Sunday, June 05, 2005


Hebrews 13:5 (New Living Translation)

5 “Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,
"I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.”

One of the hallmarks of our time is dissatisfaction. It shows especially in the way we mount earthly treasures, hoping that they will bring us satisfaction. It seems, though, that each new “thing” brings only a desire for something bigger, better.

Just recently I saw a piece on NBC news about a growing trend for families to now own second homes. These aren’t cottages mind you. And the owners of these new homes are Hollywood superstars; they’re what sociologists now call the “average” American.

What need fuels this? Why would a family “need” a second home? I’m sure if folks were asked they would find the rationale to justify it all. Strip the façade away, though, and I believe there’s a root of dissatisfaction that fuels it all.

It’s difficult to be content in America these days. Amazing! Here, in the midst of the most affluent society in history, dissatisfaction reigns.

Sadly, this is all too often true of American Christianity. The words of those who came before us seem almost quaint when we hear or read them:

Philippians 4:11-13 (New Living Translation)

11 “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. 12I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”

Dig a bit deeper and I’m convinced that we’d find fear at the heart of it all. We’re afraid we might lose out or that we might lose something. Even worse, we’re afraid we might lose everything.

Oswald Chambers, in his “Devotions for Morning and Evening,” spoke to this fear. I hope that his words will find a place in you this Sunday morning:

The Never-Failing God

For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:5)

“What line does my thought take? “Does it turn to what God says or to what I fear? Am I learning to say not what God says, but to say something after I have heard what He says? He hat said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

“I will in no wise fail thee” – not for all my sin and selfishness and stubbornness and waywardness. Have I really let God say to me that He will never fail me? If I have listened to this say-so of God, then let me listen again.”

“Neither will I in any wise forsake thee.” Sometimes it is not difficulty that makes me think God will forsake me, but drudgery. There is no Hill Difficulty to climb, no vision given, nothing wonderful or beautiful, just the commonplace day in and day out – can I hear God’s say so in these things?”

“We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing that He is preparing and fitting us for some extraordinary thing by and by, but as we go on in grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, in the present minute. If we have God’s say-so behind us, the most amazing strength comes, and we learn to sing in the ordinary days and ways.”

Contentment! It’s all about contentment!

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