CONTENTMENT: “We need much less than we think we need.”

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Maya Angelou receives a Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington.(Photo: Reuters).

CONTENTMENT 

ACCEPTING GOD’S SOVEREIGN CONTROL OVER ALL OF LIFE’S CIRCUMSTANCES

 

1. “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”   (KJV, Philippians 4:10-13).

 

Superlative in quality – EXCELLENT

Having undisputed ascendancy – PARAMOUNT

Of the most exalted kind – SUPREME

Unlimited in extent – ABSOLUTE

Total autonomy – INDEPENDENT

COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL

2.”In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

(Ephesians 1:11)

 

  • POINT OF VIEW (POV)

There is no power above the authority of God (No Corp. Board Room or Democracy). Trust God’s Word ( God is Mutually Inclusive, Elohim is plural, Gen. 3:22, 11:7).

             We use God’s Word as THE FINAL AUTHORITY on all Matters.

Paul‘s TESTIMONY:

(Synonym: IMPETUS- force, power, source)

Paul understood that God propelled him in ministry.

Paul wrote the Philippians letter while imprisoned.  To make a bold claim that “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” must be understood in His role as a Disciple of Jesus Christ.  Paul was personally commissioned by Christ to take the gospel to the Gentiles.

SAUL: MURDERER OF CHRISTIANS (Before Christ, B.C.)

PAUL: APOSTLE TO THE GENTILES (After an encounter with Christ, A.C.)

YOUR PROCESS: A Secret

Paul indicates that he learned which implies a process that manifests a secret which few come to grasp.  The secret learned was that contentment does not hinge on circumstances.

The Obedience of Christ is the ultimate expression to observe, while

Coming into the knowledge of the truth about God’s Sovereignty.

 

 

CHRIST LEARNED THROUGH SUFFERING

3. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9). 

 

DEFINITION:

Perfect: Mature, Complete, Entire or without lack

PROCESS PARADIGM:

 

4. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Rom. 5:3-4).

 

Tribulations:

May occur in the elements, as that to which, a plant is exposed: rain, sun, wind, insects, etc, to reach maturity.

  • POINT OF VIEW (POV)  

           Where you’re planted matters

            Plant in toward the eastern sun and your perennials will prosper

 

Location! Location! Location!

5.  AN INTREGAL PART OF THE PROCESS PARADIGM, IS LOCATION.

As found in Matt. 13:4 in the fowl/ v. 5-6 the stony places and the sun/ v. 7 the thorns.

Discussion QUESTION:

 

 POINT OF VIEW (POV)  

             Wisdom Key to Paul’s Secret is to Recognize the Truth and operate therein. 

             Volunteer needed to state Serenity Prayer

Name some things that God will strengthen you to do?

BUILDING BLOCKS for the mindset of contentment:

6. “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Is. 41:10).

7. “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (I Tim. 6:5-7).

Compare and contrast: contentment & discontentment

  1. Real contentment begins internally. (The Glory rests inside of You)
  2. Contentment is need not want oriented (needs breeds discontentment/boy toys).
  3. “Contentment is a matter of trust and faith that God has your best interest in Mind.
  4. Discontentment erodes relationships
  5. Discontentment clouds the ability to make wise decisions
  6. Discontentment distorts our view of God.

 IS EXPERIENCE THE BEST TEACHER? Discussion: Negative verses Positive

ANSWER: Yes & No, Depending upon the circumstance for negative experiences Ans. can be no (i.e. eternal separation from God (Hell) a hot stove, drug use or the consequences of bad behavior).  For temporal experiences such as exposure to different environments pertaining to a field of expertise, experience can be the best teacher, but as a rule the answer is No.

Study Guide for Charles Stanley, Handbook for Christian Living: CONTENTMENT pg. 307
Lesson Plans by Minister Boswell from Charles Stanley’s, Handbook for Christian Living: CONTENTMENT pg. 307

“We need much less than we think we need.”
Maya Angelou

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