It’s a Tough Life

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

January 21, 2024

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It’s a Tough Life

Read

1 Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Philippians 4:12-13 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Think

Life in the ocean is no easy feat for sharks. From the get-go, they're on their own – no parental care once they hit the salty waters. Despite being feared when fully grown, baby sharks, or “pups,” face the harsh reality of becoming fair game for larger animals, including their own kind. The struggle begins right from birth, as siblings can be brutal. There are even documented instances when nurse shark pups have engaged in literal warfare inside their mother’s uterus. It's a “shark eat shark" world from the start!

But just as the shark world seems unyielding, so are the shark thoughts in our minds. Jesus enters to turn our world upside down and transform our thought processes. He urges us to replace greed with contentment. The lack of restraint and endless cycle of fighting signifies a refusal to surrender. Surrendering our minds to God allows us to break free from the relentless pursuit of more, stepping off the never-ending hamster wheel. When motivated by greed, our desires extend beyond what we have – it becomes an insatiable hunger. We create imaginary entitlements, convincing ourselves that we deserve more – fostering resentment and a desire for payback as we compare ourselves to others.

Contentment, however, blossoms when we refocus our minds on Jesus. Amidst the clamor of pride and insecurity, Jesus reminds us that our identity is found in him, and our status is secured as his children. It's a transformative shift from the relentless pursuit of more to finding fulfillment in our relationship with him.

Apply

Capture your thoughts and direct them toward God's truth. Say this three times a day: I have the mind of Christ. I have the righteousness of Christ. I’m accepted in Christ. I’m forgiven in Christ. I’m gifted in Christ. I’m strengthened in Christ.

Pray

Heavenly Father, when our minds are clouded by the pursuit of more, grant us the clarity to refocus on you. Transform our thought processes and help us find our true identity and status in you. Teach us to center our mind on you and find our contentment and fulfillment in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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