Day 20 – January 25
Philippians 4:10-14(NLT) How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. 14 Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty.
In the culture we are surrounded by, contentment almost seems like a cuss word. As a matter of fact, very few people seem to be content. We are all bombarded with a culture of continuous dissatisfaction. You know you want to sing that great spiritual song, by The Rolling Stones… “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction…” it was written in 1965 and the sentiment is even more applicable in our day! How is your contentment?
Before you answer that, you need to know however that there are things we should not be content with. I call it a satisfied dissatisfaction! Meaning, we are grateful for where we are, but we have not arrived yet. Things like, our spiritual growth, we should always strive to grow deeper. Our emotional maturity, we should always reach to grow healthier. Our level of knowledge and wisdom, we should always strive to grow wiser. Our love for Jesus and others, we should always strive to grow stronger in our love! In these things, we need not to be contented, because that hinders and stifles our growth. Paul is not talking about contentment in these kinds of things. He is talking specifically about stuff!
We work all our lives to earn money, so we can buy stuff, save stuff, store stuff, use stuff, fight over stuff, wish we had stuff, look at others stuff, sell some of our stuff and in the end, we will take no stuff with us and we will be stuffed in a box! All our stuff we will leave behind, the stuff we stress over or must have, will be left behind. Yet our culture measures peoples value according to how much stuff they gather and possess. You can let this worldly culture prescribe how you live, or you can learn the secret that Paul learned.
Recognize first and foremost that it is learned it does not come naturally to us. We are born natural wanters, and the more we see, the more we want. So, we have to learn the secret of living in every situation of life, whether we have a lot of stuff or a little bit of stuff or even no stuff. How can we live a fully satisfied life even when we don’t have what the world says we have to have? Here’s the secret: “JESUS” we find our contentment in HIM!
How can we be content whether we have a little or a lot, or even nothing? How can we be satisfied whether our stomachs are empty or full? We lean on the strength that can only be provided through Christ Jesus our Lord. When you find your want level rising, you need to press into Jesus. He will give you the strength you need! How can we practically do this? Make every purchase decision a prayerful decision. Pray that the Lord will meet your needs. Learn the difference between what you need and what you want!
Many of us want something so bad that it becomes something we need. Even if we didn’t need it in the first place. Learn to be grateful for what you do have and do not focus on what you don’t have. Enjoy what the Lord has provided for you. Just like the church in Philippi, have a heart and concern for other people’s welfare. The secret to breaking a spirit of wanting, is a spirit of generosity! Here is the beauty of giving stuff away. The only stuff you keep for eternity is what you have given away, invested into building God’s kingdom and done for others.
Decide today! That for the rest of your life, you will find your contentment in King Jesus. That you will ask Him for the strength to face any and all circumstances. Whether you have a lot or a little, your value is not in how much or how little you possess, but in who possesses you…
- Pray that you will be sensitive to the needs of others.
- Ask the Lord to help you identify the root of your discontent. Pray honestly and be willing to change your behavior where it is necessary.
- Pray for the needs of your fellow believers especially those who are in developing nations. Pray for the poor and ask the Lord to make you a conduit of blessing.
- Prayer: Father, teach me so that I will find my contentment in You. Jesus give me the strength whether my bank account is full or empty. Help me to recognize the difference between what I need and what I want. I place my life before You and I ask for the power to live in true contentment and satisfaction. Thank You that my value is not determined by my valuables, but by the reality that I am yours! I belong to You and draw my strength from You. Help me to say no to myself when needed and graciously accept when I am overwhelmingly blessed. I pray with the deepest gratitude when I see how wonderfully You have blessed my life. Thank You that I can enjoy what You blessed me with! And now Father, all I have, I have received from You and it belongs to You! I am fully satisfied in You, through You and by You! May the rest of my life only be lived for You! In Jesus Name I pray. Amen!