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Learning to Be Content

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Philippians 4 (specifically 11)

 

Set the Stage-   We almost slipped into the abyss. If we don’t pass this bill, Heaven help us all.”! In a free market there will be good times and bad times. That’s life. However many bad decisions as well as over spending and bad loans are some of the things that led to the current dilemma. The world is watching what we do.

 

Tell the Story-    Saul of Tarsus became Paul the Apostle an itinerate preacher.  However he had a trade. Tentmaker. He determined that he would not depend only upon peoples gifts to make it. It is good to know a trade. I imagine that there were times that Paul’s business went well and times it didn’t, but at least he had this stream of income.

 

Set Forth the Scripture (Theology)    There are two scriptures that we quote often as faith believers that we probably miss the focus of because we fail to consider the context. Phil 4:13 and Phil 4:19. Remember these scriptures were both written in the same context. If we look we see that Paul was saying I can be content or happy or make it whether and when I have a lot and when the reverse is true. Phil 4:19 Paul was actually telling the church at Phillipi that because they gave to Paul to help him, God smelled it and would make sure that all their needs were met.

 

Make Application -Strategy (Practical)

One preacher said that the Christian carries his own weather with him.  So even if it is dark. He has light. If it is wet he is dry and so forth.

 

Today I want to encourage you. That is one of the purposes of this pulpit, to offer hope in the midst of uncertain times. This is that time. With the stock market balancing on the edge of the pit and with the fragile as Mom’s china you need to know that everything is going to be alright. Remember that old song, I’ve got a feelin’ everything is going to be alright?”

Two ladies were now contending one against the other. That happens sometimes when things get tough. Prosperous and pleasant journey are suppose to work hand in hand. But sometimes our journey becomes unpleasant when we are having a trial in the area of our finances and circumstances. I believe that the two truths of 13  and 19 are found in these two ladies.

We need to make three basic adjustments

Adust your attitude/Phil 4:19 Learn a trade, find another stream of income. Use your skills. Let the Lord provide through these kinds of channels.

Find someone that is older that has been through some hard times and listen to there stories.

 

Adjust your way of living/ Phil 4:13-6-8 Notice Paul said that he learned (11) to live both ways. It was a process. He meant he learned how to depend on God.

We have spoiled ourselves lately.

If we can’t buy it we charge it. Somehow we stay just enough up with our bills to keep plenty of luxuries in the house.

Bikes aren’t bad. Unready books can still be read. Peanut butter and bologna still fill you up. An apple doesn’t hurt either. Roughing it isn’t always that hard. Try camping, learn how to build a fire. Learn to get by on less. Fast.

2. If you are older remember when you made it on much less. Chances are you are still doing that. Being frugal kind of hangs with you.

3. It could be fun to learn together what kinds of things you can say no to. Yeah, this is a time in which we can learn again to say no to ourselves and flesh. NO, let’s practice. NO NO NO NO NO.

4. When you make adjustments in your life, don’t judge the different adjustments that other’s make.

Finally adjust/keep on Giving-give as God has prospered you, liberally and cheerfully.

Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18          Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19      And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. [1]


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[1] The New King James Version. 1982 (Php 4:17-19). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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