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Sermon #3 in this series is about contentment...which seems to be one of the most difficult things for me to get a handle on. In it, he talks about the lottery campaign "believe in something bigger." These are plastered all over Los Angeles:
The moment I saw this, I was disgusted. If your "something bigger" in life is winning the lottery, then what kind of hope is that? And will it ever be realized? Probably not. But as I reflect on it, is it so different than most of our "something bigger?" Most of us dream of the day we may have tons of money, and imagine what we would do with that money. It's a fun dream to indulge in, and really that's a lot of what we work for...the day we have more.
Joseph points out that this isn't actually a dream for "something bigger," but rather "something more." We all want more, which is natural. But what if we had enough, right now? How would that change us?
Philippians 4:11b - 13- "...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
God, give me the strength to have contentment in life. Without Him, I'm not sure it's possible...
- Philippians 4:13 isn't about accomplishing your goals, but about our need to be happy and content.
- Acts 16 - Tells story of Philippians church plant
- Two tools when analyzing scripture
- Context (last week's message)
- Commonality: bridges the world back then with our world now
- What is universally true about humans then, that is common to humankind?
- Paul says he knows the secret to being content in every situation in verse 12
- Who wouldn't want to know that? That would mean no more fear that our dreams wouldn't be realized, or that we would be haunted by what could have been.
- Contentment has nothing to do with circumstance.
- Throughout everything, Paul's first attachment is to Jesus.
- He is able to detach himself from inadequate saviors (money, health, etc.)
- He was not even attached to his own life
- Believe in something bigger, not just more.
- The thing Paul loved the most could not be taken from him -- that is the secret.
- Paul didn't want to be in prison, but he wanted Jesus more.
- He lost his life. You cannot steal from a life that's been lost.
- Paul doesn't say "I can think all things."
- Jesus does not give us the strength to just think right thoughts
- The "all this" is continuing to do God's work
- Jesus is giving me strength to join whatever He's doing wherever I am
- God is doing something with you right now.
- God does not leave us alone in pain.
- He doesn't always explain it, but He joins us in it.
- You are not your future self
- You can be complete in Jesus Christ, right now.
- If you are in prosperity, it's easy to make that the new normal.
- Maybe God wants us to show the world that there is more.