Learning To Be Content (Phil. 4:11)

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content (Phil. 4:11)

In the previous verse, Paul, having recently received the gift delivered by Epaphroditus, rejoiced in the Lord that the Philippians’ care for him had flourished again (4:10). Although the church loved the apostle dearly, it had been about ten years since they were able to send him an offering (cf. vs.15-16). Don’t forget, in those days they couldn’t simply wire the funds to the apostle Paul’s bank account. Not to mention, Paul’s journeys were both frequent and many, which made him a difficult man to locate. Whatever the exact circumstances were Paul said they “lacked opportunity” (vs.10).

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Embracing Contentment While Trusting God’s Providence (Luke 9:4)

In the opening verses of the ninth chapter of Luke’s Gospel we see Jesus calling, equipping and commissioning His apostles to minister to the cities and towns of Galilee (Lk. 9:1-2). After telling them to basically leave and go only with the things they had in their possession in that moment (vs.3), He told them:

“Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.” (vs.4)

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Be Served by Jesus; Serve Others in Jesus’ Name

Jesus told His disciples “I am among you as One who serves” (Lk 22:27).

His public ministry was just that, about three years of public service, three years of preaching and teaching, three years of healing and doing good; and His ultimate act of service was the ultimate act of self-sacrifice, when He bore the wrath of God on our behalf on the cross. That is part of the uniqueness of the Christian Gospel: God has done the most glorious act of service imaginable! He paid the debt and secured salvation for all who would believe! The message is not: ‘Serve God and perhaps He will be pleased enough to let you into Heaven’, it is rather: “Believe that you cannot give God the service He deserves; believe that you have failed to give God the service He deserves; and receive the service of the Son who gave His life as a ransom for many as your only hope of salvation.”

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Focus in Prayer

I have found that a common experience among Christians, myself included, is fighting to stay focused in times of prayer. Have you been there? Perhaps you were there this morning. You know, the times where it seems like to-do lists of things that need to get done come to your mind and you wonder, “Why am I thinking of those things right now?” Or, as you move from one sentence to another or from one request to another, it feels surprisingly difficult to keep a steady stream of thought.

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A Little Worship Is Really Not Worship

Up until this point we’ve posted two Daily Teachings with similar titles; one on the subject of Bible-reading and one on the subject of prayer. In both of those cases the idea was the same: a little of either one is much, much better than…nothing. A little bit of Bible reading each day is far better than none. And likewise a little bit of prayer each day is far better than none. That, however, is not the case with worship.  A little worship would not compromise true worship.

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