Dear Josh

Josh and Me (2)

Hey, bud.

Two years ago today. Goes by fast. Your damaged heart gave out. Cut down in your prime. I’ll never forget the moment I walked through the door that Saturday afternoon. Your mom trembled the horrific news of our loss. I suspect that scene will never dim in my mind’s eye.

Grief gets easier and it doesn’t. Losing you still ranks first among the hardest things I’ve ever endured. Difficult to imagine anything worse. I’ve said it so many times. No one should have to bury their child.

Honestly, son, things haven’t gotten a whole lot easier since that traumatic day. Oh don’t get me wrong. The Lord has blessed us beyond what we deserve in 2014 and 15. Two of His best gifts are named Blaise and Olivia! How about these cuties?!

But December of 2014 hit hard. Mom got diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer. Since surgery that month she’s worked hard via natural methods to beat the remaining rogue cells in her body. Just today she went to a new doc in Lakeland for the fourth or fifth time. He wants her to have a PET scan ASAP to determine just where we stand. We hope to nail down an appointment for that sometime later this week. Lots of prayers by tons of people going heavenward for Ma. So grateful for all the support.

I’m not without my own issues. Long story, but the gist of things is this. I’ve got a busted jaw. I know the irony of that doesn’t escape you. Preacher’s got a bum mandible! It’s a result of the radiation treatment for my head and neck cancer in 2005. Surgeons plan to replace the dead bone with a titanium plate on February 15. I wrote all about that here. I’m thinking of changing my new Twitter address to @robojaw. What do you think?

For the time being I’m on total medical leave from my duties at the church AGAIN. I’ve seen this movie before back in 2005. I work at my writing mostly, when pain and fatigue allow. But preaching, talking, counseling to any degree? Completely out of the question.

As you can imagine one does a lot of thinking/reflecting when largely confined to the house awaiting a jaw replacement. I keep coming back to the things I miss so much.

Like kissing your mom. Don’t give me that look. You know how crazy I am about her. Do you have any idea how much the jaw comes into play for even the slightest peck on the lips? It’s so frustrating. I do not like in the least this hindrance to our closeness.

Then how about eating? Let me tell you about feasting or the lack thereof. I cannot chew a blessed thing. Nary a bite. I dream about chomping on a blue corn chip, dining on a medium rare ribeye, or even gumming a Five Guys french fry. Can’t do it. The menu these days consists strictly of slush and mush. Nice weight loss plan but I don’t recommend it to anyone.


By the way, I wanted to keep up the tradition I started last year by dining at Emeril’s today. Dear Michelle even posted on my Facebook wall a gracious invitation to lunch. It hurt to decline, though I did ask for a rain check. I went to see finally the new Star Wars movie instead. I’m glad I waited until this anniversary day to check it out . You loved the saga so much. I think mostly you would have enjoyed episode 7. It was a comfort to me, but not at all like having Fabian serve me one of those mouthwatering duck tacos and reminiscing with him and the other terrific staff at the restaurant.

I could go on, but I’ll finish with the issue of my preaching. I had to stop cold in the middle of my series on Gen. 14. It just hurt too much to speak for any length of time. I’m on the bench, riding the pines, while others occupy MY pulpit Sunday in and Sunday out. Not fair!

Josh, I thought, I hoped, I dared believe maybe I learned in ’05 some of these lessons related to good things that I so readily turn into god things so that they become bad things. Perhaps not as much as Jesus thinks necessary for me. I just have to keep learning and relearning the main thing . . .

Jesus is enough.

My joy, contentment, satisfaction can’t depend on the presence or absence of God’s good gifts. I need to grow more in saying with Paul in Phil. 4:11-13 that I have learned the secret of being content. I need to sing with the poet more earnestly these words in Psalm 73:25-26.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Lips out of commission? Jesus is enough.

Feasting off the table? Jesus is enough.

Preaching out of the question? Jesus is enough.

Maybe I’ll get it through my thick head and slow heart this time, dude. One can only hope.

By the way, this father misses you terribly, but, and I think you won’t take this the wrong way . . .

Jesus is still enough.

He is gloriously, powerfully, graciously, abundantly, and savingly enough.


Toughest School Ever (6)

No more posts on contentment.  With this I stop blogging on this virtue. The pain in the testing on the subject is more than I am willing to bear. Do I sound melodramatic?

I have always said, “Be careful what you preach on.” I have never preached a sermon series on spiritual warfare in part for fear of what hell Satan might unleash for my daring to mount an offensive so obviously aimed at his territory. Of course, if I live long enough to preach expositionally through the book of Ephesians, I will have no choice but to face the this-present-darkness music.

In my last post on the rare jewel of Christian contentment, I mentioned that part of what makes this particular school so tough is the mystery involved in it. Paul speaks in Philippians 4:12 of learning the secret of contentment. Furthermore I suggested that two reasons exist why genuine contentment in this life eludes some due to the mystery in it.

The second simply is this: genuine contentment relies on the strength of Another far superior to oneself for its existence. By far the most important verse in the treatise on contentment from Paul in Philippians 4 is v. 13. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

As much as I admire Tim Tebow and his love for Jesus, his eye-black version of this verse has nothing to do with running for first downs in third-and-long situations or passing for touchdowns in the overtime of playoff games. It has everything to do with trusting Jesus for strength in both plenty and want, abundance and need.

Once again, Jeremiah Burroughs delivers:

THERE IS STILL A FURTHER MYSTERY, for I hope you will find this a very useful point and that before we have finished you will see how simple it is for one who is skilled in religion to get contentment, though it is hard for one who is carnal. I say, the eleventh mystery in contentment is this: A gracious heart has contentment by getting strength from Jesus Christ; he is able to bear his burden by getting strength from someone else. Now this is a riddle, and it would be counted ridiculous in the schools of the philosophers, to say, If there is a burden on you you must get strength form someone else. Indeed if you must have another come and stand under the burden, they could understand that; but that you should be strengthened by the strength of someone else, who is not near you as far as you can see, they would think ridiculous. But a Christian finds satisfaction in every circumstance by getting strength from another, by going out of himself to Jesus Christ, by his faith acting upon Christ, and bringing the strength of Jesus Christ into his own soul, he is thereby enabled to bear whatever God lays on him, by the strength that he finds from Jesus Christ. Of his fullness do we receive grace for grace; there is strength in Christ not only to sanctify and save us, but strength to support us under all our burdens and afflictions, and Christ expects that when we are under any burden, we should act our faith upon him to draw virtue and strength from him. Faith is the great grace that is to be acted under afflictions. It is true that other graces should be acted, but the grace of faith draws strength from Christ, in looking on him who has the fullness of all strength conveyed into the hearts of all believers.

Whether you find yourself in a season with sun shining down on you or walking in a desert place, I can tell you this: the secret of contentment and strength to endure lies in one Person and one person only.

Be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might (Ephesians 6:10).

Toughest School Ever (5)

Perhaps the most obvious reason why Christ’s school of contentment ranks as the toughest curriculum on the planet is the fact that it is a mysterious school.

Consider these words by Paul in Philippians 4:12 – I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need (emphasis mine).

The Greek verb translated I have learned the secret appears only here in the New Testament. That means we have to go outside the Bible into the literature of the first century to make some sense of what Paul means when he says this. The word is a cultic term that was used for describing the process of being initiated into various spiritual mysteries. Paul may have used it with irony in that frankly he discovered the secret of contentment within the mundane experiences of daily life, as opposed to some super-secret realities, whether plenty or hunger, abundance or need.

So what exactly makes Jesus’ school of contentment mysterious or secretive? I think we can point to at least two factors.

First, true Christian contentment consists of a paradoxical blend of rejoicing and sorrow. Contented believers have learned how to make a mixture of the gracious sweet and gracious sour of life together. This is indeed a mystery. The world doesn’t get it. Paul said it well elsewhere in 2 Corinthians 6:10 – as sorrowful yet always rejoicing.

I learned something about this paradox/mystery in 2005 with my head-and-neck cancer experience. Surgery, radiation, chemo, nausea, vomiting, hospitals, tests, doctors, shots, pain, for the better part of the year, plundered me over and over again with a sorrow unlike anything I ever experienced before. However, beneath the river of sorrow ran a current of joy that I can only chalk up to a consideration of things spiritually that made rejoicing in my blessings in Christ as superior to any physical suffering I endured. And that kind of thinking, if anything, is mysterious indeed.

I like how my Puritan friend put it (big surprise by now):

It may be said of one who is contented in a Christian way that he is the most contented man in the world, and yet the most unsatisfied man in the world; these two together must needs be mysterious. I say, a contented man, just as he is the most contented, so he is the most unsatisfied man in the world. You never learned the mystery of contentment unless it may be said of you that, just as you are the most contented man, so you are also the most unsatisfied man in the world. You will say, ‘How is that?’ A man who has learned the art of contentment is the most contented with any low condition that he has in the world, and yet he cannot be satisfied with the enjoyment of all the world. He is contented if he has but a crust, but bread and water, that is, if God disposes of him, for the things of the world, to have but bread and water for his present condition, he can be satisfied with God’s disposal in that; yet if God should give unto him Kingdoms and Empires, all the world to rule, if he should give it him for his portion, he would not be satisfied with that. Here is the mystery of it: though his heart is so enlarged that the enjoyment of all the world and ten thousand worlds cannot satisfy him for his portion; yet he has a heart quieted under God’s disposal, if he gives him but bread and water. To join these two together must needs be a great art and mystery.

No kidding. I’m not exactly sure what would be the plenty standing opposite to my want of cancer. But either way, abundance or need, I want to learn the secret – to be the most contented person is to be the most unsatisfied.

More on this mysterious school in my next post, Lord willing. And with that I will try to be content.

Toughest School Ever (4)

Imagine my shock upon receiving my first grade on any paper in undergraduate school. I got an “F.” That’s right. I flunked my first college assignment. I wrote an English essay that the prof deemed utterly unworthy of the language. Talk about a reality check. Here I thought I could write. She begged to disagree. Guess who won? She did. I set about remedial composition instruction without delay.

Imagine my dismay upon discovering a certain course had little to do with its name, or at least so it seemed to me. When I signed up for Astronomy 101, I possessed a delusion of a cool curriculum of star-studying and universe-exploring. The joke was on me. The whole deal was a math class masquerading as science. I can’t recall how many early Saturday mornings I spent with the prof in extra help sessions just to survive that monster.

Yes, those were demanding curricula. However, neither compared to the requirements inherent in my toughest school ever – Christ’s school of contentment. In previous posts I have talked about the compulsory nature of the curriculum and its excellence. This post takes me to its degree of difficulty. I don’t know that it could ask more of me and those who enroll than it does.

For instance, Philippians 2:14 commands: Do all things without grumbling or disputing. Grumbling or murmuring is the opposite of contentment. The Bible leaves absolutely no room for fudging at all on this matter. There are no exceptions. We are to do all things without a discontented spirit. Good grief! Who is adequate for such a standard.

Then we have Jude 14-16.

It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

Notice the first vice in the list for which the Lord comes with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment: grumbling. About this, my Puritan friend remarks:

These ungodly ones are murmurers; murmurers in Scripture are put in the forefront of all. You had need to look to your spirits; you may see that this murmuring, which is the vice contrary to this contentment, is not as small a matter as you think. You think you are not as ungodly as others, because you do not swear and drink as others do, but you may be ungodly in murmuring. It is true there is no sin but some seeds and remainders of it are in those who are godly; but when men are under the power of this sin of murmuring, it convicts them as ungodly, as well as if they were under the power of drunkenness, or whoredom, or any other sin. God will look upon you as ungodly for this sin as well as for any sin whatever. This one Scripture should make the heart shake at the thought of the sin of murmuring.

If that won’t do it, then consider Numbers 14:26-27. And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me (emphasis mine). In actuality, the congregation in the wilderness spoke against Moses and Aaron. However, God took it personally. He considered it an affront against Himself that the people griped the way they did. To oppose the Lord’s anointed was to oppose Him.

If I kept in my mind every time I felt tempted to complain, that ultimately my grumbling piqued God’s irritation quotient, I think I might think twice before giving way to murmuring.

There’s no escaping it. The bar is set immeasurably high. There simply is no room in this particular school for a grumbling spirit. Demanding indeed.

But the news with this reality is not necessarily all bad. Again I turn to Jeremiah Burroughs for help:

There is no way to set about any duty that you should perform, you might labor to perform it, but first you must be humbled for the lack of it. Therefore I shall endeavor to get your hearts to be humbled for lack of this grace. ‘Oh, had I had this grace of contentment, what a happy life I might have lived! What abundance of honor I might have brought to the name of God! How might I have honored my profession! What a great deal of comfort I might have enjoyed! But the Lord knows it has been far otherwise. Oh, how far I have been from this grace of contentment which has been expounded to me! I have had a murmuring, a vexing, and a fretting heart within me. Every little cross has put me out of temper and out of frame. Oh, the boisterousness of my spirit! What evil God sees in the vexing and fretting of my heart, and murmuring and repining of my spirit!’ Oh that God would make you see it!

Without seeing it, without feeling the sting of conviction that comes from the law, how will we ever cling to the cross and the hope of the gospel that we might experience the secret of contentment that rids us of the vice of murmuring and discontent?

Are you thus convicted?

Toughest School Ever (3)

In Philippians 4:11, the Apostle Paul makes an amazing statement: I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. He doesn’t say, I am learning or I hope to learn. He speaks as if to suggest some degree of mastery of the contentment curriculum. He is adamant. He adds in v. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.

Honestly, I can’t yet speak so confidently. But this gives me hope. Such a lofty goal is attainable. Contentment, though often it seems the opposite, does not lie outside our spiritual reach in this world.

No doubt, as I explained in my previous post in this series, Christ’s school of contentment is a compulsory school. As followers of Jesus, shaped by the gospel, we must strive for the same gracious frame of spirit to which Paul attained. However, we should indeed think positively about our prospects for growth in light of the excellency of the Instructor.

I say this first, because of the nature of God Himself who teaches in this school. My Puritan friend explains:

‘Content’, signifies a self-sufficiency, as I told you in opening the words. A contented man is a self-sufficient man, and what is the great glory of God, but to be happy and self-sufficient in himself? Indeed, he is said to be all-sufficient, but that is only a further addition of the word ‘all’, rather than of any matter, for to be sufficient is all-sufficient. Now this is the glory of God, to be sufficient, to have sufficiency in himself. El-Shaddai means to be God having sufficiency in himself. And you come near to this. As you partake of the Divine nature by grace in general, so you do it in a more peculiar manner by this grace of Christian contentment, for what is the excellence and glory of God but this? Suppose there were no creatures in the world, and that all the creatures in the world were annihilated: God would remain the same blessed God that he is now, he would not be in a worse condition if all creatures were gone; neither would a contented heart, if God should take away all creatures from him. A contented heart has enough in the lack of all creatures, and would not be more miserable than he is now. Suppose that God should keep you here, and all the creatures that are in the world were taken away, yet you still, having God to be your portion, would be as happy as you are now.

So our first encouragement about the prospect of growth in contentment comes from the excellencies of His nature as the all-sufficient God, unshakably happy in Himself. In Him through Christ that character takes hold and transforms us over time from murmuring malcontents to rejoicing sons and daughters.

But there is one more word of encouragement about the seemingly impossible mission of attaining contentment related to the excellence of the Teacher. That has to do with the content from which He teaches. For example, consider again Hebrews 13:5-6.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

From where does the writer draw in backing the exhortation to avoid covetousness in favor of being content with what one possesses? God’s word from the Old Testament in Psalm 118:6.

Another wise saint from the past, J. C. Ryle wrote about the significance of this:

The main point I want to impress on men’s minds is this: we ought to make the texts and promises of the Bible our refuge in time of trouble and the fountain of our soul’s comfort. When St. Paul wanted to enforce a grace and recommend a duty, he quoted a text. When you and I would give a reason for our hope, or when we feel that we need strength and consolation, we must go to our Bibles and try to find out suitable texts. The lawyer uses old cases and decisions when he pleads his cause. “Such a judge has said such a thing; and therefore,” he argues, “it is a settled point.” The soldier on the battlefield takes up certain positions and does certain things; if you ask him why, he will say, “I have such and such orders from my general, and I obey them.” The true Christian must always use his Bible in like manner. The Bible must be his book of reference and precedents. The Bible must be to him his captain’s orders. If anyone asks him why he thinks as he does, lives as he does, feels as he does, all he has need to reply is, “God has spoken to such an effect: I have my orders, and that is enough.”

Does the Christian virtue of contentment seem far beyond your reach in the flesh. Take heart.  Though enrolled in the toughest of schools we have the best of instructors teaching the most superior content.

O happy day when we will say with Paul, I have learned and I know.

Toughest School Ever (2)

In my first post on the virtue of content, I likened it to schooling that takes place over one’s lifetime under the providence of God.

In this post and those to come, I wish to continue working the same metaphor describing various aspects of the curriculum from the Scriptures.

The place to begin, I believe, is with the nature of this discipline as a compulsory subject. Anyone who has done any higher education grasps the difference between required courses and electives. I loved electives in college. I got to pick and choose what I liked. Motivation wasn’t an issue. When it came to the required stuff, I had no choice. I either took the class or faced dropping out.

Certain texts make it clear that we can’t do an end-around on the school of contentment. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.” There’s no denying it. God commands that we stay clear of the desire for more stuff and find satisfaction in whatever He has given us, big or small, or in between.

Then we have Paul’s words in First Timothy 6:8. “But if we have food and clothing, with these will be content.”  Really? Talk about setting the bar low when it comes to your possessions. He doesn’t even include shelter in his short list. Grub in the belly and clothes on the back. Enough for me. Satisfied. No problemo. Yikes!

But here’s the kicker in that same context. If you back up to verse 6 you read this: “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” You can’t miss the duty in v. 8, nor back in Heb. 13:5. We have an obligation to pursue contentment. It’s a gospel necessity. We can’t skip this course. We can’t clep out of it. We’ve got to take the class, if we belong to King Jesus.

But don’t miss the glory of it, as my new-found friend Jeremiah Burroughs would say. For that we go back to First Timothy 6:6 where Paul touches on what makes for great gain. Anybody NOT interested in great gain? I didn’t think so.

He doesn’t say that godliness in-and-of-itself amounts to great gain; he contends that godliness with contentment is great gain. Here’s how I read that. Without contentment, whatever gain belongs to godliness isn’t as great as it is with contentment. As for me and my house, not settling for less than great gain!

Of course, all this begs the question “What is contentment?” I can’t improve on the old Puritan’s definition. I’ll end with it:

Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”

Have you enrolled? The course is not optional for followers of Jesus. It is decidedly compulsory.

Submit to the duty, but go for the glory.

Toughest School Ever

I don’t make a big deal out of it, but I have three earned degrees. I like to say I am officially educated beyond my intelligence. My bachelors at UCF in Liberal Studies didn’t really demand that much of me. The M. Div. at seminary put me through a great deal more pain, especially on certain subjects. The D. Min. at RTS focused on such a practical curriculum that I can’t really say that I found its challenges all that great. The one exception to that came in the form of writing my dissertation. I thought I would never finish that monster.

By far, the toughest school in which I ever enrolled, and in which I continue to matriculate quite honestly, is the school of contentment. I call it a school because of the way Paul writes about this virtue in Philippians 4:10-13.

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Paul wrote from prison. They did things differently back then. Jailers didn’t feed their inmates. Prisoners depended upon outside help for provision. The Philippian church so loved Paul that they sent a gift to him. He responded with this letter, including something of a thank you note at the end.

Quite obviously they pleased him. Their gift caused him to rejoice greatly in God. He commended them for their gospel grace of generosity. But not so fast. Lest they get the wrong impression, he made haste to point out a surprising absence of need in what to most readers most certainly would have seemed quite the opposite. He categorically denied anything of the like.

And with that he spun off into a testimony of his own enrollment with Christ in the school of contentment. Again, I call it a school because of the repetitive terminology Paul uses. “I have learned.” “I know.” The language suggests a process of instruction over time in the school of God’s providence that brought Paul to an enviable state of contentment he enjoyed regardless of his circumstances, including a dungeon!

In subsequent posts I hope to share insights from the text, as well as other Scriptures about the nature of this most rigorous school of contentment. But let me close with this analogy and insight from Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646) from his classic The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment:

When the yoke is first put upon a heifer and it wriggles up and down and will not be quiet, if after many months or years it will not draw quietly, the husbandman would rather fatten it and prepare it for the butcher than be troubled any longer with it. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Heb 12:11). It is true: our afflictions are not joyous, but grievous. Though it is very grievous when our affliction first comes, afterwards it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness. When you have been a long time in the school of afflictions, you are a very dullard if you have not learned this contentment. “I have learned,”said Paul, “in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Phi 4:11). Paul had learned this lesson quickly, [but] you have been learning many years! A new cart may creak and make a noise; but after it has been used a while, it will not do so. So when you are first a Christian, perhaps you make a noise and cannot bear affliction; but are you an old Christian and yet will you be a murmuring Christian? Oh, it is a shame for any who have been a long time in the school of Jesus Christ to have murmuring spirits.
This particular heifer feels that shame more than he cares to admit after 40 plus years in the the school of contentment but still struggling with a murmuring spirit. Oh for grace to learn better the secret of contentment. More on that to come in the reflections on my toughest school ever.
After all, who wants to be dullard, whatever that means.

The Quiet of the Heart

Jeremiah Burroughs (1599-1647), commenting on Phil. 4:11 – I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content – wrote this about contentment:

Contentment in every condition is a great art, a spiritual mystery. It is to be learned and to be learned as a mystery. And so in verse 12, [Paul] affirms, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound:every where and in all things I am instructed.” The word that is translated instructed is derived from the word that signifies “mystery.” It is just as if he had said, “I have learned the mystery of this business.” Contentment is to be learned as a great mystery, and those who are thoroughly trained in this art, which is like Samson’s riddle to a natural man, have learned a deep mystery…Ioffer the following description: Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition. I shall break open this description, for it is a box of precious ointment and very comforting and useful for troubled hearts in troubled times and conditions.

To read the rest of the article and savor the aroma of that box of the precious ointment of contentment click here.

What Is Contentment?

I recently finished reading this quarter’s edition of Free Grace Broadcaster on contentment.

Very convicting.

The first article by William S. Plumer (1802-1880), American Presbyterian minister, answered the question, What is contentment?, this way:

It is a disposition of mind in which we rest satisfied with the will of God respecting our temporal affairs—without hard thoughts or hard speeches concerning His allotments and without any sinful desire for a change. It submissively receives what is given. It thankfully enjoys present mercies. It leaves the future in the hand of unerring wisdom. Nor is there anything in true contentment to make men satisfied with the world as a portion or as a permanent abode. The most contented person may long for the day when Christ shall call him home. He may, like Paul, be in a strait betwixt two, not knowing whether to desire to abide in the flesh for the sake of others or to depart and be with Christ, which is far better (Phi 1:23)…

Are you content given this definition?

Something to think about.

How's Your Contentment Quotient?

Find out by checking out this month’s edition of Free Grace Broadcaster.

Here’s a sample from Plumer’s piece, the first of several Puritan writers on the subject:

But what is contentment? And how may it be known from evil states of mind somewhat resembling it?
Contentment is not carelessness or prodigality.3 It is not obtuseness of sensibility.4 It is a disposition of mind in
which we rest satisfied with the will of God respecting our temporal affairs—without hard thoughts or hard
speeches concerning His allotments5 and without any sinful desire for a change. It submissively receives what is
given. It thankfully enjoys present mercies. It leaves the future in the hand of unerring wisdom. Nor is there
anything in true contentment to make men satisfied with the world as a portion or as a permanent abode. The
most contented person may long for the day when Christ shall call him home. He may, like Paul, be in a strait
betwixt two, not knowing whether to desire to abide in the flesh for the sake of others or to depart and be with
Christ, which is far better (Phi 1:23)…

Check it out. This stuff will challenge your socks off but given the economy and a host of other reasons the people of God need in these times to feast on truth like this.