The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

 

The Rare Jewel of Christian ContenmentI have prepared nineteen different quotes that I will be sharing from Jeremiah Burrough’s book, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, in the weeks to come at my blog. But before I put up any quotes I just want to say two things about the book:
1. First of all, if you get the book (and I highly recommend that you do), you will want to read the entire book in light of the first chapter.
Burroughs both defines what biblical contentment is and is not in Chapter 1. If you do not read the entire book with his understanding of what contentment consists of and doesn’t consist of you will come away with an unbiblical view of Christian contentment.
Burroughs obviously did not feel the need to continually qualify everything that he said, and the only place where he deals with issues of biblical sorrow vs. contentment and biblical prayers for deliverance vs. murmuring is in the first chapter. Many of the things he says will be taken as over-the-top and overly-harsh if you do not keep chapter 1 in the back of your mind as you read the entire book. If anyone comes away from this work feeling Burroughs to be insensitive, I will simply refer them back to chapter 1.
2. The one downfall of the book (apart from a few minor issues) was his lack of emphasis on the person of Jesus Christ.
I applaud Burroughs for his knowledge and use of the Old Testament, but he had the perfect opportunity to shine a light on Jesus Christ as “the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). I was expecting a chapter on Jesus as our greatest example of contentment. Needless to say, there isn’t such a chapter in the book. He mentions it here and there in passing, but as a New Covenant Christian I do not see how one can talk about Christian contentment without setting Jesus up as The example of contentment. My grievance in this is not just my desire to see Christ exalted in all things, but rather that He really is the greatest example. After all, He, “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame.” He approached the cross with joy! He “scorned its shame,” which means that he didn’t think it worthy of great consideration. He was content because he found joy in the promises of God that outweighed (made small) the shame and pain of the cross.
Do not let this oversight drive you away from Burroughs’ book.
Rather, read the book and then seek to make your contribution to the book by writing a concluding chapter on Jesus as the greatest example of contentment.
There is a free pdf version of the book online if you want to read it. Click here to go to the free pdf version.
If you want to buy The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, click here.

~ Jimmy

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Jimmy Snowden
Jimmy serves as pastor for “Preaching and Vision” at Sovereign Grace Fellowship in Boscawen, New Hampshire. Previoulsy he fulfilled leadership roles in both Kansas City, Missouri and Las Vegas, Nevada. Jimmy received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Hannibal-LaGrange College and a Master of Divinity degree from Liberty University.
Visit pastor Snowden’s Blog
 

The Untouchables, you know –

 

“Those People”

 

Mark 9:33–37 (ESV)
And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

Note how humble our Savior is.

It is why He wants us to become humble too – that we might be like Him.

And the truth is, you cannot have your eye set on your own greatness, and at the same time be willing to stop and receive those who can add nothing to your quest for personal greatness.

Loving the least among people, will marginalize you from such grasping after status yourself.

Receive, be identified with, take up in your arms those who are not capable of helping you achieve such a goal – do it for MY sake – and you will receive both Me and My Father; He seems to be saying.

And I am forced to ask myself – who is it I am afraid to be identified with – lest I lose status in the eyes of others? Who are the “those people” who do not quite measure up to my standard? What group is it I am afraid others will imagine that I’m “one of them”?

Am I afraid to be thought of as a sinner?

A friend of the uneducated, or uneducated myself?

A pal to the socially inept?

The rednecks or the tree-huggers?

The indigent?

The broken?

The addicted, convicted, helpless, needy & bound?

Or do I want to be among the beautiful, the comfortable, the respectable and the un-cumbersome only?

Children are lacking knowledge, context, self-control, the ability to contribute much to their care and upkeep and will be noisy and bothersome. Welcome to me! And as the Savior scoops such up in His arms – He calls us to do the same.

What a lover of souls He is!

What a Savior!

~ Reid

Read or leave comments at Responsive Reiding
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Reid Ferguson
Reid serves as the pastor for preaching and vision at Evangelical Church of Fairport in Fairport New York. A native of Rochester, N.Y., he has served in various ministry areas during his life, including: a founding member of the former Mark IV Quartet, Youth Pastor at ECF, former board member of the Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals (F.I.R.E.), and author of The Little Book of Things You Should Know About Ministry (Christian Focus Publications, 2002). Pastor Reid blogs regularly at Responsive Reiding.