Monthly Archives: June 2019

In Search of Contentment, Pt. 5

Find the Supply of Jesus for You. (Vs. 19)

In the context of this passage, Paul was commending the Philippian church members, because they were faithful to send Missionary Paul money to help him further the Gospel and plant new churches.  Paul is the New Testament missionary that most missionaries pattern their ministry after – even today.   Jesus gives a promise to those Christians who are faithful to give to missions work specifically – “God will supply all your need.”

These church folks were content with what money and things they had – so much so that they gave above their regular tithes and offerings to God through their church and gave extra to help Paul and other missionaries.  These people had great faith in God and were not consumed with material gain.  God has said – “I promise that I will give the selfless everything they need in life.”  Do you believe this promise?  Would you give more to missions if God asked you to?

A content person is willing to give more, and because of that willingness, God actually gives him more – to give in return!  It all starts with contentment.

There are several things in life that cannot be bought.  Like the old Mastercard commercials said: “Some things money can’t buy, for everything else, there’s Mastercard!”

  • Good health has no price tag.
  • Good friends cannot be bought.
  • Great marriages are priceless.
  • Great kids are worth every investment you put into them (and more).

Here are some things that only Jesus can supply.

The Peace of Mind. 

Jesus said in John 14:27, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Years ago, Ray Cazis summarized a Duke University study on ‘peace of mind.’ Factors found to contribute greatly to emotional and mental stability are:

  1. “The absence of suspicion and resentment. Nursing a grudge was a major factor in unhappiness.
  2. Not living in the past. An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression.
  3. Not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change. Cooperate with life, instead of trying to run away from it.
  4. Force yourself to stay involved with the living world. Resist the temptation to withdraw and become reclusive during periods of emotional stress.
  5. Refuse to indulge in self-pity when life hands you a raw deal. Accept the fact that nobody gets through life without some sorrow and misfortune.
  6. Cultivate the old-fashioned virtues—love, humor, compassion and loyalty.
  7. Do not expect too much of yourself. When there is too wide a gap between self-expectation and your ability to meet the goals you have set, feelings of inadequacy are inevitable.
  8. Find something bigger than yourself to believe in. Self-centered egotistical people score lowest on any test for measuring happiness.”

That is a good summary with many biblical applications for our daily life.  Are you living with peace in your life, or is your heart and mind full of anxiety today?  Most of what we worry about will never happen anyway.  Many times, it is the stuff we hope to have or patterns of life we resort to that are contributing to the lack of peace we may experience.

 

 

Please read on the the conclusion of In Search of Contentment, PART 6…

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The Value Vs. Cost of A Christian School Education

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  Luke 14:28

While you may not be building a tower, every parent is building a child!  The principle of counting the cost definitely applies to how we manage the upbringing and education of our children.  To the Christian parent with conviction for Christian education, there is no monetary value that they would place on a Christian school opportunity for their children. To them it is priceless.

The value of the Christian school far outweighs any monetary cost. The parent with conviction for Christian schooling will find any and every way possible to pay tuition, look for financial assistance, and even change money spending patterns – in order to put or keep their kids in the Christian school.

Everything worth something does cost.  It could cost time, money, energy, and most definitely – commitment.  Schooling always will cost something. Even if a government school education does not cost money, it does cost something.   Not everything is measured by dollars and cents.

So many are the benefits of a Christian school:

  • The reinforcement of Christian values the parents are currently teaching at home.
  • Math, science, literature, and history all taught from an absolute truth perspective.
  • Weekly chapels and daily bible classes to encourage spiritual growth and frame advanced spiritual formation in the heart and mind of the student.
  • A safe place to practice Christianity on a daily basis.
  • Not only is there the potential for spiritual formation, but also social formation. Students can practice their Christianity and relational skills in a formal setting.
  • An atmosphere that reduces, not totally eliminates, a worldly mindset. Kids are kids (still sinners) in any environment.
  • The areas of academic rigor, social interaction, and personal discipline each have high expectations for each student.
  • Teachers who value and love each student, taking the time necessary to engage them daily, pray with them, and encourage good academics while fostering a good attitude.
  • A curriculum developed from a non-secular Christian world view.

These benefits are either practical, philosophical, or spiritual.  None of these benefits are economical.   With benefits like this, you see why parents with a Christian school conviction value the school opportunity so much!  The economic cost is not much compared to the spiritual, social, and philosophical benefits.

It is simply worth it to them. Here are several areas a Christian school convicted parent may change in their life in order to be able to “afford” the Christian school.

  1. They may buy store brand items instead of brand name items.
  2. They may buy food in bulk instead of prepackaged individual servings.
  3. They may go without soda pop or other high-priced beverages. Some people even resort to being so health conscience and financially savvy, they only drink water.
  4. Some resort to buying what is on sale at the grocery store, even clipping coupons, or scanning receipts for refunds on an app.
  5. Some teach their older kids how to mow lawns and the students save up for school the previous summer. Other seasonal work can assist in this too.
  6. They sell high ticket items such as an extra car, boat, ATV, snowmobile, or camper.
  7. They may cut back on unnecessary things in life such as cable, Internet, newspaper / magazine subscriptions, or cell phone services.  Children and teens have no real need for big cell phone plans. Non-smart phones can cost as little as $10 a month and even then – that is a luxury.  One phone to share is sufficient and not only will cut spending but will also ensure morality and create accountability for their phone usage.
  8. They may take less trips. Less spontaneous trips to the store due to poor planning. Even 2-3 days less on some vacations (in some cases) could pay the entire year’s tuition for one student!

Cost Versus Value.  They do not always match.  Explore your options.  How much of a value is a Christian School Education as opposed to not having one?  What is the true cost?

Any other cost cutting ideas to help pay tuition for a Christian school education???

Please post them in the comments below.

In Search of Contentment, Pt. 4

Find the Strength of Jesus in You. (vs.13)

What an incredible statement: “I can do all things through Christ…” This well-known verse is many times taken out of context or stretched to imply things that it is not truly dealing with.

The doing of “all things” is not accomplished by your own power, intellect, ability, or willpower.  It is accomplished by the power of God.

Being content is a choice founded upon the strength of Jesus.  Many people are in search of contentment but may not even see that the underlying drive in their life is the need for contentment.  They may turn to a relationship in search of being content or satisfied.  They may turn to drugs, vaping, alcohol, pornography, or some other addiction in search of fulfillment.

What happens is the relationship, the addiction, or the perceived “need” then becomes a controlling factor in their life.  Instead of finding contentment, they find themselves enslaved to the “need” for more of their “medicine” or, in reality, poison.

Christianity Today, in their March 2019 magazine, featured the testimony of a former NFL player named Miles McPherson who played for the San Diego Chargers from 1982-1985.  As he tells his story, he had everything a person could want: a well-paying job, a dream come true to play professional sports, the high life of an elite few in the world, playing in the NFL.  But something was still missing in his life.

At a party with many veteran players, the men he looked up to as a child, he was offered drugs.  He said about that experience: “The cocaine that I consumed that night took me by the lapels and forced me into submission.  Soon enough I was completely under it’s control.”

Miles knew several Christians on the team, and they were vocal about their faith and about the power of Jesus to set people free from their sin and addictions.  One morning, after a day and night of drugs, no sleep, and a complete inability to say “no” of his own power to the drugs, he realized that it was Jesus Who had the power for the “no.”  That morning, in desperation he prayed to Jesus for salvation and asked God to deliver him from the power of the drugs.  And God did.

Something changed in him that day.  From that point on, he did not take any more cocaine or other drugs.  God changed him.  In the power of Jesus’ name, the addiction was gone.  Powerful story.

Instead of searching for contentment in drugs, relationships, the workplace, or some other aspect of life, it is possible to find contentment in Jesus.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  All things include contentment.  It includes the power to overcome addictions and to see life in a new “God Dimension.”   Instead of relying on your own power to be a winner, rely on the Lord Jesus.

The Apostle Paul had God’s power in his life to find contentment: in the court house, in the jail house, in a crowded ship, in a church, and in a home.  He found contentment when he was hungry and thirsty as well as when he was full and well-hydrated.  In poor health and in good health, he was happy in Jesus.  With no money or some money, he was content in the name of Jesus.

Ask the Lord for His power to help you find contentment in the midst of your present situation.  With His power, you can have the same life but see it in a whole new way.   God’s power can give a “God Dimension” to you.

 

Please read on to PART 5 of In Search of Contentment