Are you a member of the Satisfied Phil
Are you a member of the Satisfied Phil. 4:10-13 EBC 3/29/09
We live in a world of discontented people. John MacArthur- human need has become the #1 value in our culture today. Rather than living lives of grateful contentment, our lives are often filled with complaining. We “whine, pine and recline.” We complain when children are noisy, instead of being thankful that they are healthy, happy and in right mind. We complain about our home when thousands have no home. We gripe about work when many have no jobs. We fuss about our cars when many have never seen a car. Like a hamster chasing a wheel we are always chasing contentment. Why? We have never learned the secret of contentment! Ill. Benjamin Franklin said, “Contentment makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.”
Paul tells us that he has learned how to be content. He says “I have learned”. Learned means to gain knowledge. He shares his secrets with us in these verses.
How was Paul able to obtain contentment- he realized the chief end of man wasn’t to have his wants met- but to glorify God.
I. Rejoice in your Substance (4:10,12)
A.1 Tim. 6:7-8- be satisfied with what you have
B. God knows what you need
1. Ex. 3:7-
2. Matt. 6:32-
a. God will meet our needs in most unusual ways.
1. He may send it directly-
a. He may send it directly as he did the manna and the quails
2. He may use others
a. 1 Kings 17- Elijah and the ravens and the widow- used to meet the needs of Elijah
b. Phil. 4:15-16-
c. 2 Tim. 4:11-13-
1. ILL- God used somebody to buy a piano,
2. God used folks in Stephanie’s and Matt’s life.
3. God used a person to meet a need in Cathy’s and my life.
4. Flourished again- to bloom, to spout up.
C. Regardless of what he gives rejoice in it –instead of complaining about what you don’t have how about praising Him for what you do have.
II. Rest in your situation (11)
A. Paul was a contended man. He was chained to a Roman soldier. But, thru all this he was still contented because he realized that God was in charge of his life
1. 1 Thess 5:18-
2. Charles Stanley- gives some insight about contentment
a. Contentment is not governed by circumstances
b. Our inner self (attitude) governs contentment. Charles Stanley- Sometimes God sends frustration to block our way and arrest our attention. It can be particularly effective in bringing us to the point where we are willing to think about things we would never consider. This can be the Father's way to get us off dead center and redirect our paths towards something new or different. It may be that we need to revise our thinking a new strategy a new career or location.
B. Contentment is not self-satisfaction. We should never settle for less than God’s best. We shouldn’t settle for C’s if we can get A’s.
1. Phil. 3:13- Paul wasn’t settling for what he had done in the past- he was constantly reaching forth. We need to be doing that too.
C. Contentment isn’t self-sufficiency. I realize I need God. I realize all my works are filthy rags apart from Him.
D. Contentment is self-surrender. It means to be self-contained. It means that I have all inside me that I need.
1. Clues for displaying our contentment:
a. ACCEPT THE SITUATION-
b. ADAPT TO THE SITUATION
c. APPROPRIATE THE SITUATION- every event in life becomes an opportunity to make Jesus known.
III. Realize your Strength (13)
A. Paul doesn’t say “I can’t”. He doesn’t say In the situation I’m in I can’t do anything for God. He doesn’t say when I get out of this thing maybe I can do something for God. If you won’t serve God where you are you won’t serve God where you’re going.
B. Paul does not just say I can. Paul realizes that he is nothing apart from Christ.
1. John 15:5-
C. Paul does say “I can thru Christ”. He realizes that Christ is the power behind his life. He realizes that victory over temptation comes from Christ. God will sometimes let us fail just to teach us that without him we are nothing. Paul realized that his power came from his union with Christ.
1. God gives us the power to cope with life’s disappointments.
2. Phil 4:6-7-
3. Gal. 2:20-
4. Isa. 40:29-31-
5. 2 Cor. 12:7-10- contentment comes to believers who rely on the sustaining grace of God infused in us when we have no strength of our own.