Posts Tagged ‘Epistle to the Philippians’

(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– We are unprofitable servants – we have done that which was our duty to do. – Luke 17:10

Duty is a moral or legal obligation to do something – something beyond self – something beyond a desire for any personal profit or praise.  Those who serve in the military are bound by an oath to obey the orders of those appointed over them.  If one is commanded to do something – it is done without contention or complaining.  Disputes can cause personal discomfort – or widespread disaster.

There are negative consequences to consider for any deliberate disobedience.  When one is told to move to a new “duty” station – one moves; without arguing over it – about it not “being a good time” to do so. The military has a need and reason for one to transfer somewhere else  – even if it is not personally convenient.  Spouses, children, and personal belongings have to be left behind sometimes.

As Christians, we are to obey all things God commands us to do – without murmurings and dispute (Philippians 2:14) – or there are negative consequences to consider.  If the Lord – through the Holy Spirit – tells us to move, we move.  It may not be the most convenient time for us in the world … it’s always the right moment per His Word.

Conditional obedience to God is disobedience.  It’s saying we’ll serve a little – then wait for someone to serve us back.  That makes us profitable de-servants of self – not unprofitable servants of others (Luke 17:7-10).  We’ll do our duty – as long as we get what we think is “due” back to us.  Our whole duty is to fear God and keep all His commandments; not just some (Ecclesiastes 12:13, James 2:10).

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– All day long have I stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people. – Romans 10:21

The Lord is my shepherd – I shall not want. – Psalm 23:1

All of use are to give thanks always, for all things unto God (Ephesians 5:20).  Not just for all the things we always want to have in this world – at any given point in time.  Any desire to gain goods – and the good of this world; and then receiving such – is not a reason to say we love the Lord – because He has answered our prayers accordingly in this regard. This creates a very conditional Christian.  It leads to disobedience.

Where our contentment and faith is founded on how much we can get from Him – and how many blessings He can bestow on us because we call ourselves believers.  How difficult will this make it for us to give as purposed in our hearts – from such things as we already have.  With cheer – not grudgingly, or out of any necessity for ourselves in return (2 Corinthians 8:11-14, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Hebrews 13:5)

Only by pride comes contention (Proverbs 13:10).  If we’re not content with our wages, or trying to exact more than what God has already appointed us – won’t we become contentious; desiring gain  – and becoming ungodly in the process (Luke 3:13-14, 1 Timothy 6:6)?  This can create a very bumpy walk with God; like we’re on a roller-coaster ride – where we’re never content in our current state (Philippians 4:11).

Our souls soar high when our eyes are satisfied with worldly things (Proverbs 27:20) – then sink when we suffer loss; especially people we don’t want to leave yet.  This world whizzes by daily with all its wants and temptations – and it can make us dizzy with desire.  If we long for such things – and base our love of the Lord on getting them, how can we count it all as loss in order to gain Him (Philippians 3:7-8)?

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(Scripture from the KJV)

Being content is a state of peaceful happiness.  The apostle Paul found this internally with Christ – no matter what was going on around him – and it wasn’t very pleasant many times (2 Corinthians 11:23-27, for example).  He endured far more than we could probably ever imagine going through as modern-day Christians.  Yet, he attained this sense of inner peace.  As believers like Paul was, we are to be content with such things as we have (Hebrews 13:5).

Anything more than food and clothing should be considered a plus for us (1 Timothy 6:8).  We are not to exact any more than what has already been appointed to us – being content with our wages.  Whatever they are – they are enough to spread the news of the gospel (Luke 3:13-14) – and we don’t need to be making any more by doing so (Titus 1:11, 1 Peter 5:2).  We don’t have to make merchandise of people to make the gospel known to them (2 Peter 2:3).

When we want for anything, we are not trusting God to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Psalm 23:1, Philippians 4:19). It’s very difficult to be wanting and content simultaneously.  We’re usually discontent when we want – because we see what we have as not being enough for whatever reasons – usually very worldly.  Our prayers will tend to be wanting as well when we don’t have inner contentment – full of asking God for thing amiss to consume on our own lusts (James 4:3).

Discontent is often a harbinger of contention and contending, which frequently gives way to mutually measuring and comparing ourselves with each other – even among our closest of brothers and sisters in Christ.  This is not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).  If we’ve yet to find the inner peace in all situations we face like Paul – will we not have tendencies to praise and thank God only when we’re getting what we want from Him – not what He wants us to have?  We can’t contend with God (Job 40:2) – and be content with Him at the same time.

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