Devotional Thought for Today – 02/22/2021

Christian, let God’s distinguishing love to you be a motive to you to fear Him greatly. He has put His fear in your heart, and may not have given that blessing to your neighbor, perhaps not to your husband, your wife, your child, or your parent. Oh, what an obligation should this thought lay upon your heart to greatly fear the Lord! Remember also that this fear of the Lord is His treasure, a choice jewel, given only to favorites, and to those who are greatly beloved. —John Bunyan

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love 1 John 4:18

1 John 4

Some of you who have followed my posts for a while may remember me saying the 1 John is my favorite book of the bible.  That is because of 1 John 1:3-4 One of the key verses (at least for me) in understanding fellowship with God and other believers. You can read a little about it in Part V of my series called Biblical Contentment.

Today, however, John is speaking on one main theme with two applications. The theme is LOVE, and he says to apply it by testing all the spirits v.1-6, that is be sure of all who claim to speak in Christ’s name for they may act all-loving and such but can be the devil in lamb’s clothing. Secondly, v.7-21, God is Love so we are to Love as God loves us.

Our text found towards the end of this part in the meat of the application v.11-19,  Beloved if God so loved us…because he first loved us. John in v.17 mentions that this Love is made perfect in us through the union with Christ. That this union makes our eternal status secure. 

Thus our text, There is no fear in love; a perfect union with Christ leaves no room for fear of our eternal state because but perfect love casteth out fear: Why because fear hath torment yet a TRUE BELIEVER has been fully and completely forgiven of their sins, and has nothing to fear. It is only the fake, the lukewarm, the Laodicean who wants to live in both worlds that have to fear because He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

Is your relationship with God complete, or maybe better put mature today? Do you still have doubts or fears about your eternal state? We can daily FEAR GOD, that is as Bunyan said,  fear of the Lord is His treasure be in awe of His majesty, to have reverence for His mercy and thankfulness for His Grace. All the while not Fearing God’s judgment or wrath. 

TODAY’S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I pray that I would let the words of truth found in 1 John 4:18 settle in my heart. There are times in my life when I am very fearful. I know that when I am fearing things in life, I am not exhibiting trust in You. I pray that You would surround me in Your perfect love, where fear has no room and must be forced out of my mind and spirit. As I ponder Your love, I pray that I would experience the peace the passes understanding, whatever situation of life I am in help me to seek you first. And as I come to a deeper realization of the depth of Your amazing love for me, may I be used by You to love as I am loved. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Adapted from:  https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/1-John/4/18

 


“What is the eternal state of the believer?”

“How can I know for sure that I will go to heaven when I die?”

Biblical Contentment, Part X

Sanctified 

Image result for John 17:19

Last night I had the great pleasure of hearing Dr. Hensworth Jonas  preach. His topic in keeping with this years theme was “Faithful Missions in Hostile Times” using John 17:13-19 as his text.  

But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify[a] them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. (NKJV)

Pero ahora voy a ti; y hablo esto en el mundo, para que tengan mi gozo cumplido en sí mismos. 14 Yo les he dado tu palabra; y el mundo los aborreció, porque no son del mundo, como tampoco yo soy del mundo. 15 No ruego que los quites del mundo, sino que los guardes del mal. 16 No son del mundo, como tampoco yo soy del mundo. 17 Santifícalos en tu verdad; tu palabra es verdad. 18 Como tú me enviaste al mundo, así yo los he enviado al mundo. 19 Y por ellos yo me santifico a mí mismo, para que también ellos sean santificados en la verdad. (RVR 1960)

 

He focused on v. 18, As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world to make the case that missions is for all believers. He also said we are to make our case with love and compassion but never ever compromising God’s truth. Then he made a very interesting comparison, those who argue against “Christian Beliefs” are in themselves missionaries of their point of view.

He then broke down into three points the force for personal missions found in our text:

The Catalyst for the mission: v. 13-15 we find that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves is the catalyst for missions 

The Commission for the Mission: v. 16-18, self appointed missionaries have no authority. We must be appointed by God and His governing bodies.  He also noted that when we are sanctified by God’s Truth v.17 we are unable to keep the Good News of Christ a private matter.

The Control of the Mission: v. 18-19, “As”… might seem like a simple word but holds much power for it controls how we proceed. You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them. The only way we go is AS Jesus went. Finally Dr. Jonas spoke of the personal “sanctifying” holiness that makes us effective as missionaries. 

It is this last point I would like to explore just a little further as we close out this series today. Personal Holiness (Sanctification) is an ongoing process, that should not discourage but encourage us daily. God is Holy and we are called to be Holy like Him 1 Peter 1:15-16.

This does not mean it will be an easy cheesy task. Hebrews 12:14 tells us we must strive for peace and holiness. Ephesians 4:24 says we must “put on” the new self created in … holiness. Colossians 3:5 tells us we must put to death the old ways the earthly or natural human desires. It is a work that should be recognized by those around us 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12

If holiness (sanctification) is important to missions (and I agree it is) I would argue it is more important to our Biblical Contentment. Maybe the greatest missionary for Christ, the Apostle Paul understood Biblical Contentment and Holiness were tied together. Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Is not penned from the hand of a man devoid of holiness nor of a man of malcontent in his surroundings. He new that godliness and contentment were meant to go hand in hand 1 Timothy 6:6-7 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, [a]and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

It was this complete surrender in Christ that made made Paul the man of God he was and Biblically Content Philippians 4:1-20.

 

 

Biblical Contentment, Part IX

Today we look at the last of the 7 things the Bible teaches us are key for everyday Christian; Walking as Christ Walked.

Image result for 1 John 2:6 Walking
Prayer: Proverbs 16:3 
Study: Psalm 119:11
Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25
Stewardship: 1 Peter 4:10
Worship: 1 Chronicles 16:29
Sharing: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Walking: 1 John 2:6

whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (ESV) 

El que dice que permanece en El, debe[a] andar como El anduvo. (LBLA)

The bible makes it clear (Matthew 16:24, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Peter 2:20-22) that we are to follow the example set before us by Jesus. He is more than our Lord and Savior in that He was able to endure all that mankind could throw at Him with grace and dignity. 

When times get tough, when we feel discontentment closing in we need to remember verses like 1 John 2:6 

whoever says: who ever make the claim to be a Christian, a believer, a follower

he abides in him: a lasting condition of eternalness with Christ 

ought to walk: should be living their daily lives with their deeds matching their words

in the same way which he walked: copying the example of Christ Jesus set for us here on Earth.

Biblical Contentment comes from a close relationship with Christ and that comes from walking or living a Christ centered life.

John Gill’s Exposition of the Whole Bible

He that saith he abideth in him,…. As all do that are in him; once in Christ, and always in Christ; they are set as a seal on his arm and heart, which can never be removed; they are in his arms, and can never be plucked from thence; and are members of him, and can never be disunited from him: or dwelleth in him, as in John 6:56; that is, by faith; who under a sense of sin and danger have fled to Christ, as to a strong tower and place of defence, where they dwell safely, peaceably, pleasantly, and comfortably, enjoying whatever is necessary for them. The Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, “he that saith I am in him”; loved by him, chosen in him, united to him, a member of his, and have communion with him:

ought himself also to walk even as he walked; as Christ walked, lived, and acted, so ought he; that is, to imitate him and follow him, as he has him for an example; not in his miraculous works in raising the dead, healing the sick, and walking upon the waters, &c. which were wrought as proofs of his deity and of his Messiahship, and not intended for imitation; nor in his mediatorial performances, as in his propitiatory sacrifice and advocacy; but in the exercise of grace, and duties of religion as a man, and in a private way; and may chiefly regard walking in love, as he walked, see Ephesians 5:2; and is what is in the following verses insisted on, namely, the new commandment of love to the brethren; which should be to all as his was, and, like his, constant and lasting; and, when the case requires, should be shown by laying down life for them. The “as” is not a note of equality, but of likeness; for it cannot be thought that saints should walk in that degree of perfection, in humility, patience, love, and in the exercise of every other grace, and in the discharge of duty, as Christ did; only that they should copy after him, and make his obedience and life the rule of theirs.


Christ Our Example

Christ, Our Example William Nicholson, 1862

 

Biblical Contentment, Part VIII

Image result for Share the Good News
Prayer: Proverbs 16:3 
Study: Psalm 119:11
Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25
Stewardship: 1 Peter 4:10
Worship: 1 Chronicles 16:29

Sharing: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, (ESV)

Porque yo os entregué en primer lugar lo mismo que recibí: que Cristo murió por nuestros pecados, conforme a las Escrituras; que fue sepultado y que resucitó al tercer día, conforme a las Escrituras; (LBLA)

Walking: 1 John 2:6

I need you to put you thinking caps on for a moment and think of a time when you have held on to anger for to long a period. Do you remember how ill it made you feel? James tells us in 1:19-20 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 

I would argue the same is true for all the elect of Christ. If you are truly one of God’s children, you should have a spiritual desire to share the Good News. We all know the command from Jesus known as the Great Commission:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28-18-20)

Sharing the Gospel is just as important to our overall Biblical Contentment as any of the other key components. We should seek to share that which gives us joy, that will rescue the lost from eternal damnation, and makes us content in all situations with everyone we encounter.


Puritan Evangelism

How Should we Bear Witness of Christ to the World?

Witnessing

 

Biblical Contentment, Part VII

Image result for worship

Prayer: Proverbs 16:3 
Study: Psalm 119:11
Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25
Stewardship: 1 Peter 4:10
Worship: 1 Chronicles 16:29

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;[a(ESV)

Tributad[a] al Señor la gloria debida a[b] su nombre;
traed ofrenda[c], y venid delante de El; adorad al Señor en la majestad de la santidad[d].(LBLA)

Sharing: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Walking: 1 John 2:6

Let us begin today with a question¹; What is the chief end of man? Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, ( 1 Corinthians 10:31 ) and to enjoy him for ever. ( Psalms 73:25 Psalms 73:26 ). True worship of God must be built upon the understanding that God is entitled to and deserves to be worshiped.

In the 96th Psalm David quotes from our main text in verses 7-9 

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;[a]
    tremble before him, all the earth!

So the question must be asked what is Worship? Today it can mean anything from dancing and waving flags in the isles to very solemn and ritualistic ceremonies. In other words from one end of the spectrum to the other. The correct answer as usual is somewhere in the middle.

Looking again at the Puritan Catechism we see this: Question 2 What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify him? Answer The Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New TestamentsEphesians 2:20 ; 2 Timothy 3:16 ) are the only rule to direct us how we may glorify God and enjoy him.1 John 1:3 ). In other words it is scripture not some worship leader, youth pastor or the tread of the month club that dictates how we worship God.  This applies to both our personal most importantly (as this is where the abuse is so prevalent) corporate worship) 

There are hundreds of verses and instances referring to Worship in the bible we could look at but I will focus on three:

Vain Worship:  Jesus calls out the Pharisees and scribes for worshiping according to the traditions of men; Matthew 15: 7-9  You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” It concerns me that a large percentage of “Evangelicals” in America today fall into this category. One only has to read the survey results from showing church attendance, positions on Abortion, LBGTQ and other anti-biblical ideas. 

Ignorant Worship: Paul informs the people at Mars hill how foolish they are to erect and idol to an unknown god, just in case they might have missed someone or something Acts 17:23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. This is the reason for Matthew 28:18-20 the Great Commission. It is our job to share the Gospel message to all who are ignorant of the truth of Christ.  

True Worship: Jesus makes it clear that soon only those who worship in Spirit and Truth will be acceptable to God John 4:21-24 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”  This worship is God centered, is never about me, my experience or my feelings. It is rewarding not because “I” but because “HE” was glorified there are no other motivation for this type of worship except God and Him Glorified. 

To be objective there are two common types (or principles) of worship seen in “Christian” churches the Regulative and Normative Principles. The Regulative principle basically says that it is scripture that dictates what we can do in our worship. An example nowhere in scripture do we see a church service being held in conjunction with a day at the beach or pool party so the Regulative would say it is a no go.  The Normative says if scripture does not forbid it is is good to go so grab your swim suit. An extreme example, maybe but you tube it 😦

I am a strong advocate for the first, or Regulative Principle. God is sovereign and as such His Word (Sola Scriptura) dictates to us how we are to live and act in our daily lives. Most Evangelicals accept this, but want to worship god their own way not His (See Vain Worship above) 

The bottom line if you desire Biblical Contentment you can not exempt yourself from personal and corporate Worship of God and it must be all be done in Spirit and Truth. 


Addition Resources: 

What Is the Regulative Principle of Worship?

The Regulative Principle of Worship by 

The Freedom of the Regulative Principle by Kevin DeYoung

Regulative Principle of the Church by Sam Waldron

 

 

¹ The Baltimore Complete Catechism   (Also know as the Puritan Catechism) Compiled by C. H. Spurgeon

Biblical Contentment, Part V

Image result for meeting and encouraging one another

Continuing our series on Biblical Contentment, we will look at The 7 things the Bible teaches us are key for everyday Christian life: 

Prayer: Proverbs 16:3 
Study: Psalm 119:11

 

Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25

“not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  (ESV) 

no dejando de congregarnos, como algunos tienen por costumbre, sino exhortándonos unos a otros, y mucho más al ver que el día se acerca. (LBAL)

 

Stewardship: 1 Peter 4:10
Worship: 1 Chronicles 16:29
Sharing: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Walking: 1 John 2:6

So you like going it alone, do not want to depend on anyone for anything I get it being independent is an important part of a man’s (and women’s) self worth. But at the same time there is a difference between doing as much on our own physically and lets say mentally as possible, and what the Bible calls us to do Spiritually. 

As our picture informs us; God never intended nor did He believe it fit for mankind (Genesis 2:18-24) to be LONERS. This is made very clear in Proverbs 18:1: Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. Yes, I know the arguments, Jesus spent time alone in Prayer and so should we. Jesus, however was not a loner He was surrounded by disciples. 

Let us take a closer look at Hebrews 10:25 in context using the (AMP) bible:

23 Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]; 

As we learned yesterday we must Study God’s word in order to know God’s word. In order that we are prepared for all the ups and downs of life one must have a deep and biblically sound knowledge of scripture otherwise how can we seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering?  One of the ways this knowledge comes about is by the preaching and teaching of God’s word in Christ’s church. 

24 and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, 

Another reason for not forsaking assembling together(KJV) is so that we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds. I have heard all the arguments, and I am using one of them right now to transmit this devotional, that with technology we really do not need churches (buildings). To that I say HOG WASH! there is nothing like face to face personal interaction with folks at a Wednesday night prayer meeting to strengthen and encourage someone (me). 

25 not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.

Some would believe this to be a suggestion, it reads as a command. Some argue its not Jesus commanding, yes but it is the inspired Word of God so it is God’s command so your argument is with Him. 

Let us break it down:

The Command: not forsaking our meeting together; seems pretty straight forward those who claim to be Christians must meet together (fellowship

The For: as believers for worship and instruction as noted from verse 23  above instruction is very important but one can not forget the Worship of God (Psalm 29:2, John 4:24, Romans 12:1). While we each should be worshiping God daily there is nothing that compares to a well done corporate worship service.

The Why: encouraging one another… see notes at verse 24 above. 

I have introduced the word Fellowship into the verse here and it is a difficult Greek word to follow. In some sense we must be very careful applying it to a community of believers, but I think with careful interpretation of context it can be done.

Remember our theme is Biblical Contentment, so how does this meeting together, fellowship, apply?  I want to look at two more verses and I hope it will tie this together.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. ( 1 John 1:3-4 KJV)

John the beloved Apostle of Jesus understood the need and importance of Fellowship. He writes saying the hope is that ye also may have fellowship with us, because of all we have seen and heard declare we unto you. 

This is no ordinary fellowship, it is one routed in the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. You can not be a Christian (you can call yourself whatever you want) and not be in fellowship with the Triune Godhead. 

Why this fellowship with God and John; that your joy may be full.  Joy that unbridled biblical contentment we are all seeking only comes when we have fellowship with like minded believers and God. 

 

Biblical Contentment, Part III

Image result for Prayer

Continuing our series on Biblical Contentment, we will look at The 7 things the Bible teaches us are key for everyday Christian life: 

Prayer: Proverbs 16:3 

Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established. (ESV)

Encomienda a Jehová tus obras
y tus pensamientos serán afirmados. (RVR 1995)

Study: Psalm 119:11
Fellowship: Hebrews 10:25
Stewardship: 1 Peter 4:10
Worship: 1 Chronicles 16:29
Sharing: 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
Walking: 1 John 2:6

So I got this right? I don’t need anyone’s help not even God’s. Yes, I have been that Stuck on Stupid before. Oh it is not an intentional I am mad at God or anything like I just get feel I can handle the small things on my own. 

The problem is we are creatures of habit, and our habit of not going to God in prayer for the small things leads to not going to Him in the bigger things which leads to problems which leads to, well you are getting the picture. 

Prayer helps us with those daily decisions (Luke 6:12-13)

The Bible tells us (commands) to pray not just when things get tough but to be in prayer daily (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Philippians 4:6-7, Ephesians 6:18-19

Prayer Glorifies God (Luke 2:36-38, 1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Prayer helps us with temptations (Matthew 26:41

There are of course many more bible verses on prayer but your can see by these alone the importance of daily prayer. So how does Prayer helps us with being Biblically Content? Well let us look at two things first

“What is the goal of the Christian life?” asks theologian and pastor R.C. Sproul. “Godliness born of obedience to Christ. Obedience unlocks the riches of the Christian experience. Prayer is what prompts and nurtures obedience, putting the heart into the proper ‘frame of mind’ to desire obedience.”

Dr. Spoul understood that contentment comes from obedience to Christ and prayer is what ushers in that obedience. 

Second: Philippians 4:6-7: do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Prayer brings about the peace in our hearts and minds (for those in Christ) that surpasses all understanding. Trust me on this great minds and countless books have been written on the subject and all fall short of the true understanding of how calm and peaceful, how Biblically Content we feel in Christ.

I pray you experience that today.  


Two quick studies by John Piper on Philippians 4:6-7

Do Not Be Anxious About Anything 

The Heart of Fearless Contentment

     

    Biblical Contentment

    Logos.com

    This may seem like a strange verse to begin a look at biblical contentment but I think it captures the essence of what it is not. So first let us look at what it should be.

    Contentment is usually considered being “in a state of happiness and satisfaction.¹”  Interestingly in a “2017 Harris Poll Survey of American Happiness, shared exclusively with TIME; only 33% of Americans surveyed said they were happy.²

    What makes this number so dismal is the fact that as we have noted in the past depending on who’s poll numbers you use (and that depends on what year 2015 or 2017) between 70% and 75% of Americas self identify as Christians³. The conclusion is simple and unavoidable, many of the Harris Poll participants who responded as unhappy, had to also self identify as Christians.

    Haggai 1:6 there are many reasons for this unhappiness in America and it begins with the same problem Israel had as a nation. Yes, we have turned our backs on the Lord and He (in my humble opinion) has lifted His hand of divine providence from this nation. We are more and more going to a two tier or class system of folks, the have and have not’s. We have rich and plentiful fields to plant yet harvest little, we had factories and jobs galore greed sent them overseas. We eat and drink gluttonous like and are never satisfied. Then there are the Have not’s (I am not talking beggars here) who are the working poor of this nation, scraping by paycheck to paycheck hoping to to somehow not get evicted and to have food to feed the kids. 

    What is the problem? “In God We Trust” means nothing! Even the so called Christian majority in the country, fail to call upon, depend upon and be content upon the sovereign God of the Universe. 

    So what is Biblical Contentment. First we must accept that God is truly in control of all things. Without that you WILL NOT and CAN NOT have contentment in this life. Biblical Contentment is being satisfied with what God has given us materially, spiritually and physically. In other words what we have, do and the path we are on. 

    Jesus in His sermon on the mount tells us to be content, Matthew 6:25 (ESV) “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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?” He continues this thought in verses 32-33 when He describes that true contentment is not found in earthly or human things but in those of heaven. 

    One of the greatest testimonies in the Bible of contentment is the Apostle Paul’s in the Book of Philippians 4:10-13:

     I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

    Paul at this time is locked in a Roman prison yet He is content knowing God is sovereign, totally in control of the situation and nothing outside His will is going to happen to him. Paul understood what the write of Hebrews put in ink (Hebrews 13:5-6)

    Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

    I could go on but suffice it to say if you self identify as a “Christian” there is NO EXCUSE for you not to also self-identify as Biblically Content.

     

    ¹ = Contentment 

    ²= Harris Poll 

    ³ = Gallup Poll 

    The Fruit of the Spirit is Peace

    Image result for The fruit of the Spirit is peace

    Image Source

    But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

    The bible tells us that until Christ (The Price of Peace Isaiah 9:6) returns there will never be peace on earth. That things will continue to grow worse ( 2 Tim 3:13; 2 Tim 4:3-4 ). So how can Paul write that one of the signs of a true believer is an outward appearance of peace? The following article from John Piper’s Desiring God Ministries provides some answers. I hope you find it beneficial – Mike

     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    The Secret to Peace and Contentment

    Article by Jon Bloom; Staff writer, desiringGod.org ¦ MARCH 18, 2016

    The secret to Christian peace and contentment is not a gnostic secret. It is not concealed knowledge only revealed to those who achieve higher degrees of holy enlightenment. This secret is hidden in plain sight throughout the Scripture and is available to anyone who is willing to believe it.

    The Secret

    God has not only gone public with this secret, but he invites us and longs for us to know it. He does not want us to merely know about this secret — not to merely preach it, explain it, enjoy the idea of it, or wish for it — but to know it by experience…

    Continued at SOURCE

     

    Biblical Contentment in an Age of Dissatisfaction

    | July 11, 2018

    We are living in an age of discontentment in 21st century America. However, you could argue this should not be so. America is one of the wealthiest countries in the history of the world. We are living in a time where access to information and knowledge is unlimited. In addition, we are the most socially connected generation ever. If 21st century Americans have the money, the knowledge, and the relationships, then why are they so dissatisfied? The problem of discontentment is as old as humanity, and the solution is an ancient one…

    Continued at Source: Biblical Contentment in an Age of Dissatisfaction