Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 2 September 2022:
1 Samuel 7:3 — If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart…. direct your heart to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you.
You cannot serve God and your own personal interests. Serve the Lord wholeheartedly, Him only.
1 Samuel 7:5 — I will pray to the LORD for you.
God wants you to pray for other Christians who need to return to The Lord.
Listen to this short commentary from Dr. J. Vernon McGee on 1 Samuel 7:1-11 — https://www.blueletterbible.org/audio_video/popPlayer.cfm?id=4631&rel=mcgee_j_vernon/1Sa
1 Samuel 7:14 — The cities that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel.
God can restore what you lost in your sin.
1 Timothy 6:1 – Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled.
God wants you to treat everyone with honor so that you won’t hinder your witness to them.
1 Timothy 6:6 — But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Our readings today emphasize the need for Christians to live life in contentment. Today Paul says, “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” (1 Timothy 6:8) However going even further, he also says elsewhere, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content…. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (Philippians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 12:10)
“Enjoy life….” (Ecclesiastes 9:9) What does it take for you to be content, to enjoy the life that you have? How much sin, frustration, anger, bitterness, jealousy, envy, strife is the result of discontentment? James says that our fights are caused because of discontentment — “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” (James 4:1, 2) Today, Paul tells us today that discontentment and “cravings” cause us to fall into all kinds of temptations, to drift from the faith and to suffer many needless pains in life. (1 Timothy 6:10)
Discontentment causes us to focus on what we don’t have rather than enjoying the blessings and gifts that God has given us. We are constantly seeking a better situation rather than making the most of the opportunities right in front of us. Along this path, nothing is ever quite good enough – “The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.” (Proverbs 13:25) Make the decision to be content and faithful with what God has given you – “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
- Ecclesiastes 6:9 — Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
- Hebrews — Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- Luke 12:15 — And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
- 1 Corinthians 7:17 — Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
- Psalm 23:1 — A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
- Psalm 118:24 — This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
- Luke 3:14 — Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
- Proverbs 19:23 — The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
- Proverbs 15:16 — Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.
- Psalm 127:2 — It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
- 1 Peter 5:6-7 — Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
- Proverbs 27:20 — Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
- 2 Corinthians 9:8 — And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
- Psalm 22:26 — The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever!
1 Timothy 6:10 — It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Self-control is required to avoid temptations. A person’s physical appetite is similar to their emotional appetite. A Christian requires self-control to battle all sins which play on our appetites.
1 Timothy 6:11, 12 — But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
The Christian must simultaneously flee and pursue. Growing in faith is a fight, a struggle.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 2 September 2022: Today, praise God and give thanks for the many blessings He has given you. Be content, and enjoy the day walking with Him, making the most of every opportunity.