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Total Bliss

October 24, 2006

Usually when I come out here, the first thing that confronts me is the netscape homepage which may mention a couple of breaking headlines, but other than that, displays the usual array of advertisements and reports of seemingly irrelevant stories.   These stories usually involve celebrities, or tell of the latest ten step plan on how to more effectively employ ten step plans.  One story, however, caught my attention.  It involved Oprah Winfrey who took a road trip this summer with a friend named Gayle King.  At one point, they found themselves in Fredricksburg Ohio, where they visited an Amish community.  She talked with an Amish couple, David and Emily, who had been married seven years.  As is the Amish way of life, they have no computer, television, or anything requiring electricity.  They have no vehicle and they make their own clothing.  They don’t date until the age of 18 and they stay married for life. 

After hearing all of this, Oprah asked David “are you content?”  He replied that he was absolutely 100% content with no hesitation.  Later Oprah commented that she didn’t know of anyone else who could proclaim such a thing.  In other words, of all the people that she knows, many of whom have the means to obtain anything that this life can offer, none of them have the level of contentment that David and Emily enjoy.  I must admit that I would be hard pressed to find anyone who is so content with their life; even among christians, who should be rejoicing with joy unspeakable because their names are written in glory.

In Matthew 6:24-34, Jesus tells us to not worry about the necessities of life such as what we shall eat or what we shall wear.  (This doesn’t mean that we go sit on a mountain and wait for things to fall out of the sky; we live day to day, trust God in all things, and don’t panic when things in the natural look precarious)  He uses the parable of the lillies which neither toil or spin and yet arrayed in a fashion that surpasses Solomon.  And the fowl, which neither sow nor reap, and yet their needs are met daily.  It comes down to this one thing; trust God and don’t worry about the ambient conditions.  If we have a love for the things of this world, it will be difficult, to reach this level of trust in the Lord.  We trust the lord Jesus for salvation (as there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved) however, when it comes to daily life, we have a tendancy to want to “see” the means.  This can make it almost impossible to step out on faith as we hug the shoreline of “Lake Mediocre.”

“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Loving this life, worrying about the necessities, letting these things get us “worked up,” and accululating stuff for the sake of accumulating stuff, is not only a path to discontentment, it’s a path that can lead to eternal ruin as it can cause one to leave their first love. The bible is full of warnings, Genesis to Revelation, about this.  I’ve quoted this before on phil.320, but here it is again.  I Timothy 6:5-8 reads as follows:

“Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.  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 rainment let us be therewith content.”

Contentment.  Real peace.  Just like David and Emily have.  Joy in the Lord Jesus Christ.  There’s no counterfeit in the world that can even come close to it.  The supernatural joy of the lord and the peace that

I Timothy 6:9-11  “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown 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.”

By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, I have a level of contentment today like I have never had before.  I have growing to do, but I used to be a perpetual worrier; even up until about two and a half years ago.  The joy of the Lord really is our strength.  If we love him and our treasures are laid up in heaven, the world cannot touch us.  They can kill our bodies, but they cannot touch “us” unless we allow them to.  It’s a matter of eternal life or death; we must not allow this world “get to us.”

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