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Christ: The Key to Contentment

A devotional by InTouch Ministries for reading on September 21st

Philippians 4:6-7 6 In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

While in prison, Paul penned precious words about the sufficiency of Christ. We tend to attach the idea of contentment to beach vacation spots and mountain retreats, but the apostle wrote that we are not to be anxious anywhere or at any time, because we have the Lord’s peace.

Contentment is the believer’s birthright. Peace is part of the spiritual fruit that’s ours when we trust in the Savior (Gal. 5:22); it is an inward serenity that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). Jesus lived through conflict with a sense of inner quiet, and because of His indwelling Spirit, that remarkable calm belongs to God’s children, too. That is important because there are times when we come across a problem that has no earthly solution. In situations like those, we learn that self-sufficiency is a lie. We cannot cope alone, but Christ is all we need.

Here is the flip side of the coin: “‘There is no peace for the wicked,’ says the Lord” (Isa. 48:22). Modern culture slaps the word wicked onto only the vilest of actions and people, but God’s definition is much broader. The wicked are those who willfully reject His right to forgive their sins and take Lordship over their life. If you are not a believer, you cannot experience true and lasting contentment.

When we are born again ( John 3:3-8 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God! 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew. 8 The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. ), we become children of the living God and rightful heirs to every good thing He has to offer. This includes the deep inner peace and joy that can withstand any trial. What can man do to the one who belongs to the Lord (Heb. 13:6)?

Bible in One Year: Amos 1-4 Chapter 1 1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake. 2 And he said, Jehovah will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the pastures of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither. 3 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Damascus, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron: 4 but I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, and it shall devour the palaces of Ben-hadad. 5 And I will break the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the valley of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden; and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith Jehovah. 6 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Gaza, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole people, to deliver them up to Edom: 7 but I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, and it shall devour the palaces thereof. 8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon; and I will turn my hand against Ekron; and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord Jehovah. 9 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Tyre, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole people to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant: 10 but I will send a fire on the wall of Tyre, and it shall devour the palaces thereof. 11 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Edom, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever: 12 but I will send a fire upon Teman, and it shall devour the palaces of Bozrah. 13 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they may enlarge their border. 14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind; 15 and their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith Jehovah. Chapter 2 1 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Moab, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime: 2 but I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth; and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet; 3 and I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith Jehovah. 4 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Judah, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have rejected the law of Jehovah, and have not kept his statutes, and their lies have caused them to err, after which their fathers did walk: 5 but I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem. 6 Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Israel, yea, for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have sold the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes- 7 they that pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father go unto the `same' maiden, to profane my holy name: 8 and they lay themselves down beside every altar upon clothes taken in pledge; and in the house of their God they drink the wine of such as have been fined. 9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath. 10 Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and led you forty years in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite. 11 And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazirites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith Jehovah. 12 But ye gave the Nazirites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. 13 Behold, I will press `you' in your place, as a cart presseth that is full of sheaves. 14 And flight shall perish from the swift; and the strong shall not strengthen his force; neither shall the mighty deliver himself; 15 neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver `himself'; neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself; 16 and he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith Jehovah. Chapter 3 1 Hear this word that Jehovah hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2 You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will visit upon you all your iniquities. 3 Shall two walk together, except they have agreed? 4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing? 5 Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is `set' for him? shall a snare spring up from the ground, and have taken nothing at all? 6 Shall the trumpet be blown in a city, and the people not be afraid? shall evil befall a city, and Jehovah hath not done it? 7 Surely the Lord Jehovah will do nothing, except he reveal his secret unto his servants the prophets. 8 The lion hath roared; who will not fear? The Lord Jehovah hath spoken; who can but prophesy? 9 Publish ye in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold what great tumults are therein, and what oppressions in the midst thereof. 10 For they know not to do right, saith Jehovah, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces. 11 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: An adversary `there shall be', even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be plundered. 12 Thus saith Jehovah: As the shepherd rescueth out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be rescued that sit in Samaria in the corner of a couch, and on the silken cushions of a bed. 13 Hear ye, and testify against the house of Jacob, saith the Lord Jehovah, the God of hosts. 14 For in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him, I will also visit the altars of Beth-el; and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground. 15 And I will smite the winter-house with the summer-house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith Jehovah. Chapter 4 1 Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, that oppress the poor, that crush the needy, that say unto their lords, Bring, and let us drink. 2 The Lord Jehovah hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that they shall take you away with hooks, and your residue with fish-hooks. 3 And ye shall go out at the breaches, every one straight before her; and ye shall cast `yourselves' into Harmon, saith Jehovah. 4 Come to Beth-el, and transgress; to Gilgal, `and' multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, `and' your tithes every three days; 5 and offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill-offerings and publish them: for this pleaseth you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord Jehovah. 6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places; yet have ye not returned unto me, saith Jehovah. 7 And I also have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest; and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. 8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city to drink water, and were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith Jehovah. 9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: the multitude of your gardens and your vineyards and your fig-trees and your olive-trees hath the palmer-worm devoured: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith Jehovah. 10 I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have carried away your horses; and I have made the stench of your camp to come up even into your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith Jehovah. 11 I have overthrown `cities' among you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a brand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith Jehovah. 12 Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel; `and' because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. 13 For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought; that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the Earth-jehovah, the God of hosts, is his name.




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