In the third letter from John, he writes to Gaius who is a prominent Christian in the Christian Church. John explains in 3 John 1:4 that Joy comes from the knowledge of the truth and walking with God in that truth: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Let us all find joy, peace, and contentment from walking with God regardless of our circumstances.
In today’s reading, God Himself proclaims in Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” No matter what is breaking around us we can know that even if we sit still and do nothing, God is in control. Our peace comes from God and God alone. The sooner we realize that, the happier and more content we will be.
People tend to like extremes, especially when it comes to Biblical teaching. They either want to say we are commanded to sell everything and give it to the poor and live like John the Baptist, or they believe we should all be rich and prosperous and be good stewards as a reward for our faithfulness to God. In Luke 3, John the Baptist does not tell the tax collector to stop collecting taxes, he tells him to only collect what is owed. And when they soldier asked what he should do, John the Baptist told him to not use his power to extort and accuse people falsely. God calls us to be the best we can be with the gifts He has given us. We are no better or worse than anyone around us. To compare ourselves to others and desire what someone else has is to covet what is not intended for us. Contentment is the key.
In today’s reading, I don’t want anyone to think I am ignoring the last few chapters of Luke. They are some of the most important passages of our faith. But since we started reading the book of Ecclesiastes, I have really enjoyed it. In chapter 5, verse 18 stood out to me, This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. In other words, we must be content in all God has blessed us with; whether it is great or small. We must always have the right perspective in knowing all our possessions belong to God and it is a privilege to be stewards of it while we are here on earth. The notes in my Bible say it best “We must focus more on the Giver than the gift.”