The Good Fortune!
"Godliness with contentment is great gain!" 1 Timothy 6:6
Godliness is conformity to the moral image of God,
and the entire consecration of the soul to the Lord's service. The godly are
created anew in Christ Jesus; they are united to God through Jesus; and have
all the graces or fruits of the Spirit within them. They
view things very much as God does; hence they look . . .
upon sin — as the greatest of all evils;
upon the world — as a vast vanity;
upon saints — as the excellent of the earth;
and upon the Lord Jesus — as altogether lovely!
They . . .
renounce the world,
unite with the saints, and
adore the Savior as their God and Lord.
They approve of God's precepts, and choose the condition
which He prescribes. They . . .
believe in Jesus,
walk in the Spirit,
loathe self, and
walk in the fear of the Lord.
They . . .
rely wholly on the perfect work of Christ for acceptance;
pant for holiness with ardent longing; and
desire always to acquiesce in the sovereign will of God.
True godliness produces and strengthens
contentment; and contentment is the calm sunshine of a man's life.
We do not mean . . .
sitting down in idleness,
feeling at home in filth,
or indulging in negligence;
this would be a disgrace to any creature, especially a professing Christian!
But contentment is connected with . . .
general cleanliness, and
a concern for the honor of God.
True contentment springs from acknowledging and eyeing
God's providence, whose "tender mercies are over all His works." It is . . .
a bowing to His will — as the infinitely wise and invariably good;
believing the promises He has given;
expecting the provision He has made; and
feeling satisfied to share in the common lot with His people.
Contented Christians prize spiritual blessings before temporal, and live sensible of their demerit and desert. They know that everything short of Hell is a favor — and that the glories of Heaven will more than make amends for all the toils and privations of this world's wilderness pilgrimage. They do not expect to find rest below, or a paradise in the desert of this world. They are persuaded, "that all things work together for good, to those who love God, and are the called according to His purpose."
Pride is slain, and humility flourishes; for pride
is the parent of . . .
rebellion against God,
and many other evils.
While humility produces . . .
submission to the will of God,
and many other virtues.
The godly who are contented are rich — for they have a good fortune!
They have inward peace and satisfaction of mind — which are better than gold!
They are filled with gratitude and thankfulness to God — which are better than a large estate!
They have love to God and delight in Him — which are preferable to a splendid mansion!
They have a joyful anticipation of eternal glory, of being acknowledged as the sons of God, and fellow-heirs of Jesus — which is to be esteemed above all the titles and honors of this perishing world!
They contendly live in the enjoyment of what they now have — realizing that their glorious portion is yet to come! Their aspirations are on the same level as their earthly condition — hence, they are strangers to fretfulness, murmuring, and the constant vexations which most men experience. They prove that, "Better a little with the fear of the Lord — than great wealth with turmoil."
Reader, are you a godly person? Are you acquainted with God — as your God, your Friend, your Father? Are you contented with your place, portion, and prospect in this perishing world! If so, you have a good fortune!