Written by His Grace,
Kevin K. O’Connor
Jan 26th 2003
Main Thought: To grow in our understanding of contentment
Can you imagine a place of total peace and contentment, a place where the storms of the flesh crying out to be fed are gone or a place where our minds are quiet from the waves of concern or cares of this life? I believe that each one of us yearn for such a place because we were made from the heart of God Who dwells continuously there. I think it’s neat how we have fleeting moments at these places but it’s usually when we’re losing ourselves in the act of giving to others. God’s heart is complete when He’s Giving of Himself for Love is only Love while Loving and so being made in His image we find this true even though we’re still here below. I think that is why we find so much joy in marriage and caring for those who are in need around our lives.
And, yet even as I write this I realize that unfortunately there are those who find their fulfillment not in the act of giving but of getting. Heaven will be a place filled with those who are givers and not getters and their reward will be greater than all the riches the world could afford. Satan would have us think that total contentment is getting what we can for ourselves despite the needs of those around us, While God’s way is for us to give. The thief who hung next to Christ and was completing the punishment for his sins, saw Christ and gave Him Honor. Love in response, gave him life. The other thief gave no such honor and so received none. It’s truly amazing how just as there is light and dark within the physical realm, so there is also light and dark within the spiritual.
Satan tells Christ to bow to him and He will be blessed and instead Christ tells the Father I’d rather pour out my life on behalf of the world that You love. The result of these two opposing natures is that Christ will now live in eternal contentment and satan is getting all the contentment he will ever have now. In the same way, our Heavenly Father desires complete and total contentment for each and every one of us for all eternity but we need to realize that this life is not where our focus or our hearts should be. The giving of pleasure within the covenant of marriage is such a blessed gift and just as our hearts find contentment in this giving, so there is a place of similar contentment within the spiritual. It seems that when we lose ourselves in worshipping the Lord, we are actually finding ourselves. Kind of like when we lose ourselves in loving our spouses or those in need around our lives.
It’s quite amazing the healing effect that pets have on shut-ins, people who cannot get out and interact with others. These people who may seem to be all rigid and stiff but as soon as there is something for them to love and that enjoys their loving come to life. Why is it that we don’t look more and more at Who we’ve come from and to whom we’re returning? I visualize that the great gulf or gap that separates us from the love of God is our pride. In my opinion, pride is just another yet probably better descriptive word for sin. It’s funny that even though the thief didn’t say the exact words with his lips “forgive me a sinner”, was actually saying those exact same words from his heart when he said please remember me when you enter your Kingdom. We get so hung up on what we can hear or see and yet God looks upon our hearts; 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. After all, if we can see it, feel it, smell it, or mentally comprehend it, then we can have something we can feel proud about.
And so God’s Gift of eternal Life will be given to those who learn how to walk by Faith and not by sight, to those who will walk in response to God’s Love by loving as He loved us. Not those who are trying to do all of the outward actions of Christ without seeing His Heart; Matthew 25: 31- 46 31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' 41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' 44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' 45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' 46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." Notice the heart of giving in the sheep in verse 37 “when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?” and then notice the heart of the getters in verse 44 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
Did you notice the ‘when did we’ verses the ‘when did we not?’ The sheep were just doing it as a naturally response from having been saved by Grace through Faith – they weren’t purposely trying to work their salvation out by doing these things, they were doing these things because they were loving others as they themselves were loved. On the other hand, the goats found a pride in trying to earn their way to heaven through the outward doing without the inner dying to self-pride. No, their pride was very much in tact which is why Christ will say I’ve never known you. Heaven will not be a place where there will be any boasting what so ever save in Christ’s all out sacrifice and Him alone! Can you imagine the contentment that comes from just being loved? Not because of what we’ve done, or who we know or what we’ve learned, but just because He loves us! God’s Gift will be to those who have learned to lay their pride aside and receive this Precious and Priceless Gift of His Love. Christ again is our Perfect example Who is our Total Contentment being the Prince of Peace who said “not my will but Thine be done.” The One who has emptied Himself the most, now has the highest seat of Honor and Contentment. May we learn from Him that we too may learn the joy of total contentment of surrendering to such a Wonderful Savior, Friend and Lord!
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