Another year comes to a close.
We began this year with hope and expectation of a vaccine, and we end the year hoping that vaccine is good enough for the next year.
World news continues to offer uncertainty.
I’m privileged to write this last blog post of 2021 and speak of what I know is certain.
Hope is a good thing, especially when we can hope with certainty.
Contentment is key
Paul wrote the book of Philippians while he was under house arrest in Rome and offered them hope they needed to hear. His words offer a great perspective for 2022. He said, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11–13).
I’m not sure when I reached the age or stage of “content”—but I did. I enjoy looking at the new styles of furniture, but I like what I have more than I like what I don’t. I wish I could have written a novel like Gone with the Wind or a devotional like Jesus Calling. I have several places in this world that I still want to visit. But, I am content with what I do, where I have been, and I will hopefully, like Paul, be content wherever the Lord plans to take me.
Contentment is part of this new stage of life and I like it!
The biblical path to contentment
I enjoy sharing biblical thoughts with people through this blog post and my teaching ministry. I prayerfully share this biblical path of contentment with you, in this final blog post of 2021. There will probably never be an era without “newness” or change. Each January ushers in a “new” year.
I want to share a passage again with you, my readers, that Paul taught to Timothy. It is a biblical path of contentment. He told Timothy to tell the churches not to “set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17–19).
I doubt I will ever feel content about what I have done for God’s kingdom. There is always going to be more work to do. As I have joked with friends, our “retirement party” will include flowers and a few eulogies. God called us to this ministry and continues to call us to stay at work!
I made a video to send to those I teach that might express my heart for this ministry better than I can in this blog post. If you haven’t seen it, maybe you will take the time to watch?
One more “good work” is needed
This is hard for me because I was raised not to brag. But, I want to brag on Jesus.
Last year, Denison Ministries reached more than six million people! We have letters about changed lives. I have notes from people who are studying the Bible for the first time in their lives. Our ministry is making a difference in people’s lives and futures. God is using our work to draw people to himself.
Our brand is simple. We give God’s truth, a biblical perspective, to a world that needs it. Most of the six million people who consume our articles, podcasts, Bible studies, social media, books, etc. will not spend anything to receive them.
Those of you who understand Paul’s lesson to Timothy know how and why giving is one of the most important aspects of our Christian lives. Giving is a “good work” and a “good deed.”
We have a lot more people to reach and a lot more “good work” to accomplish, and your generosity will help us do that. This is when I “ask” each year. And please know, I ask because we really need you to help. Giving is a pathway to being content with what we have and joy-filled because of what we have given and received. Giving is how we “take hold of that which is truly life.”
Please give, with joy
Paul also taught this lesson: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
We need you to give with joy. We want your gift to be a blessing to you as well as this ministry. We want to help people know Christ as their Savior and be encouraged to walk with him as their Lord. We have a high calling, and we are faithful to use your gifts for a holy purpose.
Or, if you want to mail a check, our address is:
17304 Preston Rd. Suite 1060
Dallas, TX 75252.
Please know we are grateful for any gift you are able to give with God’s joy. He will bless and multiply all of our efforts, as we give to advance his word in a world that needs to know his love.
Blessings to all of you for the coming new year. It is a privilege to serve God with you.