Revive Me #39– Be Content

Revive Me, Week 39–A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Be Content

Discontentment keeps us from being satisfied.

  • The job you were thankful to land is no longer good enough.
  • Stay-at-home moms resent being stuck at home.
  • Moms who work outside the home grumble about never having enough time to get things done at home.
  • Preachers’ wives and elders’ wives resent the demands on their time or the time their husband gives to others.
  • Bible class teachers resent being stuck in the same classroom for years.

What once were viewed as blessings or opportunities to serve can become sources of disgruntlement!  Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we are God’s people and that should satisfy us (Psa. 65:4; Prov. 19:23).

Discontentment blinds us to the blessings found in Christ.

  • Hope and glory (Eph. 1:18)
  • Grace (2 Cor. 9:8)
  • Strength (Eph. 3:16)
  • Love and fullness (Eph. 3:17-19)
  • Might (Eph. 1:19)
  • Peace (Phil. 4:7)

Those who are focused on self find the flaws and see only inadequacies.  Even these blessings are no longer good enough.  Contentment reflects a heart that focuses on God’s blessings and trusts Him with the rest.

Discontentment is a sign of a weakened spiritual state.  In the passages that command us to be content, we see a direct correlation between our level of contentment and our relationship with God.

  • Heb. 13:5- Make sure your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He himself has said, “I will never desert you nor will I forsake you.”  Contentment is based on God’s promise to be with us.  He will never turn His back on us, and that should be enough.
  • Phil. 4:11- I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  How could Paul do that?  By relying on Christ’s strength (v. 13).  Discontentment happens when we try to rely on our own strength.
  • 1 Tim. 6:6ff- Godliness with contentment is great gain…If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.  Paul goes on to write that those who long for more have wandered away from the faith.

Be content.  Who are you most drawn to…those who find fault and are never satisfied or those who are grateful and content?  When we choose to be content, we lift up the cross and draw others to Christ (John 12:32).  When we give in to discontentment, we keep the world from seeing the blessings of being in Christ (Rom. 10:12).

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:

Who forgives all your iniquities

Who heals all your diseases

Who redeems your life from destruction

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies

Who satisfies you with good things.

–Psalm 103:2-5

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  List the blessings found in these verses:  Rom. 15:13; Eph. 1:7,8; 2:7; 3:20; Psa. 119:165
  2.  If discontentment has taken root in your heart, determine the cause.  Have you become self-absorbed?  Have you allowed bitterness to color your thinking?  Are you caught up in the world’s mindset of always wanting more?
  3.  Read Rom. 12:2.  How is this verse tied to contentment?
  4.  As a parent or grandparent, focus this week on teaching contentment.  Be mindful of ways you might be inadvertently encouraging discontentment.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Revive Me #38–Don’t Let Satan

Revive Me, Week 38– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Don’t Let Satan

Have you ever mishandled a situation and ended up hurting someone’s feelings?

Have you ever given bad advice that turned a minor incident into full-out drama?

Have you ever felt inadequate to the task or overwhelmed by your responsibilities?

Have you ever felt too immature?  Have you ever wondered when you’ll gain the wisdom that’s supposed to come with age and experience?

And have you ever had one of those weekends where you felt ALL of those things at once?

If you’re anything like me, perhaps you then start wanting to retreat.  That’s it…I quit.  I’m obviously not the right person for the job.  What was I thinking?  When those types of thoughts start swirling around, we need to remember the source.  How does the song go?  “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.  Don’t let Satan…..”

Of course we’re going to make mistakes and demonstrate immaturity or lack of wisdom.  When those less than stellar moments happen back to back, it can be tempting to walk away.  We might think we’re doing it for the greater good (“Someone else can do a better job”) but we need to remember that sometimes it takes humbling events to catch our attention and cause growth.  Just do better next time.  Learn from it.  Pray for wisdom and spiritual maturity.  When we feel frustrated and idiotic, we have a choice.  We can allow Satan to blow out our light or we can trust God to help us do better next time.

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers (1 Tim. 4:10).

Suggestions for the Week:

1.  If you’ve messed up somehow, do what you can to remedy the situation.  Do you need to ask for forgiveness?  Do you need to consider the big picture?  Do you need to help clean up a mess you’re partly responsible for?

2.  Pray for patience with yourself.  Pray for wisdom.

3.  Don’t indulge in a pity party.

4.  Open the Word.  Study passages that have to do with spiritual maturity and determine to apply them to your life.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Revive Me #37- Fight for Relationships

Revive Me, Week 37– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Fight for Relationships

Perhaps you’ve seen some status posts or memes that convey a “that’s their problem” mentality.  They’ll say things like:

Sometimes you have to move on without certain people.  If they’re meant to be in your life, they’ll catch up.

I’m tired of fighting.  For once I want to be fought for.

Life is short.  Only surround yourself with people who get you.

Relationships are worth fighting for but not if only one is fighting.

These comments are sad, aren’t they?  They reveal a short-sightedness that comes from thinking like the world.  Relationships are worth fighting for.  They’re important to God and should be to us as well.  I’m not talking about relationships that are unwholesome (1 Cor. 15:33).  I’m talking about:

  • Being willing to swallow our pride to work through hurt feelings with a sister in Christ
  • Drumming up the courage to form friendships with our neighbors
  • Continuing to be kind to those who have been thoughtless or mean
  • Honoring our parents even if they’ve let us down
  • Putting our spouse’s needs before our own, every day
  • Giving ourselves, offering our time, opening our hearts to our church family without burning out or getting huffy if we don’t feel our efforts are being reciprocated

God wants us to fight for good relationships.  He wants US to make the first move to show others we care.  Read Romans 12:9-21.

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Break down Rom. 12:9-21 phrase by phrase.  List a practical way to demonstrate each command.
  2.  Is there a strained relationship in your life?  Have you done your part to work through it?  Pray about it and reach out again.
  3.  Check your heart.  Is pride keeping you from making things right with someone?  Have you been lazy in your efforts to show love?
  4.  Begin to form a new relationship this week.  Choose a neighbor, an elderly person or nursing home resident, a new Christian, etc.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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Revive Me #36- Hug Like You Mean It

Revive Me, Week 36– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord

Hug Like You Mean It

“Let go of whatever it was that turned you into a tentative hugger, and hug like you mean it.”

I’ve been doing too much mindless hugging lately.  When my husband walks in the door, I often hug him but my mind might be elsewhere.  I can be in the middle of hugging a member of my church family but my eyes will be searching for that person I need to talk to.  And I don’t even want to think about how many hugs from my sons I didn’t really focus on.

A couple of things have caused me to think about this:

  1.  The brevity of life (James 4:13-17).  I’ve recently heard of a couple of sudden, unexpected deaths.  I imagine their loved ones are recalling their last interactions with the departed.  They probably want nothing more than to hold them one more time.  When you wish you could hug someone but you can’t, you know the value of a simple hug.  I also know of some who have a loved one entering hospice care.  Surely every hug from now on will be more meaningful, more precious.
  2. The power of a good hug.  I’ve been the recipient of a couple of heartfelt hugs lately, the kind that make me pause and think, “Oh, this is a real hug.”  Real hugs leave me feeling bolstered and loved, as if I just received a gift.  They make me smile say, “thank you!”  They convince me to be more deliberate with my own hugging.

“A hug delights and warms and charms.  That must be why God gave us arms.”

Non-huggers may be cringing at this post.  That’s okay.  You have your own form of greeting and encouraging (a hearty handshake?).  The point of this Revive Me challenge is to remind us to be “all there” when we engage with others.  Smile warmly, look others in the eye, and hug for real.  For some, it may be just the boost they need to keep on keeping on.

Suggestions for the Week:

  1.  Hug the stuffing out of your family members this week.  Give your husband extra doses.  Cherish every child-hug.  And especially hug the elderly in your family.
  2.  Determine to give up distracted greetings.  Give one-on-one attention to each person you meet at worship.
  3.  Go out of your way to hug the unhuggable (not the ones who don’t like hugs…that wouldn’t be very nice).  Look for the insecure, angry, or rebellious.  Help them understand God’s compassion by offering a warm hug.
  4.  Never let a gathering go by where you don’t hug the widows and widowers.  For some of them, it may be the only contact they enjoy during the week.
  5.  Just for fun, do some research into the science of hugging to learn some of the health benefits.

Read it.  Memorize it.  Live it.

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