We love to dig into the scripture and share our findings - may you be encouraged and blessed by these articles!  Keep pressing on towards the goal friends and NEVER give up!

spouse checklist messianicSo what is on your checklist for qualities that you look for in a mate?  Yes, you should have a checklist...not one that goes on for eons and covers to the inch how tall they should be or exactly what profession they should be in BUT  it is important to know what you are looking for in a mate.  Some people have only one criteria...that the person is a member of the opposite gender.  Well, that's not so good either.  Let's take a look at the most important questions you should be asking when choosing a life long spouse.

#1 - Do they share similar doctrinal beliefs?

This is a biggie!  If I could stress one area that many couples have trouble with (especially if one partner is more solid in their faith than the other), it would be this area.  No, we don't need to be spiritual twins but we need to be equally yoked.  If the person you are considering is not committed to serving Yahweh as much as you are and/or they expect you to be the spiritual giant while they stay contentedly a spiritual midget...this is a BIG red flag!   Talking about your doctrinal beliefs and your goals as servants of Yahweh is so important.   When one spouse is carrying the full responsibility for being the spiritual enforcer and teacher in the home, this causes a huge strain on the marriage and confuses the children about spiritual priorities.  Save yourself the heartache and talk about this important issue first when getting to know a potential spouse. 

#2 - How do they handle money?

If you think this topic is not important, think again!  Statistics show that more couples break up over money management issues than anything else.  Why?  Actually, it's not so much the money itself but the priorities that people have for money that causes the friction.  If you are a frugal person and are doing your best to save money only so that your spouse can go and blow it on spur-of-the-moment shopping spree, this will be very hurtful to you.  If you are the husband and your wife is spending your hard earned-money on stupid stuff like kitchen gadgets that are overpriced and end up in your yearly garage sale after being used only three times, you will get discouraged.  If you are a wife who tries to save her husband money by looking for sales, using coupons,etc. and your hubby is bringing the latest techie gadgets home every week just so he can keep up with the 'guys', you will feel as though your efforts to save are not appreciated.  Are you starting to understand my meaning? Personally, I think every one should learn to use their money wisely and I think 95% of the North American populace lives with too many things that they don't need.  I am a frugal person to a certain extent and to marry someone who, in my humble opinion, wasted his money on things the latest video games would drive me crazy!  I would have to try so hard not to seem as though I was nagging about his spending habits.  The best solution is to talk about spending habits and PLEASE...don't fool yourself in to thinking that they will be more self controlled in their spending habits just because they married a frugal saver like you.  Marriage does not change life-long habits, discipline and the Ruach do.

#3 - How do they treat their parents?

I had a friend who married a seemingly nice guy.  He had one issue...he did not show respect for his mother.  He made all kinds of excuses for it by saying she wasn't a believer and she had done some awful things to him in the past.  Less than 2 years in to the marriage they separated because he was showing her much respect either...he took her for granted and dragged her all over the map because he wanted to pursue his dreams.  Sad but not surprising.  Any person who cannot CHOOSE to honour their parents, will have little regard for the rest of the commandments of Yahweh.  It is a choice, not a feeling.  If you think that you can behave disrespectfully towards your parents but respect your spouse, you are deceived.   When you are with a potential spouse, listen to the way they talk about their parents.  Do they say that they are thankful for them (flaws and all)?  If the parents are not Christian, do they say that they are praying and talking to their parents about Yashua?   Do they do small things that show respect (ie. opening doors, giving up their seat, offering to help with dishes, etc) for their parents?   Personal respect is earned but parental and spousal respect is not...it is mandated in scripture.  If you are having a hard time with this one, ask Yahweh to help you be more honouring towards your parents.  If the person you are interested in does not show respect for their parents, it is very likely you will be the one on the receiving end of their disrespect after marriage. 

#4 - What kind of friends do they have?

'Do not keep the companion of fools', Solomon warned us.  If the person we are interested in is consistently hanging around fools (if you want the many definitions of a fool, read the book of Proverbs), we can safely surmise that this will not stop once they are married.  Sometimes, as Messianics, it is not a good idea to hang out a lot with others who ridicule our beliefs about following Torah or those who accuse us of falling away from grace and being under the law again.   Yes, we do need to be a witness and so we can't completely withdraw but wrong friendships can subtlely pull us back into wrong habits.  I know some people who can't find a Messianic fellowship so they attend a mainstream Christian church.  After a while, they meet someone there and end up marrying them and never leave.  The road we walk on is a lonely road and requires sacrifices of many kinds.  The people you call your friends will tell me much more about you than merely by my talking to you.  If you claim to walk in truth but have close relationships with those who walk in darkness, I question your comittment to the truth.  The exception to this is, if you are already married to an unbeliever.  In that case, you should not seek to be separated but fervently pray for them.  Choose your friends wisely, they will influence and shape your decisions in ways you may not even be aware and will wither strengthen your resolve or weaken it.  When choosing a spouse, their friends will become your friends to a certain extent so be sure that you are on the same page. 

# 5 - What are their views on children?

This is another biggie.  Do you want lots of kids?  What are your views on birth control?  Do you want to homeschool?  How do you feel about spanking?  Who do you think should do the disciplining?  How do you feel about adoption?  These are just a few of the many questions that should be asked before becoming engaged.  To find out that you have very different views on these topics AFTER you marry is not a pleasant surprise.  If a woman who wants 3 kids, finds out that her husband expects her to have 15 after she marries him, she will be really upset!  I can't understand why people would not talk about this issue but it seems that once the rose coloured glasses go on, nothing much matters.  You should talk, talk, talk before committing to a serious relationship and be sure that you are in agreement on this topic.  

I guess you can tell from this article that I don't believe in beating around the bush.   I believe that communicating and practicality should come first and love and romance should come later.  All too often, couples get sidetracked with emotion and romance before they discuss the important issues of marriage.  This can lead to compromise (marrying someone even though they know they aren't right) or heartache (breaking up because they aren't right).  Dating for fun, should not even be an option for people who consider themselves Torah followers.  If you want to go out for fun, go out with friends not a boyfriend/girlfriend.   The world believes in compatibility based on sex and romance...followers of Yahweh however, should base compatibility on spirituality and life goals & priorities.  I challenge you to be a cut above and talk about the important things...once you know that you are on the same page in regards to Yahweh, Torah, children, money, friends, respect and Yashua, you are free to fall in love with that person....again and again!

This picture can appear quite humorous but in reality it is very disturbing. There is a lot said about end-time prophecy and who or what the Anti-Messiah and the mark of the beast is but I would like to share with you a viewpoint you may not have studied yet. We know that in order for a counterfeit bill to be accepted, it must look identical to the real one. In Canada, they are coming out with money over the next few years that looks and feels like plastic. They have already replaced our $100 bills and will replace all the money by 2014. Plastic bills would seem phony to the average Canadian right about now but over time, everyone is going to accept these new bills and the paper ones will be obsolete.  The spiritual parallel is that there is a big wolf in sheep's clothing amongst many today and although it is disguised as worship to Yahweh, it is really worship of evil.  I believe it is the mark of the beast itself that the woman "Mystery Babylon" rides upon.  

What is the Mark of Yahweh as outlined in the scriptures?  It is shown in Exodus 13:3-10, "Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand the LORD brought you out from this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten. “On this day in the month of Abib, you are about to go forth. “It shall be when the LORD brings you to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall observe this rite in this month. “For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the LORD. “Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. “You shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ “And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt. “Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year.

So keeping the festival of Passover would appear to be the mark of Yahweh.  If the enemy wants to counterfeit, might not celebrating the pagan feasts be the mark of the Anti-Messiah?  Let's consider another parallel...

"And you shall make a plate of pure gold, and engrave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO YAHWEH. And you shall put it on with a blue lace, that it may be upon the turban; upon the front of the turban it shall be.  And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before YAHWEH." (Exodus 28:36-38 )  So here we see the mark of the spiritual leader of the followers of Yahweh.  What is written on the counterfeit leader's forehead?  

"And he brought me to the wilderness in The Spirit, and I saw a woman who sat on a blood-red beast full of blasphemous names, which had seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was wearing purple and scarlet gilt with gold and precious stones and pearls and had a cup of gold in her hand, and it was full of abominations and the filth of her fornication. And upon her forehead was written: “Mystery Babylon The Great, The Mother of Harlots and of the Filth of The Earth. ( Revelation 17:3-5 )  So if Babylon is the counterfeit religion, should we not avoid her customs and traditions at all costs?  Most of you know my position on celebrating pagan holidays such as Christmas and Easter.  I am amazed at people who will avoid Halloween because of it's pagan roots and yet have no problem with Christmas and Easter which are just as pagan.  If you think Yahweh is ok with us worshipping him with pagan traditions, read the story of what He thought of the Israelites worshipping Him with a golden calf (yes, they were trying to worship Yahweh and not Baal) (Exodus 32:4).  

Here's another example of someone who tried to worship Yahweh his own way.  "Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. “If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt.” He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi. Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised in his own heart; and he instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and went up to the altar to burn incense.  (1 Kings 12:26-33)  The word for 'gods' in the passage above is 'elohim' which is a direct reference to Yahweh.  Add to that, he specifically says it is the Elohim that brought them from Egypt (just in case anyone thinks He was trying to worship another god other than Yahweh with these calves). 

You cannot make something pagan into something holy.  When Yahweh commanded Aaron to destroy the gold from the calf, it was not used in the temple, it was melted down and given to the people to drink as a punishment.  You show me one example in the scripture where a pagan holiday, ritual or practice was ever made holy by Yahweh and instituted as worship.  You won't find it.  

Interesting that Babylon is considered the mother of all abominations.   From her came many of the pagan traditions and customs that billions throughout the ages have followed and practiced.  She has been thought to be many things...the Catholic Church, Islam, the USA, etc. but I believe that she is spiritual and not physical.   Some may ask, "what about the 666?"  6 is the number of man and many have tried to decipher it's meaning.  I can tell you of at least 10 different views of what people say  that the mark will be and all seem to have lots of proof.  I believe that because it specifically makes reference to the hand and the forehead, we must use hermeneutics and look at the first time a mark was spoken of in scripture in reference to the hand AND forehead (Cain had a mark only on his forehead, not his hand).   666 must be calculated according to Revelation 13:18.  The word for 'calculate' is the greek word 'pséphizó' and it is used in only one other NT verse - Luke 14:28 when Yashua said to 'calculate' the cost before becoming his disciple.  So it is not just a literal counting as in counting money but a considering or reckoning the repercussions of something.   If you want to be really confused, just look at wikipedia's listing of all the possibilities http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_the_Beast  

To be frank, I am uncertain that the number 666 is the issue as much as staying away from Babylon.  If we do not practice the customs of Babylon and we are not friendly with the world's ways, we will recognize the counterfeit.  If celebrating the feasts of Yahweh are a sign upon our hand and forehead, perhaps the celebrating of pagan holidays are the counterfeit sign upon the forehead and hand.  Romans 4:11 talks about the seal of Yahweh being circumcision and Revelation 9:4 says that the men who have the seal of Yahweh will be spared from the wrath of Yahweh.  The greek word for seal is 'sphragis' and is used in both verses.  There seems to be a direct connotation between the laws and feasts of Yahweh and the seal on the hand and forehead.  Look at Deuteronomy 11:18, "You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead."   What were they binding to their hands and forehead?  The Torah!  So what would the counterfeit be?  The laws and traditions of men.  If 666 is the number of man, then it stands to reason that the system will be for man, by man and have nothing to do with Yahweh.  That describes many sitting in churches today who are practicing paganism and think that they are worshipping Yahweh when He clearly told them not to learn how to worship Him from pagans (Deut. 12:30).

I am not convinced  that the Anti-Messiah will be one man who dominates the world but rather, the Anti-Messiah is a personification of all religious systems that oppose Yahweh.  We see this a lot in scripture - Wisdom is personified as a woman, Babylon is personified as a harlot, Israel is personified as a woman and the Bride of Yahshua is personified as a woman as well even though she represents many people.  Since the harlot represents religion, some suppose the beast she rides upon represents politics.  Both are personification or animalization of many things into one figure.  

One last thing to consider about Babylon.  Remember King Nebuchadnezzar's dream about the statue of himself made of many metals?  Gold represented Babylon in the interpretation and even though only the head was made of gold in his dream, he later built a statue of himself totally made out of gold.  I believe that this is symbolic that Babylon would be present throughout all the kingdoms in the form of rehashed traditions and customs.  So the next time you are tempted to say, "that's not what Christmas means to me!", beware that you are not offending the Creator of the Universe who might make you drink that Babylonian gold someday as he did the Israelites in the wilderness. 

I realize that this post will probably invoke a lot of discussion with opposing views.  That's no problem, I think we can learn from each other but I don't want this to get into mud slinging.  Keep your comments pure, noble and praiseworthy and according to the scripture. 

 

Messianic Muddle

When I was a little girl, my mom used to read Aesop's fables to me.  I remember the story of the man and his son going to the market to sell their donkey.   As they were on their way to the market, they met all kinds of people who each had their own, seemingly sensible ideas about how they should take the donkey to market.  Some thought the father should ride him to the market, some thought the son should ride him and later on the last group thought that the father and son should carry him to the market.  In the end the donkey became frightened and ran off and they had no donkey to sell.  The moral of the story is that if you try to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no-one.  As a child, I understood the meaning all too well.  I was not a people pleaser but I had had quite a few friends who were and they always seemed to be changing their wardrobe, hairstyles, attitude and mannerisms to try and please whomever they were following that week.  Honestly, I can see the same thing happenening in the Messianic crowd and it is troubling me.  

To be frank, I find that many Messianics are takers and complainers.  They hang on to their brand of Messianic doctrine and criticize...those who use the wrong name for Yahweh, those who do/don't cover their heads, those who do/don't wear tzittzits, those who are still struggling to leave all Christian traditions behind, those who do/don't eat kosher the way THEY think kosher should be eaten, those who do/don't still celebrate the pagan holidays, who Israel is, etc.  It is almost exhausting and disheartening to read the argumentative Facebook posts that end up getting into name calling and rudeness.  I am not saying that we can't disagree with one another, even Paul and Barnabas disagreed, but our disagreements should not end in mud slinging and hatred.  Did not Yeshua say that they (the pagans) would know us by our love for one another?  Yet, people get angry when they are booted off Messianc FB groups after they have been throwing mud at other members.  I am not advocating a passive, say nothing about your beliefs attitude but rather, share your beliefs in kindness.   I see so many Messianic ministries floundering because people refuse to give money and the pastors practically have to beg for funds and then people accuse them of being money hungry.  This is wrong!  If you are getting spiritually fed from an online ministry, you should be supporting them financially...this is just common sense.   Why do we support the world by spending so much money on movies, sports games and music concerts and yet we won't give to ministries that are making a difference for eternity?  You will be held accountable...for where your money is, that's where your heart is also.  

I have received numerous emails since the creation of this site about one subject or another and for the most part, they are very negative and critical.  It would be nice to receive more positive emails but I wish to make one thing clear, I am still not a people pleaser...I must still do as Yahweh leads me.  Can I be wrong about issues?  Yes.  However, it must be the Ruach HaQuodesh that shows me where I am wrong...He can use people to challenge me (that's why I am Messianic and not a Christian, someone challenged me to rethink my beliefs) but ulitmately I am listening for His voice.  I am not about to kick people off this site because they have different views than myself, but I wish to make one thing clear...any member who is not happy with our FREE site is FREE to cancel their membership and receive a full refund for any donations they made.  This, in and of itself is laughable because, since the site has started, not one person has donated a dime.  It is discouraging to spend 8-10 hours a week, updating the site, answering emails, writing articles and preparing update emails as well as paying to host the site only have people respond by not donating and criticizing the site content.   I am NOT trying to solicit funds but I am making it very clear that unless more donations come in, I cannot honour requests to upgrade the site or to advertise in order to get more members.  To be clear....Membership is free and will always be free as long as I can help it.  I am not trying to perpetrate a guilt trip, only to state my position clearly and honestly. 

I am not going to get into which spirit, Jezebel or otherwise, is causing this desire among Messianics to control and argue doctrine but I will respond with this.  Love Yahweh by obeying His Torah and love your fellow brethren by showing mercy and gentle rebuke.  Pride does not show up only when we are praised but it rears it's ugly head when we are criticized also.  If we can't handle rebuke with grace and a sweet spirit, we are proud and unteachable.  I personally pray over the criticism I receive (even though some of it is not given very nicely) and I ask Yahweh to help me understand the heart of the person sending it.  I am not perfect, I am going to do things that some of you will not approve of in the running of this site but I want to be clear, I must do what Yahweh says.  If you think that I need to change, by all means send me a loving email of correction...but ultimately, please pray for me that Yahweh will open my eyes to the truth.  I pray the same for all of you and perhaps we can help each other through the muddle and confusion and into the glorious light of His Torah. 

Start being the change you want to see and stop arguing doctrine and mudslinging on FB and otherwise.  Encourage those who labour our of love for Yahweh and correct and receive correction in humility.   Yeshua only became angry at those who were so proudly set in tradition and their own ideas that they refused to be humble enough to listen to a carpenter's son who had the truth.  Pride blinds us to the truth and even if we have the truth, our pride will blind anyone else from listening to the truth we speak.  Humble yourselves, seek his face, act justly but love mercy and Yahweh will be glorified in your life.

 

finding a spouseA rabbi once said that looking for your soul-mate is like looking for a lost arm, you should not ever stop until you find it.

Well, there is nothing less Jewish than being single, but is there really a soul-mate for everyone? This mystical idea that there is someone out there who is my half is really true? The rabbis who advocate this position are often the same who believe in reincarnation and in the division of souls, I do not believe in this theory by the simple fact that if there is reincarnation then the resurrection that the Bible talks about would be impossible.

I still think that believers must look for their spouse constantly, God wants us to be marry and have children so we can accomplish more mitzvot and have a better quality of life. We must constantly pray to HaShem to help us find our mate. I think we should get rid of the princes and princesses fantasies, assess our situation and have realistic expectations. We should make a list of things we need in our spouse and decide which items are non-negotiable and those that we must learn to negotiate in order to have a future together.

I feel sorry for friends who are still waiting for a sign from heaven to make a decision, waiting for the day when the person miraculously tap on their door, and meanwhile lose dozens of opportunities that life is giving to them. They lose the privilege of keeping more mitzvot, the privilege of being married and, God forbid, the privilege of parenting.

I'm not saying you should throw yourself into the arms of the first to appear, I'm saying: look for the right person because it will not appear by magic! You do not know where he/she is, maybe he/she is not in your own city, state, country! Help him/her to find you!

Lets take a look to Orthodox groups, when they want to marry they ask their rabbi for a Shiduch* and he will try to introduce them to someone he thinks is good for them, someone who have things in common with this person, belong to the same spiritual level .. etc. The couple date and talk about transcendental things - unlike the way that most of the secular people start a relationship -. What are transcendental things?: How many children do you want? What level of Torah do you want to live? What are your plans for future? How do you want to educate your children? Where do you want to live? These are really important things; having reached a common point, this couple decides to keep dating for a month or two and then book the date for their engagement and then marriage, if they don't agree in the most important subjects they will request another Shiduch and so on.

And what about love? It will come, they think, love is a decision and it will be learned. The more I have in common with my partner the more pleasant living will be and this will make me fall in love with him/her.

Is this possible? People who are part of those religious communities have something in common, men are raised to be husbands, women to be wives and both to build a family. Everyone knows what to do and will do so.

Secular people and sadly even believers still base their relationships on emotions and leave the rest to God. They see, like, want, take and once married the troubles start to arrive. Love covers a multitude of faults, it is true, but non cultivated love is finite, and once is finished there is no way for faults to be covered.

When a couple is complemented, care and respect each other, a deep love emerges and dwells in their home, the bond becomes unbreakable, eternal. There is NO way of subsisting without each other, they are no longer two, they are ONE and it does not take a princess or a prince to make this happen.

I sincerely hope that every single child of Israel will soon find a spouse and have a blessed life,

* Shiduch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shidduch

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Erinia's Thoughts:

When I first read this, I loved it!  Firstly, because it is written by one of our members and also because it is frank, to the point and full of common sense.  It is freeing to realize that there is nothing wrong with saying that you are single and LOOKING!  For so long, I have heard singles (especially females) say that they don't really want people to know they are looking for a spouse.  They don't want a reputation for being a chaser.  Wow.   Somehow, letting the general community know that you are single and available does not strike me as chasing the opposite sex.  When it comes to guys, they SHOULD be chasers.  Not to the degree where all singles ladies flee at the sight of you but there is nothing wrong with letting people know that you are looking for a wife!  

Thank you to the member who submitted this wonderful article! 

 

contentment1 Timothy 6:6 says that godliness with contentment is GREAT gain.  That's certainly not the usual definition of great gain in our society today.  Gain in our circles usually means the accumulation of money, power and material things.  What does it mean when Paul writes that godliness WITH contentment is great gain?   The word 'godliness' in Greek is "eusebia" which means "piety or reverence towards Yahweh".   What makes a person godly?  Does it happen immediately when we acknowledge Yeshua as Saviour and begin to follow Him?  Titus 2:11-12 tells us that the grace of Yahweh teaches us to live godly lives.  Living godly is not something that comes naturally to us as human beings, it it taught to us by grace.  Perhaps delving into the meaning of grace will shed some light on the subject.  When people think of grace they come up with all kinds of definitions and ideas about it.  The general consensus is that it denotes "forgiveness, no punishment or mercy".  The Hebrew word for grace is "chen" which can be translated "favour or kindness".  So it is the kindness of Yahweh that teaches us to live with reverence towards Him.  Amazing!  If there is anything lacking in our religious circles today it is the fear of Yahweh.  To fear Yaweh is to reverence Him and sometimes to even be afraid of Him (although many popular teachers will tell you otherwise).   Yahweh is not waiting to punish us - but if we stubbornly continually refuse to obey Him, He must punish us and we should be afraid if we reach that point.   The fear of Yahweh has so many blessings attached to it and we show our reverence for Him by our obedience to His instructions.  Yahweh said to Abraham when he was about to sacrifice Isaac ",,,now I know that you fear Yahweh, seeing you have not withheld your son..." (Genesis 22:12) .  So to recap...God's kindness {by giving us the Torah and His son Yeshua} towards us teaches us to reverence Him by obedience and this, along with contentment, brings us great gain.   Obedience is really key to living a godly life...I encourage you to look up the word "godly" in a concordance (biblos.com) and do a study on what it means to be godly and what you can expect from being godly - the answers might surprise you! 

 The second part of the verse (! Timothy 6:6) says that contentment is part of great gain.  The word 'contentment' in Greek is "autarkeia" which means "contentment or self-sufficiency".   Being content is simply being happy with what you already have and not desiring to be richer, more powerful, etc.   A  few verses after Paul tells Timothy what the consequences can be for not being content.  He says that "Those who desire to get rich fall into MANY snares and have even wandered away from the truth".  Is being rich wrong?  No, but the desire to be richer is very wrong.  Sometimes, we don't desire to be millionaires but we desire a better car, home, relationship status, job, etc because we believe that will make us happier.  If we can't be content with what we have and live lives of obedience to Yahweh out of reverence for Him, we will NEVER have great gain.   I have a plaque that reads "Happiness is wanting what you already have".  You may be thinking, " You have no idea how I live or what my life is like!"  I want to submit to you that has nothing to do with this scripture.  Contentment is not an adjective (feeling) it is a noun (state of being).  It is a CHOICE that we make no matter what our life is or has been like.  I have had some very difficult cirumstances in my life and I have not always been content - mainly due to the fact that I relied on feeling content, not making achoice to be content.  There was a time when all my friends were getting married and I was (and still am) single.   I had to choose to be content with my singleness and determine to follow whatever course Yahweh charted for my life's journey.  Do feelings of envy come?  Yep, but I don't allow them to fester and change my outlook on life.  The other meaning to contentment is self-sufficiency.  This means not relying on others to meet your needs (other than Yahweh of course).  I want to tread carefully here since I know that some may misunderstand my meaning.  I realize that many have to rely on others for a paycheck, child care, emotional support, etc.  However, I do believe that 1 Thessalonians 4:11 may help me make my point,  "...make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business".  Many of us lead anything but quiet lives; they are full of ringing phones, traffic, people talking and the media.  Some times, I think we pack more into our lives than we need!  The original translation says we need to "live quietly" (Greek word: hésuchazó ) which also denotes silence and rest.  If we are too busy to hear the voice of Yahweh, we are TOO BUSY!   Personally, I don't have a tv or a cell phone and I don't care to own one.   When I am in my car, I turn off my radio at times and just praise Yahweh with silence.  Sounds strange I know but remember that He speaks at times in a "still, small voice" and we won't hear it if the volume and speed in our life is turned up all the time.  The second part of the verse above is to "mind our own business"...some of us have trouble doing that!   Living simply and quietly involves not getting entangled in areas that we have no business in...yes, there are times when we must warn others about what is happening in their lives but often, we can easily get involved in gossip and poking our noses where it does not belong - especially us women.  The phrase "mind your own business" in the Greek is actually  "to work with your own hands" which connotes having a home business and/or keeping busy in physical labour.  An industrious person has little time to sit and fret over their relationship status or get involved in idle gossip.  My grandma use to say that "idle hands are the devil's tools".  Even though that might seem to contradict what I previously stated about resting, it actually adds to it.  We have become so busy doing uneccessary  things these days -things that wear us down and take up valuable time that we could be using to serve Yahweh.  I can be busy in my garden and commune with Yahweh at the same time.  I can drive and sing praise to Him.  However, I can't watch tv and pray at the same time.  I can't chatter about meningless things on the phone for hours and praise Him at the same time.  Our lives are filled with the wrong kind of busy-ness and we don't seem to know how to rest or listen for His voice very well.  That's one of many reasons that I am thankful for the Sabbath day...I can rest and completely turn my thoughts off of myself and my own life and focus on His goodness. 

So to recap what Paul said to Timothy (in my own words), "Timothy, living a life of obedience in the fear of Yahweh along with being thankful for what you have and independantly minding your own business is GREAT wealth".  I encourage you to begin thanking Yahweh for what you have and not complaining about what you do not have.  True wealth is in contentment.  The video below is a great reminder that our attitude affects every aspect of our life...today, make a CHOICE to REJOICE!