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Clutter or Contentment?
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Clutter or Contentment?
I'm sitting in our office and I happen to glance at the floor and I see our son's Huggies sitting next to his Diaper Genie. This gets my mind wandering about the myriad of choices that fill our local shopping centers and grocery stores. Choices. Varieties. Nice words, same results-distraction! People are faced with one choice after another with an unending blend of "varieties" to confuse the process all the more.
So what am I getting at? Simplicity. Purity. Contentment. What's that you say? "What is contentment?" You're wondering if there is such a concept in the new millenium world that we live in. Let me say "Yes"! Not only is there such a concept, but there is a desperate need for us to be content with all that God has given us, wouldn't you agree?
Living in California I have seen a different sort of evil and it's one of get until you can't get anymore, at least not until next payday! I am not saying this epidemic is soley in California because I believe it's nationwide. I am saying that when we drive the freeways all I see are the same shopping centers over and over again. At nearly every exit you can find a Starbucks, Strip Mall, and multitude of restaurants to fill your every fleshly need.
Shop, shop, shop! There are food stores, clothing stores, beauty stores, baby stores, grocery stores, movie stores, electronic stores, pet stores, and my favorite, thrift stores. Oh and the ever popular on-line stores that allow us to point, click and throw our money away on the newest, fastest, hippest product that we'll use approximately twice, if we even figure out how to use it, before we find out that it outdated and we need to upgrade!
I want to learn the simple principle of contentment that Paul laid out for us in 1 Timothy 6:6 "Godliness with contentment is great gain." Hmmmm seems so foreign, like taking a vacation on the moon! Oh, wait actually that's not so foreign after all is it? In fact I think people are more willing to try to get to the moon for a quick getaway than to try and be content. Why is that? I believe that we are bombarded on every side with the need to "fit in." We as Christians aren't called to "fit in", but rather throw off the sin that so easily enares us according to Hebrews 12:1.
Let's take a look at three key words Paul used in 1 Tim 6:6. Godliness means holiness, goodness, and righteousness. Contentment means to be satisfied, happy, gratified, and at ease. Gain is increase, growth, expansion, and achieving, acquiring, winning, obtaining, securing, rewards, profits, advantageous and beneficial. Whoa! Pauls says, "Godliness with contentment is great gain."
In other words it says to live a life separated unto God that is happy, satisfied, gratified and at ease will bring increase, growth, expansion, benefits, profits and rewards. It will be beneficial and advantageous for us! When we begin to live a life taht is godly and content we will be secure in God knowing that He will provide what we need.
The key word there was NEED. Need for whom? Us, our families, and most importantly His Kingdom work that He has called us, chosen us and blessed us to do while we're here on earth. You could say He'll provide all we need to fulfill our purpose and destiny in this life.
When we begin to understand that we are to do more than empty our bank accounts and fill our shpping carts with more unnecessary distractions. We need to look past ourselves and see that God has a unique purpose and destiny that will ultimately fulfill our lives here on earth. As we walk in that destiny we will build a solid foundation in His heavenly kingdom that will last forever, unlike that last new toy, shirt, car, boat, purse, etc. All of which are meant to burn according to the Book of Revelation.
Here are a few practical steps we can take that will help us to become more content:
1. We must realize that one day riches will be gone.
2. Be content with what we already have.
3. Watch closely at what we're willing to do to get more money.
4. Love people more than we love money.
5. Love God's work more than we love money.
6. Freely share what you have with others.
(Taken from Life Application Bible notes)
Let us begin to take notice of how much we desire money or things. I challenge you and myself to ask God to take away the fleeting earthly desires this world constantly throws at us and ask Him for contentment instead. Ask for a contentment that is centered on your love for Him and others. Ask Him to use what He's given you to bless others and share the love of Christ in a real way.
Above all ask God to show you the gifts He's given you that would enable you to fulfill your destiny and purpose for His kingdom work here on earth. Remember "Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good. After all we didn't bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can't carry away a single penny when we die. So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing." (1 Tim 6:6 TLB)
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08 Aug 2006
A very timely message, indeed. At some point, we all need to examine this issue for ourselves. Great article. Thanks!
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