Learning to be Content

#Contentment #PrayerFasting #unity #grace #fruitfulness #ministry #calling #gift #oneness

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Wednesday, 31st March 2021

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Prayer and Fasting for Church and Leadership – Day 15 of 40

Focus Passage for the Week: Ephesians 4:11-16

The Passion Translation

11 And he has appointed some with grace to be apostles, and some with grace to be prophets, and some with grace to be evangelists,[a] and some with grace to be pastors,[b] and some with grace to be teachers.[c] 12 And their calling is to nurture and prepare all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry, and as they do this they will enlarge and build up the body of Christ. 13 These grace ministries will function until we all attain oneness into the faith, until we all experience the fullness of what it means to know the Son of God,[d] and finally we become one into a perfect man[e] with the full dimensions of spiritual maturity and fully developed into the abundance of Christ.

14 And then our immaturity will end! And we will not be easily shaken by trouble, nor led astray by novel teachings or by the false doctrines of deceivers[f] who teach clever lies. 15 But instead we will remain strong and always sincere in our love as we express the truth. All our direction and ministries will flow from Christ and lead us deeper into him, the anointed Head of his body, the church.

16 For his “body” has been formed in his image and is closely joined together and constantly connected as one. And every member has been given divine gifts to contribute to the growth of all; and as these gifts operate effectively throughout the whole body, we are built up and made perfect in love.

Prayer: Father, we desire oneness amongst your body of believers. We desire equipping and manifestation of the gifts You so lavishly endowed us with. We pray today and always that our desires shall not be cut short but rather, it shall be established so that Your Church can be built and the gate of hell shall not be able to prevail against it. Thank You for unity amongst brethren, thank You for unity amongst leadership. Thank You for unity amongst family members. Thank you for maturity as we represent You well in oneness of faith amongst the heathen so that they will be drawn to Your kingdom because of the love we have for one another in Jesus name, amen.

Title:  Learning to be Content

Learning to be Content
Learning to be Content

Philippians 4:11-13

The Passion Translation

11 I’m not telling you this because I’m in need, for I have learned to be satisfied in any circumstance.[a] 12–13 I know what it means to lack,[b] and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.[

Nothing in this life can bring a greater sense of joy and fulfillment than your family. At the same time, however, family life can be filled with the disappointment of unmet expectations.

When the flame of romance dies, marriage becomes less exciting. When the kids rebel, parental pride sours into the pain of rejection. When Dad’s office hours increase and Mom pile of laundry grows, the joys of companionship are over shadowed by the pressures of modern living.  Disappointment can quickly replace the sense of satisfaction we desire.

How do we maintain our joy despite unmet expectations?

How do we balance the hope of ideal family life with the reality of daily grind?

Is it possible to achieve contentment when are deepest longings are unfulfilled?

The apostle Paul shared some key insights about fulfillment in life regardless of our circumstances.  Imprisoned in Rome for the crime of sharing his faith, Paul revealed the secret of contentment. He said that he had learned to be content in every situation. He had experienced poverty and wealth, going hungry and eating well, the praise of people and the stones of an angry mob. He had endured both good and bad, maintaining a deep sense of satisfaction throughout.

What was his secret?

1) First, Paul did not depend upon other people or circumstances for his satisfaction.

The word contentment in this passage comes from a compound word that suggests self-sufficiency. In other words, we can find contentment apart from external factors primarily due to the sense of purpose and identity we experience in our relationship with God. If we depend on a mate to meet our emotional needs, we will be disappointed no matter how hard he or she tries.  If we tie our identity to well behaved and loving children, we will face disillusionment when they rebel. If our standard of living must reach a certain level before we can be happy, we will never arrive. According to Paul contentment does not come from such external factors.

2) Second, Paul said that he had learned to be content in every situation not with every situation.

There is a vast difference between being fulfilled in spite of circumstances and pretending that the bad things in our life are pleasant. If your marriage is falling apart, seek counseling to improve it. if your children misbehave, discipline them. If your job pays to little for a decent lifestyle, seek a better one. Don’t confuse contentment with either complacency or denial. Seek to improve your circumstances while not letting them undermine your sense of peace and contentment. Finally, Paul had confidence that he could endure anything through his dependence on Christ. In this context, we can understand Paul’s intended message: We can cope with any circumstances that come our way if we are self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. We are able to endure anything, not in our own strength, but in the confidence of our relationship to the lord. No matter who may hurt us, he will be there to comfort us. Regardless of what may go wrong, he will work good out of it.

Despite the disappointment of unmet expectations, he offers us the ability to experience contentment in less than ideal circumstances. We can endure anything through his provision.

Learned contentment is fundamental to long term family commitment and fulfillment. Once we find contentment apart from relationships, our relationships improve. We no longer look to our mate or children to meet our needs rather we seek to meet the needs of others. When we are content regardless of circumstances, circumstances no longer dictate our level of joy.

We can then work to improve the bad things without relying upon improvement for our happiness. Contentment frees us to pursue the best in life with the right attitude. Don’t allow the mundane or the frantic to rob you of a joyful family life. Don’t let the hope of “someday’’ distract you from the blessings of today. Trust in the Lord when circumstances don’t cooperate with your plans. Learned contentment is the key to satisfaction and success in family life.

DIGGING DEEPER

  1. What lessons do we learn from Christ’s teachings about being content with our financial situation? See Matthew 6: 19-34.
  2. Who is the ultimate source of our happiness? Hebrews 13:5-6 help us put our desires into perspective.

Thank you Kurt!

Amb. Monday Ogbe Author page : https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B07MSBPFNX

Link To New Book release: https://www.otakada.org/new-book-release/

Have a blessed and awesome week in Him as always!

Shalom!

Amb. Monday O. Ogbe

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