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November 2014 Issue

The Book of Philippians: Joy in the Journey

Devotions

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Devotion for Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

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I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11

One blogger wrote about her decision to accept a “contentment challenge.” For three months, she decided to give up shopping for clothes, accessories, household décor, and miscellaneous “stuff” in order to focus her heart and mind on contentment. “Am I crazy? Maybe. Do I need to do this? No . . . and Yes!” wrote Nancy Ray. “I need to do this because the Lord is calling me to this, and because I want to solidify the lessons of truth I’ve learned. I am seeking a life of true contentment and will not settle for anything less!”

The apostle Paul also had to find contentment. Remember that he is saying this from his current circumstances of being imprisoned! Whether living in prosperity or poverty, he had found a way to be content no matter his circumstances (v. 12).

The word contentment focuses on the state of our heart and mind, not our external situation. Like yesterday’s verse that talked about the focus of our minds, the state of being content is a spiritual discipline. We are often pressed toward an attitude of discontent. We look at what others have around us or what we feel is lacking in our lives. This can happen whether we are dwelling in humble means or enjoying prosperity. Neither having more nor having less guarantees satisfaction.

The secret to this attitude of contentment lies in finding our strength and satisfaction in Christ alone. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us physically, mentally, and emotionally (v. 13). Having the mind of Christ, with a focus on humility and our eternal destiny, allows us to be content. Satisfaction is not found in our own achievements, possessions, or circumstances but in Him alone.

Apply the Word

Consider whether or not it would be helpful to do your own version of the contentment challenge. What might you give up in order to replace it with a focus on God and His Word? What thought process do you need to set aside and replace with an attitude of thankfulness for what you have already been given?

Pray with Us

For the next three days we’ll pray for our Facilities staff members who take such good care of our campus property in Chicago. We are grateful for the service of William Bielawski, Andrew Franklin, John Pettett, Thomas Pizano, and Cathy Sywulka.

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