Odds & Ends: July 2018
If we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 1 Timothy 6:8
Let us be content with the portion God has given us of earthly things. God stands upon his sovereignty, and we must be content with God’s allowance, though he gives others more. The good man pleaded: ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? . . . Do you begrudge my generosity?’ (Matt. 20:13-15)
If others have a better income and are more amply provided for, God is sovereign, and will give according to his pleasure. Nothing is deserved and therefore everything should be kindly taken with contentment. If a man is provided for by another’s expense, we take it very ill if he murmurs and dislikes his diet. Certainly we are all maintained at free cost and should be content with what is put in our hands. God in wisdom knows what proportion is best for us. The shepherd and not the sheep chooses the pasture. Leave it to God to give what is suitable to your condition of life. God gives a portion as you are able to bear. Contentment itself is a gift of God and a great blessing. When our minds are suited to our condition, our earthly blessings are sweeter and more comfortable. Our happiness does not lie in abundance, but in contentment. (Luke 12:15)
All spiritual miseries may be attributed to either a war between a man and his conscience, or a war between his affections and his condition. There may be just as much love in a lesser portion as in a greater. There is the same affection to a younger child, though he does not have as large an allowance as his elder brother. The father loves him just as well. So a child of God may say, ‘God loves me, though he has given another more than me.’ Be content with what falls to your share in the gracious providence of God.
From Voices from the Past, page 158, Thomas Manton, Works, 1:164-165
In Center of the Universe (Destiny Image), Pastor Bill Johnson tells of being given, in adulthood, a type of dog he’d longed for since childhood. As thrilled as he was, he wondered why God would bypass his “priority prayers” concerning real human need, spirituality and eternity and answer one of his “unimportant” prayers — those related to material things or circumstances.
Johnson concluded that God wanted him to learn about God’s character — that God is a loving, generous Father who takes pleasure in his children’s delight. “After all,” Johnson writes, “I expect him to care about the important things of my life. How refreshing it is to see that he cares about things that score very low on the Eternity Rating Chart, just because he loves me.”