to Archived Meditations
13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content
with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave
thee, nor forsake thee.
Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
content. Those two words both encourage and rebuke me. If I were
content, I would be satisfied. I wouldn’t be thinking about what I don’t
have but I would be thankful for what I do have. I wouldn’t be envious
or covetous or anxious when it comes to material things. Matthew 6:30
implies that those of us who worry are people of “little faith”. 1
Timothy 6 implies that godliness and contentment measure the profit of
life and not money. Godliness in this passage must include an attitude
toward money that is contrary to nature. We can’t love it and we need
to be satisfied when we have been provided with food and raiment (1
Timothy 6:8). I am not going to explain how you do that when the bills
are due and the bank account is empty even though you have not gone
hungry. Nor am I going to explain how to do that when you are without a
job and no one is hiring and your friends imply that it is your fault
that you are not working.
problem with stress involves wrong thinking about the Lord and about
material things. Wrong thinking was a problem that we had before we were
saved. The Bible said that salvation was by faith in the Lord through
His grace (Ephesians 2:8) but we thought there was something that we had
to do to be saved. In order to trust Christ our minds had to be changed
to agree with God. When it comes to living by faith after we are saved,
we seem to have the idea that we can and should control our
circumstances and our futures. While the Lord expects us to be
industrious, He really wants our trust and He wants to be first in our
lives and affections. If we really could control our circumstances by
our hard work, then we would be content or satisfied with self rather
than with Christ. Many who been blessed materially have told me that
they don’t fully understand why some things that they have done work
and why some things that they have done do not work. Obviously, the Lord
wants us to know that He is in control. The Lord constantly reminds us
that our blessing comes from trusting Him.
is a song that we sometimes sing as we worship the Lord. Part of it goes
like this, “Now none but Christ can satisfy.” When we are singing
that song, I usually refrain from singing that line because I know that
many things have satisfied me in life besides Christ. But I can see that
life would be a lot more enjoyable if I were always content and if the
Lord really did satisfy. The key is probably godliness which would
include modeling our lives after the life of the Lord and confidence in
the promise that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. And that
promise seems to be primarily about our material needs. This is where
great gain in life lies and this should be our goal. Then we would be
of September 7, 2003
But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their
Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken
away. (When one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away--NKJV).
we have to understand the Gospel to have faith or do we have to have
faith to understand the Gospel? Biblically it seems that faith gives
understanding. Hebrews 11:3 says, “Through faith we understand that
the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen
were not made of things which do appear.” That does not mean that we
can be people of faith without an object for our faith. That is, we have
to have someone or something to believe in. I always tell those who
trust in the Lord to find a verse of Scripture that assures them that
they have believed the truth. However, faith does not come by
understanding, faith comes by hearing according to Romans 10:17.
other side of this truth is that sin blinds or hardens. Romans 1:21
deals with society in general and say. “Because that, when they knew
God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became
vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” 2
Corinthians 4:4 says that the god of this world blinds the minds of them
that believe not.
my mind, I think the Lord is telling us that until we see things His way
nothing in life or about life is really going to make sense. As long as
we try to prove scientifically that creation just happened and as long
as we try to deny accountability to the designer of the universe, we are
always going to feel confused. But the moment we find out that God is
right even though that makes us wrong, we find ourselves understanding
things that seemed confusing before. Is it no wonder that those who
trust the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior often say, “I see, I see.
Why didn’t I understand that before. It is so simple.” Nothing is
simple when we oppose the truth, everything is simple when we accept the
truth. The Truth is a title of Christ (John 14:6).
general, this world is trying to find its way without accepting the
truth that God has revealed to us in the Scriptures. As a result, things
that should be obvious about morals, loving one another, science, and so
forth are confusing. The Lord tells us that the fear of the Lord (or
reverential trust in the Lord) is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs
9:10). If we want to be “smart”, we need to believe God. It will
probably raise our IQ’s. If we go our own way and oppose the truth of
God, we will die in darkness and will never understand the love God that
has offered to us though the Lord Jesus. Life will never make sense. But
we will make lots of mistakes because we have not allowed our
understanding to be opened by faith in what God says.
of September 14, 2003
2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on
the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and
vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
Timothy 1:12 For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he
is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my
departure is at hand.
the preacher in the book of Ecclesiastes, is very discouraged and
depressed. He wisely tells us that living for time does not satisfy. One
of the phrases that we read over and over in this book is “under the
sun”. The book focuses on this life and on what we see and experience
here. Solomon clearly experienced all that this life has to offer. In
this book he mentions self-indulgence not self-sacrifice and his
conclusion is that all is vanity (empty) and vexation of spirit (or a
sense of emptiness).
on the other hand, is in prison and he knows that his execution date is
near. He is about to die because of his faithfulness to his Lord. His
friends have left him with the exception of Luke. However, he seems to
be satisfied, content and even victorious. He has fought a good fight,
finished his course, and guarded the truth and now is looking forward to
his future reward. What is the difference?
had lived for eternity and Solomon was living for all that the present
world offered. He was living for time. Solomon knew that God had placed
the world (or eternity) in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) but he had
tried to satisfy the eternal with the temporal. Paul had wisely
recognized that our time is this world is short and that all the
temporary blessings of this world do not satisfy a soul that is eternal.
some of our discouragements are because we have lived for time instead
of for eternity. In 2 Corinthians 4:16, 17, 18, Paul gives us insight
into how to be renewed day by day when he says, “For which cause we
faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is
renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while
we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are
not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things
which are not seen are eternal.
puts the joys and sorrows as well as the victories and defeats of time
into perspective. We are not ready to live in this present time until we
have trusted Christ for eternity. We will not be happy in this present
time unless our lives are lived for eternity. Time is temporary,
eternity is permanent.
of September 21, 2003
ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in
your spirit, which are God's.
created us through Christ Jesus and therefore had the rights of
ownership by creation (Revelation 4:11). Because of sin, we had to be
bought back from the slavery of sin. Romans 6:22 (NKJV) says, “But now
having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have
your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” So when Christ
died for our sins, He paid the price of our redemption or ransom. Sin
held us hostage and He ransomed us (1 Timothy 2:6). Sin had enslaved us
and He bought us to free us from the slave market of sin so that we
could serve Him according to Romans 6. What was the price that He paid?
He paid the ultimate price, “He gave Himself” (Galatians 2:20). He
didn’t give “of Himself”, He gave all. So the Lord has the right
of ownership by creation and the right of ownership by redemption
(purchase or ransom).
Lord takes pride in His purchase. He calls those of us who trust Him for
salvation His wife or bride. He nourishes and cherishes us and He wants
to “present us to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or
wrinkle, or any such thing” (Ephesians 5:25-29). We are precious to
Him. He paid a great price for us and He wants to be able to “show us
we buy something from someone so that we can have the rights of
ownership, we often brag about our purchase. If it is a car, we often
tell others about the “good deal” that we got. Sometimes after we
have had the car a while, it may turn out that it wasn’t such a “good
deal”. I wonder what kind of deal the Lord figures He got with us? Is
the church corporately and are we individually as proud of the Lord as
He is of us? Do we try to please HIM with our service or do we try to
please US. Do we build our corporate worship around what we want or what
He wants? Are we grumblers and complainers or are we thankful for the
blessings that we have because we “are bought with a price?”
of September 28, 2003