Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I had a moment of realization the other day that the Bible reading and meditating I did more than a month ago is finally bearing fruit.  I often have the expectation that my daily reading will affect that day--that what I read in God's Word today is my daily bread, and tomorrow God will provide another day's worth of bread, etc.  But as I sat in Sunday school this week I realized that I am not "wanting what I want" like I did earlier this summer.  Hurray!  Yay, God!

I distinctly remember sitting in the coffee shop at church camp last month, early in the morning, and praying over Proverbs 13:25, "The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, But the stomach of the wicked is in need."  My question that day, and the remainder of the week was, "Am I choosing to be satisfied?"  God has given me all I need.  He is my Shepherd and I am not in want (Psalm 23:1).  So am I living as one who is satisfied?

Now as our women's Bible study groups are beginning the book of James, I can see the discontent.  The twelve tribes James is writing to: don't like trials (James 1:2-4; 5:10-11), they don't have enough money (1:9-10, 4:13-14, 5:1-6), they aren't getting what they want (1:13-16, 4:1-5, 11-12; 5:9), they want more (2:3-4, 3:14-16, 4:2-3, 13-16; 5:1-5), and their selfishness results in hurtful words, actions, and attitudes (1:20-21, 26; 2:1-7, 13; 3:2-12, 14-16; 4:1-4, 11-12, 16; 5:1-6, 9, 12).  James is calling them to obedience. 

Contentment comes through obedience.  When I get busy doing what God has called me to do, I don't have time or interest for other things.  It is a call to refocus, not on what I don't have, but on the many things I do have.  It is a call to put Christ first, to trust Him with my wants and needs, and to serve others over and above myself.  After all, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"  (Romans 8:32).

James is a book of action, but more than that, it is a book that calls us to a choice:  am I satisfied, truly satisfied, with Jesus?  Does life reflect greed or gratitude?

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