Today’s Scrip-Bit   18 October 2021 Philippians 4:11.

Philippians 4:11.     Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

And since the universe unfurls exactly as its Creator programmed it to do, today is Monday! That’s what the printout says, and there is nothing we can do to change it, so we might as well just accept it and say, ‘the Lord be praised!’ (smile) Yes friends, we don’t have much, if any say in how the world turns, which means we had better learn to accept and be contented in whatever state we are in, allowing the Holy Spirit of Jesus to lead and guide us, knowing that in the end we will be well looked after by our heavenly Father, who has promised to work all things out for our good. 

And as Tim Sullivan says in the opening remarks of his sermon of how to abound and how to be abased, on the website. ‘To everything there is a season. Some seasons are of ease and others are of struggle. Life certainly has its ups and downs. But God desires that we know true contentment in all seasons, regardless of the circumstances that surround us.’ 

Now all of that is gospel truth, as Cousin Sol articulates as the Preacher in Ecclesiastes: ‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.’ (Eccl. 3:1) And the Lord expects believers to handle whatever comes against them in any and every season with zeal and panache, with style and flair. (smile) And it’s great if we can handle the ups and downs of life with equanimity, that’s a calm and composed manner, especially in the difficult times. It’s not an easy thing to do though. 

That brings us to the encouraging words of Bruh Paul in his epistle to the church at Philippi, when talking about his appreciation of their gift. ‘Not that I speak in respect of want (in regard of need): for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.’ (Phil. 4:11) And therein lies the Christian’s problem: being content does not come as naturally to us, as complaining does. (smile) We have to learn how to be content. And that takes a lot of learning in a lot of difficult situations. 

Hear the scholars’ explanation on that verse. ‘4:11. Not that I speak in respect (because) of want: Paul’s ability to be content despite the circumstances assures the readers that his joy of verse 10 is not solely over his “need” being met at their expense. He implies that he could have done without their financial aid. For justifies this implication. I have learned …to be content: The Greek here suggests that contentment is a lesson learned neither in a classroom nor overnight, but through many practical experiences in life.’ 

Yuh better believe that friends, you can’t learn contentment in any classroom or in a short period of time. It’s only learned by going through the many hard knocks of life. As Bruh Paul continues: ‘I know both how to be abased (live humbly), and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.’ (Phil. 4:12) 

And the scholars tell us: ‘4:12. By listing some specific examples, this verse elaborates upon the very general and broad “in whatsoever state I am” of verse 11. Be abased means literally to discipline oneself, that is tighten the belt in lean times. To abound means to live in prosperity. Every where and in all things I am instructed (or “in all circumstances I have learned the secret of how”) to be full, that is “well-fed.” Paul has acquired the skill for successfully living with little and with much, the latter probably being harder.’ 

And to back up that statement, they quote the British Philosopher Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) ‘For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.’ And surprisingly that is very true. There are many who will withstand adversity better than prosperity. But here is the kicker, the engine power that makes the whole situation work. Bruh Paul’s proclamation: ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ (Phil 4:13) All power and glory be to God, my fellow saints! 

Yes friends, that’s how we can abound and be abased and not lose hope and faith and trust in Almighty God! Now listen to the scholars: 4:13. The apostle’s ability of knowing how to live skillfully on little or in prosperity does not mean that he is a spiritual superman. The reason he can live in such extremes is not owing to his own ability. Rather he can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth him, thus enabling him to adapt to his various, ever-changing circumstances. God orders Paul’s various circumstances, and God gives him the strength to be content in them all, trying and perplexing though they may be.’ 

And that’s exactly what He does for every one of His children! God orders our steps, and He also gives us the wherewithal to handle them. That’s the kind of God He is, a fair, just, righteous and LOVING God! And the sooner we understand and appreciate that fact, the sooner we will make inroads into living the contented life. Now, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn, let’s seek His omnipotent help with the many problems we are currently experiencing. 

As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now let’s go out and keep those promises we just made, so that the Lord can bless us and our land. Much LOVE!

…you can’t strong in ALL circumstances…unless the power of Christ is within you…                                                                                                             

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