Not Wanted

18/05/2014 13:00

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Date: 16 May, 2014

Text: Philippians 4:11-13

Title: Not Wanted

 

Introduction: I Timothy 6.

6 ¶  But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

9  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

 

Would Cain have killed Able if he was content?

Would King Ahab have cried like a baby and killed Naboth if he had been content?

Would Judas have questioned the loving gift of Mary if he was content?

Would the Pharisees have killed Jesus or persecuted the early church if they were content?

 

Think what sins would be rooted out of our society if mankind was content.

Murder, hatred, materialism, lust, covetousness, depression, jealousy, envy, slander, fornication, adultery, pornography, gambling, lottery, drunkeness, etc....

 

quote: "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." (I've heard that the reason is because the neighbor's sceptic tank is leaking.)

 

Paul had a position of "not wanted" when it came to what he did not have.

11  Not that I speak in respect of want:

And a position of satisfaction with what he did have.

.....for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

 

We need to find contentment in what God has given to us. Are you content? Our world has come up with many tests to find out who we are? They have tests to determine sanity, personality, capability, integrity, morality, etc.

 

I want to let Paul to give us a contentment test this morning.

 

I. Do you want money?

11 Not that I speak in respect of want:

exp. Paul has just been given a love offering and he is expressing his appreciation for the generosity of the Philippians believers. 10 ¶  But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

note: But he emphasizes to them that although he was thankful for it, it was not because he was discontent with what he had. He wasn't wanting.

Ps 23:1  «A Psalm of David.» The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

ill. I've seen the fat happy sheep lying in the lush green fields towards Roslin and thought about this passage. They don't want because they are well provided for.

question: If God is my shepherd? Why would I want? We might as well tell God that He isn't good anymore and begin to complain about His ability to care for us. Like Asaph we would wrongly think, Ps 77:9  Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

app.  When "want" creeps into our lives, we have forgotten WHO OUR SHEPHERD IS. THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD, I SHALL NOT WANT.

 

II. Are you happy despite your circumstances?

for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Ill. In my deputation Bible, I put State =\s 50. The US is made up of 50 States and we were in about half of them when raising our support.

exp. State is not US States - but it is where ever we are, whatever we have, no matter what is going on.....

Our Lord lived a very happy life but he didn't have any where to call his own. Lu 9:58  And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

ill. Paul could say this because of his happy easy life right?

II Corinthians 11: 23  Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

24  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

25  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

26  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

27  In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

28  Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

ill.  David Livingstone - The one thing that was most difficult for him was the separation from his family and his fear that his children would forget him. He suffered from continual fevers but rarely complained or spoke about his illnesses. His biographer matter of factly stated on Livingstones first lengthy expedition, "He records his twenty-seventh attack of malaria."  He is the man who wrote, "Sever any tie, save the tie that binds me to thine heart, Lord Jesus my King, I consecrate my all Lord to thee."

app. Are you content despite your circumstances? Contentment is NOT DEPENDENT UPON CIRCUMSTANCES IT IS DESPITE CIRCUMSTANCES.

 

III. Do you feel pressure to keep up with others?

12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound:

exp. to make low, to bring into humble condition.

exp.  Abasement is a necessary step towards humility. Lu 14:11  For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

question: How often are we discontent not because of need but because of pride?

ill. I've heard stories about my grandparents getting married and having an old model t that was so slow going up over the mountain passes that someone got up behind them and let their chickens out of their cages. My grandparents were happy with what they had.

ill.  Katie and I didn't have a model t when we got married but we had a ford tempo that my brother had given to me. We had a storage barrel that had a board across it that made our computer desk. We had a pepsi stand that held our tele which someone had given to us. We lived in an old farm house that we rented cheaply. I could mow the yard and get 50 dollars off of the rent for each mowing. We had the shortest grass in Greer. We were happy.

question: How happy would we have been if we were looking at what other's have and feeling like we had to have it?

app. We live in a day of the lates gadgets and the coolest clothes. We've got name brands and designer this and that. The material isn't expensive and it doesn't wear any better you are just paying a lot for the brand and people do it? Why because they feel pressured because of their PRIDE not because of their NEED.

note: That kind of desire to keep up quickly leads to the debt which puts people into financial bondage.

app. Paul wasn't bothered by what people thought about HIS THINGS. He was humble enough to be abased and thankful to God for any nice thing that he possessed.

 

IV. Are you willing to let God give you little or much?

every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry,

exp.  Paul's understanding of Scripture taught him that wherever he was and whatever his circumstances, he had to face life with satisfaction and with need.

ill.

Among the greatest monuments of what can be accomplished through simple faith in God are the great orphanages covering thirteen acres of ground on Ashley Downs, Bristol, England. When God put it into the heart of George Muller to build these orphanages, he had only two shillings (50 cents) in his pocket. Without making his wants known to any man, but to God alone, over a million, four hundred thousand pounds ($7,000,000) were sent to him for the building and maintaining of these orphan homes. When the writer first visited them, near the time of Mr. Muller's death, there were five immense buildings of solid granite, capable of accommodating two thousand orphans. In all the years since the first orphans arrived the Lord had sent food in due time, so that they had never missed a meal for want of food.

question: Would George Mueller have built this awesome monument to God if God had never let him have a need? When God met his need was George Mueller satisfied? George Mueller was instructed both to be full and to be hungry.

app. And so are we. Why do you get angry with God when he commands you to be hungry? Hunger leads us to filling which reminds us of the goodness of God. But if the hunger never returned we would lose the reminders of God's goodness.

note: If you never thirst you can never say with David...

Psalm 63:1 ¶  «A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.» O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

2  To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

 

V. Can you praise God with much and trust God with little?

both to abound and to suffer need.

exp.  Paul wasn't not always in need and he wasn't always abounding. But wherever he found himself riding that pendulum he was content. He had what Agur spoke of in Proverbs....

ill. The words of Agur the son of Jakeh,

Proverbs 30:8  Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:

 

note: There are two dangers that must be avoided on the way to contentment.

            A. A life that forgets to praise God.

9  Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD?

exp.  This person has everything that heart could wish. If they need food, they buy it. If they need things, they buy them. Their money is their god and they live as if there is no God.

ill. The words of Jesus to the rich young ruler.

Luke 18: 22  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

23  And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

24  And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

25  For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

exp. Jesus knew that his riches were keeping him from God. He was trusting in those riches.

app.  One of the reasons that we are seeing so few turn to Jesus is because our world is very materialistic. They worship their things and say, "Who is the Lord?"

            B. A life that ceases to depend upon God.

or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

exp. This person is on the other side of the economic spectrum. They don't have what they want and so they blaspheme God for not giving it to them and seek to get it in an illegal way.

ill. Remember the one thief on the cross. He wasn't repentent but blasphemed Jesus from the cross. He was not sorrowful for his thievery he just hated the punishment for his crime.

app. It's a pity this man wasn't taught contentment as a child. His lust for things destroyed his life.

question: Can you praise God with much and trust God with little?

 

VI. Is your faith in God constant despite economic strength or weakness?

13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

exp.  Paul couldn't live like this without Jesus. Some would look at Paul's life and they didn't want it. It was a life of pain, deprivation, and suffering. He was content but they would never be able to be content with that kind of life - they thought. And so Paul tells them that he can do this because JESUS HAS GIVEN HIM THE ABILITY TO DO THIS.

ill.  Peter was to cowardly to stand with Jesus before the crucifiction. But after the Lord went to glory Peter somehow found the ability to stand as a bold preacher condemning those who crucified the Lord.

exp. There is only one explanation for the change that took place in Peter's life. It was that Peter was no longer depending upon his power but on the POWER OF GOD. He was FILLED WITH GOD'S SPIRIT.

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

app.  You may look at your life today and say, "I can not be content with this." That is fine as long as you add, "But God's strength I can be content with this." You are right to think you can't but the reality is God can.

 

conclusion:

 

The grass may look greener but it isn't always because of a good reason. We need to want what we have and appreciate God's goodness. How our society would be transformed if people were content. Are you content this morning? Did you pass the contentment test?

 

I. Do you want money?

II. Are you happy despite your circumstances?

III. Do you feel pressure to keep up with others?

IV. Are you willing to let God give you little or much?

V. Can you praise God with much and trust God with little?

VI. Is your faith in God constant despite economic strength or weakness?

 

If you don't pass the test, let God educate you as he did Paul and let us "learn in whatsoever state we are therewith to be content.