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Contentment
01/26/2014
Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:6; 2 Cor. 9:8; Luke 3:14; He...
Track 5 of in the series
Running time: 1 hour, 02 minutes, 47 seconds.
Contentment is one of the most distinguishing traits of the godly person, because a godly person has his heart focused on God rather than on possessions or position or power.



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The Practice of Godliness
Contentment

I want to again remind you all of the principle we have been focusing on over the past few weeks. From a true devotion to God flows the godlike character God desires us to have. Without a devotion to God, it will be impossible to display those wonderful qualities of God in our lives everyday.

Some will say God has nothing to do with these qualities. They will point to people who have within their own nature some aspects of humility, patience, goodness and so on. But God wants and demands more than just random aspects of his character in the lives of His disciples. Because of our devotion to God, we should be developing all of the character traits in our lives and they should become part of our nature because the Holy Spirit is living in our lives.

I stated last week about the character trait of humility, that humility opens the way to all the other Godly characteristics. Humility is the soil on which the other traits of the fruit of the Spirit grow. Once humility becomes a reality in ones life, one of the natural outcomes from that is the characteristic of contentment.

True or False: I am living a life of contentment. I have everything I need. God does not need to give me anything more than what I already have.

I would be content if God would give me ____________.

Contentment is one of the most distinguishing traits of the godly person, because a godly person has his heart focused on God rather than on possessions or position or power.

What does contentment mean to you? What comes to mind when you hear the word? What does it look like? Look at the following verses. What do they have to say about contentment?

1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

2 Cor. 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Luke 3:14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

The idea of contentment in the Bible is most often associated with possessions or money, but there are other areas of life in which we need to be content. What are some of the other areas?

• The most common after possessions is our need to be content with our place in society or in the body of Christ.
• Another areas deal with the providence of God in circumstances as physical limitations, afflictions, unpleasant neighbors, living situations, trials and persecutions.

These circumstances often cause the natural man to murmur and complain and to question the goodness of God in his life. The very first temptation in the history of mankind was the temptation to be discontent.

Genesis 2:28-29 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. ”Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

God withheld only one tree from Adam and Eve as their test of obedience to Him. And Satan used that one tree to tempt Eve by sowing seeds of discontentment in her heart. He questioned the goodness of God to Eve and that is exactly what discontent is – a questioning of the goodness of God.

Satan tried the same strategy on Jesus when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. He sought to make Jesus discontent over his lack of food, and covetous for position and power over the kingdoms of the world. Some say Isaiah 14:13-15 is a veiled reference to Satan, look what brought him down.

Isaiah 14:13-15 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.

What was it that brought Satan down? Discontent

We should note these examples carefully. Discontent is one of the most satanic of all sins, and to indulge in it is to rebel against God just as Satan did.

To be content with one’s possessions is one of the most strongly worded exhortations in Scripture. God deemed it important enough to include a prohibition against covetousness together with prohibitions against murder, stealing and adultery (Exodus 20:13-17) In the sermon on the mount, Jesus dwelt more extensively on the principle, “you can not serve God and money”, than any other subject.

Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Contentment is a character trait we need to seriously pursue and develop as a dominant character trait in our lives. It is not a spiritual luxury. Contentment with what we have is absolutely vital to our spiritual health.

Following are some practical steps we can take to develop the trait of contentment:
• Renewing our minds – This is done by memorizing and meditating scripture
o Scriptures us start with: Luke 12:15, 1 Timothy 6:6-8, Hebrews 13:5
o Include these scriptures in your prayers and work out with God together how you are going to apply them in your life.

• Focus on the things that are the true values of life: Eternal life, the Word of God, Godly wisdom – we need to make these our on values.

• Service to God through our service to mankind: We must change our focus from self-ambition to making God happy in all our work. Our vocational success should be measured on how happy we made God and not how much we accumulated. Helping others helps us to appreciate the things we have and puts a greater value on al we receive from God as we use it for others.

• All that we have comes from God’s grace: This comes from our attitude of humility. This helps us to remember that it is God who really gives us everything and we develop an attitude that I don’t deserve more than I already have. I have things because God gives it all to me because he loves me.

• God chooses to give some more than others-it is God’s decision: We are not to envy others because we have less than someone else. In reality, we always have more than someone else out there. God gives to us as he pleases.

• To those God chooses to give more, the more responsibility he gives to them to take care of those who have little: Luke 12:48 From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. We will find that contentment comes when we share what we have with others.

This whole idea about being content in all areas of life is a difficult thing to imagine and understand. Life would be a lot easier if we were very successful with this. But life isn’t that easy. We live in a world where sin is all around us and it is calling to us everyday.

Romans 8:20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. Just like creation itself, we are not immune to the frustration that is caused by Satan.

The faithful Christian understands that all circumstances comes to him, not by chance, but by the control of God. Christians take comfort in this. But there are instances when Christians go through severe times. There can be tragedy, we run into illness, physical limitation, nagging injuries, people who drive us crazy, circumstances that are very dangerous. In these situations the Christian finds himself asking the question why God is allowing these things to happen to him. It is even worse when the world outside us seems to have a better life than the faithful.