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Contentment …… March 3, 2019

     Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Philippians 4:11 ESV

     Contentment is a rarity in our society of want and perception of need. It can drive people to an early grave whose life goal seems to be obtaining more and more of the things which are really not important. Do not misunderstand, we are tremendously blessed, and I believe all the material blessings that we have, came from God.  But we also must remember as Christians …… God owns it all. When we hold tightly that which God has given to us, those thing tend to own us. When holding things tightly, your happiness will begin to depend upon those things. In reality you are in the prison of greed and status pride. Godly contentment is enjoying all that God has given you with thanksgiving, but knowing that your happiness is not tied to those things. It is also being thankful when you have not been blessed with things and being thankful when you are in want or need. Contentment is loving God and using things, not loving things and using God. When God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is the focus of your life, as the old hymn says, “The things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

    We must remember our position as Christians in Christ and not let the logic of our day rule or control our minds. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. BUT IF WE HAVE FOOD AND CLOTHING, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 ESV  This is not the normal mindset of a person – to only think about food and clothing; if not careful, the eyes will feed the greed in the heart. Greed believes you need and deserve more than you have already been blessed with. So what is the answer to “how much is enough”? According to scripture, if we have food and clothing we have enough. Let this cause you to look at everything else you have and realize you have been materially blessed beyond measure. But don’t let your happiness or contentment depend upon these material blessings. These words are easy to write or speak, but remember this mindset is one that is learned; it does not come naturally to the flesh. Paul made this evident in the verse above when he wrote, “for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”

     It is dangerous to look at the blessings of others and judge them for how they are managing the blessings of God in their life. This is not your place or responsibility, for it is God who will judge. When judging, you become outward/worldly focused, and it can cause a jealous spirit. You will compare the blessing of your life with what you perceive to be the blessings of another, and jealousy will begin to take root. Jealousy and contentment go together like water and oil…. they simply don’t. Paul, in the passage above, was speaking as to how he lived in all circumstances; may we learn from this and become light in the world by how we live. Let us look inward, learning how to live godly, that we might shine outwardly, bringing God glory. (Matthew 5:16)

     If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on the things that are on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2 ESV  This verse would be a good verse to focus upon this week while reflecting upon Philippians 4:11.  When thinking about Jesus, remember that when he walked upon the earth, he did not have earthly riches, but came to do the will of His Father. Christians are followers of Christ, and we must remember as servants that we are not greater than our master. (John 13:16 … 15:20) Let us not lose focus, no matter what our circumstances – be it blessed with plenty, or in need. Learn to be content by focusing on what is important …. our walk and relationship with God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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