Looking for that $1,000,000 check!

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I checked my mailbox and there was just one lonely envelope, a form letter. I joked, “Guess I’m still waiting for that $1,000,000 check!” My friend remarked, “I think you’re doing just fine without it.” It was a moment of realization of gratitude for the many blessings that I do enjoy. It’s hard to know how much is ‘enough.’ How much food should we eat? How much money do we really need? How big does our house need to be?

For a long time the America ideal seemed to be built around the idea that ‘bigger is better’ and that ‘more is good.’  During clean-up week in our town, I took a load of trash to the landfill and waited in a long line of trucks overflowing with stuff no longer wanted or needed, things once treasured, now junk.  Thankfully, we are beginning to understand, once again, the value of renewing things, of buying for value not quantity, of treating the resources of the earth in a sustainable way, which lines up with the Scripture’s call to good management of what God has given to us.

There is another word in the Bible that I need to hear often – ‘contentment.‘  Paul teaches us that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” He says “A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8) Part of maturing spiritually requires us to learn to be content and know what enough means.

When God took the Israelites out of Egypt and was leading them to the Promised Land, He promised to be their complete resource. When they had a need, all they had to do was ask! For their daily food He gave them “manna” – bread from His hand. He trained them to understand what enough meant when it came to manna. Each morning they found white flakes on the ground, which they prepared as their food. They were told only to gather what they needed for that day. He told them  “No one is to keep any of it until the next morning.”  Being human, some of them ignored what Moses said and learned the hard way. They found their storage full of maggots and stinking except for the Day before Sabbath, when they could gather 2 days provision and it did not spoil.

The story of manna has a sad side note.  We might think that living on free heaven-sent food would be reason for gratitude. But, those people soon grew unhappy and complained that manna was boring.  “The Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt, and the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. “We remember all the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic that we wanted. But now our appetites are gone, and day after day we have nothing to eat but this manna!” (Numbers 11:4-6, NLT) It was never enough! 

There is great wisdom in this passage from Proverbs. “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:8-9, NIV)  I want to humbly receive God’s provision for this day, don’t you? I pray to know real and deep gratitude for my daily bread.

When the Lord provides for all of our needs (what discernment is required to know what we really need and what we simply think we need), our prayers should be more than perfunctory thanks, like that polite card you used to send your Grandma after Christmas! Real thankfulness recognizes that He is good and that what He provides is best.  Oh, yes, He is a generous Father who promises His children the desires of their hearts. Key to understanding that is knowing the changed desires of a Spirit-filled heart. The baubles of this world lose their luster in the eyes of those who are loving God, full of the Spirit, and joyfully seeking His kingdom first.

Are you contented with what He provides and where He leads?
We honor Him before our world when we readily and joyfully say: “Yes, Lord, I joyfully receive what You’ve  provided.”

Here’s a word from the Word for us today.
“At the moment I have all I need—more than I need!
I am generously supplied ….And this same God who takes care of me
will supply all your needs from his glorious riches,
which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
Now glory be to God our Father forever and ever. Amen.”  (Philippians 4:18-20, NLT)

___________

Enough
(Chris Tomlin leads us to declare He is enough)

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For ev’ry thirst and ev’ry need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

 You’re my supply my breath of life
Still more awesome than I know
You’re my reward worth living forStill more awesome than I know

And

 You’re my sacrifice of greatest price
Still more awesome than I know
You’re my coming King You are ev’rything
Still more awesome than I know

 More than all I want more than all I need
You are more than enough for me
More than all I know more than all I can say
You are more than enough

Chris Tomlin | Louie Giglio
© 2002 sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
worshiptogether.com songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
CCLI License # 810055

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