July 21

 

  • Godliness with Contentment

Scripture: 1 Timothy 6:6-10

 

INTRO.- What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in life? Let’s say the hardest physical thing. Work an 80-hour week? That’s just about 12 hours a day. Well, 84 hours in 7 days. Did you ever do that?

I pulled a 24 hour shift a Strong as Chaplin last winter. Yikes! I left feeling I needed to be admitted myself!

I am sure we all at some point in our life, have or will have a long hard physical period to work through in our careers, school or during our college years.

Let me suggest that the hardest thing you’ll ever do in life is nothing physical, but it is extremely humbling, draining, time-consuming, exhausting, fighting and fitful or sporadic. WHAT’S THAT? It is to become godly and contented at the same time.

Godly and contented at the same time? What a tall order! We understand about godliness, or do we? It is to become like God, more like Christ in all ways. The idea of contentment in this text is to become contented materially speaking, and that’s required in order to become godly.

Are we ever really in perfect contentment? For some it is easier than others. But are we every really satisfied to the point of pure contentment? 

And there are several reasons why I say this is the hardest thing you’ll ever do in life if you indeed work at this. It’s so hard because of our human nature to sin and to rule our own lives and to never be contented with what we have materially.

 

 

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ILL.- A woman proudly told her friend, "I'm responsible for making my husband a millionaire." "Well what was he before he married you?" the friend asked. "A billionaire."

That sounds so much like our society. We not only want to spend our own money but everyone’s money! If I have the money and I see something that I want really bad it is very hard for me to restrain myself and not buy it. ARE YOU THAT WAY?

If I don’t have the money and have to charge it, then I can restrain myself, BUT IF I HAVE THE MONEY. WATCH OUT!

It is our nature that if we see something we like and we have the money, we will get it! But what does the Scripture say?

Hebrews 13:5-6 “5Keep 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. "So, we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

If the Lord is our helper, why shouldn’t we trust Him to provide what is needed in life? We often want more than what is needed.

What could we do without in life? We don’t want to think about it, hear about it and most of all, make any decision about it. Haven’t you figured out that we Americans are spoiled? We have more of everything and still want more!

Philippians 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Paul learned the secret of being content no matter what he had or what he didn’t have. HAVE WE LEARNED THIS LESSON? God wants us to be content materially speaking but discontent spiritually. We should never be satisfied with ourselves spiritually. We should be satisfied with Christ but not our relationship to Him.

 

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PROP.- Paul’s message was about godliness plus contentment.

What will godliness plus contentment do for us?

1- Godliness plus contentment will bring great gain

2- Godliness plus contentment will avoid harmful desires

3- Godliness plus contentment will keep us faithful

I. GODLINESS PLUS CONTENTMENT WILL BRING GREAT GAIN

6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

We all what the best for our self and family. We work hard we plan we save. Or we try to save! We sock away money every paycheck into our 401K and investments. Have you our are you investing directly into the stock market?

I recently read a short article in investing with a curious note at the end of the article on investment. An author asked a broker on how any average person can end up with one million dollars in the stock market if they invest wisely. The expert broker "Start with $2 million."

Did you ever wish you had invested? Get rich quick? Risk it all to make you rich.  But then I remember something that Jesus said:

 Matthew 16:26 “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Brothers and sisters, there is a greater gain than money and material possessions. Of course, many people, many Christian people would like to have their cake and eat it too!

Many people would like to be rich on earth and still experience the riches of heaven. IS THIS POSSIBLE? Or is this an impossibility? What do you think? What does the Bible teach?

 

 

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Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

The important thing is what you treasure most in life: money or the Lord? The greater gain is heaven because it is eternal and blissful. Life on earth will eventually end for all.

Revelation 21:3-4 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Doesn’t this sound like a place where you would want to spend eternity? Don’t you think this would be better than anything this world offers? THIS IS TRUE GREAT GAIN. And godliness plus contentment will lead you to this place if you live by faith in Jesus Christ.      

II. GODLINESS PLUS CONTENTMENT WILL AVOID HARMFUL DESIRES

9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.

People who want to get rich. They are everywhere.

Having lots of money comes with lots of responsibilities, and that equals to lots of stress. Someone who lives paycheck to paycheck, and not accustomed to managing their money, will likely lose their fortune within a short time if all of a sudden, they win it big on the Power Ball!

Most people think, by having that much money you would be stress free. That may be true for a short time, but chances are you will have to change the way you do almost everything. Many lives have been changed for the worse, after winning the lottery.

 

 

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Having piles of money can compound your problems! Anyone who becomes an overnight millionaire should change their phone number and move as soon as possible. Don't tell anyone where you are for a while, get a good lawyer, and learn to say the word No! There will be people coming out of the woodwork, trying to separate you from your money. You will need to get a backbone. Be prepared to hear every sob story in the book, from your friends, your family and people you don't even know. There's nothing wrong with helping your friends or family out, that's for sure, but there's no rush either! Ask yourself, what would they do if you didn't win? MAKES YOU THINK, DOESN’T IT?

9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.

Some people want to get rich will do almost anything to get there and it can ruin and destroy them.

ILL.- Look at what happened to Bernie Madoff? He got tons of wealth by hook and crook but his desire for wealth ruined his life. He will now sit in jail until he dies. THEN WHAT? Well, that’s up to the Lord, but his future doesn’t look too good to me.

The desire for wealth can still ruin a person in many ways: it corrupts the heart, causes people to lose family members, leads people into all kinds of insatiable desires.

On the other side is the truth: Godliness plus contentment will cause a person to avoid many harmful desires that ruin people’s lives! Godliness plus contentment is the best way to go in life.

III. GODLINESS PLUS CONTENTMENT WILL KEEP US FAITHFUL

10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

If the love of money can lead us away from Christ and into all kinds of evil, then what can the opposite of this do for us? That is, what can be godly and contented do for us?

 

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Are we never satisfied with what we have in our material stuff! Do always have to have more? Bigger houses, more money in the bank, smarter kids than your neighbors kids, on and on we can go. Never satisfied the grass always looks green and brighter and richer on the other side of your neighbors fence.

I Corinthians 4:1-2 “So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”

ILL.- John Wesley wrote of the godly person: "His heart is ever lifted up to God at all times and in all places. In this he is never hindered, much less interrupted, by any person or thing. In retirement or company, in leisure, business, or conversation, his heart is ever with the Lord. Whether he lies down or rises up, God is in all his thoughts; he walks with God continually, having the loving eye of his mind still fixed upon Him, and everywhere 'seeing him that is invisible.'" Content with what God as given them.

Wonderful! I want that! Don’t you want to live in the presence of God continually? To walk and talk with Him all the time? To serve him!

II Peter 1:3-4 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

In closing I want to add a personal story. Several weeks ago, I was offered a chance at a new position with a major worldwide tool manufacture. This was for a customer support field engineer in the Northeast. The offer was for a salary that was more than I had ever hoped to make! Company car. quarterly bonus working out of home office. WOW ! I was flying high for a few hours after considering this position.  But the drawback hit me between the eyes as I serious considered taking this position.

A month away training in Tulsa Ok, going on the road for a week at a time. Going back to the life I left to serve our Lord as Chaplain and Deacon. Leave the service of My Lord !

 

 

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To leave my home and family for weeks at a time. To miss the wife my home I love so much. To not be able to serve the church I love so much and its people! I prayed hard and fast for the day. The money how that would make my life so much easier. The pull back, God also asked me where you happy on the road in that hotel room? The pressure to perform and excel. To leave my service. My will for you?

Yes, God pushed back on me is it will worth leaving my Love of being a Chaplain, Deacon? I know now I made the right choose to serve who is the one who will make me richer than I could ever hope for! No thanks I like my humble service it is truly the best job I have every taken on! Thank you very much!

He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. What is it that will produce godliness in us? His Spirit and His Word. And we must read the Word of God in order for the Spirit of God to change us and reproduce the image of God in us.

CONCLUSION----------------

ILL.- Someone wisely said: “Be content with what you have, but never content with what you are.”

The Grass is greener and richer and thicker right where you are!