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Contentment builds character (1)

Posted by pathhministry on October 11, 2010 at 8:11 PM Comments comments (0)

HEADING:


Contentment builds character (1)

By

Napoleon Black


TEXT (Phil. 4:13)

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (NIV)

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]. (Amp. Bible)

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (NLT)


COMMENTARY

Contentment is having a sense of satisfaction and ease with one’s present situation. Paul was in prison and evidently he was without some basic necessities. The Philippian saints sent him some gift to relieve his situation. He writes to tell them thanks and adding that whether or not he had received their gift he was content.

 


Sometimes this verse is misunderstood and is read to mean that the believer can simply rise above anything through Christ who gives him strength. It is true, but what Paul has in mind here is that the believer can be content in the most depriving of circumstances through Christ who is his sufficiency. Instead of meeting a physical need, Christ may instead give the grace to feel a sense of satisfaction in Him, even though the hunger may be telling.

 


Contentment is character building. It is believing that in the state and space that we find ourselves, we can trust God, believing in the goodness of God, knowing that God is using the circumstances - hunger, a broken relationship, a loss – to teach us to trust Him. It is positively enduring in the face of factors that could easily cause discontentment, because God gives His strength.

 


Something to Meditate on:

Contentment is trusting God even if things do not go the way I want.


A decision I need to make

What am I not content about in my life?


Only A Surrendered Life. pt. 2, 3, 4

Posted by pathhministry on October 7, 2010 at 9:43 AM Comments comments (0)

 

DATE:

Tuesday October 5, 2010


HEADING:

Only A Surrendered Life fulfills God’s Purpose (2)


TEXT (Judges 16:30)

Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. (NIV)

He killed more people in his death than he had killed in his life. (Msg)

So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime. (NLT)


COMMENTARY


Sampson was born for greatness. Before he was born, the angel decreed that he would begin the deliverance of Israel from the Philistines (Judges 13:5). But most of his life was lived to please himself. He wanted a girl from among the Philistines and he went and got her. He was hungry so he ate honey from the carcass of a dead lion, something forbidden for him as a Nazirite. He lied, he was arrogant, and he allowed his passion and his anger to continually get the better of him.

And yet, God’s Spirit remained active in his life for over most of his life. His great gift accomplished much, but none of it was used in the way that God intended. Sadly, as a spiritual man, Samson was self-centred, self serving and on the path of destruction. Indeed, he ended up a prisoner of the very people he was supposed to defeat.


Ironically, it took his deliberate decision to die to bring about what God intended in his life in the first place. The word of purpose prophesied before his birth could only be fulfilled in his dying to himself. Our gifts, our purpose, our calling - nothing matters so much as our willingness to surrender our lives to what God has declared concerning us.

Something to Meditate on:


When I deliberately fight to live life my way and refuse to die, I delay the fulfilment of the purpose of God in my life


A decision I need to make

How comfortable am I know that I am gifted, called, empowered and yet I am not fully surrendered to what God has spoken over me?


 

DATE:

Wednesday October 6, 2010

HEADING:


Only A Surrendered Life fulfills God’s Purpose (3)


TEXT (Rom. 15:3)

For even Christ did not please himself … (NIV)

For Christ did not please Himself [gave no thought to His own interests]; … (Amp. Bible)

For even Christ didn’t live to please himself…. (NLT)


COMMENTARY

Sometimes, some of the things that our faith challenges us about, can be very disconcerting. We are not to live to pleased ourselves! We are not to live looking out for our self interests. We are not to live with ourselves in view. And yet, this notion of happiness, self-pleasure bathes so much of our experiences.


We hear comments like, ‘no one can make you happy but you ’or ‘you have to take responsibility for your own happiness.’ Happiness means so much to us. And yet the purpose of our lives from the eternal point of view is that we might be like Jesus (Romans 8:29), not to pursue happiness. He gives happiness (blessedness, joy, completeness) as a gift to those who seek Him, to those who purpose to be like Him.


Wanting to be like Him requires vulnerability to Him and to His will. Not pleasing ourselves, especially when we feel particularly vulnerable may be difficult. For instance on the matter of forgiveness Martha Kilpatrick writes – ‘Forgiveness is . . . accepting God's sovereign use of people and situations to strip you of self importance, and humiliate your self love.’ And it is this humiliating of the self-love, this destroying of the self which paves the way for the Christ-life to flow in and through us.

 


Something to Meditate on:

When I live my life trying to please myself, I damage the image of Christ in me.


A decision I need to make


Am I totally vulnerable to Jesus? Honestly?






HEADING:

Only A Surrendered Life fulfills God’s Purpose


TEXT (Gal.2:20)

I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (NIV)

It is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me… (Amp. Bible)

It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (NLT)


COMMENTARY

Have you ever really stop to think how much of your life lived out each day is really the life of Christ in you? In any given day, can you really say that the decisions you made, the attitude you displayed, the actions you performed, the mindset you carried, were not as Jesus would do, but all of these were in fact flowing out of the Christ-life in you?


Paul spoke confidently of this. “I have been crucified with Christ,” he says. In verse 19 of the same text he says – ‘So I died to the Law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God.’ Even his good deeds were given up! He was not living a ‘what would Jesus do?’ kind of life in which he was still in charge. There were no such questions for him. He simply allowed himself to be crucified and that was it.


Paul was saying in effect, ‘to look at my life is to look at the life of Christ.’ The same is undoubtedly available to us. Our faith truly comes alive not by asking what Jesus would do, but rather dying that He might live out His life in us.


Something to Meditate on:

There is a subtle danger in asking ‘what would Jesus do?’ rather than dying so that He can do exactly what He wants in me.


A decision I need to make

Is my ‘what would Jesus do?’ wristband not an admission that I am still in charge?


Only A Surrendered Life Can Fulfill God's Purpose

Posted by pathhministry on October 4, 2010 at 8:32 AM Comments comments (2)

DATE:  

Monday October 4, 2010

 

HEADING:

Only A Surrendered Life fulfills God’s Purpose

 

TEXT (John 12:24)

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to theground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it producesmany seeds. (NIV)

Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in theground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But ifit is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. (Msg)

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is plantedin the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many newkernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. (NLT)

 

COMMENTARY

God uses us best when we die.Death is daunting. But there is no other way to be effectively used by God. That‘the mortal cannot wear immortality’ is not only a principle marking the lifeto come, but is an important reality for those of us who want to live the wayGod calls us.

 

Most of us still struggle withthe tension between living in the Spirit and living in the self. Most of usfind that living in the Spirit requires the death of the self. The self doesnot surrender to death that easily, and yet, we cannot truly begin to be thepeople that God wants us to be until we learn to die to our selves.

 

This sense of our willingness todie is the very measure of our willingness to trust. Jesus was willing to diebecause He completely trusted His Father to keep Him, even in death. Thechallenge for us is whether we will surrender our self-life, so that ourspirit-life can be truly come alive and God’s life can then give us hope andpurpose.

 

Something to Meditate on:

My unwillingness to die is evidence that I have notyet learnt to trust.

 

A decision I need to make:

Whatpart of my life is not yet surrendered  to Jesus, if any?

 

On

GOD ERASES ALL WRONGS

Posted by pathhministry on June 30, 2010 at 9:47 AM Comments comments (0)

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 2010

LAMPLIGHT

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path”

(Psalm 119:105)

GOD ERASES ALL WRONGS

BIBLE TEXT (1 Corinthians 13: 5) AND VERSIONS

* LOVE keeps no record of wrongs [New International Version = NIV]

* LOVE doesn’t keep score of the sins of others [Messenger = MSG]

* LOVE keeps no record of being wronged [New Life Translation = NLT]

COMMENTARY

GOD’S LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD

Such love will NEVER motivate any of us to say. “I will never forgive you as long as I live.” Or, “I will forgive you but I will never forget.” Or, “I remember what you did ...I will never ever forget what you did to me!”

GOD’S LOVE KEEPS NO SCORE

Such love NEVER keeps scores – a sort of score-sheet a record of the wrongs committed by others – especially the sins that others have committed against us. Keeping such a record – materially or mentally – is actually self-righteous. In effect it is saying to God, ‘look at how better I am!’

GOD’S LOVE ERASES TOTALLY

Such love ALWAYS erases all wrongs. Biblical love erases totally all sins made against us. Biblical love cancels the wrongdoing of others against us or against those we know and love. Biblical love erases the sins of others from our vengeful list. Biblical love does not merely cover over sins but erases sins – and does so fully or totally and forever! How about us?

FORCEFUL FOCUS

God’s Love is Virtue Supreme

COMMITMENT CHALLENGE FOR TODAY

Seek out someone who once grieved you and tell them you have forgiven them

Written by Pastor Napoleon Black of Jamaica E-mail: [email protected]

Edited by Billy Hall, Caribbean Christian Communicator

LAMPLIGHT is copyrighted under PATHH Ministries posted on the World Wide Web


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