Here are the highlights of the message. First- from last week... your attitude is a CHOICE. I don't want to miss that. Particularly because most of my life I picked a very selfish... negative... woe is me attitude.
Now- onto today's information...
WE ARE NEVER CONTENT WITH WHO WE ARE ONLY WITH WHAT WE HAVE!
I Timothy 6:6-10 (PLEASE REFERENCE) but the foundation of the passage is
Godliness: The purity of presence of God in our life. OPPOSITE of all things referred to in I Tim. 6:3-5
Contentment: satisfaction- God is a sufficient provider. Comes from the conviction that God is our source. (Spoken in active voice- requires our participation- contentment can not be given... we lean into it... we participate)
5 False Great Gain Equations...
*Godliness + Prosperity= Great Gain
*Godliness + Poverity= Great Gain
*Godliness +Power= Great Gain
*Godliness + Family Harmony= Great Gain
*Godliness +Ministry Effectiveness=Great Gain
How to Learn/Practice Contentment...
*I Timothy 6:7 Look to Eternity
*I Timothy 6:8 Let enough be enough.
*I Timothy 6:9-10 Learn by Example.
Philippians 4:11-12 (Reference Please) Paul's dialogue on learning to be content in all circumstances.
Isaiah 55:1-2 (Reference...) Come all who are thirsty.
Simply put... DESIRE is not wrong. We all want for something.
I have to add this... Pastor Jay, in the middle of the message asked the congregation something to this effect.
If I said to you- you are in a marriage, one that you believe to be less than what you bargained for, you have children- maybe they are not turning out as you imagined, your job is less than fulfilling, and your home is in need of upgrades and the sort, and well maybe your health is compromised...
IF NOTHING ABOUT YOUR LIFE WERE TO EVER CHANGE... IF YOU WERE TO REMAIN IN THE MIDDLE OF THOSE VERY CIRCUMSTANCES FROM HERE UNTIL YOU WENT TO BE WITH THE LORD HOW WOULD YOU DESCIBE YOUR SITUATION???
I bet most of you would say DEPRESSED.
I have to tell you in that moment... I smirked a little. Because- I wouldn't say DEPRESSED. Not at all. I have already answered this question unto God. I have already choosen Him in the midst of my marriage. In the midst of my health. In the midst of my home, school district, job, body image, less than perfect parenting skills, less than, less than perfect marital communication skills, and well ultimately... in the midst of ME!!! And I have to tell you that choosing Him far surpasses any plans I could lay for myself. Any thoughts of achieving prosperity, leaving poverty, attaining power, enacting family harmony and/or making myself effective in "ministry"... fall wayside to the One that can truly cause all of this to come into reality.
I'm fairly certain I've been honest with you all about my marriage with Paul. It's been a rocky one to say the least. I mean, come on, I was in jail and strip searched when I was 4 months pregnant with our first child all in the name of "domestic violence". We've not choosen an easy path for ourselves here. And though there has never been another act of "physical violence" in our near 10 years of marriage... there have been many a spoken word sharp enough to warrant stitches. My point in all of this is that IT'S BEEN BY CHOICE that we've endured what we've endured. And BY GOD'S GRACE I believe the worst is behind us. (And everyone said A-men)
A testimony is worth a bazillion words huh? God's grace is resonsible for every bit of growth we've experienced in Him and with one another. But every now and again... when we slip into old patterns... selfishness, poor communication, unmet needs etc... it's been because we CHOOSE to.
And Pastor Jay's point today... Contentment is a choice. As is Gratitude... or any attitude for that matter. Don't wait for contentment to be handed to you... CHOOSE IT! Choose God. Choose to be who He desires you to be. Choose ABUNDANT LIFE!!!