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The Word For Today

Learn to be content



'Godliness with contentment is great gain.' 1 Timothy 6:6 NKJV

When you talk about contentment, some people think you're against progress. No. Paul is saying contentment never comes from externals! Every twelve minutes, radio and television advertisers try to convince us that contentment isn't possible without their particular brand of product. Don't go for it! The desire for more can be insatiable. As long as you believe more is better, you'll never be satisfied. Why? Because you'll never live long enough to have it all! Just think; when you get something or achieve something, do you even take the time to enjoy it, or do you gallop off to the next thing without stopping?

To avoid getting old too soon and wise too late, read this Scripture: (1) 'We brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can't take anything with us when we leave it' (1 Timothy 6:7 NLT). When you die and people ask, 'How much did they leave?' the answer will be 'everything' (including a legacy of good or bad). (2) 'Some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith' (1 Timothy 6:10 NLT). If your pursuit of material things is leaving no time for God, re-examine your priorities and start changing them while you still can. Stop thinking, 'If only I had a bigger house, a more understanding spouse, a particular job, a radical makeover, a higher IQ, or the acceptance of a particular person, I'd be happy.' It doesn't work that way.

The Bible says, 'This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it' (Psalm 118:24 NKJV).

Soulfood: Jer 4-6 Mark 15:1-20 Ps 144:9-15 Pro 14:5-8,

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How big is your God



'The battle is the Lord's...he will give you into our hands.' 1 Samuel 17:47 NKJV

How you handle life depends on how big you believe God is. If he's too small: (1) You'll live in constant anxiety thinking everything depends on you. (2) Your outlook will be dictated by your surroundings - or worse, your critics. (3) Without the acceptance of a loving God you'll be a slave to people's opinions. (4) You'll constantly crave recognition because you don't understand that 'your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you' (Matthew 6:4 NAS).

Author John Ortberg says that when we make the mistake of shrinking God, we 'offer prayer without faith, work without passion, service without joy and suffering without hope - which results in fear, retreat, loss of vision and failure to persevere.' When Goliath threatened the Israelites, 'they were dismayed and greatly afraid' (1 Samuel 17:11 ESV). They didn't think their God was big enough for the job. But not David! 'Let no one's heart fail...your servant will...fight...this Philistine... The Lord...who rescued me from...the lion and...bear, will rescue me' (1 Samuel 17:32, 37 ESV). You can face anything when you know what David knew - 'the battle is the Lord's'. And he's never lost one yet!

So, you don't have to depend on your own resources. David may have felt small, but he knew his God was big enough for the job. Do you know that? Eighteenth-century Anglican clergyman John Newton said, 'If the Lord be with us we have no cause for fear. His eye is upon us, his arm over us, his ear open to our prayer, his grace sufficient, [and] his promises unchangeable.' It all depends on how big your God is!

Soulfood: Jer 1-3 Mark 14:66-72 Ps 144:1-8 Pro 14:1-4,

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Be an 'up' person



'[He] raised us up... and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.' Ephesians 2:6 ESV

In order to become an 'up' person, you must do these three things:

(1) Expand your concept of God. How? By reading his Word and getting to know him better. Be like the little boy in Sunday school whose teacher asked what he was drawing. He replied, 'God!' The teacher said, 'But nobody knows what God's like.' Confidently he replied, 'They will when I'm finished!' What is your God like? Loving or judgmental? Distant or available? Limited or powerful? Your concept of God will determine your confidence in him, so spend time getting to know him. (2) Recognise Satan's limitations. The devil is the world's oldest loser, a former employee of Heaven who got fired because of arrogance and who is headed for destruction. And the only power he has over you is the power you give him by remaining 'ignorant of his devices' (2 Corinthians 2:11 NKJV). The Bible says, 'Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you' (James 4:7 NKJV). You have power over Satan - use it. (3) See yourself as God sees you. He sees you not just as you are, but as you will be. If you've been conditioned by past experiences to see yourself as worthless, starting now you can change your self-image by believing what God says about you in his Word. When you have his opinion, what else matters? (read Jeremiah 29:11; Isaiah 43:1-3; Ephesians 2:6).

As you work on these three things each day, you'll become an 'up' person in a 'down' world.

Soulfood: Hosea 11-14 Mark 14:53-65 Ps 139:13-24 Pro 13:25,

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