SOMETHING TO READ:   Philippians 4:  11b-13

For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

SOMETHING TO THINK.  Contentment.

I read the following in a bible commentary the other day

“Poverty is a tragedy, but everyone needs to be penniless at some point during young adulthood. People who have nothing begin to see wonders in simple pleasure, to savor simple food, and to enjoy simple diversions. Poverty brings the “rat race” to a halt and teaches the value of relationships. Prayer becomes more important and voice mail less so. 

Francis of Assisi, the great thirteenth-century monk, taught his followers never to own anything in order to be content in Christ alone. We are less severe today about our possessions. But contentment means that we need none of them and that we regard them all as God’s gift, never God’s substitute.”

Paul was content because he could see life from God’s point of view.  In contrast the Stoic philosophy at that time used the word “content” to describe a person who impassively accepted whatever came, a kind of self-sufficiency that said all resources for coping with life came from within humans themselves.  Paul explained that his sufficiency was in Christ alone.

To have real contentment – it helps if we:

*  Remember that everything belongs to God. What we have is a gift from Him.

*  it helps if we – are thankful for what we have, not coveting what other have.

*  it helps if we – ask for wisdom to use wisely what we do have.

*  it helps if we – pray for grace to let go of the desire for what we don’t have.

*  it helps if we – trust in God to meet our needs.

In 2019 – may we learn contentment! Too often people look at other people and wish they were that person, or had that person’s house, or job, or situation or whatever.

 

SOMETHING TO PRAY:    John Hall’s Poem Proverb 30

O Lord two thing I thee require,
That thou me not deny,
But that I may the fruit thereof
Receive before I die.

 

The first shall be that vanity
Thou wilt from me restrain,
And eke
a the lips that lust to lie,
To flatter, glose
b and feign.

 

The second that thou make me not
Too poor in any wise,
Ne yet too rich: but mean living,
Of necessary size.

 

est when I am too full of wealth
I thee forget and say:
What fellow is the Lord? When I
Forgotten have thy way.

 

And likewise lest that poverty
Constrain me out of frame,
And me provoke to steal O God
And to forswear thy name.

John Hall (1529 – 1566)
aalso bbe garrulous; talk too much, especially about unimportant things.

 

 

  

TODAY’S READINGS: 

Philippians 4: 8 – 13

and

Luke 12: 22 – 31