Summary: Concern and Generosity for the needs of others - Philippians chapter 4 verses 10-23 – sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


The Secret of True Contentment (vs 10-13).

The Value of the Gift (vs 14-20).

The Appreciation of Christian Friends (vs 21-23).



• A man walked by a table in a hotel;

• And noticed three men and a dog playing cards.

• Amazingly the dog appeared to be winning.

• "That must be a very smart dog," the man commented.

• "He aint so smart," said one of the players.

• "Every time he gets a good-hand he wags his tail!"

• TRANSITION: Dogs of course wag their tails when they are happy & joyful.

• This letter that we are concluding today has been called:

• ‘The letter of joy”

• Because joy is a central theme in the book of Philippians.

• In fact, there are 15 explicit references;

• To some form of either the noun “joy” (chara in Greek),

• Or the verb “rejoice” (chairo) in this short letter.

• <References given 12 lines further down in the sermon>.

• Remember that the apostle’s Paul’s joy was not at all dependent on his circumstances.

• When he wrote this letter,

• He has been imprisoned for almost four years (chapter 1 verses 12-18),

The apostle makes it clear where his source of joy was to be found:

• In fact, if you read through his short letter;

• Underline in your Bibles or write down in a notebook each mention of the word joy,

• And you will find fifteen ways the apostle experienced joy.

• To summarise those fifteen reasons,

• He found joy in Christ;

• He found joy in his ministry, his service for God.

• He found joy in Christians, in the people of God.

1) Paul prays for the Philippian believers with joy (chara) because of their partnership with him in the gospel. (1:4-5)

2) He rejoices (chairo) that Christ is proclaimed – even when Christ is proclaimed with impure motives. (1:18)

3) He rejoices (chairo) that his current hardship will turn out for his deliverance, through the prayers of the believers and the help of the Spirit. (1:18-1:19)

4) Paul is convinced that the continuation of his ministry to the Philippians will contribute to their “progress and joy (chara) in the faith”. (1:25)

5) Paul has joy (chara) when the believers are unified and single-minded. (2:2)

6) Paul would be glad (chairo) in his sacrifice for the sake of their faith, so that his ministry was not in vain. (2:17)

7) Paul would rejoice with (synchairo) the believers in his sacrifice for the sake of their faith, so that his ministry was not in vain (2:17)

8) Paul encourages the Philippian believers to also be glad (chairete) in his life being poured out for them. (2:18)

9) Paul encourages the Philippian believers to also rejoice with (synchairete) him in his life being poured out for them. (2:18)

10) Paul is eager to send Epaphroditus back to them, so that they can rejoice (chairo) in seeing him again and be less anxious about his health. (2:28)

11) Paul encourages the Philippian church to receive Epaphroditus back with joy (chara), since he risked his life for the work of Christ. (2:29)

12) Paul has no problem with frequently repeating the reminder to “rejoice (chairo) in the Lord,” because he knows how important it is. (3:1)

13) Paul encourages the Philippians to “rejoice (chairo) in the Lord always.” (4:4)

14) For added emphasis, Paul again commands the Philippian believers to rejoice (chairo). (4:4)

15) The Philippians’ renewed ability to support his ministry caused Paul to rejoice (chairo) in the Lord greatly. (4:10)

• In this closing section of the letter:

The apostle Paul leaves us with three pieces of advice or instruction;

• Three attitudes that when applied will give you joy;

• Or if neglected or ignored will take your joy away.

(1). The Secret of True Contentment (vs 10-13).

“I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”


• In a cemetery is a grave marker with the inscription;

• “She died from want of things”

• Next to it is another marker that reads;

• “He died trying to give it to her”

• TRANSITION: We all want to be contented, to be satisfied in life

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