Monday, May 26, 2003

Edifier du Jour Philippians 4:11-13(NASB)
11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
That last verse is often quoted by people going through a tough stretch. A more secular person might quote Goethe’s “Whatever doesn’t destroy me, makes me stronger,” but here, we know where our strength begins. This isn’t designed as a peaches-and-cream faith, for Paul didn’t get his big house and Lexus after the Road to Damascus. If we were in Paul’s sandals, we’d be saying something like this-“Hey, what’s with this ‘abundant life’ crap? I’ve been in prison more times than I can count, been whipped, beaten up and left for dead, run out of towns by mobs and have to make tents just to make ends meet.” However, if we were truly in Paul’s sandals, we’d have seen Jesus face to face and have a far-closer walk with the Holy Spirit than we do now. That kind of faith can take the tough times and know that God’s got something greater in mind for our modest existence or our times of trouble. It will turn those so-frustrated-you’re-pounding-the-walls days into days of unspeakable joy. This is a verse that the name-it-and-claim-it folks don’t like. The abundant life that God promises is of the Spirit; some of us may have some goodies to go along with it, but those are the fringe benefits of a life in the Kingdom, not the main pay. Be content with what you have; if your reading this, you’ve got access to a computer, and are thus better off than most people. You’re likely a college grad or college student and have the prospect of earning good money in the near future. You’ve likely got above-average intelligence. Also, if you’ve read this far, you’re probably at least seeking God if not born-again already, which is the greatest of the gifts I’ve mentioned. Things should be looking up for you even if you’re unemployed, underemployed or living on student loans and scholarships. Drawing closer to God will allow you to enjoy your modest wealth more and enjoy things that are free a lot more. The Holy Spirit is Life Helper, making your physical wealth go further.

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