Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 25, 2011

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

This seems to be the Summer of discontent.

The NBA players and owners are at an impasse and the players are locked out. So is the NFL. And our political leaders can’t seem to agree on the best way to address our massive debt and deficit problems. We are discontent in our play and in our plan to pay.

Contentment is hard to find. In our study of Psalm 142 we learned that the Psalmist finally found some contentment in the cave and he did it by focusing his heart and mind on what he loved not on what he lacked.

That appears to be the same approach the writer of Hebrews took in this challenging verse. If you love money will you ever have enough? Certainly, if you love $100’s then you will want $1,000’s. When you get $1,000’s you will meet someone who has $10,000’s and you will be discontent again because you will be focusing on what you lack. I think you see the point.

This verse implies a very important fact, contentment is a choice. You are content when you decide that you will be content. And the key to that is to fix your heart on Who you love rather than on what you lack. When you have Him, you have everything you need! He will fill the God-shaped vacuum in your heart and until that happens you will never know contentment.

I like the verse to the old chorus we used to sing – “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace!”

Stop fussing about what you lack and begin focusing on what you love! You will find contentment!

July 24, 2011

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 

How do you know that God loves you?

How would God know that you love Him?
God made a commitment to you when He sent His Son to die for your sins. And He requires a commitment from you.
I have been beating the commitment drum for the past week. There is a good reason for that. Love is a relationship and relationship requires commitment. God desires a relationship with you so badly that He made the first commitment. For you to receive His love you must make a commitment to Him.
The most important human relationship is marriage and marriage requires a commitment from each partner to the other. Love cannot begin without commitment and it cannot grow without further commitment and it won't continue to grow without continued commitment. It is this hard work that builds healthy relationships.

If you want to do relationships better do commitment better. Commitment means I sacrifice first. Commitment means I serve first. Commitment means I forgive first. Commitment means I listen better. Commitment means I become more patient. Commitment means I give the benefit of the doubt. Commitment means I love unconditionally, like God loves me.

Obviously, if I am to commit to loving like God I must be committed to God. How can I love like Him if I don't know Him? To love like Him I must allow Him to love through me. And, if I need to grow in my love I need to deepen my commitment.

If you are struggling in relationships, examine your commitment level.