MAKING A LIST, AND CHECKING IT TWICE
by Missey Butler
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Making a List, Checking it Twice
Don’t you just love it when you happen to get the inside scoop that helps you to save money or perhaps conserve time. Or you manage to locate some helpful information that gives you a marked advantage over the competition?
Well that’s exactly what The Apostle Paul gives us in the book of First Timothy. If you have a New Testament handy, follow along with me as I share with you the low down on just how you can make great strides in your spiritual walk and it won’t cost you a thing.
We can find this cutting edge truth in Paul’s letter of exhortation when he states: “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we shall carry nothing out. (1Timothy 6:6).
Voila! There it is, the inside information of just how to chalk up a lot of extra miles without having to travel very far. Notice the two ingredients, godliness and contentment. I was thinking about the first one (godliness) and how it relates to my own walk.
The truth is, found within the beautiful work of atonement, God not only saves us, but sanctifies us as well! So, that whenever we stand before Him (spiritually speaking) He sees us as, complete, perfect, holy, without sin, blameless…full of godliness! The direct result of the finished work of Jesus Christ! Hallelujah, by faith, we stand as the finished product.
Now comes the contentment part, and this one is definitely a horse of a different color. Being content is one of those areas of refinement that God is continually “working” within me. However, I have to say, I am getting much better about being happy with my portion in life. I no longer yearn for the bigger and better, cars, houses, vacations etc. Keeping up with the Jones’ has lost all of its’ appeal. I am even quite comfortable wearing the same outfit twice in one week (can you imagine that?).
I no longer pay my hairdresser’s mortgage payment with the high cost of professionally highlighting my hair, I instead have now discovered “Clairol” at $2.67 a box.
I no longer consider my Dad’s nose, (the one that I was so blessed to inherit), as some kind of family curse, but rather see it as just one more physical feature, designed by God to sculpt the masterpiece, the “one of a kind” creation known as me!
I’ve even managed to look again at my humble tuna fish sandwich to discover that with a few extra ingredients, it’s not so bad after all, so watch out Emeril “Wham”…you might just have to take a back seat!
I share all this with you in the hopes that you too will begin to know how wonderful and liberating it is to realize that God’s ways are not always our ways. It turns out, that Father really does know best, and that His ways are so much better and certainly hold a lot more promise.
It truly is wonderful when the moment arrives, when we discover that godliness with contentment IS GREAT GAIN! You no doubt have heard the saying, “Less is more?” Why not try it out for yourself. You may just stumble across the one thing you’ve been looking for all along…true peace.
Remember earlier when I said the part about it not costing you anything? Well, I was wrong. It “will” cost you something after all. In fact, it will cost you everything! How do I know this? The last part of that verse clearly tells us “We came into this world with nothing and it is certain we will carry nothing out.” So, why not settle your account right now and move on to a new level of liberty within your soul. I can promise you one thing… it will be worth it all in the end!
"And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '
"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'
"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life." (Luke 12: 19-24)
So this Christmas holiday, how about if we all, “make a list,” and “check it twice”, making sure that we have included the peaceable fruit of true godliness and true contentment. The two of them together will no doubt bring to all of us...good tidings of great joy!
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Missey, it is refreshing, as always, to read your work. You always come through with good spiritual insight to applying Christian principles to daily living. Thanks for sharing, and if I do not get a chance to say this later, Merry Christmas.