Enough


I ask a lot of questions. 

When I read “my yoke is easy”, I ask the Lord, “How?”.

Life isn’t easy. Bad things happen to good people. Hurt people hurt people. Finances can change like the wind. 

I’ve learned that being yoked with Christ doesn’t always change the realities of life but He changes how I deal with them, how I carry them.

I think that the apostle Paul knew about being yoked with Christ. One of the most remarkable statements he makes is in Phillipains 4:12:

“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.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Greek word used for content here is “autarkēs“, from the root word “arkeō” that means:

1) to be possessed of unfailing strength
a) to be strong, to suffice, to be enough
1) to defend, ward off
b) to be satisfied, to be contented

When I look at my level of contentment I wonder, how much of my discontentment stems from my feeling that I’m not enough? That thing that makes me feel like I continually need to do more, to be more, to have more, to alleviate this unspoken deficit? 

How many times have you thought,” I’m just not strong enough”, “I just can’t do this”? Or worse, had that feeling of shame because you associate your circumstances with your worth? 

Without Christ I know I am not enough, I know I am not strong, I don’t suffice and certainly do not possess unfailing strength. 

But I am not without Christ. 

He has embraced me with His grace and salvation. He has paid the price for my “not enough” and given me His “more than enough” to live in. 

Circumstances change.
Contentment doesn’t have to. 

Finances change.
Jobs change.
Our bodies change.
People change.
Life changes.
God does not change.

When Paul wrote this when he was in prison. His contentment didn’t come from his surroundings. 

Contentment is not an emotion to possess, a feeling to pursue, or a goal to aspire to. It is a fact of new life, a reflection of how God sees you, a reality paid for by the Cross. Paul discovered the “secret” because contentment is not an state of being based on changeable emotions but a state of knowing based on the unchangeable nature of God. 

Without the cross, I am left on my own to make it through this life the best I can. 
With the cross, I am with Christ.
Yoked and yielded. 

Connected and content. 

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

How different will your life be as you began to walk in the truth that in Christ you are enough? 

What does your life look like when your contentment becomes unchangeable even as the world around you changes? 

The Gentle Life

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Why do I need the reminder to “let your gentleness rule”? I don’t know about you but when I stress, I try to control things. I work to make things to the way I think it should be. When I feel that I am in a battle, I push everyone out, put up my walls and am prepared to fight. 

When I am stressed, gentle is the last thing that I am to those around me. 

The original Greek word used for gentleness in the verse above describes the heart of someone who will let God fight his battles for him. It describes a person who has let go of trying to control the situation and allowed God to do what He needs to. 

This is where having a relationship with Jesus changes things. It’s where trusting Him impacts how you live. 

He IS near. 

Jesus says that He is so close that it’s like your yoked up with Him. Shoulder to shoulder, walking the same way, with Him bearing the load and directing the path.

He IS gentle. 

Jesus showed us what this kind of gentleness looks like. He focused on His relationship with His Father and only did what God directed Him to. He did not bend to peer pressure, compare His life to others or even try to fit in with anyone other than His Father. He didn’t try to control the situations or people. He focused on being faithful to the part He was given to do and allowed God to work out the rest. 

Jesus lived yoked and yielded long before He offered it to His disciples.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He leads gently so that you can live gently.

Gentle is not weak, if is focused trust as well as a deep knowing of who you are and whose you are. 

How does being yoked and yielded impact your attitude about things you can’t control? 

What does being lead gently feel like to you? 

What does this kind of living look like: not bending to peer pressure, not comparing yourself to others and not even trying to fit in? 

May you begin to live the power of leading a gentle life by being yoked and yielded to the gentle Savior today.

Walking and Resting

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Life demands that you keeps on walking even when you are tired. When you are burdened with grief. When you are battle weary.

Jesus gives you a way to walk and rest at the same time:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28-30‬ MSG)

He says, come with me and I will show you how to walk and rest.

Your own yoke may be dripping with unmet expectations, foundation shaking experiences or heavy with too many obligations.

Jesus’s yoke is dripping with His unmerited grace.

When you take His yoke and follow His lead, you are learning how to work, walk and rest His grace at the same time.

May you walk far and rest well in His yoke today.