Saturday, June 04, 2011

Daily Devotional Saturday 4th June

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"These were potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work."
1 Chronicles 4:23

Potters were the very highest grade of workers, but "the king" needed potters, and therefore they were in royal service, although the material upon which they worked was nothing but clay. We, too, may be engaged in the most menial part of the Lord's work, but it is a great privilege to do anything for "the king"; and therefore we will abide in our calling, hoping that, "although we have lien among the pots, yet shall we be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold." The text tells us of those who dwelt among plants and hedges, having rough, rustic, hedging and ditching work to do. They may have desired to live in the city, amid its life, society, and refinement, but they kept their appointed places, for they also were doing the king's work. The place of our habitation is fixed, and we are not to remove from it out of whim and caprice, but seek to serve the Lord in it, by being a blessing to those among whom we reside. These potters and gardeners had royal company, for they dwelt "with the king" and although among hedges and plants, they dwelt with the king there. No lawful place, or gracious occupation, however mean, can debar us from communion with our divine Lord. In visiting hovels, swarming lodging-houses, workhouses, or jails, we may go with the king. In all works of faith we may count upon Jesus' fellowship. It is when we are in his work that we may reckon upon his smile. Ye unknown workers who are occupied for your Lord amid the dirt and wretchedness of the lowest of the low, be of good cheer, for jewels have been found upon dunghills ere now, earthen pots have been filled with heavenly treasure, and ill weeds have been transformed into precious flowers. Dwell ye with the King for his work, and when he writes his chronicles your name shall be recorded.

Evening

"He humbled himself."
Philippians 2:8

Jesus is the great teacher of lowliness of heart. We need daily to learn of him. See the Master taking a towel and washing his disciples' feet! Follower of Christ, wilt thou not humble thyself? See him as the Servant of servants, and surely thou canst not be proud! Is not this sentence the compendium of his biography, "He humbled himself"? Was he not on earth always stripping off first one robe of honour and then another, till, naked, he was fastened to the cross, and there did he not empty out his inmost self, pouring out his life-blood, giving up for all of us, till they laid him penniless in a borrowed grave? How low was our dear Redeemer brought! How then can we be proud? Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple drops by which you have been cleansed; see the thorn-crown; mark his scourged shoulders, still gushing with encrimsoned rills; see hands and feet given up to the rough iron, and his whole self to mockery and scorn; see the bitterness, and the pangs, and the throes of inward grief, showing themselves in his outward frame; hear the thrilling shriek, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it: if you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus, you do not know him. You were so lost that nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God's only begotten. Think of that, and as Jesus stooped for you, bow yourself in lowliness at his feet. A sense of Christ's amazing love to us has a greater tendency to humble us than even a consciousness of our own guilt. May the Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary, then our position will no longer be that of the pompous man of pride, but we shall take the humble place of one who loves much because much has been forgiven him. Pride cannot live beneath the cross. Let us sit there and learn our lesson, and then rise and carry it into practice.

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Aholiab

[Ăhō'liăb], AHOLAH [Ā ho'lah], AHOLIBAH [Ăhŏlĭbah], AHOLIBAMAH [Ăhŏl ibā'mah] - a tent. These names in the A.V. are also given in the RV as Oholah - her own tent; Oholiab - a father's tent; Oholibah - my tent is in her; Oholibamah - tent of high place.

  1. A Danite, appointed by God to work with Bezaleel in the erection of the Tabernacle (Exod. 31:6; 35:34; 36:1, 2; 38:23).
  2. A chief who sprang from Esau ( Gen. 36:41; 1 Chron. 1:52).
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Today's reading: 2 Chronicles 19-20, John 13:21-38 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Chronicles 19-20

1 When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, 2 Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is on you. 3 There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God...."

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 13:21-38

21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me."

22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means."

25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?"

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P31Header
Micca Campbell

June 3, 2011

The Secret of Contentment
Micca Monda Campbell

"...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11b (NIV)

Have you ever noticed how over-extending yourself tends to bring unwanted pressure into your life?

Sometimes I think we busy ourselves in order to gain more, find acceptance among peers, land a better position, and gain riches of all kinds. Perhaps we live under the illusion that having such riches is what makes a person complete, content, and deliriously happy. Yet, when we discover that's not the case, we're left feeling empty and discontent.

Contentment and security are not found in career titles or in the kind of car we own. The logo on our car only tells others what kind of car we drive - not who we are. True satisfaction, in its purest form, is found in the wealth of who God is and the riches He graciously lavishes upon us.

Recently God's been showing me that when I constantly want more than He has given me, it reflects a heart that is discontent. It's like I'm telling God, "I'm not satisfied with what You have provided for me. I want more."

In wanting more, I place undo pressure on myself in an attempt to get what God hasn't provided. Naturally, anxiety is the result when I focus on things other than God and His will for my life.

The pressure to have more and do more can lead us down paths we never intended. In our attempt to fill the vacuum of our empty souls, we discover that external luxury is only a cheap substitution for spiritual wholeness. As our key verse points out, Paul knew the secret of finding contentment. "...for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

Take note that Paul wrote these words in a high stress situation as he sat in jail awaiting a verdict for a crime he didn't commit. I don't know if I could find contentment if I were in his sandals. I would probably strum my wooden cage with a rock singing pitifully, "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen. Nobody knows my sorrow." Finding contentment doesn't mean we have to like our current situation, but it may require an appreciation for it. Let me explain.

Paul learned that the fruit of contentment is developed when we are thankful for what God has provided whether we like it or not. That's because peace isn't the absence of pressure. It's the presence of God and our attitude toward His provision in the midst of our stress. By expressing gratitude, Paul experienced richness of being, not having.

You may be in a hard place right now and you're longing for freedom. Maybe you're in a job that feels like a dead end; perhaps you have two of them! It may be that you live in a space too small for your family and you hate it. You're not where you planned or hoped to be and you certainly don't like it.

The truth is, we don't have to like where we are or what we have, but if we will choose to thank God for His provisions regardless of our feelings toward them, we'll experience the same contentment Paul encountered.

Being thankful doesn't mean that God will eventually remove us from our situation. He may; He may not. Rather, being appreciative sets us free from the desire to have and lets us rest in the riches of contentment. And when we reach a place of contentment, we don't need earthly riches galore.

God becomes our greatest treasure. In Him, we have everything we need.

Dear Lord, I'm grateful for what You've provided for me. Fill me with Your peace so that I may be truly content in Your blessings. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Micca's blog and enter to win her giveaway!

Today's devotion was taken from Micca's book, An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than All Your Fears

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voscamp

The Most Powerful Two-Word Prayer (DVD) by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
Instead of focusing on what God has not provided, make a list of what He has. Then, thank God for His provision.

Reflections:
Does my heart always long for more than what God has provided?

If so, why and what do I need to do to find contentment?

Power Verses:
Psalm 103:1-5, "Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." (NIV)

© 2011 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

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