Beware of Jealousy

"Love is kind and patient,

never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude."

1 Corinthians 13:4-5

READ Numbers 12:1-16

SITUATION Jealousy caused Aaron and Miriam to speak out against Moses. God told them, however, that he spoke directly and openly with Moses. As a result, Aaron and Miriam received God's judgment.

OBSERVATION A lack of contentment often leads to the problem of jealousy.

INSPIRATION Are you hoping that a change in circumstances will bring a change in your attitude? If so, you are in prison, and you need to learn a secret of traveling light. What you have in your Shepherd is greater than what you don't have in life.

May I meddle for a moment? What is the one thing separating you from joy? How do you fill in this blank: "I will be happy when _______?" When I am healed. When I am promoted. When I am married. When I am single. When I am rich. How would you finish that statement?

Now, with your answer firmly in mind, answer this. If your ship never comes in, if your dream never comes true, if this situation never changes, could you be happy? If not, then you are sleeping in the cold cell of discontent. You are in prison. And you need to know what you have in your Shepherd.

You have a God who hears you, the power of love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, and all of heaven ahead of you. If you have the Shepherd, you have grace for every sin, direction for every turn, a candle for ever corner, and an anchor for every storm. You have everything you need.

And who can take it from you? Can leukemia infect your salvation? Can bankruptcy impoverish your prayers? A tornado might take your earthly house, but will it touch your heavenly home?

And look at your position. Why clamor for prestige and power? Are you not already privilege to be part of the greatest work in history?...

Paul says that "Serving God does make us very rich, if we are satisfied with what we have" (1 Timothy 6:6). When we surrender to God the cumbersome sack of discontent, we don't just give up something; we gain something. God replaces it with a lightweight, tailor-made, sorrow-resistant attache of gratitude.

What will you gain with contentment? You may gain your marriage. You may gain precious hours with your children. You may gain your self-respect. You may gain joy. You may gain the faith to say, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." (From Traveling Light by Max Lucado)

APPLICATION Are you jealous of someone's name? Position? Authority? Possessions? Family? Ask God to show how you can be content with the things that really matter.

EXPLORATION Jealousy--Genesis 37:11; 1 Samuel 18:1-9; Matthew 27:18:; Acts 5:17; Romans 13:13; 1 Corinthians 13:4; 1 Timothy 6:4; 1 Peter 2:1.

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing The Heart of Jesus; Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers

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