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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

Of Gifts and the Gospel

Submitted by on Saturday, 8 November 2008No Comment
  • Reading I: Philippians 4:10-19
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 112:1-2,8-9
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 16:9-15

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One can catalogue this selection from Paul in quite a number of ways. 

  • gratitude for help received in ministry  Philippians 4:10
  • biographical note on lack of hospitality Philippians 4:15-16
  • a particular way of using the expression "gospel" Philippians 4:14
  • kindness of the Philippians as "a fragrant aroma, pleasing to God" Philippians 4:18
  • kindness is its own reward Philippians 4:17
  • the missionary’s poverty Philippians 4:11-12
  • strength from God Philippians 4:13
  • supply from the riches in Christ Philippians 4:19

Practically every verse is worth noting; truly a rich deposit for use in prayer and meditation.  The poverty of the missionary (Phil. 4:11-12) as described in passages from the synoptic gospels, is not due to deprivation but from the need to travel light and concentrate on the proclamation of the Gospel.  Such a life-style is envisioned in the vow of poverty that religious assume upon profession.  Paul "learned" how to be poor while in mission (Philippians 4:12).  The Lord commanded his apostles to travel light, but he also told them to depend upon the kindness of those who receive them.  Here, we have a particular example from the early Christian missions and Paul. 

Interesting is the way Paul uses the word "gospel" here.  He uses the word to refer to the history of the proclamation of the gospel itself.  This use reminds one of the title that Mark uses for his gospel  "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ…"  There, "gospel" does not mean "biography" but the proclamation of the good news initiated by Jesus and continued by the apostles and evangelists.

The expression "fragrant aroma" is used in Ephesians 5:2 in reference to Christ’s sacrificial offering of himself in love.  One is reminded here of the holocausts and fragrant incense offered to God in sacrifice day after day (2 Chronicles 13:11).   Here the kindness of the Philippians are like the incense that accompany a holocaust (which for Paul, is the sacrificial offering of one’s whole life to God, cf. Romans 12:1). 

 

Read an explanation of the Gospel reading here: The Administration of Goods:  Christian Principles 101
Philippians 4:10-19
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
10Now I rejoice in the Lord exceedingly, that now at length your thought for me hath flourished again, as you did also think; but you were busied.
11I speak not as it were for want. For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content therewith.
12I know both how to be brought low, and I know how to abound: (everywhere, and in all things I am instructed) both to be full, and to be hungry; both to abound, and to suffer need.
13I can do all these things in him who strengtheneth me.
14Nevertheless you have done well in communicating to my tribulation.
15And you also know, O Philippians, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but you only:
16For unto Thessalonica also you sent once and again for my use.
17Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that may abound to your account.
18But I have all, and abound: I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things you sent, an odour of sweetness, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
19And may my God supply all your want, according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 112:1-2,8-9
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he shall delight exceedingly in his commandments.
2His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed.
8His heart is strengthened, he shall not be moved until he look over his enemies.
9He hath distributed, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever and ever: his horn shall be exalted in glory.
Luke 16:9-15
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
9And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity; that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.
10He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in that which is greater: and he that is unjust in that which is little, is unjust also in that which is greater.
11If then you have not been faithful in the unjust mammon; who will trust you with that which is the true?
12And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's; who will give you that which is your own?
13No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
14Now the Pharisees, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
15And he said to them: You are they who justify yourselves before men, but God knoweth your hearts; for that which is high to men, is an abomination before God.
Philippians 4:10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
10Now I rejoice in the Lord exceedingly, that now at length your thought for me hath flourished again, as you did also think; but you were busied.
Philippians 4:15-16
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
15And you also know, O Philippians, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but you only:
16For unto Thessalonica also you sent once and again for my use.
Philippians 4:14
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
14Nevertheless you have done well in communicating to my tribulation.
Philippians 4:18
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
18But I have all, and abound: I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things you sent, an odour of sweetness, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
Philippians 4:17
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
17Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that may abound to your account.
Philippians 4:11-12
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
11I speak not as it were for want. For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content therewith.
12I know both how to be brought low, and I know how to abound: (everywhere, and in all things I am instructed) both to be full, and to be hungry; both to abound, and to suffer need.
Philippians 4:13
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
13I can do all these things in him who strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:19
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
19And may my God supply all your want, according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:12
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
12I know both how to be brought low, and I know how to abound: (everywhere, and in all things I am instructed) both to be full, and to be hungry; both to abound, and to suffer need.
Ephesians 5:2
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
2And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness.
2 Chronicles 13:11
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
11And they offer holocausts to the Lord, every day, morning and evening, and incense made according to the ordinance of the law, and the leaves are set forth on a most clean table, and there is with us the golden candlestick, and the lamps thereof, to be lighted always in the evening: for we keep the precepts of the Lord our God, whom you have forsaken.
Romans 12:1
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service.

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