The Philippians had given Paul financial support on several occasions and along with the report of what was happening in Philippi Epaphroditus also brought another financial gift to Paul to help with his expenses in 19 tangible loveRome. Unlike most prisons today, the Roman prisons did not feed or clothe the inmates. Paul had to see to his own necessities. The Philippians helped him. Philippians 4:10 is an expression of Paul’s gratitude for the gift they sent. He says, “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.”

Paul says that he “rejoiced in the Lord greatly.” This phrase describes Paul’s attitude in all life situations as he will elaborate in the verses to follow. Here “great” joy is a result of a blessing received from fellow believers in Philippi. There is always some “great joy” when we receive things from others. Paul isn’t any less human. I expect the gift helped him significantly but what really brought him joy was that the saints concern for Paul had blossomed into more fruit again. Paul knows they had always been concerned about him, but had no way of showing it until now. I suppose delivery systems weren’t as simple in his day. The gift was a tangible demonstration of their love and concern for Paul. It thrilled him.

You’ve heard it said that it’s not the gift but the thought that counts. I get that idea from the way Paul expressed his gratitude. In Exodus 25 God instructed the Israelites to give offerings “willingly from the heart.” In 1 Chronicles 29 we also see that “the people rejoiced because they had given an offering willingly.” There is great joy associated with Christian giving. Just as the Israelites were excited about being part of God’s work in the world, so too where the Philippians, and they were both commended. Philippians is all about “joy” as I’ve suggested for the past few months and here Paul’s joy is reflected as a result of others caring enough to make a sacrifice for his welfare. Paul took great joy from the gift from the Philippians. The Lord takes great joy in our rightly motivated giving. In 1 Corinthians Paul explains that giving is to be from the heart and in 9:7 he says that “God loves a cheerful giver.” David Jeremiah says, “So when we come to the offering, we ought to be excited, for we are given the opportunity to take part in God’s great plan. As an expression of our love for Him, we give our gifts. After all He has done on our behalf, we can do no less.”