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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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CHRISTIAN CONTENTMENT

Jeremiah Burroughs:

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.

 

 

Content or Discontent?

Black Friday

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. (Philippians 4:11-13 ESV)

William Barcley writes:

Contentment is one of the most difficult Christian virtues to attain. Almost four hundred years ago, Jeremiah Burroughs referred to the “rare jewel” of Christian contentment. It is safe to say that contentment is no more common in our day than it was in Burroughs’. Yet, it remains one of the most crucial virtues. A contented Christian is the one who best knows God’s sovereignty and rests in it. A contented Christian trusts God, is pure in heart, and is the one most willing to be used of God—however God sees fit.

We live in a world that breeds discontent. We are bombarded with the message that to be happy we need more things, less wrinkles, better vacations, and fewer troubles. But, ultimately, the problem is the sinful human heart. . . .

There are also different worldly ways of thinking about contentment and material goods. The “more is better” mentality teaches us that to be satisfied in life, we need this product or that gadget. There is also a worldly “simple living” mentality that says satisfaction comes by getting rid of stuff and living with less. Yet Paul says he has learned to be content in both plenty and hunger, in abundance and need. While there is some biblical truth to the thinking that we should not pursue earthly goods continually, a simple lifestyle alone does not guarantee a contented heart. . . .

Read the entire article here. . . .

In America, today is Black Friday. On Thursday (Thanksgiving Day), millions of people expressed gratitude to the Creator of the universe for His good gifts to America and to them, personally. How ironic that only one day after, millions of people are rushing out at early morning hours to buy presents for family, friends, and – of course – themselves. People will shove, push, argue and get hurt trying to obtain the items they believe they must have.

It is as if they prayed yesterday, “Lord, we are truly grateful for what you have provided us!” And today they are praying, “But Lord, I need this. I want it. I have got to have it!”

What do you think?

– Samuel

Turning Affliction into Mercy

Jeremiah BurroughsJeremiah Burroughs:

God has given a Christian such power that he can turn afflictions into mercies, can turn darkness into light. If a man had the power that Christ had, when the water pots were filled, he could by a word turn the water into wine. If you who have nothing but water to drink had the power to turn it into wine, then you might be contented; certainly, a Christian has received this power from God, to work thus miraculously. It is the nature of grace to turn water into wine, that is, to turn the water of your affliction, into the wine of heavenly consolation.

In God’s Worship

Jeremiah BurroughsJeremiah Burroughs:

“In God’s worship, there must be nothing tendered up to God but what He has commanded. Whatsoever we meddle with in the worship of God must be what we have a warrant for out the Word of God. This speech of Moses‘ is upon the occasion of the judgment of God upon Aaron’s sons for offering strange fire. They offered fire that God had not commanded. Hence I say that all things in God’s worship must have a warrant out of God’s Word. It must be commanded; it’s not enough that it is not forbidden. I beseech you to observe it. It is not enough that a thing is not forbidden, and you cannot see what harm there is in it. But is must be commanded. I confess that in matters that are civil and natural this may be enough. If it is according to the rules of prudence and not forbidden in the Word, we may make use of this in civil and natural things. But when we come to matters of religion and the worship of God, we must either have a command, wherein God manifests His will, either by a direct command, or by comparing one with thing with another, or drawing consequences plainly from the words.” (Gospel Worship, p.10)

In the Matter of Worship

Jeremiah BurroughsJeremiah Burroughs:

“In the matter of worship, God stands upon little things. Some things may seem to be very small and little to us, yet God stands much upon them in the matter of worship; for there is nothing wherein the prerogative of God more appears than in worship. Princes stand much upon their prerogatives. Now God has written the law of natural worship in our hearts. But there are other things in the worship of God that are not written in our hearts, that only depend upon the will of God revealed in His Word, which would not be duties except that are revealed in His Word. And these are of such a nature that we can see no reason for them except God would have them so. For example, there are many kinds of ceremonies to manifest the honor to princes that have no reason at all merely because it is a civil institution so appointed. So God would have some ways of honoring Himself that the creature may not see a reason for but merely that it is the will of God to have them so.” (Gospel Worship, p.13)

Change

Jeremiah BurroughsJeremiah Burroughs:

Every Christian should say: ‘Have I wealth now? I should prepare for poverty. Have I health now? I should prepare for sickness. Have I liberty? Let me prepare myself for imprisonment. How do I know what God may call me to? Have I comfort and peace now in my conscience, does God shine upon me? While I have this let me prepare for God’s withdrawing from me. Am I delivered from temptations? Let me prepare now for the time of temptations.’ If you would do so, the change of your condition would not be so grievous to you. (The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment)

To be Little in Your Own Eyes

Jeremiah BurroughsJeremiah Burroughs:

A man who is little in his own eyes will account every affliction as little, and every mercy as great.

Therefore his meaning must be, I find a sufficiency of satisfaction in my own heart, through the grace of Christ that is in me. Though I have not outward comforts and worldly conveniences to supply my necessities, yet I have a sufficient portion between Christ and my soul abundantly to satisfy me in every condition. (The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment)

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