Message: “Gratitude and Contentment” from Joe Summers

Joe Summers - September 17, 2023

Gratitude and Contentment

Gratitude and Contentment Lesson Objective: To look at the relationship between gratitude and contentment and how both are necessary to support each other. Scripture: Philippians 4:11-13 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Introduction: A. The importance of gratitude and contentment in the Bible a. Lack of contentment leads to sin- Judas wanting money b. Lack of gratitude leads to sin- Children of Israel complaining about food B The prevalent discontentment in the world today, especially among young adults a. Always wanting the finest clothes and cars b. In debt because of discontent c. Pastor’s wanting bigger Churches so they only preach what they think people want to hear Understanding Contentment A. Philippians 4: 11-13 Verse 11: Paul speaks about learning to be content regardless of his circumstances. Paul's attitude of contentment was a learned behavior, not a natural tendency, suggesting the necessity of practicing contentment in our daily lives. Verse 12: Paul has experienced all kinds of situations - both abundance and need. His contentment is not dictated by external conditions, teaching us a valuable lesson in finding stability in God, not circumstances. Verse 13: This verse is a powerful testament to the Christian belief in the enabling strength of Christ. The strength that Paul refers to here includes the capacity to be content and grateful in all circumstances. B. Hebrews 13:5 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 1. This scripture warns against the love of money and encourages contentment, emphasizing God's promise never to leave or forsake us. C. Contentment is rooted in trusting God's provision and promises, mitigating the anxiety and dissatisfaction that comes with materialism D. Romans 12: 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 1. You can relate this to contentment, illustrating that a content person is less likely to engage in conflicts and more inclined to foster peaceful relationships. 2. Exodus 20: 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” Understanding Gratitude A. 1Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1. This verse exhorts believers to give thanks in all circumstances, recognizing God's will in Christ Jesus concerning us. B. James 1:2-4 - 1. Verse 2: James encourages believers to consider it pure joy when facing trials, suggesting a deep level of spiritual maturity where one can experience joy amidst difficulties. -2. Verses 3-4: These verses talk about the testing of faith producing perseverance, which leads to maturity and completeness. C. Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. This verse encourages entering God's gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. It signifies an attitude of gratitude as the proper approach to God, fostering a closer relationship with Him and promoting contentment in acknowledging God's goodness. The Interrelation Between Gratitude and Contentment A. Colossians 3:15-17 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. - These verses encourage believers to let the peace of Christ rule in their hearts and to be thankful. How both peace (contentment) and thankfulness (gratitude) are to work hand in hand in the life of a believer, facilitating a harmonious Christian community. 1 Timothy 6:6-8 - Verse 6: This verse highlights that godliness with contentment is great gain, offering an excellent perspective on the true value of contentment in a believer's life. Verses 7-8: These verses remind us of the impermanence of material wealth and encourage contentment with the basics - food and clothing. You can use this to underscore the futility of seeking contentment in material accumulation and encourage a focus on spiritual richness. Conclusion • One cannot have true contentment without being truly grateful for what we have • Do not confuse content with satisfaction • It is ok to strive for more • Jabaz asked for more and he got it • We must actively practice gratitude and contentment as a part of our spiritual journey, fostering a deeper relationship with God and a more harmonious Church family.

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