Summary: 3rd of 6 on Family. This message is based on the precept of being a contented person. Several points came from a message by Timothy Smith on Sermon Central about "The Contented Family"
Last week we looked at the 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and we learned how there are four building blocks to growing children into Godly men and women.
Indeed – what we learned is that these four building blocks are the necessary steps for our own selves becoming Godly men and women.
Today we are going to narrow our focus onto one precept and look at how we can craft a contented family.
Minister Dave Gable tells the story of Jill, their 6-year-old, who was “helping” him in the front yard of the parsonage. She chattered away about her Sunday school lesson on Adam and Eve. Dave thought he’d test her. “Did you know Adam and Eve sinned?” “Yep.” “What did God do to them as a punishment?” Her answer was immediate and matter-of-fact, without even looking up she said: “He made them have kids.”
Children are not punishment!
Some of you are returning from spring break trips with the family and you may disagree with me. It’s not always easy being trapped in a mini-van with the constantly recurring question, “Are we there yet?”, the fighting over where to stop and eat; and the poking one another battles that go on throughout the trip, the constant whining – and that’s your mate! Then there are the kids!
Today we look the precept of contentment
The Disease of Discontent
The precept of contentment is difficult for all of us – not just for those raising children. We live in a world that emphasizes discontent. Think about all of the commercials we are constantly exposed to. They are everywhere!
• I stopped at a gas station a while back and there was a speaker on the pump handle with an advertisement playing over it.
• TIVO is experimenting with flashing commercials on the TV screen while you fast forward through the broadcast commercials.
• While you are waiting for the movie to start – they are shooting local advertisements at you.
• Recently, I heard about a guy that rented out his forehead. He put his forehead on E-Bay and rented it for 30 days – and got paid – get this - $37,375.00.
There is no escape. We are surrounded and steeped in commercials proclaiming that we simply must have what they are offering us – for a small price. And our kids are prime targets who like us have become diseased with the cancer of discontent.
God spoke directly to this in the 10th commandment when he said, “Do not covet.”
The 10th Commandment: "Do not Covet."
“It is fitting that this is the last rule because it brings us to the climax of living, which is contentment.”
Charles L. Allen
Lazarus or the Rich Man – A Sunday School teacher told her class of 2nd graders the story found in Luke 16 of the Rich man and Lazarus. How that when they were here upon the earth the rich man had everything that money could buy and poor Lazarus had to beg for mere crumbs. But when they died, the rich man due to his selfishness went to a place of horrible torment while Lazarus went to a place of paradise. In conclusion, the teacher asked her students the question: "Now, which man would you rather be, Lazarus or the rich man?" One little boy’s hand shot up immediately and he said, "Well, while I’m alive I want to live like the rich man, but when I die I want to be like Lazarus."
Many people truly believe that the more you have the happier you’ll be. But God has a different idea. He insists that having things does not now nor ever will provide contentment. Instead, God would say to us "Please put less emphasis on external possessions and more emphasis on internal and eternal contentment.”
This commandment focus’ directly on our attitude, it gets to the source of the problem: the heart.
And this 10th commandment is so important for our families. With all the dissatisfaction we see in marriages, with all the financial pressure many of our families are under, we need to look closely at God’s plan and see what provides true fulfillment, what makes a contented family.
"The desire for something which we have no right to possess… a need that is driven by selfish ambition."
Covet = the uncontrolled desire to acquire what belongs to another
First, what does it mean to covet and why is it wrong? Let’s begin by seeing what it does not mean.
God is not telling us that we can’t desire anything. He is not forbidding ambition, He is not prohibiting success. He’s not saying, "Don’t have any desire whatsoever for possessions."
The Bible doesn’t promote laziness. Prov.6:6- "Lazy people should learn a lesson from the way ants live. The have no leader, chief, or ruler, but they store up their food during the summer, getting it ready for winter." (GN) The ant accumulates things that it needs. So, God would say, “I’ve created within you a normal desire for things and it is not wrong to see something and want it badly enough to work for it.”