How often have you heard this verse used when someone needs to reassure him/herself that they can do anything? This verse has become one of the most misinterpreted parts of scripture in the Christian culture these days it seems. Is Paul really trying to tell us that we can do anything we want if we have Jesus? We can get straight As in school, win every football game, etc. We have to remember that this verse isn’t to be used as a self-confidence boosting motto when we’re challenging ourselves in an area of life.
So what then does this verse mean? Let’s look at the text surrounding it:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Paul is trying to simply tell us that we can be content in all situations when we depend on Christ for strength. When time are bad, when you lose your job, when your girlfriend breaks up with you, when you flunk the semester, you can get through all of that when you turn to Jesus to strengthen you. Through Him you can be content in bad situations.
But this isn’t just for the bad times, it is for the good times too. In times of plenty and abundance our contentment is to come from Christ not from what we have. I think an example of this is when we see people who have many possessions or much wealth but are just never happy. When our contentment is based on having things, even if those things are necessities in life, we will never be truly content. We can only find consistent satisfaction in the One who gave His life for us. Our sufficiency for life in any situation is in Jesus Christ
If You Read 1 Book This Summer…Make This It!
I received this book as part of a review program through the publisher. Just a heads up. That definitely doesn’t mean I’ll write a stellar review just because it was free…but ya’ll should know that cause I always keep it real here.
All that being said, you must read this book. To be honest, I was a little bit apprehensive about reading a book by John MacArthur because I know he holds the Calvinistic view which I do not agree with. As I expected his views on eternal salvation (a.k.a Once Save, Always Saved) and election were laced throughout the book. At first it was hard for me to get past, I even thought about ending my reading of it altogether, but I instead skipped forward into the book. I’m glad I didn’t give up on it because two sections on Daily Submission and Holy Living completely redeemed the book.
In a time where most Christian books are geared toward God can do for you, this book gets back to the roots of Christianity, focusing on how we are to use our lives for God’s glory. MacArthur’s writing is very convicting especially for younger Christians in my opinion. I highly recommend this book for campus ministries, for churches to give to new believers, and in discipleship.
I haven’t read a book that I have used my highlighter on this much, aside from the Bible, in years. Some may complain that there is too much Scripture used in the writing but personally I don’t see an issue with that. In fact, I think other authors would do well to follow MacArthur’s lead in these area and include verses to support their writings. The Truth About the Lordship of Christ is backed up with scriptural references that show the truths that are being written about. What is even better than that in my opinion is that MacArthur frequently refers back to the original language that the text was written in and delves deeper into what exactly the word meant in that language. This expository writing style was certainly a bonus.
Some have complained that the writing isn’t “deep” enough which is why I think this is perfect for newer Christians. There are many truths in this book that have been overlooked in most churches now that are necessary for Christians to know. Since MacArthur writes in an easy to understand way he is able to present readers in all stages of their walk with biblical truths and theological foundations.
There are so many positive things that I have to say about this book that I will actually be doing a series based on some of the crucial things that John MacArthur taught in this book. I’m praying you will all be as inspired by these topics as I was. This book is challenging, serving as a reminder of the essentials of our faith, pushing us not to get lazy in our salvation.
So, all together, US adults and teens spend 11.4 billion man-hours per year oninternet pornography alone.
We also spend over $13.3 billion on pornography in the United States every year. And that number is even a few years old.
Here area a few other things we could do with that same time and money:
With that same amount of time (man-hours) we could…
- Build the Empire State building…1,628 times.
- Visit every single one of the 1.5 million U.S. nursing home residents, every single day of the year, for 20 hours a day…and still have free time left over.
- Visit every single one of the 2 million prisoners in the United States, every single day, two people at a time, for 8 hours.
- Have every single person (310 million) in the U.S. spend an extra 36 hours in prayer.
- Spend 3 extra hours per week with each and every one of the 75 million teens and children in the United States.
With that same amount of money we could…
- Provide, prepare and serve 7 billion school lunches. That’s enough to feed over 38 million students every school day of the year.
- Pay for 1.9 million four-year college degrees.
- Build 190,000 Habitat for Humanity homes…in Orange County, CA. Or we could build 7.25 million of them in India.
- Give $13.3 million to one thousand different charities each.
- Feed 1 billion people a meal…70 times.
Awesome post, Matt.
Ladies, don’t spend your time caught up in a romance with a man that doesn’t put God first. If he does not fear the Lord and seek him daily, how can you willingly submit to him in marriage?
We live in a country where killing a child has because as easy as throwing out a piece of garbage. Why do we have such little respect for life?
Sin. It’s dirty. It’s ugly. It tarnishes us. It destroys parts of our lives. It ruins relationships
Can God look at something like that? Can the Creator of all good things look upon something dirty? No. He is perfection. Perfection can’t be in relationship with something completely tarnished.
When Jesus died on the cross everything changed. When we accept Christ’s sacrifice for our sins we get a new chance. God can finally look upon us again.
We are no longer broken. We are no longer dirty. Sin can no longer hold us back from God. The Lord sees us! He sees us cleaned of all our sins. We shine again. We become the people He created us to be.
All because Jesus gave his life willingly on the Cross that day.
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
Jesus gave us the greatest gift possible. What is the one thing people always ask for? A second chance, the ability to start over, to do things differently. “If only I could go back in time..” “If only I could do things differently…” “If only people would forget who I was…”
Guess what? God doesn’t look at your past anymore. The Father sees only the sacrifice the Son made. He sees us as a new creation. We are made clean, made new, we get that 2nd chance. God doesn’t look at us and see all the dirty things from our past, he sees us now living our lives for Him. While the rest of the world may not let go of who you once were, your Creator has…all because of Jesus.