Everything? Really?

this is the oneIn this culture of self-help, independence, and determination it is easy to think that we achieve it all by means of our own luck, cunning, or skill. The things we have, we hold by sheer force of our desires coupled with hard work and opportunity to acquire. We can become greedy for more or egotistic about what we already have. Have you ever known anyone like that? Are you a person like that? Can’t we all be like that?

Over the past few years, my wife and I have been working at simplifying our lifestyle and being content in all our circumstances.

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.       Philippians 4:11–12

We had spent a lot of time bemoaning the fact that we didn’t have enough cash, enough savings, enough credit, in other words, enough financial security.

In practical terms, this flies in the face of being content. Worrying about our retirement future or current money circumstances is not conducive to peace.   Jesus told us that, in faith, we are not to worry about what we are going to wear or eat.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.       Matthew 6:19–21

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?         Matthew 6:25

IS HE CRAZY?! You can’t watch any television or cable show without being told by some company or other that you should indeed be worrying about your retirement, bank account, credit rating, or buying power. Society is definitely sending a different message.

As Christ-followers we don’t have to be concerned in the slightest with our eternal future. We can have confidence of heaven because of our faith in Jesus.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.       Hebrews 4:16

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,         Hebrews 10:19

Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.         1 John 2:28

BUT with the same breath, many of us can spend hours worrying about the future tomorrow holds. Is that faith?

Perhaps the answer is in a simple adjustment in our perspective. We belong to God. Romans 8:17 says we are “fellow-heirs with Christ.” If we surrender to His will it’s His job to work out our circumstances for His glory. Isn’t it?

We may not live in big houses, drive fancy cars, or wear clothes off the fashion runway, but we can give God glory in our chosen life-styles.

I come to a set of questions based on an extremely challenging verse.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.       Romans 11:36

Note the word “all” in the verse. Doesn’t “all” mean… “everything?” Can you honestly say that all your abilities, all your opportunities, and all the circumstances of your life come from Christ as the source of “all”? Not some, not a few, but all? It might be easy to sing the song, “All To Jesus I Surrender” but it’s harder to proclaim, “All From Jesus I Have Gotten.” ALL – Humbling, isn’t it?

Then the second challenge is the statement that absolutely everything is accomplished through Christ – not through Christ and our own efforts, but through Him alone. Everything you work at, everything you attempt, everything you achieve is “all” through the agency, power, and provision of the Lord. ALL – Humbling, isn’t it!

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.         Philippians 4:13

Lastly the verse proclaims that absolutely everything in our lives should be done for glory given to Him and Him alone. No credit for our hard work, no credit for our smarts, or skills… All the credit goes to Christ.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.                               1 Corinthians 10:31

If we apply Romans 11:36 to our lives, I mean really apply it, the details of our possessions and personal wealth come into sharp focus. We can be content and live in joy and peace because it all comes from Jesus; it all is achieved through Jesus; and it all goes to His glory and praise.

Isn’t that the essence of the first commandment? “Have no other gods before Me.” God is our everything… our all. He gives it all; we live it all through His grace and power and He gets absolutely all the credit.

Can you say that? Re-read Romans 11:36,

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.   

And – think about it…

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