As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!
Psalm 119:7 (NLT)
Note from Kip…
Life can be hard. As a matter of fact it can be down right brutal at times. We see those who seem to be the worst, appearing to having it the best.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this is not because they are having it so good. If we actually could see life from their perspective, it is more than likely that they are grinning on the outside while a storm of doubt and fear rages beneath the surface.
We can and should pray for such people. Our focus is often drawn to the obvious. The starving child, the disoriented victims of natural disasters, and those morning the loss of those they love.
Not that we shouldn’t also pray for these, but as we pray we need to be mindful of those who appear to have things under control and on top of the world. We need to pray for them as well because it is rare that anyone truly does ‘have it all’. In fact, those who appear to have the most often have the least. Those that hate us as well need our supplication on their behalf.
From our perspective, not only do we need to include all of these for their benefit, we need to do it for our own benefit as well. In doing so, we find that special place where we are living well.
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)
What is it? Do I possess it and don’t even realize it? If not, then how is it secured?
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)
The last verse in this passage is one of the more popular verses to be quoted by Christians. It is very empowering and assures us that despite our shortcomings, He provides the strength for each and every challenge laid before us. It is a wonderful verse.
But how often do we read it in context to the two verses before it? The predicate of the entire thirteenth verse are those two verses. We have a tendency to rush to what we consider to be the good parts and miss the feast that precedes it.
“Not that I was ever in need”. Paul had that assurance living in Him that despite everything else going on around him He had all he needed in Christ Jesus. Before his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus Paul was constantly seeking the approval of God. Once his eyes were opened he found that approval wasn’t what he needed, but his own redemption through the blood of Christ Jesus who he had wrongly persecuted.
No, Paul realized at that very moment that he had been given all he ever needed in the grace of the one who love him so that while Paul was attempting to seek favor with God through his own acts, Jesus died for him to become the very righteousness that he sought.
Learning how to be content is key to this. The other part of that is faith and confidence in what the Lord has given us already and His providence in our lives going forward.
This is what defines ‘Living Well’.
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!
Matthew 6:21-23 (NLT)
Jesus tells us not to lay up treasure here on earth where it will only corrode and decay. Instead, place our treasure in heaven where it will never be lost.
If our eyes are fixed on the darkness of this world then that darkness invades our very being. But when we are fixed on Jesus who is the Light of the World that vanquishes the darkness, our body and soul is filled with His Light!
The Living Well
When Jesus encountered the woman at the well He spoke of a different type of ‘living well’, Himself.
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
John 4:13-14 (NLT)
So, Jesus provides us living water. That water from this ‘living well’ flows through us. This water becomes a bubbling spring within us, so that our souls will never thirst again.
Because of that water, we have all that we ever need to sustain us, because we can do all things through Jesus. Jesus, who is that well. He provides the living water and sustains us.
That’s ‘Living Well’ my friends!