Philippians 4 v 10 - 13

Here Paul recognising both the joy of human support and his own pilgrimage which has brought him to the place of contentment whatever the outward circumstances. If you read through Paul's letters, nearly every one has mentions of the names of fellow workers to whom he is indebted. We all have different God-given gifts: for some it is leadership, preaching, Gospel apologetics; for others it is being supporters of those people, looking at the detail, keeping the administration up to date, supporting those who are struggling physically, mentally or spiritually. I was speaking with someone about the Billy Graham organisation a few days ago, and what they did so well was to provide all the support necessary to enable Billy to preach to packed houses. His gift was preaching the Gospel pure and simple, but there were many others around him fund-raising, encouraging new converts into churches, preparing the places where he was going to speak, praying for God's blessing. God has ordained it that no one person has every gift and this means that we need each other. You may wonder at what part you play within Bearfield, but I am certain that you have one! Think about it! On a personal note, I must confess that I have not reached the heights of Paul's walk with Christ. I am still dependent on circumstances for my contentment. I seek to model myself on him, as he encouraged his readers to do in the previous passage. I think naturally we question how we can be content with empty stomachs, but I think the challenge appears to be even greater with the opposite situation of finding contentment when one's stomach is always full. I think wealth brings with it the opportunity to behave as one feels like and that sometimes produces spoilt, squabbling, dissatisfied human beings. But it is essential that we learn this lesson of contentment whatever life may throw at us, because we can be confident that there are challenges coming our way!

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