Living a life of contentment
7 "Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, `Who is the LORD?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
1 Tim. 6:3-11
3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,
4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions
5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
9 People 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.
10 For 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.
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
5 Keep 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."
11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Content: A) "To limit oneself in requirements, desires or actions" B) "The state of being satisfied"
Freedom from worry, stress of competition, overwork, lack of family time.
Four keys to living a content life:
The example is that Abraham was rich, and since we are "children of Abraham" we will be rich also. This teaching mixes the OT of works with the NT of faith. Abrahamís PHYSICAL children, (the Jews and Arabs) are very wealthy materialistically, but they are poor spiritually. To us who are children of Abraham SPIRITUALLY, we are rich IN FAITH. 1 Cor 4:1-9, 2 Cor.6:10, Eph. 1:17, 3:8, Col. 1:27
In looking at 3 John 2 in the KJV, it sounds like God wants us wealthy "2Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth"
Look at the same verse in other translations:
In the RSV , it reads "2Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in health; I know that it is well with your soul.".
In the 21st century KJV, it reads "2Dear friend, I pray that all may be well with you and that you may have good health--I know that all is well with your soul."
In the NIV, it reads "2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."
In the NLT, it reads 2 "Dear friend, I am praying that all is well with you and that your body is as healthy as I know your soul is."
As you can see, the correct rendering in the original Greek is a salutation, or greeting, as "Hi, I hope all is well with you and you are in good health" would be used today. To use this verse as a foundation to teach an unbiblical truth is cultic.
3) Always attempt to live below your means, not above --- Provb. 15:16-17, 16:8, 17:1, Ecc. 4:6
The person or families who lives at a level below their income can better survive economic downturn (layoffs, recessions) than if you live over your head. We must separate NEED from DESIRE when we see what we need to live on. Godís people need to prioritize and live as free as possible from worry and financial stress.
Need: "The requirement for the well being of a organism (person)"
Desire: "A conscious impulse towards something that promises enjoyment" "To long or hope for"
Provb. 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sickÖ" Hoping for the unobtainable will lead to misery!
Our needs are for a job, food, schooling, transportation, shelter and clothing. Desire is for a great paying job, eating out every night, private school, a Benz or BMW, a $250,000 home and designer clothes.
Most people can live a comfortable life with basic needs met. Most people also will be over extended living up to their desires on a need-size paycheck.
4) Learn to see yourself as God has created you, not as culture wants you to be. Learn to maintain a positive self-image. Be content with the YOU God created!
"13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
We tend to allow society and itís values and prevailing attitude to shape and mold us into a person that is not the unique person God made. This has caused:
All these fads are exist because we need people to tell us who we are and how we will look. We are societies puppets and feel out of place or strange when we arenít "hip with the latest fashions, slang or attitudes" the world brings us.
To live a content life means that we do not look to things or a certain lifestyle to bring us joy or happiness, but we live modestly, quietly, being ourselves and it a way that glorifies Jesus and frees us up to help others financially. -- Acts 2:44-45, 4:32-35
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.
33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.
34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales
35 and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
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