The Rare Jewel of Contentment – Quote

Contentment…what a word and a very rare jewel. Who would have thought that this word could mean so much and change how we respond to our everyday situation. As I began reading through this book I realized what was missing in my life. I had not been content with the things I’ve gone through. Every time something happened I didn’t like I would complain until I realized what I was doing.

In recent years we have gone through some tremendous hurt and pain yet the Lord keeps reminding me, “Violet, trust Me! I know exactly what I’m doing whether you know or not.” I’ve read and reread this book and I thought it would be great to share little tidbits out of it with you. May the Lord bless each of you in the reading of the parts posted from this very special book.

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The Rare Jewel of Contentment

By Jeremiah Burroughs

(Pps 33-34)

Thus you have the true interpretation of the text. I shall not make any division of the words because I take them only to promote the one most necessary duty: quieting and comforting the hearts of God’s people under the troubles and changes they meet with in these heart-shaking times.

The doctrinal conclusion briefly is this: That to be well-skilled in the mystery of Christian contentment is the duty, glory, and excellence of a Christian. This evangelical truth is held forth sufficiently in the Scripture, yet we may take one or two more parallel places to confirm it.

In 1 Timothy 6:6,8, you find expressed both the duty and the glory of it. “Having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (6:8)—there is the duty. “But godliness with contentment is great gain” (6:6)—there is the glory and excellence of it, as if to suggest that godliness were not gain except contentment be with it. The same exhortation you have in Hebrews: “Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have” (Heb 13:5).

I offer the following description: Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition. This description is a box of precious ointment and very comforting and useful for troubled hearts in troubled times and conditions.

In Moderation?

Over the past few months, I have not been able to get on Defending Contending that much for a variety of reasons. The main reason is because I have been very busy with work, working on a professional level exam in the evening, and trying to squeeze in time for family with what little bit of time I have left. Having said that, I wanted to take a few minutes to say that I appreciate those who have been able to contribute and who have commented.

Yet, with the responsibility of sharing with others comes another responsibility that I believe is even more important. This responsibility has been sadly lacking in some of the things that have been shared and I want to clarify a few points so we can move forward. The responsibility of which I speak is that, as true believers, we are called to reflect Jesus Christ in all that we say or do. Our position can be right, but if our disposition is wrong, then we are wrong. Being belligerent, obstinate, hateful, derogatory, or even caustic does not reflect who we are in Christ.

Hebrews 12:1 reminds us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who have walked the path before us. When I think of this passage, I cannot help but wonder what they would say to us if they could read our words or hear what we say to others who are true believers. As but one example, I wonder if they would wince when our words are written or designed to tear strips off of those who believe in salvation by grace through faith alone in Christ alone yet are not in total agreement with us on some point of doctrine that has nothing to do with our salvation.

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It seems that on a regular basis, we can get sideways with others for a variety of reasons and in the process we forget that part of being in Christ is that we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. This has not always been the case here at Defending Contending, and even I have had to back off and extend an apology to our readers and our commenters for not being gracious. Again, my position may well have been right, but my disposition only inspired others to dive for shelter instead of looking to Jesus Christ.

Too often it seems that we forget the passage in 1 Corinthians 3 where Paul reminded the believers of Corinth that we are not called to be followers of Paul, or Apollos, or Luther, or Calvin, or MacArthur, or Sproul, or Paul Washer, or fill-in-the-blank. When we put our eyes on mere men who are fallible and by no means 100% correct in every single area of their life, we will be disappointed. Not only will we be disappointed, but the world will have reason to wonder as to who really paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. They may well wonder why we spend more time trying to defend points of doctrine over acting, speaking, and listening in ways that are truly glorifying and Christ-honoring.

Recently, we have had posts that were meant to be words of encouragement only for the gloves to come off and comments began to spin out of control. The post was never intended to be anything more than apples of gold in pitchers of silver. The short post got hijacked and it became a stomping ground for people from different ends of the spectrum to parade how they felt. Several posts recently have been such that I cringe when I look back and read them and the comments. I wonder what in the world we are really doing or what we are attempting to do.

Finger-pointing does nothing profitable. Thus I felt this post was necessary to hopefully clear the air. First, let me reiterate that I am unashamedly, first and foremost, a Christ-follower. Second, I hold to the Bible as the inerrant and infallible word of God that is good for ALL that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Third, I do not have any desire to follow a mere man. Yes, I, myself, have posted comments or quote or even sermons from men like MacArthur, Washer, or Dr. Steve Lawson, but they are men just like me. Others quote Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Sproul, or whoever as though they are to be esteemed to the level of the apostle Paul.

Anybody that cares to take the time to read through more of this blog will know where I have stood for the more than 8 years I have written here at Defending Contending. I have no intention of backing down from defending truth or contending for the faith. Many of you already know that I do not use the term Calvinist to describe myself. Most would be hard pressed to tell you exactly where Mark Escalera stands, but I am willing to share if I am asked. I have no issues standing against false teaching or false teachers. What I do have an issue with is the attitudes that are portrayed at times that are not Christ-like.

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I have almost shared enough for now, but I want to share just a couple more things. Not every reader, nor every person who comments, nor even every person who has been asked to contribute stands on the same ground theologically. While I disagree on various points with each contributor, I still have the final say on the blog and who I invite to write here.

I would kindly ask that each reader remember that ultimately, I am the one that is responsible for Defending Contending and that this is not, nor will it be, a forum for just anybody to come here and defend and contend for what everyone else believes. If a person comes here and desires to share, there are still rules that are not going to change.

If you come to DefCon just for the purpose of trying to change all of our minds on a particular area, then please feel free to start your own blog. We do not mind questions, nor do we mind disagreements. But, writing inflammatory comments or demanding to be heard on one side or another of a particular issue will not be tolerated. If you have a comment that is held in moderation, I do not need 1, 2, 5, or 10 more comments letting me know that your comment is in moderation. I have a busy life and it may not be answered for an hour, a day, or even 2 days.

As for those who write blog posts here at DefCon, I respect each one and each one has added to the mix various points that I appreciate. This is true whether it is George Alvarado’s points on evangelism or apologetics, Manfred’s book reviews or posts on various doctrinal issues, J.L. Pattison’s posts on various topics, or even Sony Elise’s words of encouragement. Each of these individuals are my friends, some closer than others, and I will defend each one of them even if I do not always agree with them with everything they post or will post.

In conclusion, my entire point of the post is to bring us back to the reality that we will all disagree until the Lord takes us home. Then we will quickly come to the understanding that we were not right on everything. However, that will quickly fade as we realize how glorious it is to be worshiping with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. To find ourselves standing, kneeling, dancing, waving our hands, stomping our feet with glee, or running the hills of glory will be all worth it in the end when we see Jesus Christ, who ALONE is the author and finisher of our faith. I expect, in the meantime, that we each strive diligently to be gracious to each other so that others will see the reflection of the Master Carpenter.

LGBT is coming for YOUR Children

WAKE UP, CHRISTIANS! GET UP! TURN OFF THE ENTERTAINMENT OF THE WORLD AND LISTEN!!

On second thought, just go ahead and listen to the Sandman as he takes you off to Slumberland. Faintly, maybe you can hear the melody and discordant trills of the Pied Piper that sounds almost comforting. You are not quite sure any more because you have been listening to the Sandman or the Pied Piper for so long that you don’t realize that behind the two-faced masks lies the evil one. It is Satan himself.

However, most of those who claim the name of Christ enjoy their sleep. They enjoy the tunes of the world that lure them deeper and deeper into the realms of darkness.

The writing has been on the wall for a long time. Like Belshazzar from the book of Daniel, we in the west have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.

When I began writing at Defending Contending over 8 years ago, I continued shouting the warnings that these days were coming. I shouted like a madman just as I have for years in the ministry that the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were coming. I warned about the LGBT movement over and over. I argued with passion that they would NEVER be content to just destroy the Biblical pattern of marriage which was established by God as being between one man and one woman until death.

I was very vocal that the LGBT movement hated God and would strive diligently to destroy true Biblical Christianity. I also told you that they would infiltrate every aspect of government, the military, commerce, and down to the school system. Most have ignored me. Many mocked me. I have received more hate email than I care to have ever read.

In addition, I told you that they had a homosexual agenda. Their agenda has been detailed at great length that can be found with a simple search using any search engine.

Yet Christians closed their eyes. Pastors refused to take a stand. Churches capitulated to the enemy. It started simply enough by making comments like, “Well, what they do behind closed doors is not really anybody’s business.” But the LGBT movement was NEVER going to be content with that. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was not good enough for those who support this very small, but vitriolic and violent segment of the population who wanted complete openness to practice their abominations.

But that would NEVER be enough. The LGBT movement wants not only openness to do what they want and where they want and when they want, BUT…their key demand is that EVERYBODY MUST ACCEPT their perversions or they will be defined as bigots. Christians are responding with zzzzzzzzzzzzzz……….

Read the article linked here at FoxNews and weep. If you are willing to allow your children to sit under such deception, then do not be dismayed when they choose paths that are deliberately opposed to the ways of God. Don’t go and cry at the mid-week prayer meetings when you not only set them up for failure, but allowed them to be part of the celebrations that are taking place under the watchful eyes of those who you THOUGHT were tasked with the protection of little Johnny and little Susie.

Pastors, stop worrying about your next paycheck and allow the world to dictate what you can or cannot say. Your sermons will be nice pithy sermonettes and the applause will soon resound with the sound of church coffers being filled. Your conscience may grieve you temporarily, but don’t worry, this too shall pass as you shrug your shoulders and state, “Not my problem to correct the whole world!”

Missions support will probably go the way of the dodo bird, but don’t worry, the UN will do a great job providing care for all those poor misplaced Africans or Asians who still resoundingly believe that homosexuality and lesbianism is an abomination to the soul of mankind.

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Oh yes, one more thing. Just forget about this article. It really is nothing more than the deluded thoughts of man who is nothing more than a bigoted crackpot. In fact, he probably still believes that the Word of God is good for all that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). As crazy as it sounds, he probably even believes that GOD DOES NOT CHANGE and that JUDGMENT IS COMING!

Shhhhhh….go back to sleep. The Sandman is com…..zzzzzzzzz…..

 

Fruit of the Spirit 6: Goodness

I am sorry it has taken so long to continue my series. Life has been really hectic lately but I continue to think about what exactly it means to walk in the Spirit.

This particular fruit is interesting to me. Romans 3:12 tells us, “There is none that does good; no not one.” Jesus said the same thing in Mark 10:18 and yet “goodness” is one of the fruits that we are to have if we are full of the Spirit. So what does it mean to be good?

goodness

In our humanity, we are vile, sinful, selfish creatures. It is only with God’s help that we have any goodness in us. When we come to know God, He teaches us to love others. As we learn to love others, we become more selfless. That is when the goodness of God begins to show through.

I realize that there are “good” people who do not know the Lord but without His Spirit, your goodness avails nothing. Only with God’s Spirit will we exhibit the goodness that leads to life and Godliness.

Verbal Pornography

We live in a dangerous age. Wrong is now right and fully acceptable in the eyes of a sick, sin-darkened world. What is even worse is that the church has often sought to fully endorse the Corinthian and Laodicean attitudes of this amoral society. America is no longer a post-modern society, but a society where morals are what you decide to make them.

For example, I know some who claim the name of Christ who believe that it is acceptable for homosexuals to sin all they want provided they do it behind closed doors and don’t bother anybody else. However, sin and depravity is never enough for those walking apart from God and out of the rebellion of their hearts. The sin that is acceptable today for them will never be enough until it is fully out in the open and others have been ensnared by their depravity.

To say that their sin is ok as long as it is behind closed doors is a dangerous path because once that becomes acceptable, those who prey on others will seek to get others to say that it is acceptable as long as it is behind closed doors. Before long, we have fully endorsed the rank wickedness that destroyed the Roman Empire in which not only was homosexuality accepted but so was the sale of slaves for sexual purposes (any age and gender).

What would never have been acceptable in any polite company when I was growing up in the 70’s is now fully open. It is endorsed by Hollywood by that which enters the eye gates and even Christians are laughing at the smut. We attended a church once that included times of “fellowship” when the men / women would get together for a night out which included “R” rated movies. What kind of picture does this paint for the world who cannot see Christ in us, but only more of themselves?

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If they even care to check out what is going on, very few parents are complaining about the material that is being forced upon their children to read in public school settings or what is being openly displayed at the local public libraries. There was a time school plays and activities would never have been considered risqué, but those days are long gone and now we find in the news even today that middle schoolers were given a word search game as part of their class activity that was based fully on the smut entitled “50 Shades of Grey.”

Books like “50 Shades” are becoming bestsellers and turned into movies. Men and women are buying this verbal pornography by the millions and then wondering why their marriages are suffering. It continues the trend set by books like “Twilight” in which a very old 104 year old vampire man preys on a young, innocent teenage girl seeking sex. Seriously?!?!?!

No true father would permit or endorse such behavior in his own home, yet even fathers who claim the name of Christ are permitting their daughters and their wives to fawn over the characters in these books and movies.

Dear sisters in Christ, this type of reading material is no different an impact on your mind than the dangers of visual pornography is to the men and boys in your home. These words are designed and written in a way that does not bring you closer to Christ, nor to your husband. While two wrongs never make a right, you cannot complain about what your husband is watching if you are filling your heart and mind with the same kind of trash he is. You are both wrong before the Lord. It is hypocritical for you to complain that he is cheating on you with a computer screen when you are cheating on him with what you reading on the printed page.

Dear brothers in Christ, we are called to be observant in our homes. We might pride ourselves on not allowing the vulgar, sexually-charged rap music of the world to enter our homes, but we are permitting our wives and young girls to be embraced by that which is not truly a reality. This is sin before God. Their hearts and lives must be guarded jealously or you will lose them. Brothers, it is hypocritical to think that you are justified in not protecting your heart by what you watch if you do not also care what books can be found on your bookshelves. Your wife will NEVER live up to the expectations that the world creates in your heart and mind, and you also will NEVER live up to the expectations of what the world wants to offer your wife through what she reads.

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Divorces are taking place on an ever-increasing basis within the church by those who claim the name of Christ. Husbands and wives have filled their heads with trash and then want to claim “irreconcilable differences” on their divorce papers when their spouse does not live up to the torrid expectations of the latest best-selling book on the New York Times list or the latest box-office hit from the pit of Hollywood. If you think the smut and trash of the world is harmless, then you are living life at the bottom end of a frayed rope. You are but one small strand from total destruction.

Pastors and shepherds, we must be willing to address the truth of Scripture and warn the flock of the dangers that are being faced. This does not mean that we need to ride hobbyhorses or only speak about the latest fads. However, it does mean that we must be willing to open our eyes to the wickedness that is desperately seeking to swallow our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We must call out the dangers for what they truly are. It is hypocritical to call out to the Lord to save marriages if we have not warned of the impending doom that we saw taking place in the home and ignored it.

Visual and verbal pornography is seeking to destroy our homes. There is nothing that Satan and his minions must enjoy more than to see those who are true believers being swallowed up by the millions with the filth of the world. The evil one wants to destroy your marriage.

Christian women, he wants you to think that it is acceptable for you to find a release in your life from the “mundane” that you find so tedious. The books and movies that demean your husband and marriage are just as bad and as wicked as what he may be involved with. It is not reality. God will not be mocked. Vampire love stories and sexual bondage novels are a totally depraved and warped destruction of what God has created to be holy. You are tasked with protecting your daughters as well so they can go to their wedding being pure in every way.

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Christian men, you want a wholesome marriage? Stop longing after what is not reality. Stand up and be the kind of man God demands you to be. Be a true man who shows true deference to a lady. Be a godly man who points others to Christ, not detracts from the loveliness of the Savior. Be the father who protects his young boys and girls from the depravity of the world that only wants to destroy them.

Godly marriages are not based on anything Hollywood or the New York Times best-seller list has to offer. They are built day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute on sacrifice, service, and Christ-like love. Your lives will NEVER resemble Hollywood or the best-seller lists because those are far from Christ. Flee from that which will destroy you. Seek forgiveness from the Most High and learn to trust and love again in a way that others can see Christ in you the hope of glory.

Quotes (546)

Would that we could see the wall of separation between the church and the world made broader and stronger. It makes one sad to hear Christians saying, “Well, there is no harm in this; there is no harm in that”, thus getting as near to the world as possible. Grace is at a low ebb in that soul which can even raise the question of how far it may go in worldly conformity.

– C.H. Spurgeon

1834 – 1892