4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
It seems that our world today is never satisfied. We desire and crave for more and more, yet we are never fulfilled. We are never satisfied, never content, and envious of those who have what we do not have.
The tragedy, is this lack of contentment, it has become the norm for even among the children of God. So…this afternoon, we’re going to look in God’s Word to see how we, as God’s people, can defeat “The Struggle For Contentment”, in our individual lives. But please understand… this is not an option for the Christian, it is absolutely essential in order to walk worthy for our Lord.
Here’s a question: In this world that we live in, with all its temptations and attractions, how can the follower of Christ, not only overcome the lure of the world, but be victorious, through contentment, to be the men, the women, and the young people that God desires us to be?
I want to share with you this evening… we are going to break down these verses….four actions that we, as God’s children, should learn to cultivate in our daily walk in order to develop contentment so that we can experience the abundant life in Christ as we bring glory to God.
1: An Act Of Worship:
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Paul tells us to rejoice always in the Lord. This is an act of worship. Prisons in Paul’s day were obviously a lot different than what we have today. Most jails in the first century had no windows, no ventilation, and no lighting. Prisoners were beaten and then locked in chains. If fed, they received half the amount given to a slave. Hygiene was non-existent. Many prisoners suffocated due to a lack of air. A common cold was often at times lethal because the immune systems in their bodies were so weak. Added to the physical turmoil was the psychological suffering a prisoner endures.
So…its kind of odd that this statement was coming from Paul. Prison after prison, he encourages everyone to “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say rejoice”.
The command to rejoice can always be obeyed, even in the midst of conflict, adversity and deprivation, because joy rests not on circumstances, but “in the Lord”. It was in this type environment that we find the Apostle Paul in a Roman prison writing about contentment. And he begins by encouraging the reader to, “Rejoice.”
You can’t rejoice in something that you do not have. You can’t rejoice in the Lord unless the Lord rejoices in you. In Luke 15:10, Jesus said these words….
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
And also, we are reminded of the Lord, that while we are here in this world, we can have an abundant life through Him. After this life is done, the believer longs to hear these words from the Master…
21 “His Master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!’
What are you going to rejoice in, if you’re lost spiritually? That you’re going to an eternal hell? True joy is knowing that the wrath of God has been settled and the grace of God has been secured in you.
Paul reminds the church here at Philippi, many times in his letter about “joy” or “rejoicing.” The joy came from knowing that…
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Jesus even told the disciples to not rejoice that evil spirits were subject to them, but rather…
Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.
You want contentment? Rejoice in the fact…because you’re saved!
2. Respond with gentleness, because the Lord is in control:
5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Paul writes that our gentleness should be shown. He also reminds us that “the Lord is at hand.” This is action in our walk. As children of God, there ought to be a gentle spirit about us toward everyone. Our lives should be of a genuine Christ-likeness shown both in our words and through our actions.
I will say even towards our own family. It is very sad that too many families are forced to experience a hypocrisy from the life of a family member that their local church never sees. He/she, may talk about heaven at church, raise their hands in praise while in church, but he/she, is hell to live with at home!
When we’re saved, the Holy Spirit of God comes and resides in us. As we are filled with the Spirit, our lives take on the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22… which includes, “gentleness”.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
So, having developed the “mind of Christ” in us, our response to life should be with gentleness that is demonstrated towards others. Notice that Paul says in this verse, “The Lord is at hand.” In Phil 4:5, There’s an urgency! We must look for ways to show Christ to everyone around us. The world needs to encounter the Gospel being “fleshed-out”, the world needs to see Jesus in us, so that there is a clarity in Who we belong to. (Jesus)
From a devotion that I read this week, that lines up with this message…
“See people saved and then teach them to act like it.” Today, it’s hard to tell the Lord’s people from the lost people. Never let it be truthfully said of one of God’s children that we are rude, haughty, or even impolite. Never let it even be said of God’s Church that we are anything but gracious in how we treat people.
Whitesburg Baptist Church
The fragrance of Christ should permeate wherever we go, directing people to the Savior. Contentment is a by-product of having a hardy gentle spirit.
3. Gratitude and Humility in Every Manner. (Answer to life’s worries)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Notice first, that Paul speaks of what (or what not) to do. Another translation of verse 6a would be, “Don’t be anxious about things,” with the latter part of the verse being paraphrased, “but in your prayers, ask God with a thankful heart.”
Peter even writes a similar statement in 1 Peter 5:7, to…
1 Peter 5:7
casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Cast your discouragement, weariness, hopelessness, disappointment, frustration, depression, despair, pain, hurt, suffering, grief, heartache, affliction, trouble, and anxiety. We must remember that this is not a suggestion, it’s a commandment, because God knows how easily prone we are to worry. Worry robs a person of their joy.
Prayer is essential for the child of God. We are to have a Thankful Spirit… “with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Sadly, many times, we are very much ungrateful in so many things in our lives. When was the last time that we truly meditated on the tremendous blessings that God has favored us with?
Having a heart of genuine gratitude is serious business to our Lord. In Luke chapter 17, When Jesus healed 10 lepers. Jesus recognized only the thankful healed Samaritan leper as having a saving faith.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
Staying thankful is a very powerful way to prevent one to sin. It’s hard to deliberately sin when your heart is overwhelmed by the goodness of God on your life. In addition, thankfulness is a means which God uses to bring about spiritual growth in His children. A Christian simply cannot mature without being thankful. Prayerful and Thankful Spirits are the prerequisites for a Contented Spirit.
4. Rest in the Guardian of Your Heart and Mind.
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Paul writes that the peace of God will guard the believer’s being. The peace of God is our rest in God….
“The real challenge of the Christian life is not to eliminate every unpleasant circumstance; it is to trust in the good purpose of our infinite, holy, sovereign, powerful God in every difficulty. Those who honor Him by trusting Him will experience the blessings of His perfect peace.”
A man once went to his pastor for counseling. He was in the midst of a financial collapse. “I’ve lost everything, he cried.
The pastor said, “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve lost your faith.” “No,” the man corrected him, “I haven’t lost my faith.”
“Well, then I’m sad to hear that you’ve lost your character.” “I didn’t say that, “the man corrected, “I still have my character.”
“I’m sorry to hear that you’ve lost your salvation.”
“That’s not what I said,” the man objected. “I haven’t lost my salvation.”
“You have your faith, your character, and your salvation. It seems to me,” the minister observed, “that you’ve lost none of the things that really matter.”
That peace of God is one of the secrets to contentment. When a follower of Christ can truly grasp the enormity of God’s provision for His children, it’s then that he or she can truly rest and abide in the wonderment of God. And that’s called contentment.
Ultimately, contentment is a blessing from God that we receive as a result of our faithfulness to Him. It frees us from the world’s grip and entanglement so that our spiritual eyes can be opened to the goodness of God.
Contentment births a teachable spirit in our soul that gives us the freedom to follow at any cost. Paul confessed this in….
11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
That contentment, then, caused Paul to state, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”.
Contentment is a vehicle that God uses to prepare His children for the work that He has prepared for them. When we are faithful in our contentment before the Lord, we will be fruitful in our commitment to the Lord.
Our tendency is to look for things that will make us content, rather than putting forth the effort it takes to learn how to be content, such is the actions that the Lord… through Paul gives us in this message.
1) Rejoice because you’re saved, 2) Respond with a life of consistent graciousness, 3) Request from God with grateful, humble heart, and 4) Experience a Rest in the Lord that gives us peace.
John 10: 8-11
8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
We often focus on the fact that Jesus came to be the sacrifice for our sins. Praise God He is the ultimate sacrifice! By His precious blood we have been set free! But Jesus did not just come to deliver us from the consequences of our sin. He did not just come to provide us with eternal life...He came so that we could live an abundant life here and now!
Before we go any further, let me say that the “Abundant life” is not a promise of health and wealth. John MacArthur said "Abundant life is not about having stuff. It’s about having peace, having Joy, (it's about) having God".
Many professing Christians believe that…the Christian experience begins with a conversion and will end when they take their last breath, and there is not much in between! Jesus did not intend for it to be this way. Jesus said that He came so that we could "have life and have it more abundantly."
The abundant life is not a life void of troubles and trials. Jesus never promised that the abundant life would be an easy life. In fact, He warned us of the opposite - "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But be of good cheer! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
The word “abundant” in the original Greek means “exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, exceptionally more. Abundant speaks of "a quantity so abundant as to be considerably more than one would ever expect or anticipate.”
The abundant life is only possible through Jesus Christ. John 10:8-9 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
When someone meets Jesus, everything changes! When one puts their faith in Christ they are "born again", this marks the beginning of the "new life".
Every born-again Christian has this new life, however, not every Christian enjoys the abundant life. The problem is not that Jesus fails to give them an abundant life, the problem is that we fail to receive what He is offering! The fact is, that “An Abundant life” is available for you and I today.
Let us look at the contrast of “An Abundant Life”. V10-The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. Before mentioning the abundant life that He desires for His followers, Jesus speaks of the type of life that the enemy brings. He says that the "thief comes to steal, kill and destroy". What does Jesus mean by this statement?
When we hear this description, we automatically think of Satan. This is not necessarily the case. In the context of these verses, Jesus identifies Himself as "The Good Shepherd". He draws a contrast between the Good Shepherd and "the thief". The "thief" represents all false teachers, false teachings and false religious systems.
For example, the works to earn salvation, you have to be good in order to be saved. The prosperity teachings of give all you can, so that you can be a blessing to others. There are churches that require you to give a certain amount of your earnings…will ask for your paycheck stub, so that they can keep track of your giving. Sure…the church building gets bigger, nicer stuff inside, the best money can buy. While, the Christian is having a hard time making ends meet.
These are not the “Abundant Life”, that Jesus is offering. These are all from the thief. "thief comes to steal, kill and destroy". The "thief" comes for his own selfish purposes. (Again, false teachers, false teachings, and false religious system.) He comes with the intention of destroying the flock. Jesus makes it clear that the thief is a threat to the sheep. When he enters the fold, he seeks to use the sheep for his own personal gain. The thief is not the least bit concerned about the welfare of the sheep.
The "thief" in John 10:10 may not be a direct reference to Satan himself, but you can rest assured that false prophets, false messiahs and false religions all work under Satan's direction! Satan does not want what is best for you... he only seeks what will benefit his evil schemes through you! Are you starting to see the contrast between the “thief, and the Good Shepherd”?
The Good Shepherd…Jesus truly wants what is best for each and every one of us. In the here and now. Notice if you will, Whereas the thief comes to "steal, kill and destroy" the Good Shepherd comes to bring life. Jesus is the source of that life. He states this to be His purpose for coming to this world. Jesus said "I am come that they might have life"
Jesus doesn't just come so that we can have life. He makes it perfectly clear that He desires for us to have "an abundant life”. The Good shepherd wants the sheep to experience a life that is immeasurably better. The Good Shepherd knows His flock, He leads them to green pastures... and He protects you and I from harm and danger.
Whereas the thief only seeks destruction, the Good shepherd is willing to lay down His life for the sheep! V11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep”.
Because of His sacrifice, we have the opportunity to live life eternal. I find it very encouraging that there is an abundant life available here and now! But I must warn you, there are some conditions concerning this abundant Christian Life. Notice if you will…
Jesus says that "I come that they might have life". Who are the "they" that He is referencing? In the context Jesus is referring to His people. The Good Shepherd is speaking of His sheep. This means that in order to live the “An Abundant Life”, you must be... A CHRISTIAN! One has to belong to the Good Shepherd!
Here is where I give you some really good news. If you are not a Christian, you can become one today! If you are here today, you are hearing this message…cry out to God and be drawn to His Son. Be the sheep that belongs to the Good Shepherd. And if you are a Christian, let scripture remind you to live “an abundant life”! If you are somewhat struggling with your walk, then now is a good time to examine your life. Maybe, sin has a hold on your life, or you have ones again, let the “thief”, take control of your life? Remember, the thief comes only to "steal, kill and destroy".
It is Jesus' desire that all of His followers live an abundant life. The abundant life is not a life that is reserved for a few super saints! It is the life that Jesus expects each of His followers to live. Every church should be filled with people living the abundant life. But, if you have looked around lately, it seems that there are very few who have any real experience living this kind of life! Jesus paid a high price for us to be able to live the abundant life. Let’s seize this amazing opportunity and live the Christian life to the fullest. As God has meant it to be.
Eternal life does not begin when you die, eternal life begins, at the moment of your conversion. Too many Christians are living their lives focused on the after life and in the process, they are missing the life that God has planned for them here. Yes… we have some amazing things waiting for us in Heaven. But don't let this life pass you by. God has a plan for you to live a great life now. This abundant life is to be enjoyed here and now.
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
There is visible evidence in the lives of those who are actively living the Christian life. The abundant life that God desires that we live is a life that mirrors the life that Jesus lived while here on earth. Yes…we will never achieve sinless perfection in this life. We will never live the way Jesus lived as long as we wear this sinful flesh. But we should strive to be like our Master. When we do, the characteristics that were seen in His life, will be evident in our lives.
When we look at Jesus’ life, we see a life of surrender. He willingly left the glories of Heaven and surrendered to the Father's will. He was fully in submission to God's plan. Let us never forget the agony of our Savoir in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew what was coming the next day. He knew the pain that He was about to endure.
Jesus cried out to His Father saying “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
In order to live an abundant life, we must reach that place of full surrender. We must come to a place where we say Father, not my will but yours be done. we must be willing to say "Lord, I'll go where you want me to go!" "Lord, I'll do what you would have me to do!" "Lord, I'll stay as long as you would have me to stay!" When we reach this point, we are well on our way to an abundant life! Do you know what hinders the believer from total surrender? The thief, aka false teachers, false teachings, and false religions! Its hard to say, “YES LORD”, when the thief stands in between.
Intertwined with surrender is obedience. This leads us to another truth about this abundant life. When we are fully surrendered to the Lord, we will obey His will, and it will not be burdensome. We will follow His directions… Jesus' life was a life of obedience. Paul illustrates this so well in…
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; 7 rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself
by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Jesus was God, but He laid aside some of His divine attributes. He humbled Himself as a slave. He took on a robe of human flesh and was born as a human being. He did this in obedience unto God. His obedience led Him to a criminals death on a cruel cross.
We may face some difficult times in this life, following God will cost us, there will be pain and sacrifice, but there is no greater place to be than in the center of God's will. When we are in the center of God's will... when we are surrendered and obedient, we can live an enjoy an abundant life that Jesus promised!
Moving on we will see another evidence of “An Abundant life”. Notice that, it is a life marked by fellowship. There were multiple times where we see Jesus get away from the crowds and even separate Himself from His disciples, in order to spend time with His Heavenly Father. This is an action that is missing in the lives of many Christians today, but it is a vital element in an abundant life. The fact is, we cannot have an abundant life, if we do not commune with God.
Fellowship with God requires communication! This means that God's Word and prayer must be part of our lives. We must get alone with God. We must talk to Him and we must listen to Him and when we listen to Him, He will tell us what He would have us to do for Him.
This leads me to another evidence of how one can enjoy an abundant life, and this is a life of serving God, and serving others. The life of Jesus!
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Jesus' life was a life of service. All throughout the Gospels we see Him serving others. One of the greatest pictures of His humble service was when He washed the feet of His disciples. Within a few hours, Judas would betray Him, Peter would deny Him, and the rest would abandon Him. He knew this would happen, but He served them anyway.
We should do no less. We have been saved to serve, we have been saved for His purpose. There is work to be done and the abundant Christian life is a life of service. The abundant life is a life that is marked by surrender, obedience, fellowship, service!
Jesus came to this earth to seek and save the lost. And as we have seen today, He came so that we "might have life and have it more abundantly". - He did not stop until His mission was complete.
An abundant life is one of determination and consistency. If you are up one day and down the next, you are not living the abundant life. If you are on fire for a time and then back in the world a few weeks later, you are not living the abundant life.
We must stand firm, plant our feet and remain surrendered and obedient to the Lord. We must remain committed to our area of service to the Lord. If we will do these things, we can abide and enjoy the promise of an abundant life that Jesus desires for us to have. Again… like I have mentioned earlier, if you are not living “An Abundant Life”, then there is a “thief” in between you and God!
From a Devotion:
Matthew Henry, the well-known pastor and Bible commentator, was on his deathbed in 1714, at age 52. He had suffered the loss of his first wife and of his three children. He was relatively young and could have complained about his early death. But, he said to a friend, “You have been used to take notice of the sayings of dying men. This is mine--that a life spent in the service of God, and communion with Him, is the most comfortable and pleasant life that one can live in the present world”
He was a man who truly understood the meaning of an abundant life! What about us, are we thriving in the Christian life or are we merely surviving? Are we making an impact for God or are we still living life for ourselves?
Do you have it in your mind that you have to wait until you get to Heaven to really enjoy the Christian life? If so, you are missing out on a wonderful, abundant life. Jesus came to ensure that you could have this abundant life. Don't neglect such a great opportunity!
Maybe you are not living an abundant life because you are not saved. There must be birth before there is life, and in this case, there must be new birth before there can be spiritual life. I invite you to cry out to Jesus. There’s got to be something that is keeping you from this promise? But, whatever it is, is it worth it?
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”.
1 John 5:1-5
5 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
We’ll receive the Lord’s Supper this afternoon…and we need to begin preparing our hearts, certainly we need to have the assurance of our relationship with the Lord nailed down…we need to KNOW that we are saved, and once we know, we need to be sure we are in a “RIGHT” relationship with Him. Meaning that our walk is still in the narrow path.
There are certain characteristics that mark those that are of the same family. Many time’s physical similarities, perhaps color of eyes, hair, physique, nose, hands or feet. Sometimes the characteristics are not physical and not so easily detectable. In like manner, those who share the spiritual birth have characteristics that distinguish them from the world…certain qualities, if you will.
The Bible teaches, that there is definite way that you can know for certain that you are a child of God. Keep in mind, the Bible only mentions two types of children. You are either a child of God, or you are a child of the devil.
When one becomes a child of God, there is a deep appreciation towards God. One born of love, devotion, faith, desire, hunger, obedience and so on. Which will give a very distinct character that one does belong to God.
1 John 4:19
We love Him, because He first loved us.
Love for God is not merely a warn sentiment or a pleasant feeling, it is a way of living, its what a child of God lives for, knowing that we belong to Him, because we have felt His love. It is an active force that changes who we are in Christ…because of Christ.
It is natural for a child of God to love his Father. The more we know about the Father and His love for us, the more we will love Him. We come to know Him through His Word. We’ll come to like Him, love Him and be like Him!
Being a child of God also means that we belong to His family, we are a member of His body. We are the people He created for His purpose. Joined together out of His love. We all become one in Christ. We are in the same family. It is a natural thing for family members to love one another. This is one of the precious truths about being a Christian. How we love one another, how we treat each other will reflect on which family we belong to. ( Family of God or satan )
How does a child of God reflect Gods love towards one another….
1 John 4:7-9
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
To be transformed into the image of Christ… God’s ultimate goal for us, means to increasingly reflect His loving character in our behavior and attitude. Therefore, if we are not becoming more loving, then we have taken the wrong path, or we have not really felt His love simply because we cannot reflect it amongst each other. Remember… “We love Him, because He first loved us”. If we have never felt His love, then loving one another would be impossible. Then it would really strike the question of who we belong to.
This is the way love behaves itself toward the members of the family of God. Is this love in your heart for the family of God?
For example: Paul and Silas beaten with rods and thrown into prison. The jailer was commanded to watch them, but then when he saw their faith, and the earthquake, asked how to be saved …but when the jailer was born again the Bible says he washed their stripes… the jailer washed their wounds, put a meal on the table for them and fellowshipped with them! If you are truly born again, the evidence of love will be evident in your life. (Acts 16:16-34)
Like I have mentioned earlier, being a child of God comes with appreciation and obedience to His commands…
1 John 5:2-3
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
Only when we try to obey God through our own power do His commands feel burdensome. When we rely on His Spirit to enable us to do what we can’t, we find great joy in obedience. We grow to love His commands, we become obedience out of our love for Him.
In the Old Testament people were forced to keep the law as a moral responsibility. The Pharisees professed to love the law and they kept it outwardly, but there was no joy and no peace. They did it as a duty. But, when you are born into God’s family, doing God’s law becomes your desire. It is love that turns duty into desire. You WANT to do what is right, because it brings Him great joy!
ILLUS: A young lady got a job typing manuscripts for an author…it was her main duty. Then she fell in love with the author and they were married. What had previously been a duty now became the desire of her heart. She desired to please the one she loved.
That is what happens when one is born again, when one receives the Holy Spirit. When the Bible says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain...” That is not a duty for you and I. It becomes the desire of our heart not to take His name in vain.
When Jesus comes into your life and you are born into God’s family, the duty of the law becomes the deepest desire of your heart.
Some say they can’t understand the law…the Bible…they need to fall in love with the Author and get saved! Some feel they won’t be able to keep up with it…won’t do it right…but I say today that if you desire to do right, God will make it work out, and make it a delight!
The appreciation of Gods children, comes an application towards His commands…
1 John 5:4-5
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Three times in these verses John uses the word “overcomes.” That is to let us know that there is a real conflict going on. There is an unseen war that is raging between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. We fight three enemies; the world, the flesh and the devil. John writes these words to inform the children of God that everything necessary for victory has already been given to us.
Man cannot overcome the world. Adam and Eve learned this, they met Satan in their own strength and were conquered. Jesus Christ came into this world and met Satan head on. Every temptation possible was hurled at the Son of God. Finally, the devil rolled out his biggest weapon, death. But when the dust had cleared and Satan had done his worst, the tomb was empty, Christ had arose and victory is ours.
This means daily victory over temptations and anxieties. Here’s some Scripture for you and I…
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith”. You and I, have this victory as we believe in the victory of Jesus. Notice that it is not by feelings or by fighting… but by FAITH! If you’re truly saved you have access to this victory… you have this VICTORY!!!
There was a very poor man down in West Texas in the 1930s who barely made a living on a very poor sheep farm around Odessa and Midland. His name was E. L. Yates and he was so poor that he was contemplating bankruptcy and allowing the bank to repossess his farm. He was constantly worrying about how he could pay his bills and feed his family.
One day a survey crew from an oil company came to him and asked for permission to drill for oil on his property. The contract stated that he was to receive every eighth barrel if any oil was found. At 1,115 feet they hit a gusher. The well produced 80,000 barrels of oil a day! Wells soon followed that could produce twice that capacity. Even thirty years later government surveys showed wells with a capacity for 125,000 barrels a day. It proved to be one of the richest veins of oil ever found on the North American continent.
Mr. Yates owned it all! When he purchased the land the oil came with it. During all the years of poverty he was rich and didn’t know it. Years passed before Mr. Yates possessed what he owned and enjoyed the privileges of ownership.
It is the privilege of every Christian to live in victory every day…Sundays and all the days in-between! It is by faith that we should claim what is ours. Are you living every day in His power and victory? You should…you belong to the King!
1 John 5:13
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
A true child of God will never put any doubt in the Son of God. A true child of God will never fall away (backsliding is the famous term) You will never fall away, because Christ will never let you go! DO YOU BELIEVE THAT CHRISTIANS!!!
Pastor Richard Santos
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