Contentment: What It Is and Is Not

Man Sitting on Dock

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11).

The Bible stresses the importance of contentment in the lives of God’s people. Like Paul’s example in the passage above, we should be content in every circumstance in which we find ourselves.

However, we need to be sure we understand what contentment is. Many might claim to be content; but in reality their condition may be better described as immaturity, disobedience, cowardice, laziness, or apathy. So in this article, we are going to consider what the Bible says about contentment – what it is and what it is not.Continue Reading

Taking Personal Responsibility

Pointing at ManIn a time of lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, and social distancing, we are more cut off from others than we had been previously. Obviously, there are challenges to this type of social arrangement – including spiritual challenges. One such challenge is that it is increasingly important for each of us to take personal responsibility for our faith and our standing before God. Paul mentioned this idea in his letter to the brethren in Philippi:

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

Paul wanted these brethren to maintain their faithfulness even when he was absent from them and could not encourage them in person. The reason for the lack of in-person interaction is different today. And, of course, Paul was only speaking of himself as being absent from them; the brethren in Philippi were still together. However, the challenge described by Paul is the same. We must maintain our faithfulness, even without the in-person encouragement we are used to receiving from other Christians.

In this article, we are going to notice why personal responsibility is important, some ways in which we are to take personal responsibility, and also why taking personal responsibility should never cause us to think that isolation from fellow Christians is to be preferred.Continue Reading

Pray for Leaders During the Spread of the Coronavirus

Prayer, Coronavirus

The topic that has everyone’s attention this week is the spread of the Coronavirus that has turned into a global pandemic. I discussed this topic previously on the podcast, focusing on some things that we as Christians need to do during this situation. One of those things is prayer.

In this article, I want to expand on the need for prayer – particularly the need to pray for our leaders (civil authorities) as this crisis moves along.Continue Reading

Regular Christians (Part 8): Trophimus

Regular Christians

Trophimus was one who endured physical sickness. He was mentioned briefly in the personal matters Paul addressed at the end of his second letter to Timothy.

Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus” (2 Timothy 4:20).

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How to Pray to God

Prayer

Prayer is a simple and common practice. Children are taught to pray when they are young. Prayers are regularly offered in worship services conducted by local congregations. But sometimes when a practice is simple and common, it is easy to not give much thought to it. Perhaps we are just “going through the motions” and are failing to focus on this important discipline.

In this brief article, we are going to consider how we, as Christians, are to pray to God. This may not be anything new, but it is helpful for us to be reminded of these things from time to time.Continue Reading

What to Do When You’ve Sinned

GuiltDavid was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), yet he committed a series of terrible sins in his affair with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11). This can happen to us, even as God’s people – we can commit sins even though we have been called to righteousness.

We often talk about the need to overcome temptation – and we should, this is the goal (cf. 1 John 2:1). But what happens when we fail to overcome temptation? Are we without hope? No, we can be forgiven. Should we continue that errant course? Again, no, we are still to strive to do what is right. So what should we do?

In this article, we are going to notice six things we need to do after we have sinned.Continue Reading

When Life Is Hard

Two Women Praying

At the beginning of his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul provided a glimpse into the difficulties he faced in his life: “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). Most or all of the hardships that Paul faced were due to his work in preaching the gospel.

There can be many reasons why we face hardships in life – not just for preaching as was the case with Paul. Yet even when we suffer for other reasons, these hardships can cause us to feel the same way as Paul described.

When we face hardships in life, the specific way in which we handle them depends a lot on the nature of the hardships (financial problems, personality conflicts, health issues, difficult temptations, etc.). However, there are some principles that will apply to all types of hardships. These are important to remember, especially if we are not yet sure what specific course of action we should take.Continue Reading