the idea and carried it out successfully, but at first he has none to stand by him. All the achievements in the world, both political and religious, at any time, have been begun by men who thought themselves called to perform them, and believed it possible that they should be accomplished. Applying this to spiritual things, only believe that God can make something of you; be resolved that you will do something somehow for Christ, and you will do it.
A second lesson is this: Take heed that you get Christ’s strength. You can do nothing without that. Spiritually in the things of Christ you are not able to accomplish even the meanest thing without Him. Do not go forth to your work, therefore, till you have first prayed. That effort which is begun without prayer will end without praise. That battle which commences without holy reliance upon God shall certainly end in a terrible rout. Many men might be Christian victors if they had known how to use the all-prevailing weapon of prayer, but forgetting this they have gone to the fight and they have been worsted right easily. Be sure, Christian, that you get Christ’s strength.
Finally, Paul says, in the name of all Christians, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I say, not in Paul’s name only, but in the name of my Lord and Master Jesus Christ, how is it that some of you are doing nothing? You say, “I can do all things.” Why are you doing nothing? Look what multitudes of Christians there are in the world. Do you believe if they were all what they profess to be, and all to work for Christ, there would long be the degrading poverty, the ignorance, the heathenism, which is to be found? What cannot one individual accomplish? What could be done therefore by the tens of thousands of our churches? You will have much to answer for with regard to the souls of your fellow men. You are sent by God’s providence to be as lights in this world, but you are rather dark lanterns than lights. How often are you in company, and you never avail yourself of an opportunity of saying a word for Christ? How many times are you thrown in such a position that you have an excellent opportunity for rebuking sin, or for teaching holiness, and how seldom do you accomplish it? “Am I my brother’s keeper?” was the language of Cain. Cain has many children even at this day. You are your brother’s keeper. If you have grace in your heart, you are called to do good to others.
God’s Ability to Supply Needs

Paul’s God is our God, and will supply all our need. Paul felt sure of this in reference to the Philippians, and we feel sure of it as to ourselves. God will do it, for it is like Him. He loves us, He delights to bless us, and it will glorify Him to do so. His pity, His power, His love, His faithfulness, all work together that we be not famished.
What a measure does the Lord go by: “According to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” The riches of His grace are large, but what shall we say of the riches of His glory? His “riches in glory in Christ Jesus,” who shall form an estimate of this? According to this immeasurable measure will God fill up the immense abyss of our necessities. He makes the Lord Jesus the receptacle and the channel of His fullness, and then He imparts to us His wealth of love in its highest form. Hallelujah!
The writer knows what it is to be tried in the work of the Lord. Fidelity has been recompensed with anger, and liberal givers have stopped their subscriptions. But he whom they sought to oppress has not been one penny the poorer. Rather he has been the richer, for this promise has been true, “My God shall supply all your need.” God’s supplies are surer than the Bank of England.
Sources
November 15 (Phil 4:19) The Chequebook of the Bank of Faith: Being Precious Promises Arranged for Daily Use with Brief Comments
Philippians 4 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible
Filling the Empty Vessels (Phil 4:19) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 29
Exposition by C. H. Spurgeon: Philippians 4 The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 40
Exposition by C. H. Spurgeon: Philippians 4 The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 41
A New Year’s Wish (Phil 4:19) The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 57
Exposition by C. H. Spurgeon: 2 Kings 4:1–7; Philippians 4 The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 57
All-Sufficiency Magnified (Phil 4:13) The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 6
Contentment (Phil 4:11) The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 6
Scripture Index
Deuteronomy
21:23 58
1 Samuel
15:22 55
Job
10:7 75
Psalms
2:11 71
40:7 55
41:3 85
48:14 162
Ecclesiastes
9:18 133
Isaiah
33:24 86
53:3 106
53:7 57
53:11 82
Daniel
4:30 158
6:5 74
Matthew
1:21 96
5:48 115
7:20 90
10:3 139
13:58 130
25:21 112
25:34 37
25:41 133
26:22 132
26:37 84
26:73 134
Mark
3:18 139
14:67 134
16:16 36
Luke
4:18 24
6:14 139
23:28 57
John
3:16 40, 122
3:18 36
3:36 122
10:18 57
10:31 59
13:21 132
Acts
1:13 139
16:12–15 7
16:25 145
16:31 122
Romans
1:8–9 145
3:26 62
4:5 69
7:24 109
8:1 36
8:29 110
8:33 36
9:5 60
1 Corinthians
2:1 112
5:6 17
12:28 139
13:12 28
15:37 14
2 Corinthians
2:14 31
4:17 66
5:8 28
5:19 40, 122
5:21 121
11:23–28 159
Galatians
1:23 32
5:9 17
6:14 36, 63
6:17 63
Ephesians
2:14 149
Philippians
1 5
1:1 68
1:1–3 6
1:1–11 6
1:3–4 145
1:4 7, 8
1:5 8
1:6 9
1:7 15
1:8–11 17
1:12 21
1:12–26 20
1:13 21
1:14 21
1:15–17 21
1:18 8, 22
1:19 23
1:20 24
1:21 25
1:22 26
1:23 27
1:23–24 33
1:24 32
1:25 8
1:25–26 33
1:27 39
1:27–30 39
1:28 41
1:29 42
1:30 43
2 47
2:1 49
2:1–11 48
2:2 8, 49
2:3 51
2:4 52
2:5 53
2:6 53
2:7 53
2:8 54
2:9 58
2:10 60
2:11 61
2:12 67
2:12–18 67
2:13 71
2:14 73
2:15 74
2:16 8, 77
2:17 78
2:18 78
2:19–24 83
2:19–30 83
2:25 84
2:26 84
2:27 85
3 87
3:1 8, 88
3:1–11 88
3:2 89
3:3 8, 90
3:4 90
3:5 91
3:6 92
3:7 92
3:7–8 93
3:8 95
3:9 100
3:10 101, 102
3:11 103
3:12 108, 116
3:12–16 108
3:13 110
3:14 115
3:15 115
3:16 116
3:17 119
3:17–21 119
3:18 119
3:19 122
3:20 126
3:21 85, 128
4 135
4:1 8, 136
4:1–9 136
4:2 138
4:3 139
4:4 8, 140
4:5 142
4:6 143
4:7 147
4:8 149
4:9 150, 152
4:10 8, 153
4:10–23 153
4:11 154
4:12 155
4:13 157
4:14 160
4:15 7, 160
4:16–17 160
4:18 8, 161
4:19 161, 163
4:20 164
4:21 164
4:22 164
4:23 164
Colossians
1:3 145
1 Thessalonians
1:2 145
1 Timothy
1:15 40
2 Timothy
1:3 145
1:12 36
4:2 ix
4:7 32
Hebrews
7:26 74
9:27 57
11:16 126
13:14 126
James
1:4 15
1 Peter
2:24 58
3:18 121
5:4 66
Spurgeon, C. (2014). Spurgeon Commentary: Philippians. (E. Ritzema, Hrsg.) (S. 135–168). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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