I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
(Philippians 4:18-20 ESV)
Yesterday Paul reminded the Philippians that since they were so sacrificially generous towards him in his time of need, God would meet their every need. This is a promise from God for believers who are generous.
After expressing this wonderful truth about God, Paul offers up praise of God in a brief doxology. A doxology is a statement that ascribes glory to God. It comes from two Greek words: δοξα (pronounced: dox’-ah) meaning “glory” and λόγιον (pronounced: log’-ee-on) meaning “saying”.
This verse seems like it is a spontaneous outburst. It seems that Paul can’t contain himself after writing the wonderful truth of God’s provision (and all the wonderful truths contained in this letter). This makes sense.
When we understand God – when we read the Bible and learn the truth about who He is and what He has done and is willing to do for us – the natural response is to praise Him. Truth leads to praise. When we praise God we glorify Him. To glorify God is to acknowledge His magnificence; to exalt Him to a place in our lives above ourselves; to recognize His greatness, grace, and mercy.
This is the purpose of our lives. God created us to worship Him. But we cannot do that if we do not know Him. Certainly it is not possible to know all there is to know about God. He is infinite. But He is knowable.
God does not hide Himself from us. He wants us to know Him. To that end He has invited us into a relationship with Him. Just like in human relationships we have to spend time with someone in order to get to know them, the same is true with God. As the relationship progresses we learn more about Him. And when we learn more about Him we can’t help but praise Him.
Notice that Paul calls God “our God and Father”. He is not only our God (our creator and source of life) but He is also “our Father”. There is a familial relationship between God and believers. He is our Father and we are His children [John 1:12].
This is a unique aspect of Christianity. No world religion, not even Christian-based ones like Catholicism, views God as wanting an intimate, personal, father/child relationship with us. Religions are man-made attempts to appease and please God.
But God doesn’t want our rituals or sacrifices. He wants us to know Him [Hosea 6:6]. And when we get to know Him there is no other valid response than to glorify Him.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.
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