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James Merritt - Totally Satisfied

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    James Merritt - Totally Satisfied
TOPICS: Joy Ride, Philippians, Satisfaction

I wanna confess to you today one of my greatest fears, and I'm being serious about this. Everybody I guess has a phobia and I've got a fear and it actually is increasing as I age. And I'm not the only person who has this fear. In fact, we're now being told this fear is growing in America at an exponential rate, primarily because of the internet and social media. And more and more people are getting this fear. And it's almost becoming an epidemic. Now, if you're younger, you're millennial, you'll know what these four letters stand for. My fear is FOMO. Everybody know what that is? Fear of missing out. And it's phenomenon that was first identified in 1996 by a marketing strategist named Dr. Dan Herman. And folks, FOMO simply refers to this worry and this apprehension that you either don't know or you're out of touch with some social event, some experience or some interaction.

And people who struggle with FOMO may not know exactly what they're missing out on, but they just got this nagging fear that somewhere, someplace, somebody else is having a better time, a more rewarding experience, they're enjoying life more than they are, or they've got things they don't have. And they feel like, and they fear that they're just missing out. And what this leads to is the inability to just be totally satisfied with where you are at a given moment, who you are at a point in time and what you currently have in your possession. And this is compounded by the fact that psychologists tell us that the most important thing we all want in life is to be satisfied. Because think about it. If for whatever reason you're dissatisfied about something, you're not totally happy. And getting what we want is a part of our daily life, getting what we want when we want it. And we all show this every day.

I mean, if we're watching TV and you don't like the show, you hit the remote and change the channel. Don't like a song you're listening to? Hit the button, change the song. I've seen this happen a lot of times in my life. First time something happens at church we don't like, we just flip the switch and change churches, just happens. We want what we want, when we want it. And today we're being told that either what we have, where we are, the way we look, or what we drive is insufficient. The economy's driven on perpetual discontent. There're experts that now know, that tell us that there are people who have become an expert in how to drive us to what psychologists now call dissatisfaction remediation.

Now, let me tell you what, it's a fancy word for the first word a child learns to say when they begin to learn how to speak. And that word is more. Nobody has to teach you how to say more. It takes a long time for a child to ever say enough. And maybe that's why it's not coincidental that the song that Rolling Stone Magazine ranks as the number two song in its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The number one song on VH1's 100 Greatest Rock And Roll Songs of All Time. Guess what the title is. I Can't Get No Satisfaction. And that's where we all are. I can't get no satisfaction. And it seems like that discontent and dissatisfaction follows us all of our life.

There was a 14 year old boy, many, many years ago. He wrote a poem, this like unbelievable poem that a 14 year old boy wrote this. Matter of fact, he sent it in to a gossip column. This you may remember, Abigail Van Buren. She called herself Dear Abby. He sent this in to Abigail Van Buren. She was so impressed she printed it. It was read by newspapers all over the country. 14 Year old boy wrote this. Here's what he said. "It was spring, but it was summer I wanted. The warm days and the great outdoors. It was summer, but it was fall I wanted. The colorful leaves and the cool, dry air. It was fall, but it was winter I wanted. The beautiful snow and the joy of the holiday season. It was winter, but it was spring I wanted. The warmth and the blossoming of nature. I was a child, but it was adulthood I wanted. The freedom and the respect. I was 20, but it was 30 I wanted. To be mature and sophisticated. I was middle aged, but it was 20 I wanted".

I can say amen to that. "The youth and the free spirit. I was retired, but it was middle age I wanted. The presence of mind without limitations. My life was over. But I never got what I wanted". So true of so many people. So many people die discontent, dissatisfied. I never got that job. I never got that degree. I never earned that money. I never drove that car. I never lived in that house. I never got what I wanted. Listen, this is amazing. We spend most of our lives working and we spend most of our time working at jobs we hate. Jobs that we are not satisfied with. According to published surveys, this blows me away, 80% of working Americans, 80% believe they're working in the wrong job. And 80% believe they should not be working where they are and they are not satisfied or content with where they are right now.

If you're a guest of ours today, we're in a book called Philippians in the New Testament. And we've called that book joy ride because I believe the God that created us, the Jesus that has come to us, wants to give us joy and peace and satisfaction and contentment. And what you're gonna love about what I'm about to share with you today is this. The man that wrote this book was a man named Paul. He wrote it when he was in prison, he was chained or a Roman soldier 24 hours a day. All he had to eat was bread and water. He didn't have a computer. He didn't have a cell phone. He had no visitors, nobody to talk to. And he had every reason to gripe and every reason to complain. But instead as he's winding up this letter he wrote, he's telling this church in Philippi, how satisfied he is. How at peace he is and how content he is. And he shares with them the secret of satisfaction.

Now some of you, many of you, be honest, you're dissatisfied about something or you're dissatisfied about someone. You're not totally content in your life. There's something about your life you changed, something you don't like, you wish you were not you, you wish you were someone else. You wish you had what someone else had. You wish you were where someone else was. You wish you have the job somebody else has. And you may say, you know, I just don't think I'll ever find satisfaction. Well, I want you to think about this. If you can be totally satisfied in prison, don't you think you can be totally satisfied out of prison? How do you do that? Well, Paul gives us the secret. He says three things. If you'll just write these down, you'll learn how to be satisfied with who you are, where you are, what you have.

Number one, he said, "Remember God's purpose for you. Remember God's purpose for you". Now, Paul is commending this church in Philippi because even though they didn't have a lot of money, here's what they did. They would take up a continuous love offering and they would do everything they could to meet every need Paul had while he was in this prison. So here's what Paul begins by saying, "I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it". Now, listen, this guy's in prison. He doesn't know if he's gonna die tomorrow, but he says, "I'm not saying this because I'm 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". Paul said there is a secret to satisfaction. And I have learned that secret.

Now again, he had every reason to be discontent and dissatisfied. Here's a man who had been unfairly treated, he had been unlovingly rejected, he had been unjustly in prison. The Jewish people that he was a part of, he was a Jewish blue blood, the Jewish people who once loved him now hated him. For one reason. All he had done was given his life to Christ. And the man that they once verified, they now vilified. He's in prison. You know why he's in prison? Because he was falsely accused of a crime he had not even committed. He was accused of doing something he had not even done. And yet, even though this dark cloud of death is hanging over him, he said, you know what? I'm content. I'm totally satisfied. I live in the light of the presence of God every day. And I just go to sleep at night like a baby. I have learned the secret of contentment.

Let me tell you why this is so important. Contentment is not a principle you practice. It's a lesson that you have to learn. It's something that you have to learn and something you have to know. And by the way, that leads me to say something before I forget it. If you're one of those people and you were glad you graduated and you hate school. And you're glad, you know, I don't ever have to go to school again. I've got some bad news for you. There's a school you never graduate from. There's a school you never get a doctor's degree in. There's a school that never gets a summer break, never gets a Christmas vacation. And that is God's school of lifelong learning. You never get out of the school of life. When you give your heart to God, you enroll in His university.

And by the way, He teaches every single class and God never ever quits teaching. And we should never quit learning because school is never out, it is always in session. It doesn't matter what you're doing. Doesn't matter whether you're reading your Bible, facing a problem, parenting a child, working in a difficult job, going through a tough time, dealing with a medical issue. There's a question you ought to always be asking when you're discontent, when you're dissatisfied, when you're gripy and you're grumbling and you're complaining. And you're just as negative as you can be and you hate where you are in your life.

There's a question you should always be asking. And it's this question, God, what are you wanting to teach me? God never wastes anything in your life. God's always wanting to teach you something. And one of the greatest lessons God's always wanted to teach us is the secret of satisfaction. How to be satisfied where you are. Paul says, you know what? I've learned how to be satisfied. When times are good or times are bad, I'm satisfied. If I've got a lot or I've got a little, I'm satisfied. If I'm free or I'm in prison, I'm satisfied. If it's raining or the sun is shining, I'm satisfied. If I'm going with the flow or I'm swimming upstream. Paul said, "I've learned the secret of satisfaction".

So now we have to ask the question. Paul, what was the secret? I wanna know what was the lesson you have learned that God taught you? And by the way, you mean God taught you in this rat infested, dank, dark prison? That, by the way, you probably will never get out of. What in the world did you learn that enabled you to be completely content and totally satisfied? 'Cause I know there's some of you right now you have to be a little bit irritated with me. You have to be, 'cause you're sitting there saying, you know, dude, you don't know what my circumstances are. You wouldn't stand up there so smug and tell me to be totally satisfied if you were in my shoes. Well, let me tell you the lesson to learn. You're sitting there saying you just don't know the circumstances I'm under. That's where you're wrong.

Here's the secret. You're not under your circumstances. God is over your circumstances. You're not under your circumstances. God is over your circumstances. See, Paul didn't know from one day to the next what was going to happen to him. But he knew God did. Paul didn't know whether he would have a little or have a lot, but he knew he had God. And Paul had finally figured out, you know, if I've got nothing with God, I've got everything. But if I've got everything without God, I've got nothing. By the way, that's why the most dissatisfied, discontented, dysfunctional people you'll ever meet, you know what they are? They all have one thing in common. They're control freaks. You ever met a control freak?

Some of you said, man, I married to control freak, okay. You ever been around a control freak? They just have to control everything and they get bent outta shape if they think they're not in control of everything. Well, if you're one of those control freaks, do you know what contentment is? Here's what contentment is. Contentment is realizing you don't have to control everything because God is in control of everything. So why do you have to control everything if God is in control? Paul had made up his mind. I'm going to be satisfied with who I am, where I am and what I am. You know, I learned a long time ago. I'm so glad that Therese and I learned this early in our marriage. I'm telling you, it's one of the greatest secrets we learned about just how to manage our money.

Here's the secret. You don't have to keep up with the Joneses if you're satisfied with being a Smith. You just don't. You don't have to do that. I love the old story of a king. And he had everything a king could want, but he still wasn't satisfied, he always wanted more. And he was depressed. He was discouraged. He wasn't satisfied. He was just discontent and he couldn't find inner peace. And one of his advisors came to him and he said, "Sire, why don't you let us go into the kingdom and let us find the most contented man in the kingdom. And we'll take that man's shirt and we'll bring it back. And if you put on that man's shirt maybe you'll be content". Well, the king thought that was a good idea. He had tried everything else. He said, "Okay, go find the most contented man you can and bring the shirt back to me".

So he sent them out, they searched all over the kingdom for the most satisfied, contented man they could find so they could get his shirt and they could bring it back to the king. When they finally found the most contented, satisfied man in the kingdom, he didn't even own a shirt. He didn't even have a shirt. Satisfaction and contentment is an acquired skill. You have to learn it. You know this if you're a parent. that sweet little, old baby that came outta that mother's womb, and oh, that little baby is so cute, that little baby is so sweet. That little baby is the king of discontent. And that little baby will let you know it when that baby is discontent. That little baby doesn't care if you're tired, that little baby doesn't care if you're sleepy, that little baby doesn't care if you've had a hard day work. When that little kid is discontent and that little kid is hungry, you don't matter. He or she is the only one that matters.

That's why you've gotta learn to be satisfied with who you are, where you are and what you have. And that's exactly what God's trying to teach us every single day. There was a man who was just about having a nervous breakdown. His job was just, there's so much stress, there was so much pressure He was kind of a spiritual seeker. He kinda hit the end of the road. He kinda hit the end of the line. So he thought to himself, I just gotta get away. So he went to a monastery, one of those places where you just go get away from everything to spend about three or four days. And so he checked in and so the monk showed him to this little simple room. There was no windows, no television, no computer, no telephone. All there was in this room was a bunk bed, a sink, a tub and a Bible. As he started to shut the door, he said, "Sir, I do hope you enjoy your stay. And oh, by the way, if you need anything at all, let us know. We'll teach you how to get along without it".

Remember God's purpose for you. He wants to teach you the secret of satisfaction. He wants you to live contented. Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, I can't do that. I mean, come on, dude. If I could, I wouldn't be listening to this right now. Well, that leads to the second secret or part of the secret. That is you have to rely on God's power in you. I know what some of you're thinking right now. You're saying, look, I can't, I cannot be satisfied with who I am. I can't be satisfied with where I am. I can't be satisfied with what I have. Even if this is who God made me, this is where God has placed me, this is what God has given to me, okay? Let me make you feel good. I agree, you can't. You cannot do it on your own. I get it. But that's why Paul goes on to say this. "I can do all this through Him who gives me strength".

Now I see that verse on T-shirts all the time. And I see it on necklaces. I see it tattooed. And I'm glad for that, except that's probably maybe the single most misused, misunderstood, misapplied verse in all of Scripture. This verse is not saying you can do anything through Christ you want to do. That's not what the verse is saying. Some preachers will preach it and some churches you'll hear it. If you want that Mercedes, you can have it. If you want that mansion, it's yours. If you want that condo on the beach, you name it, you claim it. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. That is not what Paul was saying. What Paul was saying was, I can be totally satisfied with who I am and where I am and what I have through Christ who gives me the power to do it. That's what he was talking about. He was talking about the power to be totally satisfied.

Listen, we can do anything that God wants us to do. And one of the things that God wants us to do every single day is to be totally satisfied. Listen, we're called to contentment. It's not just a request. We're called to contentment and contentment will never come. Some of you're gonna learn this the hard way. Contentment will never come when you reach the top of the ladder. It wont' come when you have that large bank account. It won't come when you have that title you're always looking for. I'll tell you when contentment will come. When you change the way you think and you rely on the power that God has given you. I don't take the paper anymore, probably most of you don't either. But I used to take the paper. When I came back I used to take the Atlanta Journal. And I'm not a cartoon reader.

You know, a lot of people love the cartoons. I'm not a cartoon reader at all. But there was one cartoon strip I would always look at, it's Peanuts, that's my favorite cartoon. Charles Schulz was a believer. There were a lot of Christian messages in there. So I loved Charlie Brown and Snoopy and all those things. Well, I remember one cartoon I read a time, it was Thanksgiving and Snoopy's in the doghouse. It was a Thanksgiving Day and he's grumbling. Snoopy's grumbling, griping, he's complaining 'cause he's stuck inside that doghouse eating his dog food while everybody else, they're in the house, they're eating turkey and dressing and gravy and cranberries and pumpkin pie. And Snoopy's just so depressed and so discouraged. He's so down on life. And then there's this last caption in the cartoon where Snoopy says to himself, "You know, it could've been worse. I coulda been born a turkey".

That's so true. Instead of griping about what you don't have every day, God wants you to be grateful for what you do have. Instead of griping about where you are, be grateful about where you are not. Instead of griping about who you are, be grateful because of who you're not. 'Cause I'll tell you something. If you were to stop right now and you really took stock of your life, those you out there, you're busting away. You say, man, I'm trying to get ahead. I promise you, some of you take stock of your life, you'd say, you know what? I don't have to get ahead. I am ahead. I'm already there. See, there are a lot of things in life we all think that we can't do, but we can. And I wanna tell you something right now that some of you are not gonna like, it's gonna ruffle your feathers. It's gonna bother you. It's gonna irritate you. But I know it's true because A, Scripture teaches it.

Number two, I've lived it. Let me tell you what the Christian life is all about, if you're follower of Jesus. Let me tell you what the Christian life is all about. The Christian life is not a matter of can or can't. It is a matter of will or won't. Pastor, you're going on a mission trip. Boy, I wish I could go, but I just can't. That's just not me. No, the reason why you don't go on missions, is not because you can't it's because you won't. Pastor, you tell me I need to have my one and I need to be praying about my one. And I need to try to share Jesus with my one. I just can't do that. I'm just not cut that way. No, it's not a matter of can't. It's a matter of won't. Pastor, I know that I should support God's work financially, I know that, I just can't. No, it's not a matter of can't. It's a matter of won't. Or else Paul lied when he said, I can do all things that God wants me to do through Christ who enables me.

So let me tell you what that tells me. You can worship God in spirit and in truth. You can serve God in some way that blesses other people. You can be disciple and disciple in a small group. You can share with others your faith in Christ. You can sin and be sin. You can go across the street or go around the world and share your faith because you can do anything in Christ that He wants you to do. Now, this may sound very simple, but let me encourage some of you. Believe it or not, there's some of you that live in the soup of discontent every single day. You gripe about something every day, you complain about something every day, you're down about something every day. You're jealous about somebody every day, and you are just one change of thought away from leaving the conflict of dissatisfaction and entering the calm of satisfaction.

Let me give you a demonstration. I read the story the other day about a rich businessman. He owned a big company. He was filthy rich. He's walking by a lake one day and there was a guy sitting there. He had his fishing boat up on the shore and he was just sitting there by that fishing boat. He was just kind of staring up in the sky, lazily with a big, big smile on his face, looked like he was just enjoying life. So the businessman walked over to him and he said, "Why aren't you out there fishing"? And the fisherman said, "Well, because I've been fishing and I've caught enough fish for the day". He said, "Well, why don't you go catch more fish"?

And the fisherman said, "Well, what would I do with more fish"? He said, "Well, look, you could go out there, catch more fish, you could sell those fish for more money, then you could buy a bigger boat and a better boat. So you could go deeper and farther. You'd catch more fish. Then you could go out and purchase another boat besides that and you'd catch more fish". He said, "Soon you'd have a fleet of boats and you'd have a bunch of fishermen working under you". And he said, "They could build you a big fishing company. Then you'd be making all the money that you want. You'd have all these boats, you'd have all these fishermen working for you. And then you'd be rich like I am". And the fisherman said, "Well, then what would I do"? And the rich man said, "Well, you could just sit down and enjoy life". The guy said, "What do you think I'm doing right now"?

God has put His power in you to enable you to overcome FOMO. You can overcome greed. You can overcome materialism. You can overcome selfish. You can overcome worshiping that credit card. You can do it. Because there's a power in you and on you. That's by focusing and realizing every day if I'm living for Him, I am where I am, I am who I are. And I have what I need because I'm where I need to be. Now, one last thing and we'll wrap this up. You remember God's purpose for you every day. God wants you to be complete. God wants you to be content and satisfied. You rely on God's power in you. I can be satisfied. I can overcome greed. I can overcome discontent. I can live in peace. I don't have to have FOMO following me around all the time. I don't have to worry about where anybody else is, who anybody else is, what anybody else has.

And then the last thing. Reckon on God's provision to you. I wanna ask you a simple question. It's a foolish question. I'm gonna tell you right up front. It's a dumb question. It's a stupid question. 'Cause the answer's obvious. I get that. It's a rhetorical question, but let me ask you to make a point. So I want you to listen carefully. If you knew that if you were living in the will of God and that God is in control of your life. If you knew that and if you knew that you would always be where you should be, do what you should do, have what you should have, would you be totally satisfied? Well, you said, well sure. I mean, if I was living in the will of God, if God is in control of my life and I always knew I'll always be where I should be. I'll always do what I should do. I'll always have what I would have, would I be totally satisfied? So yeah, sure. Okay.

Well here's the good news. Paul said, "And my God will meet," say that word real loud, "All... All your... Needs, according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus". Before you took a breath out of your mother's womb, God already made a promise to you. If you give your life to me, I'm gonna meet all your needs. Not some, not most, not the big ones. I will meet all your needs. And I wanna tell you something, there's some great promises in the Bible for me, for my money, there is not a greater promise than that promise. If you're living in the center of God's will, you're being the obedient and faithful to Him, you have every right and every reason to expect that any real need you have in your life God is going to meet.

Now to be clear, I have never read a translation of that verse that says this. And my God will supply all of your greed. I've not found that verse 'Cause that's not what the verse says. God never said I will grant all your greed. He said, "I'll meet all your needs". And I've lived long enough to tell you, I'll be honest, I am thankful that God has never given me everything I've ever wanted. But God has given me everything I've needed. I'm gonna tell you why. As you go through life you'll look back on your life, if you're honest you'll say this. There are a lot of things we wanted we better be glad we didn't get. Because if we've gotten what we wanted we would not have wanted what we got.

I'll give you an example. I know this will shock many of you, but when I was growing up as a kid, sometimes I needed to be disciplined. I know that shocks a lot of you. Really, you? Yeah, I did. There were times I needed to be disciplined. But I'ma also tell you this. There was never a time I can think of that I was disciplined that I wanted it. I can never think of a time my dad spanked me or whipped me and I gave my dad a standing ovation. I was standing but it wasn't ovation. And I wish I could tell you that I was mature enough at times, just on my own to walk into my dad's bedroom and say something like this, dad, do you have a minute? I need some discipline. I've never done that. And I guarantee you, you haven't either. And I wish I could tell you that I was mature enough that every time I got disciplined, that I wanted it because I didn't.

But every day of my life, I'm thankful that I lived in a home where I had a mom and a dad that cared enough about me and wanted me to be the kind of person I should be that they disciplined me when I was not what I should be. And another reason I'm grateful is there are often times in our lives, as you look back on it, that we wanted things we really didn't need. I almost married the wrong girl twice. I did. I just texted Theresa this morning and just told her how much I loved her and how grateful I am that God didn't give me the girls I wanted. He gave me the one that I needed. And I'll tell you there hasn't been a day that's gone by in my life, since I married Theresa that I just don't give the Lord thanks. Because let tell you, you know why she's such a great wife? Theresa doesn't give me everything I want, but she does give me everything I need. For example, sometimes we want flattery, but we need honesty.

I remember one of the most traumatic times of my life. I turned 50. It was trauma. I mean, I thought I was gonna have to go to the hospital. 'Cause I thought life's over. I'm 50 years old, I'm done. And I'm just being honest. I was in a funk. I walked around the house depressed. Oh gosh, I'm 50 years old. So I walked into the bedroom. I said, "Theresa, you don't think I look 50, do you"? She said, "No, but you used to". You can mark this down. This is a promise that has never failed. This is a word that God has never broken. He said, "If there is a real need in your life, I will meet that need". I know what some of you are thinking about. You're nah-ah. No, no, no, no, no. I've got a need in my life, God has not met my need. Correction.

If there's a need in your life that hasn't been met one of two things is true. It's either not a true need. He just hasn't met that need yet. But there is no such thing as an unmet need. Oh, that need may not be met in your way. It'll be met in his. It may not be met in your time. It'll be met in His and He will provide. So I wanted to share with you one of the most traumatic experiences I've ever had in my life. And I mean, it was traumatic. It was panic, frankly. It was the end of my junior year in college. I had chosen, well, I believe that God sent me and I look back and I still believe God sent me. I don't know all the reasons why. But I went out of state to a private Baptist college that was very, very expensive. Frankly, I could not afford to go there. Like some of you, I accumulated some student debt. Not like a lot of you have today.

But I borrowed money to go and I would work summer jobs and save up all the money I had. Mom and dad, you know, they helped as much as they could, but dad didn't make nearly enough money to help put me through school. And I always worked my way in school. I had a job every year while school was going on, I worked some kind of a campus job. And you know, I was very frugal. I didn't go out very much. I didn't spend a lot of money. It was all I could just to kind of make ends meet. Well, at the end of my junior year, we added up everything we knew we could do and everything I knew that I had, I was $2,000 short.

I could not make it. I couldn't go back to school the next year. And I wanted to finish on time. I thought I'm gonna have to take a semester off and go work to make money. So I can go back to school and I didn't wanna do that. I wanted to finish on time. All I knew to do was just lay it before the Lord. It's all I did. I didn't tell anybody about it. I just said, "Lord, maybe you want me to work. Maybe this is not a need. I think it's a need. Lord, I really wanna finish. Nobody in my family had ever finished college". And I said, "Lord, I wanna finish. And I wanna finish on time. I don't wanna quit. So you know what I need".

Well, it was a week before school was let out and I get a notice in my mailbox to go see Mr. Master. Mr. Master was my accounting professor, he was the head of the accounting department. Now you have to understand his name was Joe Master. God rest his soul, Joe Master. The two most intimidating people in my life in order. The second most intimidating person I've ever known is Joe Master. The first one I'm married to. Just a joke. Mr. Master was so intimidating. If you're an accounting major, let me just tell you, this was the way for two years. I majored in accounting for two years. Every class he taught, we all did, you went in there, your gut was in a knot, you were just pouring sweat, you would just, oh, God, please don't let him look at, just don't even let him call on me.

Cause here's what he did. He would give us a CPA problem. Problem that was on an actual CPA exam. It'd be this long. It'd take an hour just to get through it to see what they were asking. There would be about eight of us that would get in the room Tuesday night and Thursday night and Sunday, so Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. We had classes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We'd all get together, we'd spend two hours trying to work this problem out, we wouldn't get anywhere. Eight of us couldn't solve the problem. So you went into class knowing you didn't know the answer to this problem, you don't know how to work this thing out.

'So you'd get in there and you know, I believe in the power of prayer and I said, oh Lord, just today make me invisible. Just today don't let Mr. Master see. 'Cause here's what he would do. He called everybody by their last name. He tried to treat it like the business world. So he didn't call me James. It was always Mr. Merritt. So here's what we'd do. You'd go in and you'd just be saying, you know, please don't let him call me. And yep, he'd say, "Mr. Merritt, would you mind beginning to solve the problem"?

So, you know what you're doing? You're just spitballing. You don't have a clue how to solve that problem. You're just spitballing. So you start out trying to solve the problem. You only say three words. He go, "Uh, Mr. Merritt, why are you doing that? Why would you take that step"? "Well, Mr. Masters, because". "No, don't say because. Give me an answer". "Well, Mr". "No, I don't need Mr. Just tell me how to solve it". He's just like that. He'd just bore into you. And then when you were a puddle of tears and you were wetting your pants. He turned to somebody else. It was sadistic.

So I get a notice in the mail. I've taken classes with him now for two years. I've never been in his office. He's never called me in. This is how bad it was. I went to a pretty small school. If you were walking down the sidewalk, I've seen it happen, if you were walking down the sidewalk and you were in the business school, he was walking, you always crossed the street. You never walk and you'd keep your head down. Lord, don't let him even look at me. So I'm called to his office. And I don't know what in God's name have I done to deserve this. I go walk over to the business school, feel like I'm going to my own hanging. And I walk over the business school. His door's open and he's sitting there and I kinda knocked on the door and he looked up, "Oh, Mr. Merritt, I'll be with you in just a minute. Just have a seat".

So I sit out there two or three minutes. Finally he said, "Come in, Mr. Merritt". He came in, I sat down. He didn't say anything. He just pulled out an envelope and he gave it to me. I didn't know what it was. And he said, "Mr. Merritt," he said, "This is yours". I said, "Yes. Thank you, sir". I started to get up. He said, "Open it". I said, "Now"? He said, "Open it right now". Well, what I didn't know was every year Winn-Dixie gave a scholarship to a student in the business school. And that scholarship was passed around from department to department. One year the finance department got it. The next year the managing department would get it.

The next year the marketing department would get it. Well, this was the year the accounting department got it. And the head of the department got to choose who got this scholarship. So Mr. Master, the head of the school says, "Open it". I opened it. Guess how much the check was for. $2,000. I had the presence of mind not to say to Mr. Master, I'm going to Disney World. Now here's the amazing thing. To this day I have no clue how he knew I needed that money. I didn't tell anybody. Just the Lord. I have no clue why of all the people in our accounting department he chose me. We had never had a conversation. He knew nothing about, to my knowledge, nothing about my circumstances. But of all those people in that accounting department, I get the scholarship.

I was walking back to my dorm house, mate, I'm walking this high off the ground. I just couldn't believe it. I'm gonna finish my senior year. I never thought about it then. But boy, one day it hit me I was thinking about it. God said, "I never break my word. I always keep my promise". My God will supply all of your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus. Jesus died on the cross. He came back from the grave so we can be totally satisfied in this life. Totally satisfied that at the end of this life and totally satisfied in the life to come. That's why He came. And John Piper put it best, and we're finished, when he said this. "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him". To God be the glory for His satisfaction.
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