The preoccupation with happiness and contentment is an ever-present theme in the modern world today. We are bombarded with messages that tell us where to find peace and pleasure in a world that worships materialism and wealth.
Lasting contentment is not found in material possessions. Genuine contentment is a spiritual gift from God to those who trust in Him and follow His commandments. When God dwells at the center of our lives, peace and contentment will belong to us just surely as we belong to God. My last thought is this, our Father and God is our contentment and our peace. We find protection when we seek His healing hand; we discover joy when we welcome God’s healing Spirit. Let us look to our Father God, for the peace and contentment that He has offered us through the gift of His Son.
“Godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.” 1Tim 6:6-9
Thinking back on Matthew’s story (Matthew 9:9-13), I am reminded that everyone needs encouragement, needs someone to believe in them, needs someone to look past their faults, sin, and shortcomings and see what they could become and not what they are at that moment in time.
I’m convinced that the few disciples following Jesus at the time didn’t feel that Matthew was worth redeeming and certainly not worthy of joining their ranks as disciples in following Jesus. I don’t think it ever entered their minds that this greedy Roman tax collector would one day be recounting and recording the story of Jesus instead of counting all the money being made off of Jewish families (Jesus included). Matthew would lay down all of the comforts that Rome afforded him and ultimately give his life defending Jesus Christ. I don’t believe they thought a Roman tax collector would answer the call and follow these words of Jesus (Matthew 8:18-22). A calling that would ultimately change his life and ours.
This Roman tax collector (Matthew) writes a book about the life of Christ that would helped bring countless people into a saving relationship with God Almighty for more than two thousand years and counting! I’m thankful that Jesus stopped by the tax collector’s office that day. What a difference Matthew has made in following Jesus!
There is someone right now who needs you to encourage them, believe that they can become more than they are at this moment in time, and look past the embarrassing mistakes and sin they have committed and see them for who they can become in Christ. You see, it might just be another Matthew that we encouraging to obey Jesus and ultimately change the world. Everyone needs Jesus!!
Remember, God uses the broken people of this world to help heal the broken people of this world through Jesus Christ!!
Early one morning while sitting outside drinking a warm cup coffee and feeling the cool fresh air, I was reminded of our God’s infinite possibilities. Wow, what an awesome feeling this was. However, sometimes because of limited faith and limited understanding, we wrongly assume that God cannot or will not intervene in the affairs of mankind. Such assumption is simply wrong.
Are we afraid to ask God to do big things in our life? Is our faith threadbare or worn? If so, it’s time to abandon our doubts and reclaim our faith in God’s promises. Amen!
The Holy Scriptures makes it clear; absolutely nothing is impossible for the Lord. Since the Bible means what it says, we can be comforted in the knowledge that the Creator of this universe can do miraculous things in our life and in the lives of our loved ones. Our challenge, as a Christians, is to take God at His word, and to expect the impossible.
Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:14)
Nothing is impossible for our God and let us always be mindful of His awesome strength and grace!
Can you image us living in the wilderness for forty years the with people of Israel? Can you imagine being there when God told them to go in and take the land? Their lives were abruptly changed from a combination of wandering and stopping to one of focused warfare. Those who moved the tabernacle were moved into action. Skills related to traveling and warfare now become more important as skills related to setting up a camp were put on the back shelf. Some of them had to face fears and responsibilities that they may have been avoiding. Others found they were needed as never before, using strengths and talents they hadn’t previously known or used.
When changes in our circumstances occur, we may feel blindsided and unprepared. But God is sovereign. A change in our circumstances is not surpraise to God. When we walk with Him, we are not unprepared. We may have to employ previously unused skills and call on strengths we’re not sure we have. We are prepared, even if we don’t feel it.
Our Lord gave the children of Israel only three days to prepare their provisons, and He knew they were ready to go. If God gives us a challenge that seems impossible, it’s because He knows we’re ready to go too!
Joshua commanded the officers of the people, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’” (Joshua 1:10-11)
He said to them “Where is your faith?
We often begin the journey of faith serving God confidently and enthusiastically - and then troubles come and doubts arise. Sometimes our circumstance can look utterly hopeless, but we never know the reality of our situation until we have sought our Lords’ perspective on it. He knows many things we don’t, and He has power that we can’t begin to imagine. We should not be discouraged or afraid when Christ is right next to us to calm, to reassure, to act, and to graciously remind us that, despite our circumstances, we are still in God’s care.
Difficulties don’t necessarily mean that we have missed or misunderstood God’s will, but if we need to make adjustments in our lives, He will let us know through His word. Remember the disciples being surprised by a storm as they sailed on the Sea of Galilee? Our Lord Jesus told them to head across the lake (God’s will) - and then came the storm (difficulties). Jesus was in the boat right next to the disciples and He exercised a power we can’t begin to imagine. Jesus rebuked the wind and waves! The measure of your faith is revealed during life’s storms. Establishing your life on God’s Word and walking through life with Him brings a security nothing can shake. Which will you choose… fear or faith?