Thursday, 18 May 2023
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13
The desire to make it big in life is a strong drive in every human being. Our encounter with Christ has not dimmed this desire. We tend to get dejected with our life styles when we compare it to the standards set by the world or to the life of a fellow believer. How can we as believers not fall into this trap and live a successful Christian life?
Let us look into the life of Paul and learn 2 secrets of his life that enabled him to live a successful Christian life. This helped him not only in his ministry life but also in his daily living. If we learn to follow what he practised we are bound to see a paradigm shift in the way we measure our lives’ success.
I. Contentment in life – Paul declares in V.11 ‘I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.’ This attitude of life is the first secret to his successful living. He goes on to teach his young disciple Timothy this invaluable lesson. How was Timothy going to learn contentment? The answer is found in1 Timothy 6: 6-8, for all of us. We are called to focus on:
· Our godliness 1Tim.6:6)-The only way we can break free from the lure of this world is by developing a deep love relationship with God. When our hearts are filled with love for God, it keeps us away from the temptations caused by covetousness. If God fills the void in our hearts, then we would not run after anything else to make us feel good. He satisfies our every longing.
· Our Nothingness (1 Tim.6:7)- Paul, being the bible scholar , reminds Timothy what Job declared years ago-“Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked shall I return there.” (Job1:21) History tells us that one of the instructions Alexander the great gave his officials was to keep his hand out of the coffin he was carried in to show the world that he was carrying nothing when he left the world after all his conquests. If as an unbeliever, he had come to this realization how much more should we understand this as followers of Christ. If we grasp this truth we are sure get out of the mad race that is in the world and focus more on heavenly things.
· Our Needs not our wants: (1Tim 6:8) Jesus reassured his disciples in Matt 6 that they need not worry about their daily food and clothing because their provider is their heavenly Father. Is this any different for any of us? The Psalmist in Psalm 34 says ‘The young lions may lack but we who seek the Lord lack no good thing.’ Are we grateful for his daily provisions?
A few verses down in the chapter, Paul then expresses his confidence in Christ.
II. Confidence in Christ (V.19)- Here Paul is declaring his complete confidence in the One in whom he has trusted, which is the second secret to his success. In the Old Testament, we read about David’s faith in God in Psalm 23 where he states ‘The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want.’ His confidence was in the Character of the One in whom he believed. He was the one who could lead, guide and provide. Paul being rooted in the scriptures knew that this God of David , who did not spare His own Son to save him would also take care of his every need (Romans 8:32).
The key to our success lies in both our contentment and our confidence in Jesus Christ.
Quote Of The Day: “If you want to live your Christian life to the fullest, then love Jesus more than anyone or anything else.” - Greg Laurie
Listen: 'I’d rather have Jesus'