The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

08/24/2009

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The Contented Life


"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances" (Phil. 4:11).

I guess if you read my devotionals you have seen this verse before. I put Phil. 4:11 at the end of most of my correspondences. I guess I put it there to be a constant reminder that real contentment comes only in Jesus.(V 13) What does it take to be contented? Paul goes on in verse 12 to talk of being hungry or well-fed, "whether living in plenty or want." Living the contented life is what most people strive towards, but what are they really looking for? Why are there so many people out there who cannot seem to find this state even though they have a lot of stuff?

Paul writes to Timothy, "but godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Tim. 6:6). It appears that he is saying that the two are intertwined.....Godliness and contentment. This was the subject of our adult Bible study this past Sunday morning. In this sixth chapter contentment is seen on several levels. It is seen in the sound words of scripture, with having the necessities of life, and in the blessings of this life and the life to come. As Jesus taught, striving for much money, and allowing it to control our lives, can lead to much turmoil in our lives. Jesus addressed this in the Sermon on the Mount and in several parables. (the rich fool, dishonest steward, talents and the rich man and Lazarus) It really must have been an important theme if Jesus dedicated so much of his teaching to it...

The quest for contentment is not a mandate for laziness, nor does it place some premium on just getting by with the necessities. I believe it to be a mind set in which we put our trust in God and do the very best we can. It is involved in arranging our priorities so the things of a material nature do not over shadow those of a spiritual. The Lord recognizes that we cannot live without the basic material things of life, but does not want our greatest successes to be measured in dollar signs. I think the real contentment lies in the gratitude we feel to our Lord and fellow man for bringing true joy into our lives. True contentment lies in our ability to balance the joys and hardships of life in such a way as to create an equilibrium of importance. It entails never losing sight of the goal....

Have a wonderful beginning to your week...Go about doing good.....Love mark Phil. 4:11

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