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George Washington Carver is most famous for discovering many remarkable uses of the sweet potato and the peanut. But Carver’s influence was far beyond these two commodities. His greatest legacy was his life of loving service to his fellow man.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). How many times have you heard this familiar, beloved verse? It has been used in a variety of ways. Christian business leaders have used it to encourage their employees to do their best. Christian politicians have quoted this verse to announce hope for the future. Christian military officers have referenced it on the eve of battle, encouraging the soldiers under their command that Christ gives strength for the victory. It has even been used by Christian volleyball teams as a pep cheer before a game!
Contentment does not come naturally to the selfish heart of man. Neither did it come naturally to the Apostle Paul. In a letter to the Philippians, he testified that it was through hardships and adversity that he had “learned to be content” (Philippians 4:11). We too must learn contentment through the daily experiences of our lives.
During the earthly ministry of Jesus, our Lord was asked many questions about life, eternity, law, and even politics. His answers to these questions astonished the multitudes, silenced the critics, and moved soldiers, such as those who were sent to arrest Him, to say, “Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46).
Are you satisfied? Real satisfaction springs from a heart deeply filled with gratitude to God—not only gratitude for what He has provided, but a deeper gratitude for the essence of Who He is. A soul that is truly satisfied with God’s provision is fully content with God’s goodness, resting in His unchanging character even amidst the changing circumstances of life.
In every circumstance, Elisha was content with God’s provision and protection. According to II Kings Chapter 6, on one occasion while Elisha and his servant were in the village of Dothan, an entire army was dispatched with the express purpose of capturing Elisha. The man of God remained perfectly calm and content in the midst of almost certain capture.
If we were to visit the streets of any major city in England at the turn of the nineteenth century, we would be witness to a sad and pitiable sight. Roving bands of orphaned children begged and stole their way through life. Often they were dressed in rags, with little to wear and nothing to eat. One German-born pastor and his wife could not simply pass by while orphans died by the hundreds in the streets.
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In order to fulfill the direction of God the Father, Jesus yielded His right to wealth, to a good reputation, to be served, to enjoy physical comforts, and to make His own decisions. As we surrender ourselves to the Father, He will form these characteristics of His Son in us as well.
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Adelaide Pollard was discouraged. As she sat in a prayer meeting, doubts and disappointments engulfed her. She had prepared to go to Africa as a missionary, but her hopes were dashed when she was unable to raise enough financial support.  Nearby, an elderly lady was praying. Miss Pollard overheard her say, “It is all right, Lord! It doesn’t matter what You bring into our lives; just have Your own way with us!” Miss Pollard was struck by the older woman’s fervent desire for God’s will rather than her own. Pondering the lady’s prayer of yieldedness, Miss Pollard resolved to submit herself anew to God and His will. She felt her sadness lift, replaced with hopefulness. That evening, the praying woman’s words resonated as Miss Pollard read Jeremiah 18:3–4: “Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” The overheard prayer combined with Scriptural truth impacted Miss Pollard that night. Realizing that she was clay in the hands of the Master […]
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In every person's heart, there is a deep longing for security. Unfortunately, we tend to look for security in temporal things that perish rather than in realities that cannot be taken away.
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Contentment is realizing that God has already provided everything I need for my present and future happiness. When we expect from possessions or people what only God can give, we turn them into idols and become guilty of idolatry.
Losing a job is rarely seen as a good thing, especially since financial pressures can cause tremendous tensions in a marriage and family. When someone loses a job, he or she may have a tendency to blame people or circumstances or to despise God, but God promises to provide for all our needs through the riches of Christ. (See Philippians 4:19.) By seriously asking the question “Why did God let this happen?” we can begin to discern how God might bring good out of the situation. When someone loses his or her job, God may want to teach them the following: To learn to rely on the Lord for provision rather than on an employer. Scripture affirms that it is God “that giveth thee power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18), not an earthly employer. When God allows us to lose our earthly source of income, He is affirming our need to totally depend upon Him. To experience the fellowship of receiving “daily bread” rather than regular paychecks. The Lord taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11), not “give us this month our regular paycheck.” Nevertheless, we have a natural tendency to desire independence and […]
Do you look to money to provide you with security, establish your independence, or equip you to exercise power and wield influence? Today, many people would identify these goals as appropriate purposes for money. However, a focus on temporal riches is dangerous, because it leads you to expect things from money that only God can provide.
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