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Gifts In A Bottle

In the early 2000s I visited the Alabama Gulf Coast for the first time. Some of my friends from North Alabama told me to bring back something for them as a souvenir. Seashells? Nope. To predictible. T-shirts or keychains? No way. To expensive. What did I choose? I filled water empty water bottles with ocean water. Before you think I was crazy, the people were impressed with the gift. I wrote Bible verses on them that reminded them that the Lord "poured" out the ocean water (Amos 9:6) and that He gathers the waters into a "bottle" (Psalm 33:7). It was a huge hit!

I was thinking about what to bottle next and I think I have found a way to make millions! Here’s the pitch: “Have you ever felt like you needed more? Have you ever struggled with being content with what you have? I have found the secret to contentment! And in this limited edition, special one time offer, I’m going to sell it to the public by the bottle! Normally these bottles retail for over $5,000 each, but it can be yours for $999.95!!! Act now and we’ll send you one additional bottle for your spouse for half price! Family packages are available. Corporate discounts. Call 1-800-CONTENT now!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy contentment in a jar? If I could really bottle contentment I would be so rich so fast because people long for it. People cannot find it no matter how hard they look for it. Technology and times change but people do not change. Our hearts all want the same things, contentment.

We never stop learning how to cultivate a spirit of contentment. We may never be able to speak like Paul and say we have it, but we are looking for it. You may not admit it but I’m sure you are looking for it too. What if we all had contentment? What if just the Christians had it? What about everyone you know? I know some people that seem to have it, the people in Mayberry. What if we were all like the people of Mayberry? Have you ever wondered why it has been on TV everyday for over 40 years? They learned contentment through friendships and helping each other. Since we can’t have it we enjoy watching others who do have it.

There are hundreds of people in the Bible that did not have contentment: (1) Adam and Eve lived in Paradise but they were not content. Eve sinned, not because of pride or lust, but because of competition! She wanted to be like God! Satan convinced her that she could be as smart as God. (2) Satan was not content in the presence of God, in heaven. Satan didn’t want to serve God, He wanted to be God! (3) Judas was one of the hand picked dozen and closest to Jesus our Lord but was not content. He was invited to be a part of the greatest movement, service, and work.

If Adam and Eve who lived in Paradise, Satan who lived in heaven, and Judas who walked with Jesus could not find contentment, how much greater is your struggle going to be to find it? Personal contentment will get attacked from every side because the media makes a living on making you discontented. Our wants become the demon that haunts us from cradle to grave.

Satan convinces us: “You don’t like yourself. You need to change. You don’t have any friends.” Satan uses two types of devices to capture us: the lure and the trap. The lure is the predator for a child. He says, “There is a puppy in the car. Here is some candy.” The trap is the net where we are captured where we sit or when we are unaware.

Remember that Jesus came to give life and Satan came to take it away. Guilt, loneliness, depression, and discontent can destroy abundant life. Many of us are not content with being who we are. Some of us want to be a celebrity and we run to plastic surgery. Listen to the apostle Paul in Philippians 4:12-13: "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

We need contentment. Only the Lord can provide it. Let's search the Scriptures.

Let's follow Jesus. Then, we will find it! Have a great week!!!

You are loved.

Dr. Ray Reynolds

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