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NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU
- Heb 13:5 "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5 is a well-known verse, but the portion above is not the whole
verse. The full verse is:
- Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have,
because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT
- 1 Tim 6:3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound
instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited
and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and
quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil
suspicions 5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been
robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. 6
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the
world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we
will be content with that. 9 People who want to get rich fall into
temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men
into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of
evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced
themselves with many griefs. 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and
pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight
the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were
called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses...17
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put
their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who
richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do
good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In
this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the
coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
A Roman Catholic priest who had heard the confessions of thousands of people
over the years said that he heard people confess most every kind of sin -
including adultery and even murder - but never the sin of covetousness.
Covetousness is idolatry:
- Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon
the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence,
and covetousness, which is idolatry: (KJV)
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
The following is an excerpt from a newsletter received from Liberty Life:
- There is a famous story about author Joseph Heller attending a party given by a
billionaire. Another illustrious author, Kurt Vonnegut, informed Heller that the
host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had
ever earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22. Heller responded: "Yes, but
I have something he will never have: 'enough'."
What Heller is talking about is knowing what really brings you happiness. No
matter how much we accumulate, there will always be someone who has more. We
need to be thankful for what we already have - a job, a home, friends, family,
and food on the table. The idea of "enough" is worth thinking about as we go
into the festive season. This is a time where we often feel pressure to spend
and accumulate more "things". We feel bad if we can't give our loved ones the
gifts they want and often feel obliged to buy gifts for other people so we
appear generous. Perhaps we should focus more on generosity of spirit, on giving
of our time rather than from our credit cards.
the book How Much is enough? Arun Abey & Andrew Ford talk about the importance
of both financial and personal planning. At some stage in your financial
planning, you need to ask yourself how much money is enough, how much time with
your family is enough, how much time to pursue your passions is enough and how
you can balance all this to achieve a true sense of fulfilment. This is as
important as asking how much you need to be saving because saving is the
flip-side of spending. Does all that "stuff" you spend your money on actually
bring you happiness? We tend to buy things to fill our home that do not bring us
any real joy beyond the few minutes we spend actually buying them. We may find
saving for a dream far more emotionally satisfying.
I recently came across an article in Time that really brought the "stuff" we
accumulate into perspective. In the article, organizational consultant Peter
Walsh says "It's not necessarily about the new pots and pans but the idea of the
cosy family meals that they will provide. People are finding that their homes
are full of stuff, but their lives are littered with unfulfilled promises." Take
a moment when you are with your family and friends to discuss what exactly it is
that brings you happiness, whether you have "enough" and what "enough" means to
you. You may be surprised by their answers as well as yours. Our wish to you
this festive season is that you find the time to fulfil your promises and that
you start the year with "enough". 
definition of Contentment:
- the state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of
Bible Dictionary definition of Contentment:
- a state of mind in which one's desires are confined to his lot whatever it may
be (1 Tim. 6:6; 2 Cor. 9:8). 
At this Christmas time, when many people spend too much and January is a
lean month, it is good to be reminded that there are things that money can't
buy. N.B. It cannot buy contentment.
Satisfaction has to do with our desires being met. Sadly many Christians do not
deal with their sinful, selfish desires and so remain dissatisfied and
discontent. With regards to God they seek the gift and not the giver. Benjamin
Franklin (one of the Founding Fathers of the USA, author, printer, inventor and
statesman) said, "Contentment makes poor men rich.
Discontentment makes rich men poor."
are things you need that you can do nothing about. But there are needs of others
that you can do something about.
- Acts 20:35 ... remembering the words the Lord
Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'
We can't call
ourselves poor - we don't know what poverty is. Did you go to sleep hungry last
night? Do you have no roof over your head and no clothes to wear?
Contentment has to do with thankfulness. We take for granted our health
and our ability to walk, hear and see. Fanny Crosby wrote over 8000 hymns
including "Blessed Assurance", "He Hideth My Soul", "Near The Cross", "Tell Me
The Story of Jesus" and "To God Be The Glory". She was blinded when only six
weeks old by a country doctor who prescribed hot mustard poultices to be applied
to her eyes, which destroyed her sight completely! It was later learned that the
man was not qualified to practice medicine .
Yet her indomitable attitude soon manifested itself and at eight year of age she
wrote this poem:
- "Oh, what a happy soul am I!
Although I cannot see,
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I shall be.
How many blessings I enjoy
That other people don't.
To weep and sigh because I'm blind
I cannot and I won't!"
Helen Keller who went blind and deaf due to an illness when
only 19 months old, said:
- "Everything has its wonders,
even darkness and
and I learn whatever state I am in,
therin to be content".
Keller, an American author, political activist, and lecturer, was the first deaf
blind person to earn a BA degree. Another
famous quote of hers is on the base of the monument in Washington put up in her
- "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even
touched - they must be felt with the heart."
CONTENTMENT IN GOD
Aren't you blessed? Aren't I?
evangelical writer and minister John MacArthur said, "The antidote for
covetousness is contentment. The two are in opposition. Whereas the covetous,
greedy person worships himself, the contented person worships God. Contentment
comes from trusting God."
- C.S. Lewis,
Christian apologist and author of "The Chronicles of Narnia", wrote: "There are
two kinds of people. Those who say to God, 'Thy will be done'. And those to whom
God says, 'Alright then, have it your way'".
- Watchman Nee said, "Actually, only God can satisfy a
Christian's heart; man cannot."
- John Piper, Baptist preacher and author says,
"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied with him."
- A.B. Simpson, Canadian
preacher and founder of "The Christian and Missionary Alliance" said "When you
become satisfied with God everything else so loses it's charm, that he can give
it to us without harm."
When Christians find contentment in the Lord, they will
be content with whatever they have.
Content with food and clothing
- 1 Tim 6:8 But
if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Content with their
- Luke 3:14 Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He
replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely - be content with
Content in any circumstance
- Phil 4:10 I rejoice
greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed,
you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not
saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the
circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have
plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do
everything through him who gives me strength.
Notice that everyone was not
concerned about Paul's need except the Philippian church (Phil 4:14-20)
Contentment goes beyond money and possessions. D.L. Moody
said, "There are many of us willing to give great things for the Lord, but few
of us willing to do little things."
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) Martin Luther King Jr.
was a clergyman and prominent leader in the African American civil rights
movement. He said:
- "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep
streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or
Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of
heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did
his job well."
In 1957 Fortune magazine named Paul Getty the richest living
American. At his death, he was worth more than $2 billion. When a reporter asked
him, "How much money is enough?" he is reputed to have said, "Just one dollar
Francois Fenelon (a French Roman Catholic archbishop, theologian, poet
and writer) said:
- "Mankind, by the perverse depravity of their nature, esteem
that which they have most desired as of no value the moment it is possessed, and
torment themselves with fruitless wishes for that which is beyond their reach."
JUST A LITTLE MORE
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
considered, by some as the greatest Victorian preacher, said:
- "You say, 'If I
had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are
not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled."
You can only keep what you give away. The great German reformer Martin Luther
- "I have held many things in my
hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that
I still possess."
Christian mystic, Madame Guyon said:
- "To rob God of nothing;
to require of Him nothing;
This is great perfection."
The Church Father, Augustine wrote,
You have made us for yourself,
And our hearts are restless
Until they find their rest in You"
 Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary