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November 29, 2013

Amish buggy from hot air balloon
Lancaster County Amish farm taken from a hot air balloon.
Photo by Debra Zimmerman (Used by permission)

"The Response To Satisfaction"

ListenListen to this message on your audio player. Note: Due to a continued weak voice that Stephen is dealing with, Brooksyne reads today's podcast.

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you" (Deuteronomy 8:10). "When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me" (Hosea 13:6).

Did you fill up yesterday? Were you satisfied? Here in America many of us had a huge meal yesterday as is the custom on Thanksgiving. We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cheese covered cauliflower, and sweet potato casserole! Then later we ate pumpkin pie.
I know so many of you had a similar meal yesterday, particularly those living in America where the Thanksgiving feast is both a celebration of our blessing and an expression of overabundance. Today's first text seems like it could be written after eating such a meal. We ate and we were satisfied. A sparse meal can result in being filled and satisfied. On the other hand an abundant meal will not always satisfy.

Let us consider this in a broader sense. Most of us are really doing pretty good relative to those all around the world. I came across an interesting video that showed scenes from around the world where there is destitution and impoverished living conditions. To place this in a current context consider where you are today in relation to the survivors in the typhoon-ravaged areas in the Philippines.

Most of us live in a time of relative peace and prosperity and yet this is one of the most dangerous times for spiritual health. Moses foresaw this when he gave his final sermon to the children of Israel on the east side of the Jordan.  That is where our daily text comes from.  He says "When you have eaten and are satisfied".

Satisfaction is a good thing but it can be dangerous. Jesus warned of the "deceitfulness of wealth" (Matthew 13:22).  Paul commands "those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment" (1 Timothy 6:17).  We do well to heed these warnings.

Moses knew that praise to the Lord was the proper follow up to satisfaction.  As we praise God we look to the Source of everything that brings satisfaction.  He specifies "the good land that He has given you".  Today and everyday see that praise and thankfulness is your response to God's blessings.

Why are we so blessed?  How much longer will this long season of plenty and abundance last?

Consider the progression in our second daily verse.
"When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me." Fed... satisfied... proud... forget God. Where are we as a country in this progression?  I ask myself, where am I as an individual?

Surely we've been fed.  Plenty of food for most of us and lots and lots of other material stuff as well. This leads to satisfaction, which is a blessing. But then we have to be on guard against our pride swelling which leads to forgetting God. Ironically this increases dissatisfaction. Instead of being satisfied and content there's just never enough.

Today is a massive day of shopping extravaganza here in the states. I just wonder how much of it is driven by dissatisfaction. I read this from a store spokesperson in defense of the increasing amount of stores now open on Thanksgiving Day: "Some people just can't wait until Friday, Thanksgiving dinner is done and they have moved on."

Moses warned the people of God some 600 years before the prophet Hosea lived: "Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe His commands, His laws and His decrees that I am giving you this day.  Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery" (Deuteronomy 8:11-14). 

Today as you work off the extra big meal and likely enjoy some leftovers, keep remembering the Lord. And learn the real joy of satisfaction as we secure our hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. The right response to satisfaction ia always praise to God!

Be encouraged and be spiritually satisfied today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, as we go about the day to day living of eating, building, moving, buying, growing our families and settling down, earning a living we must be vigilant to keep You at the center of all our activity. Living for You is to be our main objective so that everything else falls into proper place. As these daily essentials are met we give thanks to You acknowledging that every single blessing comes from Your Hand. The vast majority place their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but we put our hope in You who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. We are satisfied and give You thanks through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

Yesterday we shared that every year we can expect a touching program on Focus on The Family program. Listeners call in and share a brief testimony of thankfulness.
They must select the most touching and compile them. Today it was once again it was a moving perspective! Listen to part two of the program here. (Part one is here.)

"Satisfied"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band 

"O Holy Night"  Video 
David Phelps is in concert this Sunday evening here in Lancaster and we hope to hear this song!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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