TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, January 03, 2019:
To be satisfied; to be happy; the feeling of being satisfied with one’s possessions, status or situation.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
The more we talk to people we realize that they are not content in today’s society. When we think of contentment we go back many years and remember the contentment we saw on the face of all our children after feeding them and watching them fall asleep. Babies have that look of contentment because they have no concerns about life.
Life is not easy. For many people life is extremely difficult and they face many problems. Many children and adults in our world are not even sure if they will have enough to eat from one day to the next. Life seems hopeless to them. Where there is no hope there is despair. Where there is despair how can there be contentment?
Before his conversion Paul did not really need anything. He had it all, the best of education, prestige, and power and was living in plenty. Paul willingly gave it all up to follow the Lord and preach the gospel. As a result he often lived in need.
In the verse above from Philippians 4:11, Paul tells us that he has learned to be content in any and every situation. Apparently, Paul was not naturally inclined to be content. Being in need was new to him. He continues in verse 12 to tell us that he learned to be content “whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
In I Corinthians 4:11 Paul describes his state of need: “To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated and homeless.”
When we read about Paul’s life, he had plenty of reasons not to want to be content. He suffered greatly for preaching the gospel. In II Corinthians 11: 25-28 Paul gave specific examples of his sufferings: beatings, stoning, shipwrecks, hunger, thirst, being cold and naked, and imprisonments.
In verse 19 (above) Paul tells us what it was that he learned. Paul said the secret of contentment is to know that “God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
In II Corinthians 1:9-10, Paul gives us a testimony of his faith in God that is the source of his contentment: “Indeed in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.”
The message for us today is that when we know Jesus as our Savior and put our total trust in Him and rely on His power and strength then we will learn that we can be content in all situations.
Our Lord is our strength, our energizer, the supplier of all our needs, and the one who enables us to keep going and going and going. In truth, we are no different from Paul. The same One who lived in Paul now lives through us. Christ is our life. He is our confidence and our energizer and we can be totally content in Him.
Many people feel empty inside. Often the desire for more possessions is a longing to fill that emptiness. Some turn to drugs and alcohol. That emptiness is a God-shaped void. It can only be filled by accepting Christ into our life and allowing God to fill that empty place in our life. This is the only way to find contentment.
Our memory verse for this week is found in II Corinthians 5:17.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Help me and my family to be content in Christ throughout this day. May we learn from the apostle Paul that whatever situation we are in to trust in God’s promise to supply all our need according to Christ’s glorious riches.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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