The Best Portion of All
September 19, 2017
Read: Psalm 73:21–28
Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 1–3; 2 Corinthians 11:16–33
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.—Philippians 4:12
“His piece is bigger than mine!”
When I was a boy my brothers and I would sometimes bicker about the size of the piece of homemade pie mom served us. One day Dad observed our antics with a lifted eyebrow, and smiled at Mom as he lifted his plate: “Please just give me a piece as big as your heart.” My brothers and I watched in stunned silence as Mom laughed and offered him the largest portion of all.
If we focus on others’ possessions, jealousy too often results. Yet God’s Word lifts our eyes to something of far greater worth than earthly possessions. The psalmist writes, “You are my portion, Lord; I have promised to obey your words. I have sought your face with all my heart” (Ps. 119:57–58). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the writer conveyed the truth that nothing matters more than closeness to God.
What better portion could we have than our loving and limitless Creator? Nothing on earth can compare with Him, and nothing can take Him away from us. Human longing is an expansive void; one may have “everything” in the world and still be miserable. But when God is our source of happiness, we are truly content. There’s a space within us only God can fill. He alone can give us the peace that matches our hearts. —James Banks
Loving Lord, thank You that nothing and no one can meet my every need like You can.
When we are His, He is ours, forever. You have made us for yourself, Lord. Our hearts are restless until they can find rest in You. Augustine of Hippo
INSIGHT: In Philippians 4:12, the key verse for today, the apostle Paul says he’s learned the secret of being content. Yet for Paul, life wasn’t easy—especially life as an evangelist. In another letter written by him, Paul lists the many trials he faced: five times he was brutally whipped, three times beaten with rods, and once pelted with stones. He was in danger at sea and on land, was imprisoned several times, and often went without sleep or food (see 2 Cor. 11:23-27). How could Paul be content in such difficult circumstances? What was his “secret”? He wrote, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13). Because of the strength God gave him, Paul could be content “whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (v. 12).
Do you struggle with contentment? Ask God to give you the strength to be content in your situation. Alyson Kieda
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