Posts Tagged ‘Contentment’

h1

Pride and Persistence – Numbers 16:8–11

May 9, 2020

“And Moses said to Korah, “Please listen, sons of Levi! Is it too little for you that the God of Israel set you apart from the community of Israel to allow you to approach him to do the work of the tabernacle of Yahweh, to stand before the community to serve them? He has allowed you to approach him, you with all your brothers, the descendants of Levi, but yet you also seek the priesthood. Therefore you and your company that has banded together against Yahweh. What is Aaron that you grumble against him?””

What does your heart desire?

What is the passion of your life?

What motivation drives you toward your goals?

I have a list of goals that I wrote shortly after graduation from college.  Most of those goals have been obtained.  Some are beyond my grasp.  A few would not be enumerated if the list were written today.

I struggle to discern the motivation behind my own youthful list and now even my middle-aged musings.  Therefore, I will not hazard in the foolish task of questioning the motivation of others priorities since I am baffled by my own.  

However, I am aware of the fine line between pride and persistence.  

A good goal will stretch you.  It will challenge you.  A good goal will require persistence.  Yet, the persistence of a good goal can cultivate a discontent in the unfulfilled now.

How do you live in the unfulfilled now?

Discontent in the now can be dangerous for decision making.  Consider Korah and his followers.  They challenged Moses and Aaron because the role of their now was too little for the hopeful goals of their future.  Their decision to resolve an unfulfilled now resulted not in fulfillment but in destruction.  

They wanted a priesthood that was not God’s will.

I don’t know the all motivations of Korah. I do know that his persistence was motivated by something other than righteousness.  

We are called to contentment in God, which means joyfullness with where you are today.  I often ask myself when I sense a dangerously developing persistence, “will I be content in Christ Jesus, if nothing changes”?  

There have been seasons where the honest answer to this question has been “no”.  We all battle the multiple manifestations of pride.  For me, pride often lurks within the persistence necessary for betterment.  I want to be all that I can be.  I want to live to my fullest potential.

Why?

Why are you striving?  Why are you persistently pursuing your greatest potential?  You have to know your why…honestly know your why…if you are to have any hope of balancing current contentment with righteous persistence.

https://ref.ly/Nu16.8-11 via the Logos Bible Android app.

h1

Safety Plan for Dollar Bills – Luke 18:24

March 9, 2020

“And Jesus took notice of him and said, “How difficult it is for those who possess wealth to enter into the kingdom of God!”

I was reading this article 25 Most Dangerous Jobs in America .

I know some who work in these jobs.  They wake every morning and prepare for another day of earning a wage, not considering it might be the last. No one expects to get hurt or killed.  Those who work in the most dangerous of jobs have safety plans, safety supervisors, and even a governmental safety agency.  All these elements exist to keep those in the most dangerous of jobs safe from the complacency of normal.

We are at most risk when danger becomes normal and no longer feared.

Yet, do you know what is most dangerous for your soul?

We get up most mornings as Believers, oblivious to the dangerous cares that ensare. I think a case can be made for the dollar (for those in the US) as being the most dangerous tool in the Christian’s  toolbox.  The Bible speaks often to warnings about money.  Yet, I fear that we are at most risk because the danger of money has become normal and no longer feared.

Money, in the hands of a Believer, is like a chainsaw in the hands of a logger.  You can clear away a lot of brush and branches and fall the tallest of obstacles. Yet, you have the risk in all that good of losing a limb and bleeding out.

Money, in the proximity of a Believer, is like a trench laborer at the bucket end of an excavator.  You can get to the depth of core needs and dig through the hardest obstacles. Yet, you have the risk in all that good of being crushed by the power of a misplaced love.

God knows the risks to residing in a world ruled by money.  It is dangerous to our soul.  Therefore:

  • We need a safety plan.  What are you going to do to make sure you handle money safely? What is your plan?
  • We need a safety supervisor.  Who are you going to be accountable to regarding how you handle money?  Do they have permission to make your money their business?
  • We need a safety agency.  What is your authority regarding your money?  Does the Bible establish the basis of how you are to value and steward your money? Will you obey it?

In my opinion, these are the essential elements for every Christian engaged in activities, which wield the dangerous tools of money.

My meditation for the day is money as a tool, not a purpose.

https://ref.ly/Lk18.24 via the Logos Bible Android app.

h1

QUOTE (Robert Louis Stevenson) – Nov 13

November 13, 2014

English: Photograph of author Robert Louis Ste...

“The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain common work as it comes certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life.”

“The saints are the sinners who keep on trying.”

“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

~Robert Louis Stevenson

In honor of Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish novelist and poet, author of Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, who was born on this day in 1850.

Resources:
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson>Quotes

 

 

 

h1

PRIZE BIKE – April 9

April 9, 2014

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11

 I have entered my first writing competition. I submitted my paragraph online and have been waiting for this day. Today, the contest ended and the evaluation of the hopeful has begun.  There are many reasons to enter a writing competition.

It forces you to actually write and produce something worth reading.
It allows a wider audience for your work.
It is a good way to test the water of the broader writing community.
It forces you to write carefully and critically.

Bicycling (magazine)

While those are good reasons to compete, none were my motivation to enter. I entered my first writing competition because I wanted to win. The April edition of Bicycling magazine was their annual buyer’s guide. The issue contained 123 reviews of the latest and best that the world of bicycling manufacturers has to offer.

The competition was to enter a 150 word, cycling-themed, parody of Bicycling writer Bill Strickland. The winner of the competition will get to choose any bicycle reviewed in the April edition that has a suggested retail price of less than $5,000.

Team RadioShack Madone

Since entering my 150 words, I have spent way too much time thinking about the prize. I have gone through ridiculous evaluations between the merits of the Guru Photon SL and the Felt F2; considerations of which would be better for my riding, the Trek Madone 6.2 H1 or H2; the Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL4 is way over the $5K limit but maybe they would work me a deal.

I was surprised what all this prize contemplation wrought when I took the humble seat of my Fuji road bike for my latest ride. I rode along a familiar route in the crispness of the spring morning, past pastures of frolicking calves, accompanied by the harmonies of a thousand song birds, yet completely engrossed by how much better a ride on a prize bike would be. I realized the surprising level of disappointment that was crouching at my doorway when I considered the likelihood of not winning the prize bike.

Specialized S-Works Roubaix

I had allowed the fun possibility of winning a writing competition turn in discontentment. I own two very nice bicycles. My bikes are not the limiting factor of my cycling. I don’t need a $5,000 bicycle. I can’t justify a $5,000 bicycle. Yet, I want one. How foolish will it be for me to be disappointed if I am not elevated from my humble road bike to the exalted saddle of a prize bike?

An amazing level of discontentment can arise when all we focus upon is what we don’t have, rather than what we do.

Jesus told the parable of the wedding feast and how people chose the places of honor. He instructed us in a level of humility that selects for ourselves the lowest place of honor. Then, when the host comes and recognizes our lowly status he will move us up to a higher place of honor.  The parable is a wonderful image of how we are humbled when we exalt ourselves and how we are exalted when we humble ourselves.

However, what happens if no one comes to raise us up?

It is often easy to see those who exalt themselves in their desire for honor. There are some who insert their resume of spiritual prowess into every conversation. Those overt challenges for the high seats of honor are easy to identify.

However, the subtle pride of feigned humility is often much more difficult to capture. We can become masters of contrived humility, spoken in anticipation of elevation. This more socially acceptable variant of honor seeking pride is exposed when we do not receive the anticipated response.

How do you feel…

…when you are not acknowledged?
…when your advice is not sought?
…when you’re not asked to lead?
…when self-deprecating statements are not countered?
…when no one asks what is wrong?
…when your value is not extolled?

How do you respond when you are not elevated to a seat of honor?

Feigned humility allows discontentment to fester in anticipation of being elevated to the seat of honor. We can become so engrossed in winning the prize of people’s honor and praise that we fail to appreciate the seat of honor we, as followers of Christ, have already been elevated to.

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:16-17)

We have been elevated to sit at the Lord’s Table as an heir.

Is there any greater honor? We have been given the greatest prize the world has ever known. Let’s not wallow in the sinful discontentment of seeking the lesser prize of man’s praise.

PRAYER: Father, forgive me for being a master of feigned humility.  Forgive me of the pride in my anticipation of praise.  Forgive me for giving so much thought and effort into seeking the prize of man’s honor.  Forgive my sinful discontentment.  Lord, you have given me an honor that I do not deserve and could never earn.  Thank you for adopting me into your family.  Thank you for lifting me from my lowly estate and giving me a seat at your table.  Help me to be content in you and you alone.  Open my eyes to all that you have given me.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

Enhanced by Zemanta
h1

QUOTE (John Newton) – Mar. 10

March 10, 2014

John Newton, slave trader, abolitionist, minis...

“If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God, one to go down and rule earth’s grandest empire, the other to go and sweep the streets of its meanest village, it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot, the post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God’s will, and with equal joy they would lift a Lazarus in his rags to Abraham’s bosom, or be a chariot of fire to carry an Elijah home.”
~ John Newton

In honor of John Newton, former slave trader, Pastor, and author of the classic “Amazing Grace”, who came to Christ on this day in 1747 during a violent storm at sea.  He stated “That 10th of March is a day much to be remembered by me; and I have never allowed it to pass unnoticed since the year 1748. For on that day the Lord came from on high and delivered me out of deep waters.”

Resources:
Today in History – March 10
John Newton>Quotes

Enhanced by Zemanta
<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: