Practicing Contentment

Philippians 1:12-18; 4:10-19

What weed seeds contribute to a poor crop of contentment?

  • Forgetfulness — when it sprouts, squash it with a generous dose of contented remembering.
  • Unthankfulness — uproot it with the proverbial attitude of gratitude.
  • Comparing — instead of bottom-up comparing, try the hoe of top-down gratefulness.
  • Materialism — don’t live for the present; establish your treasures in Heaven.

Read it all

Living for Christ

Philippians 1:3-11, 19-26

If I am not living in Christ, I will not be living for Him.

“He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). I am so blessed and encouraged by Christ’s tenacity in His work in me! He will not abandon His work in me so long as I remain yielded to Him. I. Am. His. Workmanship.

“Be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:10). There’s that day again. Well, I want to be holy and without blame before Him on that day. And from now until that day as well. And I want to be “filled with the fruits of righteousness” (Philippians 1:11).

So I must “approve things that are excellent.” And I must yield to Him and His work in me. And I must abound in love (Philippians 1:9). And I need my fellow believers to pray for me (Philippians 1:9). And Christ must “be magnified in my body” (Philippians 1:20).

Living must mean Christ for me (Philippians 1:21). Christ must be my life. I must live by Him.

Anything less is nothing. Worse than that, actually. Because negative is worse than zero. Read it all

The Delusion of Lip Service

Matthew 23:1-15

I can say Christians shouldn’t gossip, and still engage in (or at least listen to) gossip. That’s paying lip service to something — saying one thing but doing the opposite. That’s giving truth my mental and oral assent…and no more.

I can know and practice the doctrine of nonconformity, and still wish I could live otherwise (at least in some regards). That’s paying external service to something — doing the right thing without a heart genuinely committed to it. That’s an assent to truth in intellect and practice,…and no more (though it usually is accompanied by lip service).

Lip service goes no further than saying the right things. External service improves on lip service by also doing the right things. We must say and do the right things. But even those aren’t enough.

God wants my heart service, my whole-being service, my whole-life service. He wants me to obey Him and to do His will from the heart (Romans 6:17; Ephesians 6:6).

Let’s grow out of lip service and external service! Read it all

Above all, love God!