Rekjalhew

October 16, 2007

Contentment

by @ 12:21 pm. Filed under The Truth Shall Set you Free!

The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has an important message for saints, that is found throughout scripture. Along with all the other great messages is one that is often lost in a society that is built around obtaining more money. The message of contentment.

This is the message the Lord God gave by Christ through the Holy Spirit, to the Apostle Paul, to be delivered to debt slaves.

1 Timothy 6:1-16 (New American Standard Bible)

1 All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. 2 Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.
3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7 For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time?He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

Notice the message from God to those who are in what we would see as the lowest of financial state, the debt slave. God’s message to them IS NOT that there is financial breakthrough on the way in this life. In fact there is admonishment against seeking to be rich and AGAINST TRYING TO USE THE GOSPEL AS A MEANS OF FINANCIAL GAIN! God says that to seek godliness is of great gain, seeking righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness in our Lord Jesus Christ. This message of “hope” is not about “hope” for a change in financial status, but rather “hope” in the promise of God through Christ Jesus. The gift of eternal life through Christ and the rewards that await in Heaven. Regarding earthly things, even the poorest are instructed to be content if their basic needs of food and shelter are met. This is the truth of how Christ instructed man to pray in Matthew 6:8-13, when asking for “our daily bread”. Not abundance of earthly gain, not overflow of material wealth. It is the message God gave His people in, Exodus 16.

Let’s look at what God gave John the Baptist to say. The greatest man born of a woman (Matthew 11:11), paving the way for Christ.

Luke 3:14 (New American Standard Bible)

14) Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”

The soldiers putting their lives on the line for their leader were told to be content with their wages. Not to go taking from others. And they were not told that there is financial breakthrough just around the corner. John didn’t take an offering for himself and claim it would give them a double portion of earthly gain.

Another message of contentment to the church:

Hebrews 13:5-9 (New American Standard Bible)

5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”

6 so that we confidently say,
“THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID.
WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”

7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.

Again, scripture notes to be content with what we already have. To imitate the saints before us and this comes in Hebrews 13, when back in Hebrews 11 we are told about those saints before us. People who were tortured and cut in half, but maintained faith. They were not worried about earthly gain or what men might do to them. Their eyes were on heavenly gain instead. We are instructed not to be carried away by strange teachings, which would include the false prosperity doctrine, which is all about filling your belly and departs from the contentment found in the grace of almighty God, 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Some might claim that “God said we should prosper in all things just as our soul prospers.” This claim is a foundational statement for the false prosperity doctrine. Let’s look at the scripture that is being abused with that statement.

3 John 1:1-4 (New American Standard Bible)

1 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.

2 Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

3 For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth.

4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

Notice, John is praying for Gaius, a man he knew was walking in the truth. John is not saying that God told him to tell you that you’re going to be rich. John is telling Gaius, that he’s going to ask God to prosper him and give him good health, because he was happy to hear Gaius was walking in truth. This is NOT a promise of “money cometh” for you. John was an apostle and the apostles who prospered greatly in spirit were not living the lives of rich men, 1 Corinthians 4:11. So the apostles were not living a rich life although John prayed prosperity for Gaius. Scripture is consistent and clear, we are to be content with what we have and only hope to have our basic needs met. Praying for your brothers to excel in all things is not a bad thing to pray, but we should be content and not follow false doctrines, that turn the message of Christ into desires for money. When Christ walked the earth in flesh, He did not promise the poor material wealth, He gave them the words of Luke 6:20, while telling the rich the warning of Luke 6:24. The apostles did not tell the poor they would be earthly rich, but rather held collections for poor saints, as was done for poor saints in Jerusalem, Romans 15:26-27. The instructions for believers who are rich are in 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Notice apostles were not doing like John Hagee and giving money to poor Jews while neglecting to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus to them. The apostles sought to ensure poor Jews who had accepted Christ, the saints, were first fed and unbelievers were reached via outreach ministry if they would accept it. That outreach was ministry to soul and the belly if needed. The saints in Jerusalem were under heavy persecution and so other saints would give to help them.

1 Peter 4 notes how we do not crave the desires of the unsaved and we are blessed when we are berated for the name of Christ.

Saints need to know and embrace the truth of contentment. To use the name of the Lord for personal material gain, is to speak of something other than the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and the foundation laid on Him by the apostles in scripture.



4 Responses to “Contentment”

  1. djenk23 Says:

    I think Ms. Bynum is learning this lesson the hard way…..

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/2007/10/16/bynum_1017_web.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab

  2. IndependentConservative Says:

    I’m already working on a post about that 😉 .

  3. KyleAndrews Says:

    IC,

    You know this problem is systemic in nature and goes well beyond the pulpit. We in this country have the lowest saving rate amongst 1st world nations. Also, this country IS the greatest debtor nation in the world. We owe China 1.4 TRILLION alone. I find it amazing that many of us including myself can have so much disdain (And rightly so) for the Pimps yet have no problem going in debt in the secular world. This problem is so large in scope going well beyond the TBN lackeys. This is something that this WHOLE COUNTRY needs to learn.

    As a side note I can’t wait to view your post on Junies financial problems. I’m scratching my head over why a multi-million dollar ministry can’t afford 32 grand in back taxes. Am I crazy or does something not add up?

    Kyle

  4. Gxg--G2 Says:

    Ditto on the thoughts, Brah…..

Independent Conservative - Copyright 2008 - Copyright Notice

[powered by WordPress.]

53 queries. 0.363 seconds