Let your conversation be without covetousness;
and be content with such things as ye have:
for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
My level of contentment will be directly proportionate to my measure of confidence in the perpetual presence of the risen Christ within me. God wants me to understand that my life does not relate to how much money or how many things I have, nor to the providential circumstances of life in which I might currently find myself. Rather, it must be in direct relationship to the personal and intimate relationship that I have with Jesus Christ.
As I look at the entrance of this new year, it is overwhelmingly clear to me that it pleases God that I be content. After all, my peace and contentment have been eternally established when God saved me by grace, through faith.
The eternal and unchangeable result of that is that I am complete in Him, according to Colossians 2:8. It is only as I make the unbiblical switch in my own thinking that I become focused more on what I have. or who I am, than Who Christ is. That kind of a mindset is idolatrous and is in opposition to an intimate walk of confident trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, in 1 Peter 1:9, Peter said when I forget the work of grace that God has done, I am blind and cannot see. Paul told Timothy, in 2 Timothy 3:2, that the last days would be characterized by covetousness and unthankfulness, the predictable results of becoming dissatisfied with the perfect ways of God.
The old nature habit pattern of self-centered covetousness must be overridden by the new nature habit pattern of contentment with His sovereign and perfect ways. Only then will a concern and care for others overflow from my love for God. That biblical replacement and restructure will provide for a walk in the Spirit that will accurately demonstrate Christ to a lost and dying world. Both my focus and my function need to be oriented toward God and others, according to the two great commandments listed in Matthew 22:37-39.
How am I doing? Am I selfishly coveting things, influence, prestige, honor, health or relationships? Or, conversely, am I wholly content with the perfect ways of my gracious God, selflessly pleasing God and profiting others eternally? After all, He has clearly stated His commitment in Jeremiah 29:11 when He said,
For I know the thoughts I think toward you,
saith the Lord,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil,
to give you an expected end.
(C)1992, 2014 N. A. Collins
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