Summary: We must learn contentment wherever God places us.

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Today I am beginning a series which I have entitled.

The Gospel According to Bruce

Over the next 5 weeks the messages will contain video clips from the movie Bruce Almighty. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, the story line goes like this.

Bruce is a fluff news reporter for the local news in Buffalo NY. He is constantly trying to get ahead and make a better life for himself. Every negative thing that happens in Bruce’s life he views as a personal attack from God against him. Bruce constantly complains about his lot in life, and finally God gets tired of hearing his complaints and decides to give Bruce His powers to see how much better Bruce can do.

This message is titled “God’s will is greener on the other side of the fence.”

1 Tim 6:6-10

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

How many times have people chased after money, power, prestige, and material possessions only to destroy themselves in the process? Often times God’s will does look greener on the other side of the fence.

If only God would do this.

If only God would do that.

If only God would lead us here.

We see the things that others have, what they are doing. We see that they seem quite happy and pleased with following God’s will. And, we wish that we could be like them. So we begin to cross over the fence into greener pastures only to find that we are more miserable than before.

In this clip Bruce has yet to receive God’s powers. He just got passed over for a promotion and exploded on live TV which got him fired. We pick up as they are throwing him out of the building.

Show Bruce Almighty Clip--Start point 12:47

As he is being thrown from the TV studio end with Grace’s stunned look at the mediocre life comment.—16:02

What is really interesting about this clip is that 2/3 of the things that go wrong in Bruce’s day were his fault. His loss of temper cost him his job, and his mouth got the tar kicked out of him. And yet, He still blames God for everything going wrong in his life.

It is amazing what happens when we become blinded by ambition and desire. We cannot see clearly the events that are happening around us. Instead we choose to see these events through the filter that says all of these things are a direct result of the one thing that wasn’t my fault. Bruce is discontented because of his pride and ambition.

8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

So what does it mean to be content? In order to understand contentment we need to look at discontentment. Discontentment means we are unhappy with the way things are right now. We want things to change for the better. We want things to improve for us. We seek change for what we perceive as better.

God wants us to be content. He knows what discontentment brings. He knows how desires can destroy people and relationships.

However, there is a fine line between contentment and laziness. If you refuse to try to provide when you are able that is laziness. He who does not work shall not eat.

There is another fine line between following God’s discontentment and selfish ambition. Following God’s will, will never be centered on a pay check. Greed will never be part of God’s will that is selfish ambition.

Here is one important thing to remember however. God wants us to be content with the material things that we have in our life. He wants us to be content with the ministry and tasks that he has set before us. He wants us to be content with the pasture that he placed us in. He does not want us to be content with an unkempt and overgrown pasture. God’s will is for us to be satisfied with where he has placed us, this does not mean that we become lazy and not better the field around us. No where in the scripture does it tell us to be content with where we are at spiritually, and in ministry.

Contentment comes when we set aside our own ambitions, our own pride, our own desires, and begin to accept God’s plan for our lives. When we follow our desires and ambitions we stray from God’s will for our lives. When our discontentment centers on the material possessions around us or the amount of money in our bank account or the amount of power we wield, we are not following God’s will we are following our own desires.

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