The Encourager

The Encourager

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Content - by Ethan Tidwell

Saturday, February 03, 2024


By Ethan Tidwell


There are times when we may be in need or have plenty of resources, in our physical state. Whatever it is we must be content.

A good example of those not willing to follow are the Israelites. They complained several times. They weren’t content. In Exodus 14 they complained to Moses, wanting rather to be in Egypt (vv.11-12). This also shows the faith they didn’t have.

In later chapters they would continue on with their murmuring and complaining about food and drink. They also wanted and worshipped false gods. They were never satisfied, not even showing gratitude to God who delivered them out of captivity. We see they were not content in these passages.

Paul says, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Phil.4:11). What can we learn from Paul is that he says and has this attitude of being content while in prison. He kept his focus on doing God’s will (in whatever state he was in).

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have” (Heb.13:5a). There is nothing wrong with wanting more materialistic possessions or wanting a better job, career, etc., but if it comes to the point of taking God away from the top of our priorities and being covetous, then it is sinful. If we are in need, there’s no need to worry. “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb.13:5b). The Lord provides for our needs, and we as Christians don’t have to worry. Peter said, “Cast all you care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1Peter 5:7).

Jesus in Matthew 6 speaks about worrying, that we shouldn’t worry. If the Father takes care of the birds of the air, He certainly takes care of His children, as we see this in (Matt.6:25-27).

We should be content in our physical state and need not worry for the things we need, for we are taken care of. However, when it comes to our spirituality, we should never be content, where are okay in our spiritual state; not ever desiring to grow more. Being stagnant.

This is not having zeal for the Lord if we are spiritually stagnant. There must be a time when we grow out of taking only the milk of the word. We must eventually take on solid food. Hebrews 5 talks about those that only take the milk are unskilled in the Word, solid food is taken by those who are wise also to discern both good and evil (Heb.5:12-14). To gain more knowledge and grow in the truth, we need to “Study to show thyself approved” (2Tim.2:15). I believe we can liken this to what Paul said in 1Cor. 13:11; “When I became a man, I put away childish things.” The childish things being only the milk of the Word and becoming a man taking on the solid food of the Word.

We must be content in our physical state, but spiritually we must yearn for more. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matt.5:6).

"Commits A Trespass Against the Lord" - Heath Rogers

Saturday, January 27, 2024


                                                              by Heath Rogers

In a sermon two weeks ago, we studied David's statement from Psalm 51:4 - "Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight…" I made the comment that David was aware that he had sinned against Uriah, Bathsheba, his servants, and the entire nation. However, all this vanished away as he considered the enormity of his guilt before God. A good lesson needs to be learned from the man after God's own heart.

All our sin, regardless of who is hurt by our actions, is ultimately committed against God Himself.

Joseph responded correctly to the sexual advances of his master's wife: "There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Gen. 39:9). Young Joseph understood the sin of adultery is ultimately a sin against God because it violates His law.

These two men believed that any sin was ultimately a sin against God. What does God say about this?

Monday night, brother McKibben led us in a study of Abraham lying to Abimelech in Genesis 20:1-14. I noticed something God told Abimelech in verse 6. "Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore, I did not let you touch her" (emphasis mine - HR). Long before Joseph or David lived, God had established that the sin of adultery is a sin against the Lord Himself.

Leviticus chapter 6 offers more light on this subject. In giving instructions regarding offerings and restitution, the Lord said: "If a person sins and commits a trespass against the Lord by lying to his neighbor about what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or about a pledge, or about a robbery, or if he has extorted from his neighbor, or if he has found what was lost and lies concerning it, and swears falsely - in any one of these things that a man may do in which he sins" (Lev. 6:2-3, emphasis mine - HR). All sins we commit against others are first and foremost sins against God.

Denominational writer R.C. Sproul is noted for these excellent comments regarding sin:

"Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself. Have you ever considered the deeper implications of the slightest sin, of the most minute peccadillo? What are we saying to our Creator when we disobey Him at the slightest point? We are saying no to the righteousness of God. We are saying, 'God, your law is not good. My judgment is better than Yours. Your authority does not apply to me. I am above and beyond Your jurisdiction. I have the right to do what I want to do, not what You command me to do.'

The slightest sin is an act of defiance against cosmic authority. It is a revolutionary act, a rebellious act where we are setting ourselves in opposition to the One to whom we owe everything. It is an insult to His holiness…" (R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, 151-152).



A Bible Verse to Meditate on This Week:


Proverbs 16:28

A perverse man sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends.

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