In January 2015, 14-year-old John Smith fell through the frozen surface of a lake in St. Charles, Mo., and remained submerged for 15 minutes. He had no pulse when emergency workers pulled him from the freezing water, it was reportedly only after audible prayers by his mother, Joyce, that his heart finally started up again. And over the next several days
When Jesus said, He is the vine and we are the branches, and that we ought to remain in Him in order to be alive and fruitful, He was talking about our spiritual health. For a branch to remain connected to the vine, daily tending, protection and care are vital. For us to remain connected to Jesus, our source of life, love, joy, peace, and power, we come to Him daily in prayer, praise, worship, and devotion.
The series by Pastor Dave on “Developing Contentment” has told us, obviously, that it is an inside job and that contentment is not automatic. Being an inside job seems to put the emphasis on us, and that is where we might want to stop. If it depends on me it just will not happen. It is hard to be content. But there is a lot of incentive to develop contentment, and we have help. Paul says ‘It is God who works in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure’, in Philippians 2:13. So let us pay attention.
But just because you were named and labeled as something undesirable, does not mean that it’s the end of the story, and you are doomed to live out that label. In the Bible, we are introduced to a man whose name warranted a name change. But instead of living up that label, he chose God’s label instead and became a success in his life.
When the “teachers of the law” pressed Jesus to make his top picks among the commandments, he replied that the greatest act is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength, followed secondly by loving your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31) This suggest that our priority is to love God first and then loving others and loving ourselves become by-products of our first choice to develop a relationship with God the Father.
Achieving peak performance in our lives is not enough to make us content. No matter how gifted we might be, true contentment cannot be found in our performance. The world grades us and gives us value according to our performance. In contrast, the Bible says we are created by God in His image and He shows His unmerited love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.