We don’t often hear people talking about being content today. When we do, it’s often in terms of what would be ideal rather than characteristic of our lives. In this passage, Paul gives an explanation of how he has labored for contentment in Christ and in the worst of circumstances he can have joy, since his circumstances could never give him the fulfillment he seeks anyway, he seeks to be content in the person of Jesus Christ.
Anyone who has labored in ministry for any period of time knows that a consistent companion accompanies ministry. What is this companion? Discouragement. In this passage, Paul describes what it means to be the true minister of Christ through various discouragements and sufferings faced in the ministry.
Every disciple of Christ is called to evangelize. The New Testament paints a picture in which every disciple of Christ is normally and naturally involved in evangelism as much as in the Bible study, prayer, and corporate worship. From the brand new Christian to the wise old saint, sharing the gospel is necessary and integral to a growing life in Christ. In this passage, we learn how we’re called to approach Christian ministry both in serving the saints and the lost.
The Bible does not just merely suggests us to tithe and give to those who are needy, but it commands us to give to the service of God’s church. We are called to give and be generous because it is a way of glorifying God and also a way of reflecting His character in our lives. God the Father had willfully and cheerfully given His only Son to be sacrificed on the cross to redeem us. So giving is in the very fabric of the gospel, and so should it be with those who believe the gospel and live the implications of it in their lives.
Roman Catholic Church’s official position is that Jesus’ mother Mary remained a virgin for her entire life (perpetual virginity). The bible never affirms that, and instead notes about her children who came after Jesus. So Catholic church gives an inordinate amount of importance (and even worship) to Mary. Sometimes the opposite reaction in protestant churches to completely dismiss Mary’s life and godly character can be an extreme or incorrect position to hold. In this passage, we learn who is Mary, and what lessons we can learn from her submission to God.
If depression is prevalent in the world at large, it is even more so in the church. Depression is a common struggle Christians experience because of their own failure to grapple with the situation in life, and also their limitation or inability in controlling the outcomes which they never expected or wanted to avoid at all cost. In this passage, we learn the characteristics, causes, and the cure for depression, as we see David battling with it.
It has been generally observed that Christians who tithe regularly have healthier finances. Not just tithing, but Christians involved in generous giving of themselves and sharing their resources with people who are in need often end up being better stewards of money. That is probably because their investments are often directed toward areas in life that matter the most, namely, relationships. In this passage, we learn how giving changes us, and enables us to love God’s kingdom better.
Your love for God is greatly determined by your generosity to give when people around you are in desperate need of something. Giving is not just limited to financial support (although it is essential part of your service), but it also extends to your time and spiritual support. God instituted Church to be the primary avenue in which we exercise generosity not just in terms of money, but also in terms of committing our lives (time & talents) for the growth of the church. Church is a community which reveals our love for God and our understanding of His generosity in the way we conduct ourselves with people.
Christian life is about learning to trust God simply because of His unfailing love towards us as His children, and also for God’s faithfulness in keeping promises throughout history. The reason why trusting and believing in God is essential for us to persevere in faith is because we’re incapable of handling circumstances and uncertainties in life by our own strength and wisdom. This passage shows us how we’re called to keep believing in God’s promises especially when the situation might appear unfavorable.