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But we wanted you to have the true message. That’s why we didn’t give in to them, not even for a second. Galatians 2:5 (CEV)

In his book “Wild at Heart”, author John Eldredge states that within the heart of every man there is the desire to be a warrior, to be a hero, to have a maiden to rescue. Likewise, within the heart of every woman is the desire to be a princess, to have someone who sees enough value in them to fight for and rescue them.

While I wholeheartedly agree with his assessment, I take it one step further. There is within the heart of each of us, man or woman, the need to feel we are worth fighting for. Each of us needs to have a champion who will stand by our sides in the best of times, cheering our successes, and in the worst of times, bandaging our wounds.

Paul had Barnabas, Naomi had Ruth, David had Jonathan, Peter had Jesus and the list goes on and on of people who can point to one person who lifted them up, and stood with them in the darkest of times.

For the Galatian churches, and a young man named Titus, that person was the Apostle Paul. The early churches that Paul had planted as sort of an itinerant preacher were under attack. The worst part is, these attacks came from people who claimed to be in agreement with them. The attacks that do the most damage are those that come from those closest to us.

Titus was one of Paul’s close associates. He was a Greek who found Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. He grew under the teaching of Paul. He grew close to Jesus an enjoyed the freedom one can only find through Jesus. That’s where the trouble occurred. A group of people, the Bible calls them Judaizers, insisted that Titus be circumcised if he were a true believer in Jesus.

There are still Judaizers in the church today. These are the people who are quick to tell you how you should act, what you should eat, which version of the Bible to read, which music you should listen to and which people and activities to avoid in order to show you are a ‘good Christian.’

Then, along comes Paul. I see him riding in on a white horse, sword (well, maybe scroll) drawn, and ready for battle. In his letter to his Galatian churches, he tells them “We wouldn’t give in to their legalism for one second. Not ONE!”

Paul stood up for them and for us as well. There will always be those who claim to have superior knowledge on how to live the Christian. They will have all sorts of hoops to jump through, and good advice for us. When that happens measure all of that with the freedom we have in Jesus through Grace. YOU are worth fighting for.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I ask that you would protect me from the Judaizers in my life. Keep me from being discouraged by their attacks or sucked into their legalism. Through the leading of your Holy Spirit, may I enjoy the freedom Grace offers me. Amen.


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

Contentment: The feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.

The Bible tells us in numerous places and ways that we are to be content; have the joy of the Lord in our hearts; be joyful always; trust God in tribulation and the list goes on and on. When things are going well for us (the job is going well, gas prices are down, the teenagers are behaving and you are getting along with your spouse or significant other) it’s easy to be joyful, trusting and content.

But what about the other times? How can you be content when everything seems to go wrong around you, when God seems distant or angry with you and you feel yourself getting older and not getting better? How can you be content then?

There are many people out there that will give you three easy steps to contentment, or a product, service or program that will ‘bring you contentment’ but the reality is you already have everything at your disposal to be content!

While it’s not an easy thing to admit or practice, contentment is really about our reaction to the event around us more than it is the actual event, person or place. Contentment isn’t really about being happy! You can be content with your situation even though you aren’t happy about it. You an also be happy on the outside even though internally you are miserable. Paul tells us in Philippians he is content regardless of his circumstances because he ‘learned the secret’ to being content.

I’m not going to be one of those people who gives you the ‘three easy steps to contentment’. First of all, there is nothing easy about being content. Secondly each of us reacts to situations differently. However, here are some ideas to help you on the road to contentment.

First of all, each of us must realize that coming to the point of contentment is a process, a part of the journey of life. Paul says, “I have learned…”. Learning takes time and work and is best learned by experiencing discontentment. If you read the life of Paul you find that he was a man of extraordinary talent, wisdom and spiritual strength. But he was also a man who’d endured prison, had numerous attempts on his life and was physically and emotionally beaten.

I’m sure that the contentment the Paul talks about to the Phillippians was a contentment resulting from all the turmoil of his past. Little by little Paul saw that God provided for him in times of danger and prosperity. He had to go through the bad part of life in order to learn that God could really be trusted to take care of him.

Secondly contentment comes to us when we have a proper view of God, ourselves and others. When contentment is based on external things we are bound to be disappointed. Relationships fail. People fail. Economies and politics take different directions. Life is fluid and sometimes we end up in places we hate to be in.

Contentment based on the Soveriegn God isn’t dependent on external factors. He is always God. He is always in control. He always loves us and wants us to experience his love. Because of this, there is nothing that can effect His working in our lives.

We also need to have a proper view of ourselves. Sometimes the situations we find ourselves in are the result of choices we’ve made in the past or actions others have taken to hurt us. To live a life of contentment we need to forgive ourselves and forgive others for the things of our past. As long as we hold on to the issues of our past we will never be able to experience the contentment that God has for us.

Contentment based on relationships will fail regardless of how good those relationships are because relationships involve humans and humans fail. Sometimes we have to make the hard decisions to end relationships because they are harmful to us emotionally or physically. Ending a bad relationship, in some cases, may be the safest way to find contentment, but this must always involve forgiveness of the offending party as well. Even if trust is no longer possible, forgiveness is a requirement for your own healing.

PRAYER: Father God, there are so many things right now that are keeping me from being content. I worry about my job, my school, my friends, my family. It’s so hard for me to be content when everything seems to be falling apart around me. I realize now that I’ve been basing my contentment on external things and not the eternal and internal things you have for me. Help me to be patient and trusting as you bring the trials I must endure to learn contentment. Empower me with your Holy Spirit to trust you. Amen.

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