The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our September 29, 2019 message, Contentment. For more from this series, check out This Is The Life.
Discussing and Applying the Sermon
- If you don’t know the Father’s love, the most important thing you can do is to come to know Him. He’s not mad at you. He doesn’t want to rip you off…he wants to set you free! And there’s a lot more at stake than your contentment here on earth.
- Spend time this week searching God’s Word and come up with your own definition of contentment.
- Get with your community group and do an honest assessment of your life and ask yourself where are you either being tempted or where are you giving in to the lie that contentment is an input. What relationship…what thing…what are you aspiring to that you are hoping will bring you more contentment?
- Where is your mind these days? What are you consumed with right now? Are you setting it on “things that are above?” Do you have a daily diet of God’s Word? Commit to memorizing Colossians 3:1-4.
When you think of contentment what comes to mind? Who comes to mind? As we continue our series, This is the Life, David Leventhal teaches us about biblical contentment…what it is, where it comes from, and why so many of us don’t experience it in a deep, meaningful, consistent way.
- God’s heart for you is that your discontentment would lead you back to the source of life and true contentment…Himself!
- Biblical Contentment [Leventhal’s Unabridged Definition]: An enduring satisfaction & pleasure (Proverbs 19:23; Philippians 4:11-13), present in the life of one who has been born again by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Titus 3:4-7; Ephesians 2:8-10) & thus sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:11-14, 4:30), which allows him or her, because of the goodness & sufficiency of God (Lamentations 3:19-24; Romans 8:31-39), to live a life, regardless of temporal, earthly circumstances (Proverbs 15:16-17; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; Romans 8:18-25), that is unshackled from the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches and the desire for other things (Proverbs 23:4-5; Matthew 6:25-33; Mark 4:10-18; 1 Timothy 6:9-10).
- Biblical Contentment [Leventhal’s “Ultra-Efficient” Definition]: “Being satisfied in the Lord. Alone.” (Proverbs 19:23; Psalm 65:4; Psalm 73:25-26; Psalm 103:1-5; Psalm 145:13-20; Philippians 4:10-13; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
- Contentment has nothing to do with: your relationship status, whether or not you have kids, the size of your paycheck, your job title, your physical stature, the zip code you live in, your GPA or test scores, or your social media followers.
- Where does contentment come from? So many of us are trying to make contentment an input rather than an output. We are too busy looking for it, when in reality, it comes from our relationship with the Father, through the Son, by the power of the Spirit.
- Starting from any place other than “the fear of the LORD” or “trust in the LORD” will guarantee that true, lasting contentment will always allude us.
- Contentment is born out of our relationship with God. It is not something we can manufacture. Contentment is “being satisfied in the Lord. Alone."
- Sometimes we like to dress up our discontentment. We give it names like ambition, drive, aspiration or relentless initiative. We try to make it a virtue by saying things like, “I’m just on a quest to continue to build and grow and take new ground in every area of my life.” And all the while, underneath the veneer of that effusive language is discontentment.
- Discontentment is sin. Our discontentment makes a mockery of the cross of Jesus because our lack of contentment communicates to God & to the watching world that Jesus is not enough.
- Why don’t we experience contentment in a deep, meaningful, consistent way? There are many reasons, but below are four main reasons.
1 We don’t experience contentment because we have a hard time believing God.
- What is Paul’s secret to contentment (Philippians 4:10-13)? He has learned that contentment has NOTHING to do with circumstances and has everything to do with your perspective on Jesus.
2 We don’t experience contentment because our minds are set on the wrong things.
- Focusing on anything other than God does not bring contentment. Contentment is “being satisfied in the Lord. Alone."
3 We don’t experience contentment because we’re convinced that we are the exception.
- We acknowledge that contentment is unhinged from circumstances—but just for everyone else. This is particularly true when it comes to our contentment as it relates to money & possessions. We read all the warning passages, we know that they’re supposed to apply to us, and yet, we think we’re different and that the next __(fill in the blank)__ will fill the hole in our hearts.
4 We don’t experience contentment because we simply don’t know the Father’s Love.
- If your life is wracked with constant discontent, could I gently, humbly suggest to you that you might not know the Father who has promised you rest? The Father who has given you, as Peter says, "everything that pertains to life and godliness through the knowledge of His Son (2 Peter 1:3)."
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