Philippians Doxology, Philippians 4. Motive! That is a hard thing to assess. Why do we do the things we do? Do you know that it is possible to do good works, and yet be sinning at the same time? Do we do the things we do to please the Lord Jesus Christ out of a pure love from our hearts for His Word and Commandments?
20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Philippians 4:20, NIV
As we continue with the New Testament doxologies, we read this short doxology from the book of Philippians. Philippians 4, like the last chapter of the book of Romans concludes with some final instructions to the church at Philippi, as well as some acknowledgements of thanks to the Philippians church, and then goes right into this Philippians doxology.
It is interesting to note that this doxology comes right after the following verses of thanks.
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:14-19, NIV
Look at the flow of the paragraph. First, Paul expresses his thankfulness in some detail, then the fact that their works were certainly pleasing to God as well. He then continues with the fact that God will also meet all of their needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.
When the doxology appears in the next verse, it is a gentle reminder that all of the "good" works that we do should always be done from our hearts for the glory of our God and Father.
Motive! That is a hard thing to assess. Why do we do the things we do? Do you know that it is possible to do good works, and yet be sinning at the same time? Do we do the things we do to please the Lord Jesus Christ out of a pure love from our hearts for His Word and Commandments? How important is it to us that others are aware of what we do? Is it necessary for us to receive the honor granted to us from those around us, or are we willing to do our deeds for the Lord in secret?
What a frustration for us, as Christians, to be constantly bumping up against our own sin natures even when trying to live a life pleasing and honoring to God. We are in a war, are we not? That war will never end until we are granted the joy of appearing before our Lord Jesus Christ, but it will certainly end!
To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever.
Devotional Reflections from the Bible