Summary: This message looks at the fact that the real secret to joy comes from being content and in Christ.

Last week, we looked at the money myth of debt - anyone look at heir credit cards a little differently this last week? Anyone choose to use more cash? Or pay off a credit card or develop a budget?

Dana and I actually did some of that this past week... Well, this week, we are going to look at another myth. This myth says the more money you have the more joy you have.

Money can buy you almost everything, right? But can it buy you love? can it buy you happiness? Can it buy you joy?

Have any of you seen the movie, “The Bucket List?” Its playing on Cable right now, and last week I watched it. It stars Jack Nicolson as this man who has everything. he’s wealthy beyond belief, and he lives his life extravagantly and to the absolute hilt. It also stars Morgan Freeman as a guy who has a good family. He’s a mechanic and has worked in the same shop for years. He doesn’t have much, but his life is really full - you know? Well in the movie, both men get cancer. And both decide that since they are going to die anyway, they might as well have some fun before they go - so they create this list of things they want to do before they kick the bucket - the bucket list. They do stuff like skydiving and visiting famous places, they try to climb a mountain...but in the end - the lesson the movie reminds us of is that no amount of money can buy or allow you to buy the things that really matter most in life. Things like healthy relationships and peace, and joy really aren’t things that money can purchase.

That’s exactly what the writer of Ecclesiates says: “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!”

Money can’t bring you true happiness or joy.

I was thinking of something that could illustrate that... And I started thinking about my first car. Can you remember your first car? Most of us can... But the funny thing is that our first car is typically really bad. My first car was a 1972 Datsun. It was texas orange dotted with aggie rust. The windows on it would shake so bad when you got to 55, that rarely did I ever drive the speed limit. It also consumed about 2 quarts of oil a week at least. It was not a very great car ...but to me - it was freedom. To me, that little car signified that now I was an adult, now I was a man. It was a piece of junk, but to me it was everything!

True joy, true happiness often eclipse reality, If - and only if - you choose to focus of what really matters...

I had friends that didn’t have the same feeling about their first car. Maybe they were expecting more, or maybe they didn’t get the car they wanted - but for whatever reason they wanted more - and because they weren’t content they were never happy...

One of my favorite passages of scripture talks about this same thing. In Philipppians chapter 4, Paul is writing a letter from jail. he has every reason to complain about his situation, but instead he boasts about the fact that his being in jail has given him opportunity to witness to the guards, and some of them were coming to faith! He ends his letter thanking the Philippian people for helping him with money, but listen to how he puts it...

“How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

Paul says, hey look I have learned the secret...

Many of us miss this. The secret is to be content. To learn to be okay with whatever life brings. If you are always wanting more, you will never be satisfied... But some of you get this - some of you know the secret that Paul’s speaking of...

The secret is that true joy doesn’t come from circumstances, situation, or possessions.

You can chase after those things all you want, but listen, they will not make you happy! The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but it also has to be mowed more often!

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