Saturday, January 15, 2011

January 15, 2011 … Contentment: The Opposite of Covetousness

Passage of the Day: Hebrews 13: 5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." [God’s promise in quotes … from Deut. 31: 6, 8]

My Journal for Today: I can’t help but think back to the charge we got earlier this month from Eph. 4: 1 to walk worthy of Christ as we live our lives to grow into Christlikeness. Well, today’s admonition, again, like yesterday, from Hebrews 13, really gets practical and pertinent for our personal application of Christlikeness in today’s world. I personally think that covetousness has become one of the most prevalent social cancers of sin in our culture, having become the touchstone value of our generation. It’s the drive of our world, both for the haves and the have-nots; and whenever it raises its ugly head, whether it be in areas like gluttony or the “desire for stuff” in our world, it separates the one who obsessively pursues money or things from the world from the one who pursues God.

Paul, too, warned his protégé, Timothy and the church about the love of money (and/or things) … In (1st Tim. 6: 10) note the often quoted phrase which has been printed in bold for emphasis.

>>> SCRIPTURE: 1st Tim. 6: 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Paul and the Author of Hebrews wanted believers, and God wants you and me, to see that freedom from covetousness, from greed, can only be found in a spirit of contentment in one’s relationship with Christ and a spirit of thankfulness for God’s providence. Once again, it’s that attitude of humility that allows God to give us His grace; and we’ll never be able to have that grace if we’re selfishly pursuing money or things in our lives.

We must learn to be content with what God’s provision has allowed, especially since we have the best-of-the-best in an abiding relationship with Christ. Note how Paul, languishing in prison with almost no worldly “stuff,” had come to find the contentment we all should be seeking (Phil 4: 11-12).

>>> SCRIPTURE: [Paul – from prison in Phil. 4] 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Having read ahead a bit, we’re going to see, in the next few days of our devotional study, that finding and securing contentment in our relationship with Christ, though difficult in our world today, is the only way that we can walk that walk which is worthy of our Lord.

My Prayer Today: Lord, help me to be grateful and content with who I am and what You’ve given me. Amen

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