I Can Be Content in Every Circumstance

I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 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. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11–13)

God’s provision of day-by-day future grace enables Paul to be filled or to be hungry, to prosper or suffer, to have abundance or go wanting.

“I can do all things” really means “all things,” not just easy things. “All things” means, “Through Christ I can hunger and suffer and be in want.” This puts the stunning promise of Philippians 4:19 in its proper light: “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

What does “every need of yours” mean in view of Philippians 4:11–12? It means “all that you need for God-glorifying contentment.” Which may include times of hunger and need. Paul’s love for the Philippians flowed from his contentment in God, and his contentment flowed from his faith in the future grace of God’s infallible provision to be all he needed in times of plenty and want.

It’s obvious then that covetousness is exactly the opposite of faith. It’s the loss of contentment in Christ so that we start to crave other things to satisfy the longings of our hearts which only the presence of God himself can satisfy. And there’s no mistaking that the battle against covetousness is a battle against unbelief in God’s promise to be all we need in every circumstance.

This is so clear in Hebrews 13:5. Watch how the author argues for our freedom from the love of money — freedom from covetousness — the freedom of contentment in God: “Keep your life free from love of money, and be contentwith what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Faith in this promise — “I will never leave you,” — breaks the power of all God-dishonoring desire — all covetousness.

Whenever we sense the slightest rise of covetousness in our hearts, we must turn on it and fight it with all our might using the weapons of this faith.

 

Why Most Churches Are Terrible at Communications

http://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/305343-churches-terrible-communications-brandon-kelley.html

A Powerful Rendition Of ‘In Christ Alone’

Every once and a while we need to hear this message

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srEHarh3Wy4

 

The Power of Company

“Human nature is so constituted that we cannot be much with other people without effect on our own character. The old proverb will never fail to prove true: Tell me with whom a man chooses to live, and I will tell you what he is.” – J.C. Ryle[1]

I worked with youth for many years and this seemed like a constant warning we had to proclaim. “Watch what kind of friends you have. Be aware of peer pressure.”  These are common topics for conversation and are emphasized often. We know how easy it is for a teenager to get off track because of the crowd they hang out with. We know that some of the biggest, if not the biggest, influences on their lives are their friends.

Read the rest: http://ftc.co/resource-library/blog-entries/the-power-of-company

(Podcast) Message: “The Blessings of United Prayer” (Acts 1:12-26)

https://bellatorchristi.com/2017/06/23/podcast-message-the-blessings-of-united-prayer-acts-112-26/

Narrowing the Worship Gap

http://www.experiencingworship.com/worship-articles/worshipleaders/2002-10-Narrowing-the-Worship.html?ID=515

Who is the Holy Spirit?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

~ Sam Storms:

From Sam’s contribution to The New City Catechism:

Rarely does a Christian struggle to think of God as Father. And to envision God as Son is not a problem for many. These personal names come easily to us because our lives and relationships are inescapably intertwined with fathers and sons here on earth. But God as Holy Spirit is often a different matter. Gordon Fee tells of one of his students who remarked, “God the Father makes perfectly good sense to me, and God the Son I can quite understand; but the Holy Spirit is a gray, oblong blur.”

How different this is from what we actually read in Scripture. There we see that the Spirit is not third in rank in the Godhead but is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and Son, sharing with them all the glory and honor due unto our Triune God. The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal power or an ethereal, abstract energy. The Spirit is personal in every sense of the term. He has a mind and thinks (Isa. 11:2; Rom. 8:27). He is capable of experiencing deep affections and feelings (Rom. 8:26; 15:30). The Spirit has a will and makes choices (Acts 16:7; 1 Cor. 2:11) regarding what is best for God’s people and what will most glorify the Son.

We see even more of the Spirit’s personality when he is described as being grieved when we sin (Eph. 4:30). The Spirit, no less so than the Father and the Son, enters into a vibrant and intimate relationship with all whom he indwells (2 Cor. 13:14). The Spirit talks (Mark 13:11; Rev. 2:7), testifies (John 15:26; 16:13), encourages (Acts 9:31), strengthens (Eph. 3:16), and teaches us, especially in times of spiritual emergency (Luke 12:12). That the Spirit is personal is seen in that he can be lied to (Acts 5:3), insulted (Heb. 10:29), and even blasphemed (Matt. 12:31-32).

Above all else, though, the Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9). His primary role in us, as the temple of God in whom he dwells (Eph. 2:21-22), is other-directed or other-oriented as he ministers to direct our attention to the person of Christ and to awaken in us heartfelt affection for and devotion to the Savior (John 14:26; 16:12-15). The Holy Spirit delights above all else in serving as a spotlight, standing behind us (although certainly dwelling within us) to focus our thoughts and meditation on the beauty of Christ and all that God is for us in and through him.

As we prayerfully meditate on the person and work of the Spirit and give thanks for his powerful presence in our lives, we would do well to consider the words of Thomas Torrance who reminds us that “the Spirit is not just something divine or something akin to God emanating from him, not some sort of action at a distance or some kind of gift detachable from himself, for in the Holy Spirit God acts directly upon us himself, and in giving us his Holy Spirit God gives us nothing less than himself” (Thomas F. Torrance, The Trinitarian Faith, T & T Clark, 191).