Summary: Don’t think that being content with your present state means accepting sin, sickness and poverty in your life.
December 1, 2002
Text: Hebrews 13:5
Subject: Being Content
Title: Don?t Worry ? Be Happy
I trust that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Are we ready to move on through the busy holiday season?
There was a fourth grade boy who was asked to give a report on Thanksgiving to give to the whole class. The teacher reminded him that there are certain things that he wasn’t allowed to say in public school because it might offend others. On the day of the report the boy stood and read,
"The Pilgrims came here from England seeking freedom of you know what. When they got here they gave thanks to you know who. Because of them, we can worship each Sunday at a you know what."
We are a blessed nation aren’t we? We can have just about anything we want. Yet it seems that the more we have the more we want. I remember once looking at relatives driving new trucks and thinking, "boy, I wish I could get a new truck. How can they afford it?" I knew that if we wouldn’t tithe every week I could easily make payments for a new truck and I could have what everybody else had. I got over that pretty quickly. I resolved to get what I could afford. I wouldn’t allow the enemy to convince me that I didn’t need to tithe. As I have matured as a Christian, I have learned to become content with the things that God has given me.
During this holiday time of Thanksgiving and gift giving we often get caught up in the "more is better" mindset. Or passage today shows us that we are to be content with the things God gives us. He is the true giver of gifts. He is the only one who can truly satisfy.
There was a song that the young people were singing quite a few years back that said simply, "Don’t worry - be happy." That is what the word is telling us today.
Hebrews 13:5, "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you’."
Let us break down this verse today to get a full understanding of what God is speaking to us.
I. Let your conduct be without covetousness.
It has been said that character is how you respond around others. Integrity is how you respond when no one is looking. Character is your moral disposition. It is how you decide to act. Even though 2 Corinthians tells us, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." You are still responsible to act like a Christian.
Acts chapter 8 tells the story of Simon the sorcerer who followed Philip as he preached. Verse 13, "Then Simon himself also believed;" yet he did not automatically have Christian character. It is a choice and it has to be developed. After you make the right decision then Christian character becomes a lifestyle. The character trait that the writer of Hebrews is encouraging is...
II. Be without covetousness. The love of money.
1 Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have stayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." Look at the front page of the newspapers or listen to the nightly news that describes every crime that is possible to commit has been committed for money.
Robbery. Embezzlement. Bribery. Extortion. Prostitution Drugs. Pornography. Even politics, sports, entertainment. It’s all about money and not about righteousness. Proverbs 11:28, "He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage." What is covetousness? A lust for more. Looking at what your neighbor has and wanting something like it or better. Craving for earthly possessions. The more possessions we have the more of our time is that is consumed by things. Boats. Pools Campers, RV’s 4-wheelers. Am I saying that it is wrong have those things? No! But when people spend money to get a ski boat they tend to want to go out on the river on Sunday. When people have pools they spend more time taking care of them than they do taking care of their relationship with the Lord. The same holds true with other things as well. We must find balance. Do you think that is why it is hard for a rich man to enter into heaven?
Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth not rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal; For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also," As you increase the amount of things you have, the more you become tied down to them.