Sword Fighting Class – Don’t Fade Away

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be complete and mature, not lacking anything.James 1- 1-9

“If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all with fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not believe he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.’

‘The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.  But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wildflower.’

We are doing a great job of memorizing James 1!  We’re ready for verse 11:

‘ For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossoms falls and its beauty is destroyed.  In the same way, the rich man will fade away even as he goes about his business.’

This is a poetic picture of what will happen to all of our worldly wealth.  It will be withered and destroyed.

If our identity is attached to what we own and the money we have, we will fade away into nothing along with our wealth.

How easy it is to get distracted by money and owning things, isn’t it?  Our world bombards us with this message constantly.  We step into the flow of our culture, focusing on more and better stuff and suddenly we find ourselves up to our eyebrows in debt with our stuff owning us.  When we look up, we wonder how we got there.

God tells us through James that all of our earthly riches will fade away and be destroyed.

Verse 12 is a good verse to repeat to ourselves when we feel that tug of ‘more, better, newer’ happening in our minds.

Thank you for your truth, dear Father.

 

Contentment

Being content.

It’s an attribute rarely seen in our culture.

Paul says in Philippians 4 that he has learned to be content in whatever circumstance he is in.

Contentment is definitely a ‘learned’ feeling – it doesn’t come naturally to many of us.  We are surrounded by a gigantic marketing industry which constantly barrages us with ‘bigger, better & more’ messages.  We just lived through the largest marketing push of the year.  It’s very clear that we all need a new car, a new computer and a new cell phone.  And we need it now :)!Davey, Grandma and me at Christmas

Learning contentment is one of my goals and my mother was a great role model for me.  She didn’t have much worldly wealth but she was rich in happiness as she lived her life in close relationship with God. (The picture is one of my favorites – my son’s first Christmas.  He’s 33 years-old now.)

As I work on learning contentment, I remind myself that God has given me everything I have.  This is my portion and I need to be a great steward of it.  That’s how I can honor and delight my Father God.

When my thoughts are filled with counting my blessings, I feel that I have more than enough.  I have been abundantly blessed and I am content.

Unfortunately, I don’t always stay in the Land of Contentment…..but I know how to get back to it.  When I find myself straying down the ‘bigger, better, more’ aisle, I know I need to spend more time 1 – on – 1 with my Abba Father so he can get my desires lined up again with his.

And – poof!  I’m back in the Land of Contentment!

It’s supernatural!

It’s God!

Thank you, dear Father!