"But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding."
Job 32:8

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


As mentioned, this will be the third and final part of my messages on humility. For those of you who have not read the previous two, they are titled:

Thus, here, I conclude with one final lesson that I learnt while in Portland, Oregon, and I think this particular encounter left me thinking the most because of how it put into question what people consider as "content". 

We've talked about this before and we remember Paul's words in Philippians 4:11 NIV, " for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." And we know how amazing it would be to achieve what Paul had found. 

How often do we wish we had something more? Maybe a little more money in our wallets or a few more presents under the Christmas tree, or a few more songs on our iTunes, and unless we are content with what God has given us, there will always be something more Satan tries to tempt us with that will appeal to us. 

Though we think we need it, we know we don't. We know we're fully capable of paying for what we need with the money we have or that Christmas is not about the presents and that we can worship God with our own songs. 

But what about when we really do need the extra money to pay the bills and its no longer a matter of comfort and leisure... but of sufficiency. 

Hence, my encounter that I want to share... and I will do my best to make it brief. 

I was heading back from this shopping mall and saw a man at a corner with a large pile of goods that looked over-used and unwanted. In light of the encounters God has placed in my life in the recent weeks, I felt compelled to give. Thus, I got out some money and walked over to this man. 

Now, I have to paint this picture for you. Here is this man, lying down on the side of the road, he had this tattered blanket of some sort he was on, lying down on his side with his elbow propped with tins and a basket laid out in front. So, I went up to him and our conversation went like this: 

"Hey, I thought you might need this." And hand him the money.

He looks at it. "That's too much, you keep it, I have enough here."

And I walk away dumbfounded. That was likely the last thing I had expected. 

With being a Geography student, I started thinking through all these different concepts on development and living conditions but what really struck out to me was this: I had assumed that what he had wasn't sufficient for him. 

Maybe it was the giant pile of used items, or the blanket, his clothes or where he was lying down. 

But what about the early Christians like Paul, who were jailed, and traveled a lot with barely anything on them? Or John the Baptist, who was, based on biblical descriptions, an outcast and homeless in his time and age?

Yet, each of these three men expressed a mindset of sufficiency and two of them I am certain based it on Christ and Him alone. Why? Because they knew Christ. They knew His words, that His Word is enough. That He provides just enough and comforts us in our time of need. 

 And you know what? Though we weren't there, He still remains alive through His Word and Spirit allowing us to know Him too through His spoken Word. Scripture. 

Psalm 3:5 NIV, "I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me."

Psalm 23:3a NIV, "he restores my soul" 

Matthew 10:31 NIV, "So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

And it goes on. Scripture is filled with His restoration, sufficiency, comfort, provision, abundance and limitless love. 

And I'm not saying we need to be homeless or in prison to experience this provision and sufficiency. 

That's a major flaw in today's thinking. We think that "Oh, if I went that far into sin, maybe I would have a big experience with God like that too" or "If I sold all of my possessions tday, I could realise His sustaining hand." 

Are you alive? 

Then He sustains you. 

This realisaton of His sustaining hand is not a matter of the past or the future, it is in the present. He is concerned with the present. Want to hear a cliche? Its called the present, because every second is a gift from Him. 

There we go. Boom! I ruined the message with a cliche. Just kidding. 

But its true. He continually sustains us, truly, whether we are asking for it or not. He does. Why? Because of His (not our) unconditional love. 

Colossians 1:17 NIV, "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

And He is holding you together right now.

And His creation proclaims this. Try clicking on this link for starters to see just how concerned He is with sustaining us. 

So, whatever you are in need of, He provides in abundance. Always on time, always enough to bring us to our knees in thankfulness. That's how awesome He is. 

Remain in the sufficient love of Christ, let His love be the measure of your life and it is then, we will find our souls to be content regardless of our circumstances. 

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13 NIV)

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