The Image of Contentment

Let’s remember the main points from this series on Contentment.

  1. Divine Contentment is supernatural, possible only for God’s people.
  2. It is the result of a relationship between God our heavenly Father and His children.
  3. He will teach us and show us what He is doing in us.

In this post we want to meditate on God’s Word and what we learn from Him, concerning His image and how He works His image in us as His children. He is content with His own work in and through us. Therefore, we must learn to be content with what He is doing.

From the beginning He saw that everything He had made was “good.”

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” Genesis 1:26a

He is still working all things for our good and conforming us to the image of His Son.

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;”
Romans 8:28-29

We are being transformed to the image of the Lord as we continue to look to Him for all things.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:182-corinthians-3-18-orange-copy

The apostle John and the Psalmist speak of the future when we will see God in all His glory.

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
1 John 3:2

“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” Psalm 17:15

While we wait for His second coming we can be content in our role as a servant, even as He served while He was here.

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.
Matthew 10:25

Dear Father, You have created us in your image, and given us new hearts so as to fill us with your Spirit and to conform us to the image of your Son. It is enough for us to be like our Master, and to one day behold your face in righteousness and be satisfied with your likeness. Make us content in the work you are doing in us now, by your grace and for your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

The First and Last Commandment

Since learning that all God’s commands are what He promises to do, I now read and understand that His words are meant to bring us to Him in our helplessness, to seek His power to know Him, love Him and obey. In this respect I see the Ten Commandments as relating to how His people live in His kingdom in relationship with Him. His words are words that we live by; not discarded under the law of grace. The whole of His commandments from beginning to end are begun, centered, and end in the one commandment of Love.

The first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” was later stated, in Deuteronomy 6:4-6 as, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord, our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord, thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might; and these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.” This was the interpretation that Jesus used when questioned by the religious authorities of His day.

The last commandment, “Thou shalt not covet…(list)…anything that is thy neighbors.” From the first to the last, and everything between, God’s commands are based on love to God and love to our neighbor (the second commandment.). They are all bound up in the Lord, our God.

How, then are we to obey such as is commanded from our creator? We, first understand that our God is the Lord, the one Lord who created and demands our love. If we know Him as our Lord, we will love Him. How do we know Him as our Lord? The Lord God who created also redeems us from our sin of disobedience and rebellion, and our enmity against Him.  He promised to give us a new heart and a new spirit; and to write His laws on our hearts and in our minds.

imagesWe love Him only as we experience His love for us. He has shown His love by sending His Son. By the Holy Spirit, the power of His own will and grace, He reveals Jesus Christ as our redeemer, and draws us in the cords of love to Himself. Such a love is effectual to bring about what He commands in our lives. It is the only way that He can fulfill such commands in us.

From the first to the last commandment Christ becomes our Lord, our love, our life.

Our love to our Lord God is the same love we show to others. When we know Him, love Him, and receive all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) from Him we need nothing that others have. We have all in Christ. Instead of coveting what others have our hearts desire, in our love for them, is that they have what we have.

 “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
Romans 8:32

 Dear Father, we praise you for loving us in Christ and for opening our eyes to see your kingdom in Him. Thank you for your great sacrifice in Christ that has brought us to obedience of faith by the Holy Spirit which you sent us, by whose power you are now accomplishing all that was planned before the foundation of the world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

You Shall Love the Lord Your God ~ Scripture Tunes

Heart Burn

Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road,
while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Luke 24:13-24

 After the resurrection two of Jesus’ disciples were returning home. Jesus caught up with them, and although he already knew what was in their minds and hearts, asked them what was going on. Then He spoke to them words that burned on their hearts and opened their eyes to see Him. Believing, they returned to Jerusalem to meet the other disciples, and to be a part of what God had planned.

When we want to save something we use the proper device to burn the information that is essential for our purposes. We use monitors to listen in where we want to hear. Our technology from man is astounding to us; and yet we have trouble hearing and believing God.

Before man was created God’s plan was in place. We were born with monitors. God knows each human heart. He knew from the beginning that we would need a new one on which to burn what He wants us to know and remember.

 “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.
And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh
and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26

 With this new heart and new spirit we are receivers of His new covenant of grace.

 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,
declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”
Hebrews 10:16

 He writes on our new heart what He wants us to know from His word. Continually writing He enables us ~ burns in our hearts the authority of His word; commanded by His Holy Spirit within us to receive and obey.   It monitors, and we receive from Him, through our reading and study of His word what we need to know and do as His people, His children.

 “But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.” Luke 5:38

 The old heart, the old wineskin will not receive and keep the new wine. It is too strong for the old heart.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
has shone in our hearts to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, 

to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
2 Corinthians 4:6-8

Dear heavenly Father, you know our needs. We need you; we need Jesus; we need your Holy Spirit today to teach us, to write on our hearts what we need to live in obedience to you. Let your word today, read and spoken, burn within our hearts all that you want to do in us. Leave your mark upon us today. In Jesus’ name I pray.


Adamancybeing fixed in one’s thoughts or opinions; obstinacy; stubbornness.

This word adamancy came to mind this week, after talking with a friend.  She was expressing her concerns about someone else’s problems—what they should or should not be doing.  I thought of how she could be handling her own opinions, but didn’t say much because it seemed she was so set in her own thoughts that nothing I said to her would matter.

Then I began to wonder how many times I have been in this same way of thinking—  when my opinions were so set that what anyone else said wouldn’t register with me.

A Stone
One dictionary definition of adamant is that of “a legendary stone.”  The word is used twice in the Old Testament, the word referring to the hardness of a stone, with further reference to the character of a diamond.

After looking up the definition of adamant in Webster’s and online I kept coming back to the thought: Adamancy seems to be the character of Adam, the first man; and the nature of all of his descendants.

With all that God had given Adam and his wife, Eve, and the command against what they shouldn’t have, they were rebellious, stubborn, and unwilling to listen and obey. This is the nature of all men until the Lord gives each of us a new heart.

A New Heart

“I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”
 (Ezekiel 11:18-20)

This promise was fulfilled when Jesus Christ came to earth, Immanuel—God with us.  He prepared the way for the Spirit of God to come into our lives and to give us a new heart.  The new spirit is His own Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are His children. We cry, “Abba Father” to work in this new heart, desiring that we would be conformed to the image of His dear Son.  (Romans 8:15-16, 28-29)

Dear Father, thank you for your Spirit of truth that brings conviction of my own sins, and by your goodness I ask you to bring me to repentance as often as this is needful.  As you are sanctifying me show me what you and others see that needs to be changed.  Transform me by the renewing of my mind to think your thoughts and to follow hard after Christ. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
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The Resolution

There is a resolution—and only one—to the problem of the human heart that is hardened to, and unresponsive to its Creator; it is His, and His, alone.

“A new heart also will I give you; and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26-27

“And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. Jeremiah 24:6-8

These are the promises of our God, the Almighty Creator and sustainer of all His creation, especially His people.

The Warranty

“I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me. Jeremiah 32:40

With the new heart comes a new warranty—an everlasting covenant for life. The original covenant with Adam depended on his own obedience to the covenant.  It only proved that man couldn’t live alone; we cannot live without the daily presence and power of God.  Life no longer depends on our working to sustain the covenant of life in ourselves, but on our trust and faith in what He has promised to do in us through His Son, Jesus Christ, and the power of His Holy Spirit.

“I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts,

and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”  Hebrews 8:10

The warranty is written on the new heart, and so it can never be lost.  And we can never be lost to God.  The new heart is registered in heaven.

“Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself.”

And this is the testimony, (the warranty) that God gave us eternal life,

and this life is in His Son.

Whoever has the Son has life;

 Whoever does not have the Son does not have life.” 

1 John 5:10-12

 Spirit of the Living God, Fall Fresh on Me

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The Newest Year ~ The Best Wine

The Father has opened my heart to think of this new year as the newest year, one that will surpass all others.  Each year of my life has brought new revelation, new truths, new vision, new purpose.  Each year has brought me closer and closer to Him. With time, aging, experience, and trials we can witness that He keeps His covenant and fulfills His promises. So why should we not come to this year with even more expectation, with a great and joyful anticipation?

All my life I seem to have been motivated by new beginnings, though they come with mixed blessings.  For every new beginning there has to be an ending, which means we leave something behind or lose something.  We may have to let something, or someone, go.  We may have to start over completely.  Years ago there came the realization that endings are like deaths.  Some are good endings that we have looked forward to. Others may be accompanied with grief, which may take time to get over.  But in the process is the preparation for the future that our Father has for us, and for things that He has prepared for us.  We are not speaking of the future as a reference to an after-death experience in heaven.  What we refer to is for here and now, a taste of heaven here on earth, and preparation for glory.  Every year, every trial, every ending, every death, every beginning brings us more of His blessings, and the heavenly gifts He waits to give.

New Heart ~ New Birth

To experience the newest we have to set aside the old.  With the new birth we start over. With the new heart our desires change.  The things that we lusted for, even things that seemed good are easily left behind for something better.  With the new spirit we look forward to new experiences that the Father has planned for us.  The child-like faith gives us hope for further fulfillment of His promises, and we rest in believing that He will show us great and mighty things we have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3)  The child-like spirit delights in the unexpected. We are not satisfied to live the same year again, but in anticipation that all things will be fresh and new from Him every day, and every year that we are here.  These new things are never lost, but added to year after year, with even greater anticipation.

We can expect the continued power of the Holy Spirit to guide us into and through the year, moment by moment, day by day, week by week, month by month until the ending of this year, unless He has chosen to bring us to glory  ( Psalm 73:24; Colossians 3:4) before then.  We anticipate further sanctification, cleansing and purifying of the heart and the hands, transforming by the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:1-2) and conforming us to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29)

“He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure;

 for this is all my salvation, and all my desire.”

2 Samuel 23:5 

We look forward to His instructions, to His order of the things with which we are still unfamiliar, but that He promises to reveal to us. (Deuteronomy 29:29; John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10)

On this first day of 2008 the question is asked, “Am I willing to give up my own ideas, the desires of my own heart, and seek, with diligence, the kingdom of God and His righteousness?”  (Matthew 6:33)  The Father has promised us an abundant life in His Son. (John 10:10)  The newest and the best are given only in Christ. All beginnings are of His grace—not a cheap grace, but one secured for us by the Father and the Son through the sacrifice of His life, a covenant of grace made for us before time began. (2 Timothy 1:9)

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”  John 3:30 

We enter this newest year with an open calendar and the prayer, “Lord, fill it with your plans for me—for your glory, and for my joy and the joy of others. Let there be less of me and more of you.”  And this same prayer we ask for all His people, for the building of His church and His kingdom. “Fill our hearts and prayers with more love for you and others, more praise, more gratitude, more of your grace. Let there be new springs, new fountains, new rivers of living water flowing in hearts, families, and churches.”

“Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.  This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.”  John 2:10-11

At the marriage feast at Cana Jesus turned water into wine. Much of what we have seems good until we, in the times of our seasoning, come to what the Father has for us. It is but as water, or only a good wine, compared to the better. We can afford to wait for the best that the Father has planned for us.  “The heirs can afford to wait.”  (Andrew Murray) He has promised a heavenly life for His people who live in anticipation of the spiritual things from His heart and kingdom. (Ephesians 1:3)  He has promised new wine in new wine skins.  He keeps filling our hearts with His Word, His promises, His Spirit, His power (Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 21:27,29) and excitement that spills over into each year.  Still, the newest year and the best wine are yet to come, in Glory with Him.

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,

how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” 

Romans 8:31

Keeping our eyes on Christ we live in daily anticipation of the filling of His Spirit, and the bread from heaven, the Spirit of the life of Christ given to us by a loving heavenly Father, and we pray, “Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name, Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-13; Revelation 4)  Before anything else we desire the honor of His name, the coming of His kingdom in our hearts, and His will to be done in our lives, as it is in heaven.  If these requests are fulfilled we can know that the others will be also.  The rest of the Lord’s Prayer is a petition for our needs based on our faith in what He promised and is able to do—for His glory and our joy.

“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,

unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:” 

Ephesians 4:7,13

(Fran 1/1/08  Article from 50 Days of Prayer and Praise ~ Articles and Stories of Faith)   Join us for our daily devotional