Paul was struggling financially (v. 14) even while caring for his needs in prison and for his future ministry. Oftentimes in certain prisons when you were in captivity, it was up to your friends and family to provide for you your food and daily needs.
Regardless, it was a difficult time and the Philippians did something helpful–they sent him a large gift so that he had more than enough. It was a relief for Paul. And Paul takes a moment to say thank-you.
And he is not just thanking them for their gift alone, because as he has said, he has learned to be content. He knows that the Lord will be with him and help him whether he has plenty or is living in lack.
This really is counter-cultural. We same to strive for contentment and are content when we have “enough.” But Paul had come to the maturity that it wasn’t finances and comfort that were “enough,” but that it was Christ that made life “enough.”
Regardless, he wanted to thank them. Thank them for the love and concern for him which had greater value than money. Like many missionaries, he too at times was barely supported.
“No one shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only” (v. 15).
Giving and receiving. The giving of a gift is a two-way street of blessing and relationship.
But their gift to him was sacrificial and something beautiful before the Lord. And Paul knew this, God would care for them as they cared for him.
It was all about partnership, blessing and the peace of resting in God’s care for us all. Everyone needs a church like the Philippians and a missionary like Paul and a Savior like Christ.