You Can Know Contentment in Christ
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God (1 Peter 4:1, 2).
God never asks the question “What’s in it for me?” That is a question we ask ourselves. We meet somebody new and start wondering: What’s in this relationship for me? How can it help my business? How can it help my social status? What can I gain?
That’s not God’s nature. He sent Jesus, not for his good, but for our good. Jesus came to earth to draw us to himself so that we could experience forgiveness and life. He desired our good and brought it about through the New Covenant. As John wrote, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.”
The truth that love is not self-seeking is seen most vividly in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus, agonizing over the brutal death he would soon die, petitioned his Father: “Father, if you are willing take this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Was there another way that man could be saved? Did he have to take upon himself the sins of the world and suffer death?
He knew the answer. The purchase price for man was the blood of the unblemished Lamb of God, his blood. Nothing less would do. Both in life and death, Jesus carried out the will of his Father, a will that was not self-seeking.
The Gospel calls us to that same type of attitude. In 1 Peter 4, Peter wrote, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:1, 2).
How are we to live in this world today? According to Peter, we are not to live to fulfill our evil human desires, to seek our own, to look out for number one, or to live as if the world revolved around us. No, we are to live for the will of God. This is possible only as we understand and abide in the love of God.
When we embrace his love and grace and find contentment in him, our self-seeking comes to an end.
You may be asking the question, “What is God’s will for me?” Paul puts it this way, “...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). You can because you are complete in Christ. Jesus, the bread of life, satisfied your spiritual hunger. Your soul is content in him. Now, abide in him and let this love that seeks the good of others flow through you.
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