Contentment and Aspiration

Man relaxed on a couch at home

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” – 1st Timothy 6:6

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” – Proverbs 29:18

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in
Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

Godliness with contentment is great gain. However, contentment without aspiration is destructive. Contentment without aspiration yields grandiose mediocrity. It is the mother of regression and could be the worst enemy of productivity.

I give God praise for where I am today. I am content. I am very content. But see: contentment does not mean I do not have aspirations. Paul said, he forgets the things behind him, and presses forward. That is aspiration! He was content but he was always
aspiring.

Religion would have us think that contentment and aspiration are mutually exclusive, but the bible shows us that we need both. We need to be content where we are – in our being, but we need to have a vision. Why, without vision, contentment would mean destruction. It would become complacency.

If you are in debt, you should aspire to get out of debt. If you are sick, you should see yourself getting out of that wheel chair or just getting better.  If you have destructive habits, you should aspire to get out of those bad habits. You need to see yourself strong, well, free and productive.

Where there is no aspiration, vision is unheard of and productivity is ridiculed. Where there is no aspiration, the people are simply robbed of dignity and honour. They perish.

Friends, I thank God for your career, your family and every good thing in you life. But I want you to know that if you are not doing well right now, you can do well. If you are doing well already, you can do even better. The key is in vision. Let a desire for creativity,
productivity and success permeate your thinking. Step out and begin to live those dreams of yours and you will see honour and dignity flowing out from within you and flourishing in your life.

I am content, but I raise my head to see ahead. There are more adventures ahead. There is more to be done. There are lives to be touched, things to be invented and businesses to build. Oh, there is the good news to be shared. Wow! The future has never been brighter.

(This article was first publishedPastor Moses on July 9, 2002)

Advertisements

Are You Addicted?

Start lineThe word ‘addict’ is a verb which means “to occupy (oneself) with or involve (oneself) in something habitually or compulsively.” (American Heritage® Dictionary)

People have addictions of all kinds to the agony of their loved ones. Many are desperate for relief from the compulsive need for whatever substance or habit that binds them.

Here is the good news: there is deliverance in Christ Jesus and there is yet another kind of addiction – addiction to God – that brings righteousness, peace and joy. It brings a high which is not an illusion but a very present reality.

I heard someone say “there is no high like the Most High.” It may sound like a cliché, but the statement is true.

Apostle Paul once wrote:

“In all these things we are more than conquerors… For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35-39.

Apostle Paul had become compulsively occupied with God so much that nothing could shake him. He was not just “checking it out,” “tasting it,” or “giving God a chance.” No! He was compulsively occupied with God. He had no more inhibition left. He was all out for God.

God had possessed Him. God had filled Paul’s spirit, soul and body. He had become one indissoluble union with God in Christ Jesus. Paul’s reality can be yours today.

Paul was a true example of what it means to be addicted to God. It is when you are so occupied with Him that nothing can unhinge you.

Addiction to God is not a temporary escape from the sorrows and tribulations of the world. It is a masterful dominion over situations and circumstances.

“… in all these things, we are more than conqueror.”

It is not a temporary “high.” It is an abiding reality.

It is not a drive to achieve something. It is simply living the achieved life.

It is not addiction to religion, church or creed. It is a complete dependence on God Himself.

This is where true fulfillment lies. It is where satisfaction is guaranteed. When man ceases to be just another man, and together with God becomes one indissoluble union.

This is an addiction to be sought after by all. When you have it, then you have it all. Then you can truly say with the scriptures, “all things are mine” (1st Corinthians 3:21-23).

Friends, this is where the true Christian experience begins, when you become so occupied with God that all of you is God and all of God is you; when you become one with Him in your spirit, soul and body; when you move beyond the occasional taste of His presence into a conscious occupation and involvement with Him.

All this is made yours simply by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, accepting and relying on Him and His complete work for you on the cross. Then you can say with Paul:

“…I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35-39.

You can then answer my question with certitude, “I am addicted to Jesus.”

Having Christ Satisfies Me

Having Christ satisfies me
The longing of my heart is satisfied
For I know the saviour, I’ve found
Now, my identity is revealed blameless in Christ
My nature is changed. I have a new name

Having Christ restores me
My thirst is forever quenched
For in my saviour life-giving waters I find
And though I’ve traveled weary lands
I have found true rest in knowing You

Having Christ quiets me
The turmoil in my mind has ceased
For the rest in Christ, words cannot describe
Now out of the tempest storms I have come
To find this peace that quiets my soul

Having Christ fills me
With joy, life, love, and fullness
For my search for fulfillment has ceased
And looking into His face, a reflection I see
Of whom I am and of whom I am created to be

©2003 Pastor Moses

My Contemplation

Man relaxed on a couch at homeAs I lay quietly on my bed
My mind awash with Your majesty
I scarce can explain
My wonder at Your mercy and love

As I contemplate the reason
My saviour died on my behalf
I am lost for words
My awe defies expressions

The majesty of my Master and Friend
Outweighs the grandest of earthly royalty
Yet, He loved me enough
To take a lowly form to save me

The Creator of the universe
Suffered shame and bore my sins
He endured grandiose mediocrity
That in Him I may reign in life

And this is where my story begins
Not in my own acumen
But in Your unfading grace
That took me from sin into newness of life

And as I lay down in my bed
My contemplation is of gratitude
For the One who loved me
And gave Himself for me.

©2008 Pastor Moses A.

3 Things Faith Makes Possible

Woman with bible

When you were born into this life, you took a breath of oxygen and have continued to do so non-stop since then. In the same manner, the Christian is born again by faith, and must, of a necessity, live his life by faith. This is why it is important for every Christian to understand the role of faith and how to properly apply it in our lives.

In my study of faith, I can articulate 3 distinct things that faith makes possible:

1. By Faith, We Please God

“For without faith, it is impossible to please God…”

(Hebrews 11:6)

Many of the things we desire and pursue in life, may be possible without having faith. Let’s take for example, someone in financial trouble may work hard to make more money, or work smart to make even more money. He may beg for money or steal it! He can do all of those things without having faith. In fact, there is only one thing that you cannot do without faith – and that is, you cannot please God without faith.

In discussing choices about diet options, Paul even says, “…whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” (Rom. 14:23).

You may ask, “am I supposed to live every facet of my life by faith.” The answer is “yes.” Just as you breathe oxygen everywhere you go, as a believer, you live by faith.

2. Through Faith, We Understand the Works of God

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear”

(Hebrews 11:3)

God created the heavens and the earth. He made the plan of redemption after sin entered humanity. God made His covenant with Abraham, established the nation of Israel and sent the Messiah through them. Christ lived, preached, healed the sick, worked miracles and raised the dead. Christ then took our place on the cross, died, was buried and rose again on the third day. He ascended to heaven, and sent us the Holy Spirit.

All of those and more, are some of the works of God. We understand them through faith.

“Understand? Through faith?”

I know it sounds incredulous. However, let me emphasize that the things of God are closed off to the natural man, who is not breathing the oxygen of a faith life. The bible says:

“But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

(1 Corinthians 2:14)

This is why I am puzzled when churches make it their mandate to speak only in terms that natural men can understand. They are robbing their congregations of an understanding of the works of God at a depth where it can really impact them. Anyone teaching believers the Word of God must “…speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining (or comparing/explaining) spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” (2 Cor. 2:13).

3. By Faith, We Operate the Works of God

After experiencing the miracles of Jesus when He fed the five thousand with a young boy’s five loaves of bread and two fish, the crowd of people came looking for Him. One question stood out in the ensuring discussion. The crowd asked Jesus:

“…’what shall we do that we may work (or operate) the works of God.'” (John 6:28).

It is evident that the crowd saw a supernatural act and were inquisitive enough to seek to know how to operate in it for themselves. The answer of Jesus Christ is true then as it is now:

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent.'” (John 6:29).

This is the work of God: that you believe! That you believe on Jesus.

Jesus gave them the answer. The supernatural works of God – as we see it in the ministry of Jesus Christ – is accessible by exercising faith in the gift of God, Jesus Christ Himself.

Paul, in his rebuke of the Galatian Christians, chided them for embracing the law, abandoning faith and grace. He asked them a number of rhetoric questions, including this: “So then, does He who… works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?” (Gal. 3:5). This fact was obvious to the Galatians, and should be to you too: miracles are worked when faith is preached and heard.

Peter and John in Acts 3 said the man who was crippled from birth healed at the beautiful gate of the temple was healed through faith in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:1-16).

Many Christians ask, “why we don’t see miracles today like in the Acts of the Apostles?” Here is my answer: we see as much miracles today as we have demonstrated faith for. Read the New TestamentIf you and I would see more works of God, then we must exercise faith. However, it is important to remember:

“faith comes by hearing and hearing by  the Word of God.” (Rom. 10:17).

The Primary Role of Faith

Glorious Wooden CrossIt is possible to live a long, prosperous and healthy life without having faith. It is possible to have a wonderful marriage and award-winning, well-adjusted children without having faith. It is possible to be sick and recover without having faith. It is possible to be poor and then become rich without having faith. People have done all of these things without ever having faith. However, the scripture is clear the one thing that is impossible without faith.

“For without faith it is impossible to please God.” – Hebrews 11:6

There you have it: it is impossible. Without faith, we CANNOT please God.

I was under the impression that every believer has this understanding as the number one driver of motives and actions. I thought so until I was rudely awakened when I saw fellow Christians quit believing God because of something bad that happened: their spouse left them, they lost a job, a loved one died, they got sick or whatever else. It appears to me that their motivation for faith was lacking an understanding of the primary role of faith, which is to please God.

We are designed to please God and in fact, we find our fulfillment in doing what we are designed to do. However, you cannot really please Him apart from faith. The Hebrews 11 passage in context reads:

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

– Hebrews 11:5-6

Enoch had this testimony, that he pleased God. That is what our life is designed to be – to please God. Again, it is in doing what we are designed to do that we find fulfillment.

This makes understanding faith, its role in the life of a believer and how it works, of paramount importance if you would execute a victorious and successful Christian life.

Every teaching we, and other teachers of faith, have taught on the subject of faith and how to believe God for stuff, is predicated on the expectation that every believer starts out, and is founded, on this truth as a bedrock principle to live by.

To live a life that is worthy of the divine declaration, “this is My well beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” is a work of grace receivable by faith.

For a believer in Christ to pursue life apart from a desire, an orientation, and a daily walk to please God is to make a shipwreck of one’s faith.

A Love Poem for Everyday (Including Valentine’s Day)

Red Silk Ribbon In Heart Shape On White Background

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins…We love him, because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:10, 19 (KJV, The Bible)

We love Him (God) because He first loved us. Those are powerful truthful words with eternal ramifications. God was the instigator of our love relationship and love covenant. We are the recipients and reciprocators of His matchless love. Even then, He is the one who enables us to love Him back.

I was driving down the highway last night listening to the rendering of a famous hymn, My Jesus, I Love Thee, by my friend, Derrick Drover. As I listened, I could feel the love of Christ stirring up within me as I sing along and pray in the Spirit.

The song was a poem by a 16 year-old William Ralph Featherston, over 150 years ago. The words of the songs are just as powerful today.

Since, it’s Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share this love song with you. Here is a link to Derrick Drover singing the song: My Jesus, I Love Thee

– Derrick Drover.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

My Jesus, I Love Thee

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

William Ralph Featherston, 1864