About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

Contentment

 

Paul  say that “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11). That’s not to say that Paul had found a state of being that was free from suffering, disasters, or opposition. Rather, he was able to embrace all hardships as essential components of God’s sovereign plan. The contentment (autarkēs in the Greek) he describes transcends all of those things. His union with Christ brought with it a profound sense of satisfaction and independence from worldly distractions. And that was because Paul’s dependence and sufficiency were found in Christ: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

John MacArthur elaborates further:

Paul was saying, “I have learned to be sufficient in myself—yet not in myself as myself, but as indwelt by Christ.”  He elsewhere expressed that subtle distinction: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me”  (Galatians 2:20). Christ and contentment go together.


But the contentment Paul described was never detached from his passions; rather, it was found in His ultimate passion—Christ. It wasn’t being disconnected from all things that made Paul content. It was His connectedness to Christ that was all-satisfying and the cause of Christ was all-consuming. His letters to the churches he planted are overflowing with love for Christ and love for His people. As John MacArthur points out: “Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he took the idea of contentment much further than it was taken even in the Greek culture, where the word first found its meaning.” Anxious for Nothing, 130. What Paul left us with was a divinely inspired thank-you note.
But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.