Paul’s Greatest Secret

                             Philippians 4:10-20

Introduction: All of us love and have probably quoted Philippians 4:13 and 4:19 time and time again.

The Promises of all strength and all provision.

Beginning in verse 10, Paul ‘rejoices’ again over God’s blessings provisions, and providence (divine guidance or care) and His grace.

Therefore, the apostle thanks God for the kindness of the Philippines toward him, for it was God who gave them (the Philippians) the power and directed their hearts to use it!

The Philippians had helped him before, Phil. 2:25; they had ceased for a time, and now they began again.

Anethalete = revived. The metaphor is taken from the reviviscence  (revival) of flowers in spring which seemed dead in winter.

Application: This is so interesting to me! They stopped for a while and then started again (due to Paul not sending someone to receive their assistance).

Biblical ‘Learning Curb’

The theory, meaning and formula of a learning curb and ‘steep learning curb.’

A learning curve is a correlation between a learner’s performance on a task and the number of attempts or time required to complete the task; this can be represented as a direct proportion on a graph.

The learning curve theory proposes that a learner’s efficiency in a task improves over time the more the learner performs the task.

A graph with a blue line

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Application: You wouldn’t believe how much I learned and read about learning curbs this week (diminishing returns, increasing returns, S-Curb = Increasing-decreasing returns, Sigmoid, the complex learning curb, etc).

Question: What Had Paul ‘Learned’?

Verse 12, ‘I have learned the secret…’

Learned = to learn, appraised, increased in knowledge, to learn by use and practice, be in the habit of, accustomed to.

Question: What had Paul learned by practice and become part of his accustomed habit(s)?

  1. Be Content

Paul says that no doubt he knew that he often would need more than what he had (necessity). There would be times of ‘want’.

Want = poverty

Content = sufficient for one’s self, strong enough or processing enough to need no aid or assistance. To be contented with one’s lot, with one’s means, though the slenderest

Verse 12, ‘I have learned the secret…’

  1. Attachment (of Strength)

I can do everything / all things!

  • Each, every, any, the whole thing.

Through = in/by a fixed position; instrumentally (medially or constructively); in a relation of rest.


THIS SAME GOD! (NLT)

  1. All the Strength

Strengthens = empowers, endures with strength, increase in strength; emboldened and headstrong

  • All Provision

Supply = to make full, to fill up, cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally.

Transition: Before I completely conclude, I want to go back just a little before verse 19.


Paul learned/understood / believed that there was also a ‘reward of sorts’ to their giving.

  1. All Reward – Verse 17b

Notice what Paul teaches in verse 17b, ‘I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.’ (NLT)

That which will add to one’s Reward / Credit/increase to one’s account.

Transition: Paul concludes by knowing that to God and God alone belonged all the glory.

  • All Glory – Verse 20

‘Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen. (NLT)

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