Truly Satisfied: Is Christ Your Everything?

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses twenty-two through forty-eight of the twelfth chapter of this New Testament book. “And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they height sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking through can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that FALLETH not, where no thief approached, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:22-34). “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning: and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may be open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this k now, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:35-40). “Then Peter said unto him< lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? And the Lord said, Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, That he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart. My lor delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he lookers not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be. Beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:41-48). When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find that it comes directly on the heels of words which our Lord had spoken unto His disciples and those who would walk with and follow Him. If you take the time to read the words presented in this passage of Scripture there is a great need to recognize the words which are found in the previous section of the chapter for it helps set the tongue and the stage for the words which our Lord would speak. It is as you turn your attention to the previous passage found within this chapter you will find the Lord Jesus being approached by one of the company who would speak unto him concerning something very specific. It would be during those days one from the company would come unto Jesus and ask him to speak unto his brother that he divide the inheritance with him. Jesus—upon hearing these words—would respond to this particular one from the company and would ask them in no uncertain terms who had made Him a judge or a divider over them. What we must needs recognize and understand when considering this particular passage of scripture is that it would be immediately followed by the Lord Jesus issuing a powerful warning and clarion call to those who walked with and followed Him. It is as you continue reading the words found in this passage of scripture you will find the Lord warning those who were present to take heed and beware of covetousness. What’s more is that if you continue reading you will find the Lord also going on to declare that a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possessed. Oh that we would lay hold of and recognize how incredibly important this is within our own hearts and lives and how we have indeed and have in fact been called into a place of contentment in the living and eternal God. There has been much damage done and many dangers which have been experienced within the lives of men and women who have not learned within themselves to be content within their hearts and souls. As you read the words present in this passage of Scripture you will find the Lord Jesus warning His disciples and those who would walk with and follow Him that they ought to take heed and beware of covetousness. Jesus recognized and understood the inherent and tremendous danger that was found in covetousness within the heart and soul of a man and how if it was left unchecked and not dealt with it can indeed produce a great amount of dangers, snares and conflicts within the heart and soul that has not learned it. It was the apostle Paul who did in fact declare that he had learned in all things to be content which wonderfully suggests that when we speak of contentment in this life we are not speaking of something that is part of our nature. When we think and speak about contentment we must needs recognize and understand that contentment is something which must not only be learned but also something which must be cultivated within our hearts and lives. It was the apostle Paul who would also declare that godliness with contentment is great gain and this is something we must needs recognize for not only has God blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus in heavenly places but we have also been given everything pertaining to life and godliness. Oh there is a great need within our hearts and our lives to recognize that we have indeed and have in fact been called to learn the discipline and practice of being contentment within our own hearts and lives. We get ourselves into a world of trouble when we have not learned how to be content in all things we have been given for when we do so we open ourselves up to being those who not only give ourselves to covetousness but we also open ourselves up to being those who are entitled. I am absolutely convinced that those who have not learned how to be content in all things within this life are such who will not only feel a sense of entitlement within their hearts and souls, and will not only be those who are given to much covetousness but they will also be those who are tight-fisted with that which has been given unto them. In order to help you truly understand the words which are found within this passage of Scripture I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention first and foremost to the words which are found in the New Testament epistles. It is in some of these epistles where we find incredible language concerning that which the living and eternal God has blessed us with in heavenly places in Christ Jesus as well as knowing and understanding that God has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness. We as the saints of God and the disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs recognize that we have indeed been called to content with that which we have in this life knowing that the living God not only knows what we have need of but also knowing that the living God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. With this being said I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the epistles concerning that which we have been blessed with in heavenly places in Christ Jesus as well as with our being given everything pertaining to life and godliness. Consider if you will the following words which are found in each of these passages of Scripture beginning with the writing of the apostle Paul in his epistle unto the Ephesian saints: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestination us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasures which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:3-14). “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and previous promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lackeys these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:3-11). It is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand the words and language which are found in these two passages of Scripture for not only are we brought face to face with the knowledge that we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ but we have also been given all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to glory and virtue. What’s more is that it would be the apostle Peter who would also go on to write and declare that we have been given exceeding great and precious promises which by them we might be partakers of the divine nature having escape the corruption that is in the world through. Lust. The words which are found in these two passages of Scripture call and draw our attention to the wonderful reality that we have not only been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus but we have also been given every thing pertaining to life and godliness. What’s more is that as you read the words presented in these passages of Scripture you will notice the word “all” being used in each of them as the apostle Paul spoke of “all spiritual blessings” while the apostle Peter wrote of “all things” which pertain unto life and godliness. This is something we must needs understand within our hearts and lives for when we do so we recognize and acknowledge that in Christ Jesus we have not only been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places but we have also been given all things pertaining to life and godliness. Ooh that we would indeed recognize and understand this for it brings us face to face with the knowledge and understanding that we have indeed been given all things whatsoever we need in this life. With this in mind I find it absolutely necessary to call your attention to the words which the psalmist David wrote in the thirty-seventh chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms. I find it necessary and imperative to draw your attention to three Old Testament examples of covetousness as there were certain individuals who not only allowed covetousness to creep into their hearts and souls but they also allowed themselves to move and operate from a place that was outside of contentment in the person of and before the living and eternal God. I have previously written concerning three different individuals within the Old Testament who chose to move and operate from a place outside of and apart from contentment in the person of the living God and as a direct result of this they would give themselves over to covetousness. What’s more is that I would dare say there are examples of this same reality found within the New Testament as we uncover the parable of the prodigal son, the account of the rich young ruler, the account of Ananias and Sapphira and even that one who was presented in the parable which the Lord Jesus delivered to demonstrate the danger of covetousness. What’s more is that there is a great need to show as a means of contrast to this the account of Zacchaeus who made a vow and commitment in the presence of the Lord Jesus within his own home as well as the words which Simon called Peter made in the presence of the Lord Jesus and the other disciples concerning everything they had left, forsaken and abandoned. Before I get into these narratives and accounts I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the following words which are found in the thirty-seventh chapter of the Old Testament poetic book of the Psalms beginning with the first and opening verse: “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; So shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; Trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prosperity in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: But those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: Yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The LORD shall laughter at him: for he seeth that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous. The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away. The wicked borroweth, and prayeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth. For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: For the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: But the see of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for every. The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart: none of his steps shall slide. The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged. Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: When the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a Green Bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: Yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him” (Psalms 37:1-40. The words which we find in this particular passage must be carefully considered for within it we find the psalmist declaring unto his audience that if they delight themselves in the LORD He would give them the desires of their heart. I have to admit that the more I have read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I have been brought face to face with the incredible truth that there would be those who would think and believe that if we delight ourselves in the LORD He can and will somehow give us those desires which we want within our hearts and souls. There are those who would read the words which the psalmist wrote in this passage of Scripture and who would like to think that if they delight themselves in the LORD they can bring their desires together with that delight and the LORD can and will give them the desires of their heart. The truth of the matter, however, is that this is not the case. I do not for one minute believe that the living and eternal God can and will give us that which we desire simply and solely because we have chosen to delight ourselves in Him. I firmly believe that it is misguided and deceptive to think that we can have desires within our heart and can somehow bring those desires into the presence of the LORD as we delight ourselves in Him and He will give us those desires. I do not believe at all that those who delight themselves in the LORD will somehow be granted and given that which they desired within their hearts and souls. Despite what many would like to think and believe I am absolutely convinced delighting ourselves in the LORD does not mean that He will grant us the desires of our heart but rather that He will give us the desires which we ought to have. Oh there is a vast difference between the LORD “granting” us the desires of our heart and the LORD “giving” us the desires of our heart in this life. There is not a single part of me that believes within this passage the psalmist was referring to the LORD “granting” us the desires of our heart and somehow being a genie in a bottle whom we can bring and bestow our wishes and our desires upon. If you continue reading the words which are found in these passages of Scripture you will find David going on to write how he was young and was now old yet he had never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. Moreover David would go on to write how the righteous is ever merciful and lends and his seed is blessed—a statement that speaks of the tremendous blessing and favor that is upon the life of the righteous. Pause for a moment and consider how absolutely incredible the words which are found in this passage of Scripture truly are for they call and draw our attention to the wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the righteous and how throughout their lives they have never been forsaken nor their seed begging for bread. In all reality this is something we must needs recognize and understand—particularly and especially when considering the words which are found in the New Testament epistles written by the apostle Paul unto the Ephesian congregation as well as unto Timothy who was his spiritual son in the faith. Moreover I am absolutely convinced we must needs also consider the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of the epistle which was written unto the Hebrews. It is within each of these passages of Scripture we are brought face to face with the tremendous need for us as the saints of God and the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ to be those who are indeed content in this life and recognizing that they have been given everything they could ever need.

Oh permit me to ask you a very pointed question whether or not you truly believe within your heart and soul that you have already been given everything you need in this life. Do you as a disciple and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ believe that you have been given everything you need in this life and that in all reality you are lacking nothing? I am absolutely convinced men and women do themselves a great disservice when they somehow think and feel they have not been given everything they need in this life—and not only that they haven’t been given everything but also that they somehow don’t have everything they need. We must needs remember the apostle Paul wrote that the living and eternal God blessed us in heavenly places with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus—and not only this but also how the apostle Peter wrote how that same God has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness. This is something we must needs acknowledge within our hearts and lives for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the need for contentment within our hearts and lives. Contentment is in all reality a wonderful place of quietness, of trust, of confidence and of rest before and in the presence of the living God. Contentment is something which does indeed and does in fact allow us to walk and abide in a place of trust and confidence in the person of the living God—a reality which we find in this particular passage in the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke. IN fact it is when you read the words which are found in this section of the gospel written by Luke you can and will be brought face to face with the words of Jesus and how He declared that covetousness is really a demonstration and manifestation of a lack of faith within our hearts and souls. If you truly want to understand covetousness and how deadly and dangerous it is within our hearts and lives you must recognize that at the very heart of it is a distrust, a doubting and a lack of faith in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the living and eternal God and in the person of the Holy Sprit.

Having said all of this I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the incredible truth surrounding three distinct passages which are found in the New Testament. In all reality I would dare say there is a fourth passage that is found in the New Testament which is presented in this same New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke in the third chapter. Before I move any further in this particular writing I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to each of these passages which directly confront the need to be a people of contentment within our hearts, within our minds, within our souls and even within our lives. Perhaps one of the greatest tragedies and dangers surrounding that man spoken of in the parable delivered by Jesus was that he wasn’t content with what he had—he wasn’t content with the blessing of the living God upon and within his life—and not only desired to accumulate more but also desired to build bigger and better that he might store unto himself many goods that he might live a life of ease eating, drinking and being merry. This is something we need to recognize and consider for when we read the words in the following passages of Scripture we are indeed and are in fact brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the need to be those who are indeed and are in fact content within this life—content within our hearts, content within our minds and content within our souls. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the New Testament beginning with the third chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke and that which was spoken by John the Baptist: “And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages” (Luke 3:10-14). “Rejoice in the LORD always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The LORD is at hand. Be careful for noting; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any future, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I spake 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 do be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:4-13). “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which crown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and holy Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lord; who only hath immortality, dwell in in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen” (1 Timothy 6:6-16). “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember that that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never lave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The LORD is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Remember them which have the rule o ver you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that th heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beats, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But do do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us: for we trust we have good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner” (Hebrews 13:1-19). The words and language we find within these passages of Scripture call and draw our attention to the incredible need within our hearts and souls to be content. It was the apostle Paul who emphatically declared that we brought nothing into this world and it is certain that we can and will bring nothing out of this world. The apostle Paul wrote unto the Philipian saints that he had learned in whatsoever state he found himself in to be content—a reality which each and every disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs acknowledge within their own hearts and lives. I am absolutely and completely convinced that one of the greatest demonstrations and manifestation of faith within our hearts and lives is that of contentment. Those who truly trust in the living God and those who have placed their faith in Him are those who have indeed learned to be content in whatsoever place they find themselves in and in whatsoever state they might presently be in. There would be those who say we trust because we are content and we have faith because we are content and yet Jesus suggests that we are content because we trust. It was Jesus who would speak unto His disciples and speak to them of their lack of faith and even their doubtful minds when they pursue those things which the men and women of this world pursue with regularity and consistency. It would be in this particular passage of Scripture our Lord would indict the soul which is discontent in this life as being one who is not only of a doubtful mind but also as one who is of little faith. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that we demonstrate and manifest our trust, our confidence and our faith in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ the best through contentment. Those who have learned to be content are such who have first learned how to rest and find that quiet place of confidence in the person of the living God. Those who have learned to be content have indeed learned how to trust and have faith in the person of the living God knowing that “my God shall supply all thy needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Those who have learned to be content recognize that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them—including and not limited to being at peace and at rest in whatsoever state they find themselves in. The more I think about this particular passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the incredible truth that godliness with contentment is indeed great gain—and not only is godliness with contentment great gain but one of the most profound marks of holiness within our hearts and lives is indeed contentment. There is a great need within our hearts and our souls to be those who have learned—and not only learn but continually day by day learn—how to be content in all things. This is important for us to recognize that Scripture doesn’t speak of our being content in some things nor does it speak of our being content in those things we chose to be content in. If you take the time to read the words found in these passages of Scripture you can and will be presented with the truly wonderful truth surrounding the apostle Paul learning how to be content in all things. Oh I would like to invite you to think about and consider what it takes for one to truly learn to be content in all things without operating in and with a sense of entitlement and covetousness. Pause and consider what it would truly take within one’s heart and life to be one who has learned how to move and operate in contentment—and not merely contentment but biblical contentment. Moreover stop and consider what it would look like within your own life if you learned how to be content before and in the presence of the living God—content with who He is and what He has already blessed you with. Oh with this being said would it shock and surprise you to think about and consider that even if the living and eternal God did nothing for you the rest of your natural life He has already done enough? Would it shock you to learn and understand that even if you never experienced another provision, blessing or favor from the LORD in this life He has already given you everything you need? I sit here today thinking about and considering the words presented in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the wonderful reality of the life of a man or woman who professes themselves to be a follower of the Lord Jesus and how they have not only left and forsaken everything they once knew but they have also learned and are still learning how to be content with what they have been given. Walking with and following the Lord Jesus is indeed about a full abandonment and forsaking of that which was behind us and once part of our daily lives that we might lay hold of that which can only be found in the person of Jesus and in the presence of the Holy Spirit from the Father which is in heaven. You will recall that when the Lord called Simon and his brother Andrew they left everything they knew and forsook it all that they might walk with and follow Him. When the Lord Jesus called James and his brother John who were the sons of Zebedee they too left everything they knew that they might walk with and follow the Lord Jesus. What’s more is when the Lord Jesus called Levi also called Matthew to walk with and follow Him he too would leave and forsake everything to follow Him. Oh if you want to truly understand the life of discipleship as one who walks with and follows the Lord Jesus Christ you must needs acknowledge that it is first and foremost a forsaking of everything we once knew, it’s a walking with and following the Lord Jesus and it’s a daily taking up our cross and denying of ourselves. With this being said I am absolutely convinced we must needs consider the words which our Lord spoke unto His disciples which are recorded in the tenth and sixteenth chapters of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. Moreover I am also convinced we must needs also consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the third chapter of the epistle which was written unto the Philippian saints beginning with the seventh verse. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words presented in each of these passages of Scripture beginning with the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loveth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:34-39). “Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whomsoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily, I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:24-28). “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by ny means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were also perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, where to we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing” (Philippians 3:7-16). The words which we find in these passages of Scripture must be carefully considered for they bring us face to face and confront us with the truth that when we obeyed the call to come after Christ we deliberately and intentionally forsook everything we once knew. What’s more is that when we made the conscious and deliberate decision to come after Christ we were those who chose to deny ourselves daily, to take up our cross and to follow Him whithersoever He goes. It was the apostle Paul who emphatically spoke of and declared the loss of all things—and not only suffering the loss of all things but counting all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. The apostle Paul spoke of suffering the loss of all things and how he did not view that as a detriment or deterrent within his life for he counted them all as dung that he might win Christ and be found in him. The apostle Paul was willing to count all things but loss for the sake of knowing the Lord Jesus Christ that he may lay hold of and apprehend him. What’s more is the apostle also declared that there was one thing he did in this life which was forgetting those things which were behind and reaching forth unto those things which were before. More than this the apostle Paul also declared that He pressed toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God which was in Christ Jesus. The apostle Paul happily and gladly suffered the loss of all things in this life—and not only suffered the loss of all things in this life but counted them all but dung for the surpassing greatness of knowing and being known by the Lord Jesus Christ. This is something we have a great need to recognize within this life for we as the saints of God have indeed been called into the very same place—the place where we have suffered all things and have suffered the loss of all things and yet even in that place finding a place of quietness, a place of rest, a place of trust, a place of confidence and a place of rest in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh consider now the following words which are found in the eleventh and twelfth chapters of the second epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints: “…Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I Forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands” (2 Corinthians 11:23-33). “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) Such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (Whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:1-10). Please pay close attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for the contentment which the apostle Paul learned to walk in was more than just contentment with what He had been given and more than simply what he did not have. The contentment which was found within the heart and soul of the apostle Paul also touched those situations and circumstances he found himself in—particularly and especially as it pertained to tribulations, to trials, to troubles, to suffering, to persecution and to affliction. What’s more is the apostle Paul was not only content in his weakness but he also gloried in his weakness for he knew that it was when he was weak then Christ was strong. With this being said there is one thing we must recognize concerning contentment—namely that when we are content we are proving and demonstrating one thing. When we learn—and not only learn but also walk in contentment—we are walking in the knowledge and understanding that Jesus is indeed enough. I have never encountered someone who did not walk in contentment—true contentment—and the Lord Jesus was not enough and all sufficient for them. If there is one thing we must needs recognize it’s that true biblical and godly contentment is centered upon the incredible truth that Christ is not only all sufficient for us but He is also enough. Oh permit me to ask you whether or not you are presently living in the place where the Lord Jesus is indeed enough for you. Are you such a one who has not only learned to be content but who has also learned that Christ is indeed more than enough and all you have ever needed and ever will need? There is great joy and gladness and rejoicing in Christ being enough for us for the greatest demonstration and manifestation of Christ being enough for us is living, walking and moving from a place of faith as we are content in whatsoever situation and circumstance we find ourselves in. It is with this being said I invite you to consider the narratives and accounts of three Old Testament individuals who allowed a discontentment to creep into their hearts. Not only did these individuals allow discontent to creep into their hearts but they also allowed covetousness to rise up as the fruit of their discontentment. What we must needs recognize and understand is that covetousness has always been and will always be the ultimate fruit of discontentment for it not only says that Jesus is not enough but also that we do not have enough. Discontentment is incredibly dangerous and deceptive for it strongly suggests that Jesus isn’t enough for us and that we somehow do not have enough and have not been given enough in this life. I am absolutely convinced that discontentment is an incredibly dangerous affront and assault to truly recognizing and believing that Jesus Christ is enough for us and that we have indeed been given absolutely everything we have needed and ever will need in this life. With this in mind I find it absolutely necessary and imperative to call and draw your attention to these three narratives and accounts found in the Old Testament which present and bring us face to face with individuals who not only allowed discontentment to creep into their hearts but as a direct result of this discontentment that were given over to covetousness. It was that covetousness that enabled them to pursue that which they were never intended on receiving and being given. The words which we find in these passages of Scripture are a powerful witness the destructive, damaging and dangerous trap of discontentment—and not only discontentment but also of covetousness and of entitlement. Consider if you will the following passages which are found in the Old Testament books of Genesis, Joshua and Second Kings: “Now the serpent was more subtitles than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tee which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat brea, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:1-24). “And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD; they shall come into the treasury of the LORD” (Joshua 6:17-19). “And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. And Joshua adjure them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in this youngest son shall he set up the gates of it. So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country” (Joshua 6:24-27). “But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel. And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Beth-el, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed AI. And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite AI; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few. So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of AI. And the men of AI smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water” (Joshua 7:1-5). “And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the even tide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. And Joshua said, Alas, O LORD God, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! O LORD, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name? And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore lifestyle thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: Thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you. In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the LORD taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by households; and the household which the LORD shall take shall come man by man. And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel” (Joshua 7:6-15). “So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken: and he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken: ;and he brought his household many by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son Zabdi, the son foo Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hide in his tent, and the silver under it. And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD> And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? The LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned form the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day” (Joshua 7:16-26). “And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused. And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? For thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifices unto other gods, but unto the LORD. In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of RImmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing. And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way” (2 Kings 5:15-19). “But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well? And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Aphraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him. And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let them go, and they departed. But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow” (2 Kings 5:20-27). It is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in these passages of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the danger and snare of discontentment within our heart. What’s more is that if we are truly honest with ourselves and with the Holy Spirit we must needs admit that discontentment is at the very heart and center of covetousness for it carries with it the attitude and mindset of not being satisfied with we have within our lives. What’s more is that it’s possible to be discontent—even with the spiritual blessings and provision which the living God has given us. It was the Lord Jesus who spoke of not laboring and toiling in worry and doubt about what we shall eat, and what we shall drink and even what we shall wear knowing that the Gentiles, the heathen and the nations seek and search after such things. That which Jesus sought to do was not only invite us to deliver ourselves from this worry and doubt but also inviting us to walk in the place where we recognize that the Father in heaven knows what we have need of before we even ask Him. The eternal and living God knows and fully recognizes that which we have need of and invites us to trust in His provision and His blessing within our lives. With this being said it is necessary we recognize that both discontentment and covetousness have their root in doubt and a lack of faith in the person and provision of the living God. Those who allow themselves to be given unto covetousness are those are living with a doubtful mind and whose faith is not sure within their hearts and lives. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which our Lord spoke in this passage of Scripture and I find it absolutely incredible that He not addressed their faith—or the lack thereof—but He would also speak of those who were of a doubtful mind. In all reality we must needs recognize that discontentment and covetousness have their root in a distrust in the person and provision of the livinG God. It would be very easy to think that covetousness, envy and jealousy have their root simply and solely in discontentment, however we must needs recognize that discontentment has its root and foundation in a doubtful mind and in a lack of faith. Would it shock and surprise you to know and understand that when you allow covetousness, jealousy and envy to creep into your heart—regardless of what you are coveting—you are ultimately manifesting a lack of faith within your own person? Those who allow themselves to be given unto covetousness are those who are not only living with a doubtful mind but are also those who are suffering from a lack of faith. Covetousness is not merely a discontentment problem but it is also a faith problem within one’s heart for it takes place when one is walking out of alignment with the rest, the quietness, the calmness, the peace and the confidence the believer in the living God is intended on having. It was the psalmist David who emphatically declared how the LORD was His shepherd and would immediately declare that because the LORD was his shepherd he would not be in want. Oh do you truly believe that if and because the LORD is your shepherd you shall not and must not be in want? Do you truly believe that because the LORD God is your shepherd you have lack and need of nothing for He not only makes you to lie down in green pastures, and not only does he lead you beside still waters but he also restores your soul? Oh the more I think about the words which are found here in this passage of Scripture the more I am confronted with the incredible truth that there is a great need for men and women to walk in the fullness of the profound and beautiful words presented in the twenty-third Psalm. Within this psalm David beautifully declared the LORD as being his shepherd—and not only described how the LORD was his shepherd but also described how it was because the LORD was his shepherd He should not and ought not be in want. I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in this psalm for it begins and opens with the declaration that the LORD is our shepherd thus conveying our sheer and utter dependence upon the LORD for absolutely everything. It would be the psalmist David who would declare that he should not be in want simply because the LORD was his shepherd. Notice David didn’t declare nor did he speak of the LORD being his provider, nor His helper, nor his sustainer, nor his rock, nor his deliverer nor any other adjective or noun to describe the living God save the word “Shepherd.” David declared that the LORD was his shepherd and that it was because the LORD was his shepherd he should not and ought not be in want. What’s more is that because the LORD was his shepherd he would indeed be made to lie down in green pastures and led beside still waters thus denoting and suggesting a place of quietness, a place of trust, a place of rest and a place of calmness and tranquility that is found in the person of the living God. What’s more is that David also goes on to declare of the LORD how He restores his soul—something which I am absolutely convinced many among us desperately need within our lives. I am firmly convinced there are a great many of us who desperately need the restoration of our soul for our souls are in need of repair and restoration by the hand of the living and eternal God. What’s more is that not only do we need the restoration of our soul but we also need to be led in paths of righteousness for the sake of the name of the LORD God. As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw our attention to the absolutely wonderful and incredible truth that is found in the twenty-third chapter of the book of the Psalms for within it we find that because the LORD is and because the LORD can be our shepherd we shall not be in want. It is because the LORD is our shepherd that we are led beside the still waters and are made to lie down in green pastures. Oh how absolutely wonderful and incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it for there is something absolutely beautiful about the knowledge and revelation that the LORD is our shepherd—and not only that the LORD is our shepherd but also that because the LORD is our shepherd we shall not be in want. What’s more is that it is this same LORD who makes us to lie down in green pastures and leads us beside still waters thus calling and inviting us into a place of rest, a place of quietness, a place of confidence, a place of trust, a place of calmness in His presence. Not only this but even though we were to walk through the valley of the shadow of death we fear no evil for we know that He is with us because his rod and his staff comfort us. Moreover because the LORD is our shepherd we can sit down and feast and dine in the presence of our enemies at a table which the LORD Himself has prepared for us. As if this weren’t enough David also speaks of the restoration of his soul which is something I am absolutely convinced is at the very heart of the words which the Lord Jesus spoke unto His disciples which the apostle Matthew writes in his gospel narrative. It is with this in mind that I feel it absolutely necessary to leave you with the words presented in the twenty-third chapter of the book of the Psalms as well as the words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. HE restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Psalm 23:1-6). “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

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