Charles Stanley –Contentment in Every Circumstance

 

Philippians 4:10-13

Many people think contentment is elusive, because happiness and peace never last. But is that really the reason? It’s common to associate a state of satisfaction with a positive situation, but Paul challenges this idea when he says, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Phil. 4:11).

Contentment isn’t something that comes naturally; it is learned. And what kind of classroom do you think God uses? It’s not in the midst of comfort and ease that we sense gratification most profoundly, but in situations that cause us to be troubled, fearful, and anxious. Paul had plenty of opportunities for these lessons because his life was a series of hardships (2 Corinthians 11:23-33). And in his letters, he passes down what he’s learned about contentment.

Focus on Christ rather than your circumstances. Paul had every reason to complain, because he was wrongfully imprisoned. Yet in his letter to the Philippians, he didn’t blame anyone or grumble. Instead, he kept rejoicing in Christ because that’s where his focus, affections, and devotion lay.

Focus on what God is doing through the situation. Paul saw how the Lord used his imprisonment for the greater progress of the gospel (Phil. 1:12).

Focus on the omnipotence and goodness of the Lord. The apostle was confident that his circumstances were under the sovereign control of God—the One who causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

In essence, we could say that Paul evaluated his circumstances through a God-centered lens. The result was joy and contentment in every situation.

Bible in One Year: Joshua 16-19

 

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Our Daily Bread — The Greatest Rescue Mission

 

Bible in a Year:Deuteronomy 11–13; Mark 12:1–27

The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Luke 19:10

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Luke 19:1-10

On February 18, 1952, a massive storm split the SS Pendleton, a tanker ship, into two pieces about ten miles off the Massachusetts coast. More than forty sailors were trapped inside the ship’s sinking stern in the midst of fierce winds and violent waves.

When word of the disaster reached the Coast Guard station in Chatham, Massachusetts, Boatswain’s Mate First Class Bernie Webber took three men on a lifeboat to try to save the stranded crew against nearly impossible odds—and brought thirty-two of the seemingly doomed sailors to safety. Their courageous feat was deemed one of the greatest rescues in United States Coast Guard history and was the subject of the 2016 film The Finest Hours.

In Luke 19:10, Jesus declared His own rescue mission: “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” The cross and the resurrection became the ultimate expression of that rescue, as Jesus took on Himself our sins and restored to the Father all who trust Him. For 2,000 years, people have embraced His offer of abundant life now and eternal life with Him. Rescued!

As followers of Jesus we have the privilege, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to join our Savior in the greatest rescue mission of all. Who in your life needs His rescuing love?

By Bill Crowder

Today’s Reflection

How have God’s rescuing ways affected you? What will help you effectively share His rescue plan with others?

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Having a Willing Heart

 

I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him word again as it was in my heart. But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God. — Joshua 14:7-8

From the book The Confident Woman Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

I know what it is like to live in fear. Fear can actually make you sick to your stomach. It can make you so tense and nervous that everyone around you notices that something is wrong; it’s that evident in your facial expressions and your body language.

What’s more, just as confidence is contagious, so is the lack of self-confidence. When we possess no inner confidence, no one else has confidence in us either.

Imagine a timid, cowering basketball player, standing in the corner of the court with his arms wrapped around himself. Is anyone going to pass him the ball? Is anybody going to call out plays to him?

When we think people are rejecting us, we feel hurt by them. The basketball player in the example above might think that his teammates hate him or have something against him. But, for fearful, under-confident people, the root of the problem is that they are rejecting themselves. They are rejecting the person God intended them to be.

Prayer Starter: Lord, help me to be the confident and courageous person You created me to be. I want to wholly follow you no matter where You lead me. When fear tries to attack or I get focused on my weaknesses, help me to remember who I am in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – More and More Like Him

 

“The Lord is the Spirit who gives them life, and where He is there is freedom (from trying to be saved by keeping the laws of God). But we Christians have no veils over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him” (2 Corinthians 3:17,18).

You and I can be mirrors that reflect the glory of the Lord, since we have no veils over our faces. As the Spirit of the Lord works within us and we mature, we become more and more like Him. What a tremendous truth!

Two tendencies to error occur as we consider the concept of law and grace. One is legalism; the other is license. Legalism is that means of seeking to live according to the law, trying to merit God’s favor by keeping rules and regulations in the energy of the flesh.

The other problem is license. Some Christians become so excited about their freedom in Christ that they go overboard and bring reproach and disgrace to the name of Christ. “Relax,” they say. “Do what comes naturally.” But they forget God’s warning in Romans 14. Anything we do that causes our brother to stumble is sin. Often these same Christians tell us, “Don’t witness for Christ unless you feel like it.”

Quite honestly, I would not witness very often if I waited until I felt like it. Why do I witness? Because our Lord modeled it and He commands His followers to witness, and out of a deep sense of gratitude and thanksgiving to God for what He has done for me. I do not wait until I feel like it; I have already been given the command.

Jesus said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” The apostle Paul said, “Everywhere I go I tell everyone who will listen about Christ.” We are not to wait for some emotional, mystical impression of the Spirit. Liberty is not legalism, nor is it license. It is the privilege of doing the will of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Bible Reading: II Corinthians 3:8-16

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  With all of my heart, I want to be more and more like Jesus Christ. To this end, I will avoid legalism and license and embrace the freedom I have in Him to live a holy life and to be a fruitful witness, and to reach out to the multitudes of unchurched men and women who are hungry to know the reality of the living God.

 

http://www.cru.org