Faithlife Sermons

THE LAW OF CONTENTMENT

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Introduction

Good morning church. Before starting let’s have Group exercise:
Group exercise before starting: Q: 3 things that will make you happy. Ask around within the next 3mins.
Q: 3 things that will make you happy. Ask around within the next 3mins. Ask around to share..
Financial Freedom for Families– Part 2
Last week we learn about the 7 law of Financial health. Check our website for notes and outline.
Today we are going to study: THE LAW OF CONTENTMENT : Financial Freedom for Families– Part 2
THE LAW OF CONTENTMENT : Financial Freedom for Families– Part 2
o Prov & Eccl – filled with the laws of financial freedom
o Prov & Eccl – filled with the laws of financial freedom (Sol)
Define Contentment: a state of mind in which one’s desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be. Freedom from anxiety or worry (). The idea of contentment comes from Greek word that means “independence” or “self-sufficiency.” But the apostle Paul used the word in a Christian sense to show that real satisfaction or sufficiency comes from God: “I can do all things through Christ..”
As long as your yearning exceed your earnings = you will always be in bondage
As long as your yearning exceed your earnings = you will always be in bondage
Statistics Canada reported Dec 13, 2013 that the level of household credit market debt to disposable income increased to 163.7 per cent in the third quarter from 163.1 per cent in the second quarter.
That means Canadians owe nearly $1.64 for every $1 in disposable income they earn in a year.
Add to this is the housing affordability issue, rising gas price, pipeline crisis - BC vs Alberta & Feds. Looming possibility that the gas prices will rise to 2.50 per litter if this issue is not resolve soon.
(CEV) It’s healthy to be content, but envy can eat you up.
(NLT) A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
- Tranquil heart, sound mind, sound heart, …
- Envy, jealousy, - desire to possess another person’s gifts, possession, or achievements
- Its not only what you eat that makes you unhealthy but also what’s eat you.
(CEV) It’s better to enjoy what we have than to always want something else, because that makes no more sense than chasing the wind.
(NIV84) Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Christmas is the season of discontent:, we are deluged with catalogues.
TO COUNTER THAT… BEGIN WITH ….
TO COUNTER THAT… BEGIN WITH ….

THE EFFECT OF ALWAYS WANTING MORE.

ILL: Sci-Fi show Almost Human – A man who stole features of 10 people to create a perfect him for the one he love…

1. MORE FATIGUE Tired all the time

Lee Tolstoy, Russian writer: Peasant offered all land-walk-1 day with a promised that everything he walked on is his. He walked so fast dropped dead from exhaustion!
- Isn’t this the picture of people today? Dropping to exhaustion, tired of trying to gain everything in our short life
(NLT) Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit.
The race to get more -drives us to overwork. Very visible in BC
Lee Tolstoy, Russian writer: Peasant offered all land-walk-1 day with a promised that everything he walked on is his. He walked so fast dropped dead from exhaustion!
- Isn’t this the picture of people today? Dropping to exhaustion, tired of trying to gain everything in our short life
A rat race- Got to keep up! You might win the rat race but in the end you are still a rat

2. MORE EXPENSES!

“The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what is the advantage of wealth—except perhaps to watch it run through your fingers!” NLT

-It is expensive to have more money because you need an accountant, house worker, mow the lawn, cook the food. There is no shortage of people who can help you spend it. Many dream of becoming rich (or will a lotto).. But are you ready to handle that large sum of money?
o Always costs more to have more! If grass is greener- the water bill higher!
BUMPER: "I used to dream of the salary I'm now starving on"
o We think we don’t make enough. Truth: we want too much!
- A lot of need is just greed!
- God said, “he will supply our needs not our greed

3. MORE ANXIETY

Anxiety – A state of mind may range from genuine concern to obsession that originate from a distorted perspective of life.
(The Living Bible) The man who works hard sleeps well whether he eats little or much, but the rich must worry and suffer insomnia.
The more you have ... more- worry about (I don’t worry about yacht, sports car because i don’t have any))
Anxiety – A state of mind may range from genuine concern to obsession that originate from a distorted perspective of life.
How to. save it...invest.. maintain.. insure.. avoid tax
Study: Insomnia increases with income!

4. MORE CONFLICT

More fatigue +more expenses + more anxiety = more conflict!
(CEV) Being greedy causes trouble for your family, but you protect yourself by refusing bribes.
Money problems - #1 cause of divorce. financial tension
Money problems - #1 cause of divorce. financial tension
A NJ high school student sued here parents for stop supporting her financially.
“People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.”
Buffet’s 1st rule of investing: Never lose what you’ve got!
o I’ve never lost a penny in a get-rich-quick scam… lottery… vegas
Contented people don’t fall for these things!

5. MORE DISSATISFACTION

We think having more will make us more happy… secure… important
o Things can produce happiness for a while.
But thrill doesn’t last - excitement wears off WHY? People change, things don’t
o Things dont change! so we get bored.. (fashion))
Eventually ... redecorate, replace, rearrange
Q: Still thrilled-last Chr. gift? remember? addicted to upgrades
“If you love money, you will never be satisfied; if you long to be rich, you will never get all you want. It is useless.”
be rich, you will never get all you want. It is useless.”
He didn’t know it, but yrs before that great theologian Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, “I can’t get no satisfaction
(LB) “It’s foolish to think wealth brings happiness!”
Q: Would u like to have less fatigue, expense, anxiety, conflict & dissatisfaction?
Learn the 1st Law of Financial Freedom: CONTENTMENT!
“I have learned the secret of being content…whether living in plenty or in want.”
not natural! not automatic
in plenty or in want.” not natural! not automatic
Do you believe everything you hear from the TV/Radio or read in the internet?
No!. Do you believe that the Bible is the word of God? Yes!
Why do you spend so much time on things you don’t believe?

HOW DO I LEARN CONTENTMENT?

1. REFUSE TO COMPARE MYSELF WITH OTHERS.

Because God made you unique – it is foolish to compare.
(ESV) Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
Q: How do you react-see someone with nicer car.. furniture?
Wife: Their furn. goes back to Louis 14th!
Hus: Ours goes back to IKEA on the 15th!
Write: I must learn to admire w/o having to acquire!
I don’t have to own something to enjoy it!
Pray: "Thank u God - that I don’t have their payments!"
LISTEN: The root of comparing is always INSECURITY.
Deal with that & you’ll be more contented!
10TH Commandment? “You shall NOT covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
“You shall NOT covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
What is coveting? The uncontrolled desire to acquire
Key: “uncontrolled” HEB “to pant afterGRto grasp/grab”
Today’s term: MATERIALISM!
One of the indication that you are trapped in Materialism is you don't want to give up what God wants you to give up. You will say that I’m not materialistic! But are you generous? Talk briefly about Tithing.
NOT saying “All desire is wrong” (Buddhism-eliminate all desire)
God gives you desires! We are married, have kids, working, going to school, doing nothing because we desire
So how do I keep from coveting?
Never compare! Comparing always leads to coveting

2. ENJOY WHAT I HAVE!

Did you know God wants you to ENJOY what you have!
FACT: He enjoys watching you enjoy! (parent)
“If God gives a man wealth and property…he should be grateful and enjoy what he has…it is a gift from God.”
Pay more attention to what you DO have! Open your eyes!
Appreciate what God has already given you! Be grateful! Enjoy!
Q: What do I enjoy that I take for granted?
Hot water … ice …internet access … toilet paper!
o Common Trap: "When & Then" thinking (fill in blank)
Q: What are you waiting on to be happy?
FACT: You are as happy as you choose to be!
REALLY: Would doubling your income double your happiness??
REALLY: Would doubling your income double your happiness??
Happiness isn’t getting all you want. but enjoying all you have!
2 ways to have enough: Work more. Want less!
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment!”
Talking to YOU! You are richer than you think!!!
(NLT) Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give generously to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them.
Is it possible to be wealthy & not materialistic? YES!
As long as- follow 4 precautions:
1) Don't become proud of your wealth (think you're better)
2) Don't put your hope in your money (can lose it)
3) Use your money to do good
4) Share it with others!
3rd way to learn contentment

3. REMEMBER LIFE IS NOT ABOUT THINGS!

Maintain the right perspective about possessions. None of it will last!
Jesus said, "Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be."
(Prayer of Agur) O God, ask for two thing from you before I die: First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Who is the Lord?" And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name.”
That’s what I call a healthy balanced perspective!
Most are willing to pray first half - “Don’t… too poor”
But either extreme can cause you to forget God!
Wealth can make you prideful. Poverty= bitter

4. FOCUS ON WHAT WILL LAST FOREVER!

Give you attention to permanent values. God’s Word & People!
Organize your life around eternal priorities!
“We fix our attention, not on the things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What
can be seen lasts only for a time; but what cannot be seen lasts forever.”
Nothing you can see is going to last forever
It will rust, wear out, decay. All possessions are temporary
Note: "fix our attention" What are you focused on?
The worst effect of materialism is it clouds our vision of God
"The greatest things in life aren’t things!"
Myth: "If I have a little- I'm worth little"

Closing challenge

BEFORE WE CAN LOOK AT THE OTHER LAWS OF FINANCIAL FREEDOM
Need to settle the issue of contentment in your life
Ask yourself the tough questions:
o What do I think about most.. talk.. give my time to?
o What am I living FOR?
o Is my primary goal in life just to get more?
Each of us has a choice: Will my lifestyle be determined by
Each of us has a choice: Will my lifestyle be determined by Christ or culture? The Master or Madison Ave?
Christ or culture? The Master or Madison Ave?
(LB) But as for me, my contentment is not in wealth but in seeing you and knowing all is well between us. And when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face to face.
Matthew 26:16 ESV
And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
What is the secret of contentment? Christ!
1 Corinthians 15:3–4 ESV
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
Romans 8:15 ESV
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Romans 5:8–9 ESV
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
Discover your worth in Christ. Christ gave his life for you and me. Without Christ, all of life will be a meaningless pursuit to have more.
Discover your worth in Christ.
Find your satisfaction & Security in him
Find your satisfaction & Security in him
BOW: Are you feeling the EFFECTS of always wanting more?
Fatigue...debt.. worry. .conflict.. dissatisfaction
I invite you to get off the treadmill today- & adopt God's values
George Will: Newsweek: (Feb 3,’86)
Reality Says You Can’t Have It All
This is the saddest story ever told. A whole generation believed the Michelob beer commercial and had its heart broken. true. Michelob’s said, “Who says you can’t have it all?” So an entire generation grew up thinking they could have
tremendous jobs, wonderful houses, exotic travel, great marriages, beautiful children all at the same time These all came to be considered entitlements, even rights …things that we should automatically have.
But the reality is- no one can have it all!
The Gospel Key to contentment:
Matthew 16:26 ESV
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
1 Corinthians 15:3–4 ESV
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:2–4 ESV
and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
Prayer:
Are you suffering from the effects of always wanting more? And what are those effects again? You’re tired all the time. You’re in debt. You have added expenses. You worry about your finances. You have conflict over money. You are dissatisfied and you are envious of what others have. These are the signs that you have not learned the Law of Contentment.
Would you pray this prayer in your heart: Dear God, I have been fooled into thinking that having more would make me more happy. And God, I’ve been so busy trying to get more that I’ve had no time to be grateful and enjoy what I already have. And you have given me so much. Forgive me for comparing myself to others. Forgive me for coveting and comparing. Help me to find my security in you, not in possessions and not in what other people think about me. I don’t want to be materialistic. I want to be generous with others. And to help me remember that life is not about things, I want to develop the habit of tithing to you. Most of all, Lord, I want to find my security and myself and my satisfaction in you, Jesus. My finances are out of control and I need a life manager. Jesus Christ, become the manager of my life. Guide me in this area and in every other area. I want to learn to love and trust you. In your name. Amen.
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