Good afternoon, everyone! How are you on this Thursday? Can you believe it’s the 19th? It feels like we just started this month yesterday. New Years will be here before you know it. Make sure you savor each day and bask in the new blessings and mercies God provides each morning.
Speaking of blessings, Thanksgiving is one week away. It’s a time of food, fun, fellowship, and family. It’s a time to think about what you’re thankful for. Along with that, especially as we head into the Christmas season, we must remember what we have and be content.
Contentment is a very important concept. Here’s what the Apostle Paul said about it.
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”
I Timothy 6:6-8 NKJV
In the verse before this passage, Paul instructs to teach bondservants to obey and respect their masters, as this pleases God. Those that teach otherwise are proud, believing godliness will bring much gain, or acting godly will mean a fatter wallet. However, following after God while being thankful for what you have is what will bring much gain to your life.
There’s nothing wrong with having things or wanting to get something better. It’s about your motives. Why do you want it? One of my friends is moving into a bigger house. He and his wife had their fifth child a couple months ago and they have been house hunting for the past year. In their search they have expressed how thankful they are for the place they live and how they believed God would bless them to accommodate their growing family. Their house search was not to keep up with the Jones’.
Do you remember when I talked about Philippians 4:6-13? Paul expressed that he learned how to be thankful with alot or a little. In his quest to follow after God he learned how to be content with what he had.
Why would you want something just because someone else has something? Someone may have a 55” HDTV, but you don’t know how he got it. Maybe he saved his money, or got it as a gift, or won it in a contest, or tapped his home equity. Perhaps he, too, is trying to keep up with the Jones’ and is in a state of depression because of mounting debt.
Paul says with food and clothes you will be content. If you don’t get anything else, you’ll be fine. Some people don’t even have that. Look at what Jesus said.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV
God knows you need food and clothes. You don’t have to worry because he will provide. He wouldn’t instruct you to be content and not help you with it. In the same way God feeds the bird and clothes the lilies, he will feed and clothe you. This may mean getting clothes from Good Will and food from the Dollar Tree. Where they come from isn’t important. What’s important is my God keeps his promises and he will do what he said. He will provide for you and help you to be content. Remember it is only through Jesus we can live a life of contentment. Because of knowing who God is, Paul was able to be content in any situation he was in which led him to say:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:13 NKJV
Contentment can be a hard thing to live out. Last year when I was working on getting my finances in better shape and reducing my debt, it was hard to be content and thankful. But over time things changed. I sought after Jesus and saw things in a different light. I became more thankful and focused on things i was blessed with instead of looking at someone else’s things. Because of that my finances are in a much better shape and I’ve become more grateful for all that Jesus has done in my life.
Follow after Jesus and trust in him. He will help you to live a life of contentment, no matter where you are in life.