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2006-08-13pm - Learning To Be Content

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Learning How To Be Content

Theme: Learning to be pleased with our lot in life. Phil. 4:10-18

INTRODUCTION

A.     It is a natural desire to “want more,” to “want better.”

1.      From a worldly perspective: having “more” equates with wealth.

2.      Having “better” equates with success.

B.     Our society caters to these natural desires.

1.      We are taught we need something else, something new, or something better.

2.      In other words, many of these desires center around material possessions/money.

3.      That is why - spiritually - we are told that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
1 Tim. 6:10

C.     As a result we need to “learn” how to be content with what we have and don’t have.

D.     Thus, we will:

1.      Define what it means to learn to be content.

2.      How to be content whether we “abound” or are “abase” (made humble).

3.      Areas in our lives where we must be content.

I.                  Defining What it means to learn to be content.

A.     Contentment Defined.

1.       TDNT translation of Greek arkeo: to be sufficient.

2.      Vine:

a.      verb - primarily signifies “to be sufficient, to be possessed of sufficient strength, to be strong, to be enough for a thing;”

b.      adjective - “sufficient in oneself.”

B.     Learn Defined (Vine’s)

1.       To increase in knowledge. Mk. 13:28

2.       To ascertain (gain understanding by asking). Gal. 3:2

3.      To learn by use and practice. Heb. 5:8

II.                Accepting Our Lot in Life

A.     Learning to be satisfied with our (individual) lot in life: Phil. 4:10-13

1.       In this world we have the poor, the rich, and all those in-between.

2.      In our lives we our lot in life may change due to varying circumstances. V. 11

3.      It is not a matter of what is fair or not fair, but a matter of learning. V. 12

a.       Learning how to be content with little.

b.      Learning how to be satisfied with much.

B.     No matter what our lot in life: godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Tim. 6:1-10

1.      Some believe that “godliness” is a means of (financial; social) gain. v. 5

2.      Many in our society today preach a “prosperity gospel” that basically teaches that earthly wealth is a direct by-product of godliness.

3.      Whether rich or poor, however, we are taught that godliness is a means of gain if it is accompanied with contentment. v. 6-10

III.          Learning to Be Content with What We have

A.     God will always provide. Heb. 13:5

1.      God provides through the wages we receive. Lk. 3:14

2.      He provides through the goodness of others. cp. Phil. 4:12-14


B.     Be content with our daily needs. Matt. 6:25-34

1.       Everyday, our heavenly Father cares for our needs: food, shelter, clothing.

2.      Further, we live in a society that lives well beyond our needs.

3.      Therefore, with our needs being met we shall be content. 1 Tim. 6:8

CONCLUSION

A.     Focus too much on the things of this world and discontentment is very easy...no matter how wealthy we may be.

B.     Focus on the kingdom of our God and be content with what we have in this life and we shall gain eternal riches.

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