Friday, April 30, 2021

Achieving Contentment - 2 questions you should ask yourself?

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

I think I am quite a contented person. My Christmas present list is usually non-existent, and when asked, I struggle to think of things I really need. Maybe this is because I am so well looked after that I have very little need of anything.

The whole idea of being content poses questions that we would be wise to ask regularly. Here are some questions to think about?

1. Am I satisfied with my life?

2. Is there meaning in my life that is bigger than merely maintaining     
    my existence?

The Bible suggests that we were not placed on this planet for our own pleasure! We are actually most satisfied when living life in the way God designed. Focusing on self is not the best way, although it is our natural bias. 

The Lord Jesus Christ is the best example of the right way to live. In fact, He was the only person ever to live up to the exacting and high standards of God as defined in the Bible. In the book of Hebrews, Jesus is described as 'holy... and undefiled'. He lived a selfless life looking out for others. He claimed that he lived for the glory of his Father, John 17:4, and the Bible expressly states that He lived for the good of the people He came into contact with, Acts 10:38.

I think that you will agree that none of us can hope to reach the standards of perfection required of us in the Bible. None of us lives like Jesus did! That puts us in a difficult situation. The Bible not only states the standard, but it spells out the consequences of falling short of it. One of the most searching and devastatingly honest statements in the Bible is 'for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God'. But the Bible also defines the consequence of sinning (wrongdoing) as 'the wages of sin'  and states that the consequence 'is death'. As a result, the situation becomes impossible for every human being.

This is when the offer of forgiveness becomes most relevant. The Bible describes God's intention to provide the solution. It is called ‘salvation'. The reason 'Christ died for our sins’ and ‘once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust' is so that he might bring us to God. In other words, the death and resurrection (coming to life again) of Jesus meets the demands of God's justice for our shortcomings.

1. How then do we benefit from such a provision? 
2. Is it automatic? 
3. Do I have to do something to enjoy it? 

The answer to the first two questions is no! All of us know how to receive a gift! It is a simple act of appreciation and gratitude. We just say ‘thank you’ and accept what we have been offered. So it is just the same when we receive God’s gift, Jesus. The only difference is that this gift is everything we need. Without it, we will lose everything. ‘The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ 

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