Thursday, November 22, 2018

Satisfied


Satisfied

“I can’t get no satisfaction,” sing the Rolling Stones.  “How much more do you need? Just a little bit more.” This was Rockefeller’s response on money. Are we satisfied? Where do you get satisfaction or contentment? Is it money like the “rich young ruler” in Luke 18, obsessed with his gold that he could not give up? There are many things or people we might place above God in our priorities, but they will not satisfy long term. There is only one source and you can’t buy it. In fact it’s free! Yet as Pastor/writer/martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, it is very Costly Grace. I know you have heard of some great deals on late night TV. It comes to nothing to satisfy the hole in your heart that Pascal speaks of as needing filling. There is only one way to fill it.  Jesus the Messiah is our only source and way to satisfaction or contentment. Is He enough or more than enough? Solomon and Sampson tried everything into ruin, until they repented and found the only source of wealth. Have you tried it all and still are unhappy, unsatisfied, discontented? 

The Apostle Paul tried the Law, but it only led him to jealousy, hatred and murdering of Christians. The Law is good because it points us to our sin and need for the living God. Paul finally needed to be dramatically stopped by force on the Damascus Road by Christ Himself. He was brought to his knees and stripped of his pride to be rebuilt into a vessel suitable to be filled by Jesus’ love and forgiveness. I too needed to be struck down by Jesus in a similar way on the Lake Superior Road in a blizzard at midnight in my blazing headlights kneeling in deep and pure windblown snow some 27 years ago. I had come to the end of my prideful and selfish behavior and myself. I had led the turnaround of a broken hospital back to life, but it had drained me and caused my own moral failures in the process. But God confronted me that night with His truth and overwhelming love. Repenting of my sin I received His grace and was transformed on the spot to become one of His own being made over into something new. Now, still being sanctified or being made righteous through the Holy Spirit, I like Paul have received God’s gifts as more than satisfying.

My life before was not content. Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes” (Proverbs 27:20). My old life required repentance and turning around to be made new. The old is gone, but the flesh remains except for God’s overwhelming grace to renew and satisfy the debt of my sin and yours. Once Paul was changed and filled by the Spirit of God, his life was a sacrifice demonstrated through his walk through trials and troubles as well as great success for the kingdom of God. He was able to say; “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situationwhether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him (Christ) who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:12b-13). He went on to say, “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Yes we will not be in want as David’s Psalm 23 tells of our Good Shepherd’s guidance and provision. He will provide for all of our needs and His goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our life and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 

Jesus’ miracles were given to show us His total provision. In His feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew 14, “They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” In the Luke version of the Beatitudes we read, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh”  (Luke 6:21). He meets all physical and spiritual needs. Just trust and know that as Paul tells the Ephesians of Holy Spirit filling and ending with a doxology of more than enough:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21). 

The world and its resources will not satisfy or bring contentment. The visible are rusting away, so look to the things unseen which are eternal. 




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