Sunday, April 6, 2014
The Footsteps of Jesus
The apostle Paul exhorts us to be followers of Him; even as he also was of Christ. In the character of that distinguished saint, there is much that deserves our imitation; and among other particulars, the feelings he cherished in reference to his outward circumstances are especially worthy of our consideration. His temporal condition was, in general, anything but desirable; and yet he was far from being dissatisfied with it. In him, contentment had its perfect work, so that he was, in this respect, perfect and entire, lacking nothing.
Covetousness and contentment are diametrically opposed to each other; and where the one is, the other cannot be. Let me then take heed, and beware of the former and earnestly aspire after the latter. "He who loves silver, shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase." The worldling never says, "It is enough." Like the daughters of the horse-leach, his constant cry is, "Give, give!" To the question, What is enough? The reply was once given, "It is a little more than a man has." Alas! this "little more," what weary days and anxious nights has it occasioned!
It is from the state of our minds that contentment arises, and not from the amount of our possessions. If we are not content with those things which we have, we are not likely to be content, if we succeeded in attaining all that we desire. The desires of the soul are unbounded. Expectations of greater happiness are constantly entertained; but how seldom are they realized! The possession of all the good we may think it desirable or even possible to attain, would still leave an aching void, there would still be "a cruel something" unpossessed. But when the mind and the present condition are brought to meet then, and then only, will true contentment be found. If our heart is brought to our condition, then our condition will then be according to our heart.
The consideration that our earthly lot is appointed by God; that it is He who fixes the bounds of our habitation, is eminently calculated to promote the spirit of which we are speaking. We are to remember that He is not merely the Creator but the Governor of the world; and that every circumstance which transpires, is under His superintendence and control. And hence we find the people of God, in every age, passing by merely second causes, until they came to the First Great Cause of all. They heard His voice, and saw His hand in whatever befell them.
Luke 12:15 ... And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Hebrews 13:5 ... Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Philippians 4:11-13 ... Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.❤