A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, November 20, 2020
We passed these outhouses for sale near New Holland, PA
"Everything We Need"
Message summary: Let us live with the assurance today that God provides for us everything we have need of and may that also help us to be content.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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" (Philippians 4:11,12). "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all--how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3).
Yesterday was "World Toilet Day", a United Nations Observance that celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. I (Stephen) have never lived in a home without inside plumbing. However, when Brooksyne's family moved to a newly developed country setting near Tulsa, their septic was not properly installed on their 5 acre plot of land and they used an outdoor toilet for several years.
During our lifetime toilets really haven't changed that much. They use less water now, may have the elongated seat style, and may even have a taller bowl that's easier on the knee bending as one gets older. The soft close (non-slamming) feature was sure an improvement, especially if you live in a mixed gender household!
My grandparents used an outhouse until they were in their sixties when my dad, who was a plumber, installed inside plumbing in their home resulting in a small single bath. When I consider the scores of family members who gathered in that little white frame house on holidays it was almost always occupied. It's a good thing the outhouse was still available for those big gatherings!
We, like most of you living here in America always get sales fliers in the mail but it is increasing as it always does as we approach "Black Friday" and the holiday shopping season.
Several days ago I was perusing a Costco sales booklet and saw an item I never heard of, a "smart toilet". Ever since the iPhone we've seen an abundance of the term "smart" before a product. We have smart watches, smart lights and on and on. Before that it seems "smart" was applied to people or a canine like the border collie. It was also used to describe an aleck which most of us have encountered a few times in life.
Smart toilets are expensive and have various features that can drive the price up to over $10,000 such as the model shown to the right. (Kohler uses the term "intelligent toilet". After all "intelligent" sounds much more sophisticated than "smart"). The site asks, "When was the last time your toilet made you feel like royalty?" and informs, "Once you experience an intelligent toilet, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one." I'm not ever going to have to wonder about that since I'm not buying one. The smart features really don't interest me, such as a remote control and bluetooth. Really, I just can't see the value in a remote control to flush the toilet and bluetooth? Who wants their bathroom practices connected to the cloud and just consider what hackers could do!
Joe Guglielmo observed, "Some one hundred years ago it was determined that the average American had about 70 wants, things he desired to have. A similar survey was taken of his grandson who had nearly 500 wants on his list and today, I’m sure that number is even higher. Why? Because people are not content in what they have!"
Contentment is never the result of greater riches, more things, increasing pleasures, or gaining fame. All these only incite discontent, for when one obtains them, he finds he still is not satisfied. Contentment does not depend upon things on the outside, but results from attitudes within one's heart and mind!
The late Bible teacher Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951) comments,
"CHRIST is enough to satisfy the hearts of all who confide in Him and who leave everything in His hands. Such need never be cast down by seeming misfortunes. A Christian asked another how he was getting along. Dolefully his friend replied, "Oh, fairly well, under the circumstances." "I am sorry," exclaimed the other, "that you are under the circumstances. The LORD would have us living above all circumstances, where He Himself can satisfy our hearts and meet our every need for time and eternity."
Let us consider a great verse from Romans. "He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all--how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" God "did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all". This alone should prompt our deepest eternal gratitude. If this was all God did for us it would be far more than enough and infinitely more than we deserve.
But the apostle Paul goes on to declare, "How will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" The clearly expected answer to this rhetorical question is, He will! He will fulfill His eternal purpose for our lives and that which brings Him glory. Peter puts it this way, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3).
Let us live with the assurance today that God provides for us everything we have need of and may that also help us to be content.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we are deeply grateful that You did not spare Your own Son, but surrendered Him so that we might have salvation. Not only is our salvation provided but You provide graciously for everything we need. Help us to learn the difference between wants and needs. In the process may we learn to be content and thankful in times of plenty and in times of want, trusting You to provide for our needs, often for our comforts, and most of all for that which matures us in the faith. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Everything We Need" Video Scripture Memory Songs
"All That I Need" Video Sovereign Grace Music
"All I Have Is Christ" Video Sovereign Grace Music
The Kohler lineup of "intelligent toilets".
Beverlee, a friend of my Mom's and reader from Missouri responded regarding yesterday's message and how mushrooms are grown: Did you ever consider how apple cider is made? My gramma wouldn't drink cider because her father had a cider mill and she saw people bring in soft, rotten, wormy apples to be processed behind his grocery store. I refused mushrooms until adulthood after seeing my tonsils preserved in a specimen bottle after my 1956 tonsillectomy. Why? They looked like mushrooms floating in formaldehyde. I threw them away in 2013 when my parents died.
Stephen's note: This spurred a memory of my very colorful PaPa keeping a huge intestinal tapeworm my Mom passed as a child in a jar of formaldehyde on a shelf in the back room of the small town country bank that he was the president of. All through my childhood everyone got to look at the jar surely much to my Mom's embarrassment!
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