Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Temple Baptist Church - 10-31-2012
A. Life is full of “ups” and “downs.” Not just in the area of trials and tribulations but also in the area of finances. The area of finances is one that affects all of us at some point in life because of the natural flow of life.
1. Our youth, according to them, are basically “broke.” Been there and done that. I pushed a lawn mower around town, raked leaves, shoveled snow, and help clean one house (by the way, that was my last house cleaning job). Don’t worry, youth, one day you will have a JOB!
2. Our young families, who are raising children, are “truly” broke at times. Been there and done that but loved it. I had my wife and children around me in our home and they were good days; they were great days; they were wonderful days.
B. Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary. “Contentment is a state of mind in which one’s desires are confined to his lot whatever it may be. It is opposed to envy, greed, ambition, anxiety and fretting. It arises from the inward disposition. Contentment is the offspring of humility, and of an intelligent consideration of the integrity and generosity of divine providence, the greatness of the divine promises and our own unworthiness as well as from the view the gospel opens up to us of rest and peace hereafter.”
C. Contentment is Taught. Vs. 12. “Instructed” I call this the “School of Hard Knocks.” Life is hard and, when you know this, you can make it! “Every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Life will give you a college education.
D. Therefore, Contentment must be Learned! Vs. 11. “For I have learned.” It is no big deal to be content in good times. I have heard people say, “Life is good!” but they were not sitting where I sat and they were not walking in my shoes. Let me say that life is good but all of us have a tendency to not be as content in the hard times as we are in the good.
E. First of all, let us look at some verses dealing with our subject:
Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (6) So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Psalms 37:16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
Proverbs 13:25 The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.
Proverbs 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
F. Let say again that Paul was in PRISON! “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
1. State – Where you are. Paul was content in prison where he was! Paul was content to just serve the Lord in whatever capacity He would allow he to have.
2. State – What is going on. Paul was content with the persecution he suffered. 2 Corinthians 12:9 promised Paul the sufficient grace of God for suffering and it was enough.
3. State – Who you are with. Paul was content with the people who surrounded him during his incarceration. Paul had many, as all of us have had, who forsook him in the hard places of life but—thank the Lord—there were some who stood with him and he was content with these who loved him.
4. State – What you have. Paul was content with the possessions God gave him. Paul “lacked” but he did not “want.” The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want!
5. State – What you do not know is coming. Paul was content in the providence of God for his life. Paul was content with the “state” that God had allowed him to be in but was also content with what the Lord would do with him.