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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Apr. 28, 2007

  • 2007 Apr 28
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This devotional is one day of a 365 days devotional book entitled Living Hope for the End of Days that explores Revelation, the final book of God's Word; and is available at http://www.dtbm.org/

 

 

Live for What Is Eternal

(Revelation 18)

 

As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you live for what is eternal!

 

 

 

 

SATURDAY: Seven Keys to Contentment

 

“… I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content …” (Philippians 4:11, Emphasis added).

 

Contentment is a byproduct of following the Shepherd. It is experiencing the inner-peace that only He can provide. It is knowing that He will promote you at the right time. Contentment is the sense of satisfaction that comes to a husband and wife as they emulate the provision and care of the Shepherd to their own children. Contentment comes from serving Christ instead of money, and from providing not only financially for your family, but also emotionally, morally, and spiritually.[1][3]

How can such contentment be cultivated in our life? First Timothy 6:6-17 describes seven principles that promote contentment.

Principle 1—Remember that things are only temporary: “… Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and … we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:6-7). You cannot take it with you. There are no U-Haul trailers behind hearses.

Principle 2—Only seek necessities, and wait for the rest: “… Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1Timothy 6:8). We need shelter and the basic provisions of life, but everything beyond that is simply a great blessing. Whether it comes or goes is okay. God has said that all we are supposed to expect in life is food and clothing, so we should be happy with that.

Principle 3—Avoid a consuming desire for prosperity: “… Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and … many foolish and harmful lusts …. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith … and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

America has been fed a prosperity diet. You might say, “That is not me—I am not rich.” If you own a car, you are rich. Ninety-five percent of the people in the world can’t afford a car. Your watch and the clothes you have on are worth more than what hundreds of millions of people on earth have. Tens of thousands even starve to death around the world each year, but Americans regularly throw away super-sized leftovers.

Principle 4—Flee materialism: “… Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11). Do you seek to accumulate possessions—or to grow in Christlikeness? Value what will count for eternity!

Principle 5—Cling to eternal life: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called …. Keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing …” (1Timothy 6:12-14). We need a whole generation of people who are holding tighter to eternal life than they are to this world.

The writer of Hebrews says, “… You had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven” (Hebrews 10:34). When those Christians were persecuted and their jobs and possessions taken away, they still rejoiced because their focus was on Christ.

If we’re not careful, before long our possessions can possess us. They then become an anchor that holds us back. The care of riches clouds our mind from seeking the purity of Christ.

Principle 6—Fix your hope on God: “Command those who are rich … not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God …” (1 Timothy 6:17). There is nothing wrong with wealth, but we are to recognize the danger of relying upon it. All that we own can evaporate as quickly as a blip on a computer screen. There are few things that are real possessions in this world. Through money, stocks, and bonds you are trusting that a company, a bank, or a government won’t fail. But the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy, can never fail us—and our trust in Him is certain!

Principle 7—Give until it hurts: Let them do good, … ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:18). The real cure for materialism is to give until it hurts! Giving “until it hurts” means giving at the cost of personal sacrifice. For example, the widow gave both of her mites, or all that she had (Mark 12:42-44). The woman who anointed Jesus broke the flask of fragrant oil and irrecoverably gave all she had to Him (Luke 7:37-47). Sacrificial gifts are especially important to Jesus.

 

Make a Choice to Live in Hope: The advantages of contentment are many: freedom, gratitude, rest, peace—all of which are also components of good health. Those who are content do not have to worry about the latest styles or what to wear tomorrow. Those who are content can rejoice in their neighbor’s good fortune without having to feel inferior. Those who are content do not fret about wrinkles or graying because they accept what comes. Those who are content do not have to worry how they might buy this or that because they have no desire for this or that. Those who are content are not consumed with how to get out of debt because they have no debt. They thus have time for gratitude even in small things, and they have time for relationships because their possessions and the bank do not own them.

If what was just described seems beyond you right now, I encourage you to ask the Lord to help you move in that direction. In doing so, you will be choosing to live for what is eternal. Be content—willingly surrender all that you are and have to the Lord. Then faithfully fight the good fight of faith by laying hold on the eternal life to which you were also called.

As this week’s devotional closes, I encourage you to softly and worshipfully sing the words of this beautiful old song as a prayer of commitment to the Lord.


 

 

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

I will walk in thy truth —Psalm 86:11 KJV

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Thou art the potter, I am the clay!

Mold me and make me After Thy will,

While I am waiting, Yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Search me and try me, Master, today!

Whiter than snow, Lord, Wash me just now,

As in Thy presence, Humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Wounded and weary, Help me I pray!

Power, all power Surely is Thine!

Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

 

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!

Hold o’er my being Absolute sway!

Fill with Thy Spirit Till all shall see

Christ only, always, Living in me.

Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862-1934

 



 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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