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Philippians 4:10-23, Acknowledgment of the Philippians’ Gift

Saturday, May 12

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Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

 gratitude practices

Paul spent the latter part of his life giving to others. He gave his career, his time, his money, his passion. Paul gave everything for the sake of the work of Christ. But he also received. Paul could not have done the work he did without the support of others along the way. On this occasion, Paul included in his letter to the Philippians an acknowledgment and appreciation for the gifts they had sent him through Epaphroditus. 

Gratitude is an underappreciated source of power in our lives. Many of us strive not to need other people so we don't owe them anything. It's almost painful to accept help or resources, even when we are in dire need. But Paul models something different. Paul knew that no one (not even Jesus) could accomplish anything in a vacuum. We were created to need each other. If we can open ourselves to receiving, then we are on the precipice of something great -- gratitude. 

Gratitude is an acknowledgment that we are interdependent beings. It is acceptance that we rely on others, as they rely on us. It is feeling content, even happy with what we have. It is behaving in a way that responds positively to the things we have and the people in our lives. Gratitude is a practice we can engage in daily. The more we nurture our gratitude, the happier and healthier we become. What are you grateful for today?

Narrative Lectionary Text: Philippians 4:10-23

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. Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The friends who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of the emperor’s household. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Earlier Event: May 11
Philippians 4:2-9, Exhortations