Grace Nuggets: Romans 4 (Justification Illustrated)

In my last blog post in Romans 3, Paul explains to the readers how we are justified. Justification means that God sees us through the lens of Christ through faith. We are not justified by our works, behavior or actions but just by believing what He said. When we believe in the finished work of Christ, God declares us righteous or justified in His sight. It’s as if He says, “I’m declaring you ‘just as if you’ve never sinned.'” We are justified apart from the law; we are justified by faith alone; justification is for all mankind; justification is by grace exclusively; justification came at a cost; and justification solves the dilemma of God being just and being the justifier.

In Romans 4, Paul illustrates justification to us through the life of Abraham. In this study, we will learn 3 important facts about how the spiritual experience of Abraham was the same as believers today.

  1. Abraham was justified by faith, not works (v. 1-8)
    • Romans 4:3 says, “What does Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'” The key term here is “believed.” It wasn’t because of Abraham’s works or his obedience. It was because he believed that God would do what He said He would do. He trusted in the Word of God. The Greek word here is a banking term which means “to put to one’s account.” Abraham did not work for justification but because he believed, righteousness was accredited to his account through faith.
    • Romans 4:4-5 says, “Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” Justification/salvation/righteousness cannot be earned. If we work for it then we will expect it as an obligation and not a gift. But righteousness is ours when we trust God and the work that’s already been done! It also says that God justified the ungodly. Wait, He doesn’t justify the godly? No! There is none righteous, no not one! (Rom 3:10) We don’t deserve it, we can’t earn it or work for it. We are justified solely by faith and on the work of Christ! Amen.
  2. Abraham was justified by grace, not law (v. 9-17)
    • Verses 9-12 talk about Abraham being circumcised after God had counted him righteous. Abraham was not counted righteous because of the law of circumcision but because he accepted the grace of God’s promise to him before the law of circumcision was given. Circumcision was merely a seal of righteousness as a sign of his faith in God.
    • Romans 4:16 says, “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.” The promise of salvation comes by faith and rests on grace. And as we believe in faith, we are given salvation by the grace of God. The law only shows us our sin and points us to our need for a Savior. That’s why we cannot be right with God through the law but by God’s free gift of grace. If we earn salvation through keeping the law, we will boast in ourselves. But if we just simply believe that the work is done and is given to us by the grace of God, we will boast in Him. Praise God for making a way for us by believing in His grace!
  3. Abraham was justified by resurrection power, not human effort (v. 18-25)
    • These verses talk about how Abraham believed when God said that he would have a son and that he would be a father of many nations. Did Abraham try to make God’s promise happen in the flesh? Yes, and it proved to be detrimental to their family. Trying to fulfill anything in our lives by the flesh will always prove to be detrimental and we will always find failure. But did God see Abraham’s failure? No, we don’t see any mention of his failure in these passages but we see his faith. Abraham was definitely an imperfect man but God saw his faith and that faith counted to him as righteousness.
    • Verse 19 says, “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.” Warren Wiersbe explains this verse beautifully, “The application to salvation is clear: God must wait until the sinner is ‘dead’ and unable to help himself before He can release His saving power. As long as the lost sinner thinks he is strong enough to do anything to please God, he cannot be saved by grace. It was when Abraham admitted that he was ‘dead’ that God’s power went to work in his body. It is when the lost sinner confesses that he is spiritually dead and unable to help himself that God can save him.” 
    • Romans 4:23-25 says, “The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Because Jesus died on the cross he took the penalty for our sins. And because Jesus resurrected from the grave, He gives us justification.  When we believe in the work of Christ through faith, we now have His resurrecting power within us. Human effort could not accomplish this, only by Christ’s resurrecting power!

Justification cannot be attained by our own human effort, by keeping the law, or by our good deeds. It comes by believing in faith, resting on God’s grace, and by His resurrecting power. Father, may we put aside striving to earn and maintain our salvation. May we simply believe in the finished work of your Son and rest on your grace. May we come to a place where we see that we cannot save ourselves but we need your resurrecting power, not only for salvation but for our Christian walk. May we rest in You alone. Amen.

 

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Grace Nuggets: Romans 3:21-31 (Justification Explained)

In the overview of Romans 1:18-3:20, we left off with the immoral man, the moral man, and the religious man that are all condemned and are without excuse for their sin.The question asked was, “what hope is there if all men are guilty?” If we leave off there, we will be hopeless because we will always be controlled by our sin. But then we get to a beautiful “but” of the Bible in Chapter 3, verse 21. In this study, we will unfold and unravel the Father’s glorious plan of salvation. Let these verses soak deep into your heart as you fall more in love with Him!

In this section of scripture, we will see words like justification, righteousness, redemption, and propitiation. These seem like big “church-y” words so let’s define them.

  • Justification – the act of God whereby humankind is made or accounted just, or free from guilt or penalty of sin based on the finished work of the cross of Christ and must be received by faith. Another way to remember this is “just as if I’ve never sinned.”
  • Righteousness – this word is another word for justification and means that we are made right with God. He declares us righteous and perfect when we believe in faith in Jesus.
  • Redemption – in this passage of scripture, redemption means setting free from captivity or slavery for the purpose of setting free.
  • Propitiation – Propitiation was appeasing God through sacrifice and when Jesus died on the cross, He became the propitiation or covering of our sins. Atonement (covering) is another word for propitiation which means we become “at one” with Christ through His sacrifice.

David Guzik sums up these words: “Justification solves the problem of man’s guilt before a righteous Judge.Redemption solves the problem of man’s slavery to sin, the world, and the devil. Propitiation solves the problem of offending God our Creator.”

In these verses, Paul will explain justification and we will highlight 6 characteristics of it.

Romans 3:21 – But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

  1. Justification is apart from the law.
  • As I said above, justification is another word for the righteousness of God. We are no longer justified or righteous by the law, rules and regulations. Works cannot save us from sin. We can never work enough, be devoted enough, or do enough good things to earn salvation.  The law was given to show us one thing: we are sinners and we need a Savior.

Romans 3:22 – This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile.

2. Justification is by faith alone.

  • How are we justified? By faith. Justification by faith means that we are declared righteous in the sight of God simply by believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. We are no longer keeping a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” but we are simply believing in our hearts and confessing with our lips that Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives.

3. Justification is for all mankind.

  • God not only offers salvation to the Jews but He also offers it to the Gentiles (everyone else). It’s not about who you are or what you’ve done. Jesus offers salvation to anyone who believes in Him through faith.

Romans 3:23-24 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus

4. Justification is by grace exclusively.

  • Everyone that is born into this world is a sinner. God’s glorious standard is perfection and no one is perfect. Only one man was perfect on this earth and that was Jesus Christ who was God and man. No fleshly man can follow the law because the law condemns him and shows him that he desperately needs a savior.
  • Yet God justifies us and makes us right in His sight through grace. Grace is God’s unmerited, undeserved, unearned favor. It’s a free gift that He gives to us not asking for anything in return. We don’t have to work or do a list of things for God to make us right in His sight. All we have to do is believe that He wants to give us this beautiful gift and accept and receive it into our lives by faith.
  • Also, note that when it says “all are justified freely” that in the Greek language this is in the aorist tense. This means that being justified is a continual act. We are continually being declared righteous and we will for eternity!
  • Here’s the word redemption we defined earlier. Jesus purchased us back from slavery to sin, the world, and the enemy for the very purpose that we could be free! And He did it freely by His grace and requires nothing from us in return. What an amazing God!

Romans 3:25 – God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished. 

5. Justification came at a cost.

  • The cost was the death of God’s one and only Son, Jesus. Jesus left His heavenly throne; came to this earth and wrapped Himself in flesh; lived a perfect, sinless life; allowed sinful men to punish Him and put Him to death on a cross. He was beaten, bruised, pierced, crushed, whipped, and cursed. All to save man. All to give man a way to have a relationship with the Father. It cost Him everything so that we could have everything. Think about that.

Romans 5:26 –  He did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

6. Justification solves a dilemma.

  • How can God be just and be the one who justifies at the same time? A God of love wants to forgive sinners but a God of holiness must punish sin and uphold His righteous law.  The answer is Jesus Christ. Wiersbe gives us a great answer to this question. “When Jesus suffered the wrath of God on the cross for the sins of the world, He fully met the demands of God’s law and also fully expressed the love of God’s heart.” Jesus’ sacrifice would reach all the way back to Adam’s sin as well. Therefore, God’s dilemma is solved. The wrath for our sins was poured out upon Christ. All we have to do is believe in Christ’s sacrifice in faith and accept the amazing love He has for us!

Romans 3:27-31 – Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

  • We truly cannot boast about justification because we didn’t do anything to earn it or deserve it. We only boast in what Jesus Christ has done for us.
  • We are no longer bound under the law but that does not make the law null or void. Why? Because the law has a purpose and that is to bring us to Christ. Galatians 3:23-24 says, “Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.” The law did exactly what is was supposed to do. It points us to something greater than our faults, failures, fears, and foibles – Jesus Christ.

Friends, understand that justification and salvation are given to us as a free gift of grace. Jesus redeemed us by purchasing us back from slavery through His blood and taking the wrath of God for us by being our propitiation. When God justifies us, it’s just as if we’ve never sinned and the best part is, it’s FREE! We will stop trying to earn God’s love and just worship God for who He is and what He’s done. When we receive God’s grace into our lives, we will be free to just love Him. Amen.

Grace Nuggets: Romans 2:25-29

Romans 2:25-27 – Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker. A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.  No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

In the Old Testament, the law required all Jewish men to have a circumcision.  It was to show that they were set apart unto the Lord and that they were His chosen people. Circumcision was an outward expression of the transformation that was supposed to take place in their hearts. It can be related to baptism in the New Testament. Baptism is an outward expression of the transformation that takes place in our hearts. Many religious people in that day believed that they were saved because they were circumcised but Paul refuted them by saying that their outward actions could not save them. Circumcision cannot save a person because it cannot cleanse you on the inside. Circumcision is the cutting away of the flesh and it is a picture of how we are to deal with our flesh. God tells us in Deuteronomy 10:16 to “Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.” God’s desire is that His people would have transformed hearts that love Him and desire to serve Him. It’s dangerous to think that because we are circumcised or baptized that we are saved. These are outward professions that identify us with Jesus and that we have chosen to accept Him and let Him lead our lives. Jon Courson gives us 3 ways of how God defines how circumcision should be played out in our lives:

  1. Exodus 6:12:  Circumcision of the lips
  2. Jeremiah 6:10: Circumcision of the ears
  3. Ezekiel 44: Circumcision of the heart

The Lord desires for His people to speak with tenderness, hear with sensitivity, and feel with compassion. The outward expression of circumcision means nothing if there isn’t an inward change of our hearts.

May God help us to speak tenderly, listen sensitively, and feel compassionately for those around us and may they see the work that God is doing in our hearts. Amen.

 

Grace Nuggets: Romans 1:18 – 3:20 Overview

In this grace nugget, I am simply going to give an overview of what Paul was trying to convey to readers in Romans 1:18-3:20. In 1:16-17 Paul explains that the reason he was not ashamed of the gospel is because it’s the power of God for salvation for all people and we receive it simply by faith. The theme of Romans is to reveal God’s righteousness but we cannot know about God’s righteousness until we first understand man’s unrighteousness. As Warren Wiersbe puts it, “Until man knows he is a sinner, he cannot appreciate the gracious salvation God offers in Jesus Christ.”

In this section, Paul will give an argument and evidence that the whole world is guilty of sin. Every man is without excuse (2:1) and needs God. Paul will prove this by showing 3 categories of men that are guilty of sin and how they are condemned.

  1. The immoral man (1:18-32) – condemned by creation
  2. The moral man (2:1-11) – condemned by conscience
  3. The religious man (2:12-3:20) – condemned by the law

Romans 1:18-32 – The immoral man is the man who knows about God and but he continually rejects God and decides to follow his flesh. How does he know about God? Because of the creation of the world. Psalm 19:1-6 says that the heavens declare there is a God therefore, creation condemns the immoral man. They know the truth by the created world around them. Therefore, the immoral man has no excuse.

The immoral man suppresses the truth so he can live the way that he wants to not realizing that living for himself will destroy him. This will take him down a dark path because he would rather live in darkness than light. In verse 18 until the end of chapter 1, Paul will show what happens to a society when men follow after their owns lusts. They will inevitably destroy themselves and turn from God completely. Here is the progression of the immoral man living for himself and rejecting God:

  • Mankind knows God through creation (v. 19); they reject God because they love their sin (v. 23); they create idols and become what they worship (v. 23); God will allow them to do what they want (v. 24); they will turn to sexual immorality/impurity (v.24, between men and women); they will exchange the truth of God for a lie (v. 25); they will turn to shameful immorality/homosexuality/perversion (v. 26-27, men with men and women with women); they will subject themselves to a depraved mind (v. 28, meaning they cannot make right judgments).

Romans 2:1-11 – Paul takes a step up and begins to talk about the moral man. This man seems to live a pretty good life but he thinks he doesn’t need God. This man believes that because his life is good that God is accepting the way he lives. But Paul refutes that by saying that he is no better than the immoral man because his conscience condemns him. He may not do everything on the outside that the immoral man does but he is guilty on the inside (v.3). His seemingly good life is not God’s acceptance but it is God’s kindness, tolerance and patience that should lead him to repentance (v. 4). Therefore, the moral man has no excuse.

Romans 2:12-3:20 – Paul then goes another step up and talks about the super-righteous religious man. The religious man might say that he is not guilty because he follows the law, but the purpose of the law is to show man his sin. The religious man believes that he is saved by his works such and following all rules and regulations. Paul states that even circumcision is of no value unless there’s a circumcision of the heart. Circumcision was to be a picture outwardly of the transformation that took place inwardly (2:25-29). The key here is 3:20, “For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.” The religious man is condemned because the law cannot save him. It simply shows him that he is just as guilty as the moral and immoral man. Therefore, the religious man has no excuse.

Right now would be the time where we would echo Paul’s words in Romans 7:24,” What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” What hope is there if all men are guilty? In Romans 3:21, Paul will begin to unfold God’s beautiful plan of salvation, justification, grace and righteousness. Yes, we are all guilty but while we are by still sinners, Christ died for us! (Romans 5:8) Buckle up, because in the weeks to come, God is going to blow us away by His love! Amen.

 

Grace Nuggets: Romans 1:16-17

Romans 1:16-17 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.  For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Why is Paul not ashamed of the Gospel? He gives us three reasons:

  1. The Gospel is God’s power of bringing salvation to everyone who believes.
    • It is God’s power that brings us into salvation – not our works or deeds because they are powerless to make us righteous. And this is good news for us because it takes the pressure off of us to perform to be right with God. All we have to do is just believe in His finished work! The Gospel is good news because it shows us that God loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son to die for our sins – knowing we are imperfect, messy, sinful people. We were separated from God when Adam sinned in the Garden but our Greater Adam, Jesus, came to reconcile us back to God, therefore, making a way for us to be right with Him once again!
  2. The Gospel is the righteousness of God revealed.
    • Paul gives us the theme of Romans: The Gospel is God’s righteousness being revealed to mankind. Throughout the book, Paul will show the Romans (and us) how God can declare sinners right with Him. First, Paul must show his readers how unrighteous man is (Rom 1:18-3:20). Paul’s indictment against all men is enough to make you wonder why God would want to give us His righteousness! But as Warren Wiersbe puts it, “we can never know the righteousness of God until we understand the unrighteousness of man.” When God gives a sinner His righteousness He treats the sinner as if he had not been a sinner at all (Barclay).The contrast between our unrighteousness and God offering His righteousness to us, shows how much He truly loves us! Romans 5:8 says that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What an amazing God!
  3. The Gospel is the righteousness of God that comes through faith.
    • Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel because it is God’s power to save us and reveals how we are made right with God. How is God’s righteousness revealed? By faith. Paul says that the righteousness of God is revealed by faith from first to last, or faith to faith, or from faith beginning to end. It’s not from faith to works or faith to law. This means that our salvation is accomplished only by putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. We cannot work for it nor earn it. It is given to us as a free gift of grace and can only be received by believing in faith. This fulfills Habakkuk 2:4 which says that the just or the righteous will live by faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 confirms this when it says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” The righteousness of God is given to us by grace through faith, not our works or efforts. Faith is not only by which we are saved but is the basis of the Christian life. We are saved by faith and we live by faith.

You are unrighteous. God is righteous. God cannot accept your sin and you can never be righteous with God through your efforts and works. You are hopeless. But God reveals hope to you: Jesus. You believe in Jesus by faith. God declares you righteous. You are saved by faith and you live by faith. This is why we should echo Paul’s declaration: I am not ashamed of the Gospel! Amen.

 

Grace Nuggets: Romans 1:7

Romans 1:7 – To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul begins His letter to the Romans and in many other letters beginning with grace and peace. Why does grace always precede peace? Because we cannot know the peace of God until we know the grace of God. God’s grace is a free gift given to us that is neither deserved nor earned. It is a gift that is given through Jesus Christ and comes to us by believing and trusting in His finished work on the Cross. We have to understand grace before we can understand God’s peace. Courson explains that, “if you understand grace – that God blesses and gives unconditionally – you’ll stop trying to earn His blessings, and you’ll have peace.”

There are 2 components of peace:  Peace with God is God extending His grace to us and saving our souls when we realize our sinful nature and that we need a Savior. But peace with God is different from the peace of God. The peace of God comes by realizing that we don’t have to maintain our relationship with God but that we can rest in the work that is already completed for us. When we truly grasp that we don’t have to “do” all these things for God to be happy with us and bless us, we can experience the peace of God that transcends all understanding. All we have to do is believe and respond and leave the work to Him. Understand, grasp, and take a hold of God’s beautiful grace and let His peace guard and rule your hearts! Amen.

John 14:27 – I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Philippians 4:6-7 – Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

 

 

When We’re Discontent…

This blog is more for myself than anyone else. Yet, I want to share my heart in this matter because someone else might benefit from it as well. A word that God keeps teaching me lately is discontentment. The definition for discontent is “having a lack of contentment or dissatisfaction with one’s circumstances.” Raise your hand if you have ever been dissatisfied with the circumstances you were in. Mine is raised for sure! We can be in situations and not like what we’re going through. However, if discontentment starts to take root in our hearts, it will be sown into all areas of our lives and produce weeds of bitterness, envy, jealousy, anger, entitlement, etc. It is a dangerous thing to let discontentment breed in our hearts because that’s where our words, actions, and attitudes come from. Not to mention that this is a playground for Satan! He would love nothing more than for us to wallow in our discontentment and make us feel as though we “deserve” more than what we have right now. There have been many circumstances in which I haven’t been satisfied or content and instead of nipping it in the bud, I let the discontentment fester and become a stumbling block in my life. And Satan jumped right on that and made it 10 times worse.

Tuesday night’s bible study was a great lesson on this subject and in Numbers 16 (go read it), there’s a great example of what happens when discontentment takes root. After disobeying God and not taking the promised land, God told the Israelites that they would wander the wilderness for 40 years until the unbelieving generation had died off. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram did not like this plan. They were Levites that had been given a job of ministering to the Lord by putting up and taking down the tabernacle. Apparently, Korah didn’t like what God called him to do so he accused Moses of exalting himself above the people, or making himself their leader. But it was God who appointed Moses to that position, not Moses! Korah had let discontentment take root in his heart and from that came jealousy, bitterness, and entitlement.He basically didn’t think that Moses’ leadership was good enough to lead the people anymore so he wanted to take the position away from him. Korah’s discontentment lead to him rebelling not only against the leadership but against God. Korah thought he deserved something more than what was given to him and he lead others down that same path.

So Korah rebels, and what happens? He gets his way and becomes the leader of the Israelites? Think again! He was swallowed up by the earth and taken to Sheol (the place of the dead). Yes, in Numbers 16:31-32 it says that when Moses stopped speaking, the earth split apart and swallowed up Korah and his family and those who took his side. Take caution here – discontentment will swallow us up and take us under if we aren’t careful! It can take us into our own Sheol – a place of darkness and spiritual defeat.

Discontentment not only affects us personally but it affects the people in our sphere of influence. You would think that after the people saw what happened to Korah that they would have learned a lesson, but no! In Numbers 16:41-50, the people begin to grumble against the Lord and start to rebel as well! And what did the Lord do? He sent a plague to upon the people – but Aaron went and interceded for them so not all the people died from the plague. Discontentment spreads like a plague! Once somebody is discontent with their circumstances, it will cause someone else to not be content and it will spread like a contagious sickness. That’s why God had to deal radically with the Israelites. It’s not because He’s a mean, angry God, but it’s because he knows that if the sin isn’t taken care of immediately, it will spread to the rest of the people – and that’s not His best for His people!

But praise the Lord, there is hope for the discontented heart! We don’t have to let our circumstances make us feel unsatisfied but we can learn to push through them and be content in every situation. The Apostle Paul gives us the secret to living a life of contentment: “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:11-13) You see, the secret is not to have enough willpower or self-control to do it ourselves, because we will fail. The secret is to let Jesus Christ be our strength in all that He has called us to do. In whatever situation He has placed us in or whatever circumstances He allows us to go through, we can be content because of His strength. The strength of the Lord will keep us content because we are not letting circumstances define or change us. The point is to serve the Lord where He has placed us, for we are the salt and light right where we are. Jon Courson says “whether you’re a banker, baker, mechanic or cook, yours is an important calling because of the need for brothers and sisters to serve in all kinds of areas and locations. Don’t think you’re missing God’s best if you’re not a missionary. If the Lord wants you selling insurance or pouring cement, be at peace about it and say ‘Lord if this is what you have for me, I’ll do it for Your glory.'”

Exodus 16:8 says that when we grumble, we are grumbling against the Lord. So we have to ask ourselves, “am I grumbling because I’m becoming discontent in an area of my life? Are there situations and circumstances in my job, marriage, finances, etc. that are causing me to be dissatisfied?”  The next time we find ourselves grumbling, let us ask God to search our hearts and test it for wrong motives (Psalm 139:23).  He has placed us where we are for “such a time as this.”(Esther 4:14) We can either let discontentment take over and sow seeds of strife or we can ask the Lord to strengthen us to be content and find your joy in Him.

Contentment comes when we surrender our discontentment and dissatisfaction to Him and allow Him to use us right where we are. For we can do all things, being content with little or with much, through Christ who gives us strength. Amen.