Summary: What will godliness plus contentment do for us? 1- Godliness plus contentment will bring great gain 2- Godliness plus contentment will avoid harmful desires 3- Godliness plus contentment will keep us faithful

INTRO.- What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in life? Let’s say the hardest physical thing. Work an 80 hour week? That’s just about 12 hours a day. Well, 84 hours in 7 days. Did you ever do that?

That would be hard no matter what kind of work you were doing.

Let me suggest that the hardest thing you’ll ever do in life is nothing physical but it is extremely humbling, draining, time-consuming, exhausting, fighting and fitful or sporadic. WHAT’S THAT? It is to become godly and contented at the same time.

Godly and contented at the same time? What a tall order! We understand about godliness or do we? It is to become like God,more like Christ in all ways. The idea of contentment in this text is to become contented materially speaking, and that’s required in order to become godly.

And there are several reasons why I say this is the hardest thing you’ll ever do in life if you indeed work at this. It’s so hard because of our human nature to sin and to rule our own lives and to never be contented with what we have materially.

IT’S A PART OF OUR SIN NATURE to fight against God, to not let Him rule our lives, to not be like Him, and to never be contented with anything in this life!

ILL.- A woman proudly told her friend, "I'm responsible for making my husband a millionaire." "Well what was he before he married you?" the friend asked. "A billionaire."

That sounds so much like our society. We not only want to spend our own money but everyone’s money! If I have the money and I see something that I want really bad it is very hard for me to restrain myself and not buy it. ARE YOU THAT WAY?

If I don’t have the money and have to charge it, then I can restrain myself, BUT IF I HAVE THE MONEY. WATCH OUT!

It is our nature that if we see something we like and we have the money, we will get it! But what does the Scripture say?

Hebrews 13:5-6 “5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

If the Lord is our helper why shouldn’t we trust Him to provide what is needed in life? We often want more than what is needed.

What could we do without in life? We don’t want to think about it, hear about it and most of all, make any decision about it. Haven’t you figured out that we Americans are spoiled? We have more of everything and still want more!

Philippians 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Paul learned the secret of being content no matter what he had or what he didn’t have. HAVE WE LEARNED THIS LESSON? God wants us to be content materially speaking but discontent spiritually. We should never be satisfied with ourselves spiritually. We should be satisfied with Christ but not our relationship to Him.

PROP.- Paul’s message was about godliness plus contentment.

What will godliness plus contentment do for us?

1- Godliness plus contentment will bring great gain

2- Godliness plus contentment will avoid harmful desires

3- Godliness plus contentment will keep us faithful


6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

ILL.- A man named Larry said: I really didn’t know much about the stock market until becoming a senior in college. Here’s what happened. There was this guy, Ed, in my dormitory the entire 4 years of college. He was the genius type with bad eyesight. He had these thick coke-bottle glasses and never went to class, but he always got A’s on every test. Instead of going to class, he just sat in his room and studied the stock market. He had stock charts all over the walls and even had a computer before you could even buy them in a store!

Upon reaching my senior year, I realized it was time to get serious about making a living, that I would need to go out and make some money. So I went down to talk to Ed.

"Ed," I said. "I’ll work as hard as I have to. Tell me how I can end up with one million dollars in the stock market." He scratched his head, then lowered his head and looked at me over the top of those thick glasses and said, "Start with $2 million."

Did you ever play the stock market?

ILL.- Google (the internet search engine company) went public on 19th August 2004. Google had their long awaited first day of trading. Listing on the NASDAQ with an initial price of $85, they ended the days trading at $100.33, up 18%. Then the Google share price peaked in November 2007 at $747.24.

Do you realize that if a person had invested $10,000 that in those three years they could have made $88,146?! Thats a $78,000 gain! And a $100,000 investment would have yielded $780,000!

Talk about gain! How would you like a gain like that? But then I remember something that Jesus said: Matthew 16:26 “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Brothers and sisters, there is a greater gain than money and material possessions. Of course, many people, many Christian people would like to have their cake and eat it too!

Many people would like to be rich on earth and still experience the riches of heaven. IS THIS POSSIBLE? Or is this an impossibility? What do you think? What does the Bible teach?

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

The important thing is what you treasure most in life: money or the Lord? The greater gain is heaven because it is eternal and blissful. Life on earth will eventually end for all.

Revelation 21:3-4 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

Doesn’t this sound like a place where you would want to spend eternity? Don’t you think this would be better than anything this world offers? THIS IS TRUE GREAT GAIN. And godliness plus contentment will lead you to this place if you live by faith in Jesus Christ.


9People 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.

People who want to get rich. They are everywhere.

ILL.- With only $28.96 in his bank account, Chris Shaw, a store clerk from Marshall, Missouri, is now a multimillionaire! He no longer needs to worry how he will pay his utility bills, or put food on the table for his family.

Chris Shaw won the largest Powerball Jackpot in Missouri history in April 2010. "It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy", stated by his co-workers. He was a truck driver before he decided to work closer to his family in Marshall Mo. He got a job at the Break Time convenience store only a month before, making just $7.25 an hour, working as a clerk.

This writer wrote: While reading this story, I wondered what it would be like to win a $258 million dollar jackpot. The thought that all your financial worries would be over, and the stress over finances and bills would be gone that very moment. However, the winning of a lottery could be a double edged sword, and has been known to to destroy many individuals and families.

Having lot's of money comes with lot's of responsibilities, and that equals to lot's of stress. Someone who lives pay check to pay check, and not accustomed to managing their money, will likely loose their fortune within a short time.

Most people think, by having that much money you would be stress free. That may be true for a short time, but chances are you will have to change the way you do almost everything.

Many lives have been changed for the worse, after winning the lottery.

Having piles of money can compound your problems! Anyone who becomes an overnight millionaire should change their phone number and move as soon as possible. Don't tell anyone where you are for a while, get a good lawyer, and learn to say the word No!

There will be people coming out of the woodwork, trying to separate you from your money. You will need to get a backbone. Be prepared to hear every sob story in the book, from your friends, your family and people you don't even know. There's nothing wrong with helping your friends or family out, that's for sure, but there's no rush either! Ask yourself, what would they do if you didn't win? MAKES YOU THINK, DOESN’T IT?

9People 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.

Some people want to get rich will do almost anything to get there and it can ruin and destroy them.

ILL.- Look at what happened to Bernie Madoff? He got tons of wealth by hook and crook but his desire for wealth ruined his life. He will now sit in jail until he dies. THEN WHAT? Well, that’s up to the Lord, but his future doesn’t look too good to me.

The desire for wealth can still ruin a person in many ways: it corrupts the heart, causes people to lose family members, leads people into all kinds of insatiable desires.

ILL.- Golf pro Tiger Woods had it made: a great career, all the wealth anyone would ever need, a beautiful wife and children BUT but he was never satisfied. His desires for the things of the flesh were never satisfied and now he is paying for it. He has lost his wife and children and no telling what else. Many endorsements, etc.

On the other side is the truth: Godliness plus contentment will cause a person to avoid many harmful desires that ruin people’s lives! Godliness plus contentment is the best way to go in life.


10For 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.

If the love of money can lead us away from Christ and into all kinds of evil then what can the opposite of this do for us? That is, what can being godly and contented do for us?

ILL.- Max Lucado told about a man named Norman Geisler. As a child Norman went to a VBS because he was invited by some neighbor children. He went back to the same church for Sunday School classes for 400 Sundays or over 7 and a half years. Each week he was faithfully picked up by a bus driver. Week after week he attended church, but never made a commitment to Christ.

Finally, during his senior year in High School, after being picked up for church over 400 times, he did commit his life to Christ.

Lucado wrote: What if that bus driver had given up on Geisler at 395 Sundays?

What if the bus driver had said, "This kid is going nowhere, why waste any more time on him?" Godliness plus contentment will lead us to become a faithful servant of the Lord even if it’s only driving a church bus.

I Corinthians 4:1-2 “So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”

We are servants of Christ and it is required to be found faithful. Are you faithful to Christ? Are you a faithful steward of everything that God has given you? Godliness plus contentment will lead you to that place called “faithfulness.”

Godliness. What is it? Have we ever seen it? Have we ever come close to it? If someone is “kindly” then we think of them as being kind to others. If someone is “godly” then we must them of being godly toward others or demonstrating the actions of God toward them.

ILL.- The great Scottish Bible expositor Alexander MacLaren once wrote: “We may have as much of God as we will. Christ puts the key of the treasure-chamber into our hand, and bids us take all that we want. If a man is admitted into the bullion vault of a bank and told to help himself, and comes out with one cent, whose fault is it that he is poor??”

ILL.- John Wesley wrote of the godly person: "His heart is ever lifted up to God at all times and in all places. In this he is never hindered, much less interrupted, by any person or thing. In retirement or company, in leisure, business, or conversation, his heart is ever with the Lord. Whether he lies down or rises up, God is in all his thoughts; he walks with God continually, having the loving eye of his mind still fixed upon Him, and everywhere 'seeing him that is invisible.'"

Wonderful! I want that! Don’t you want to live in the presence of God continually? To walk and talk with Him all the time?

II Peter 1:3-4 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. What is it that will produce godliness in us? His Spirit and His Word. And we must read the Word of God in order for the Spirit of God to change us and reproduce the image of God in us.

ILL.- One Sunday on their way home from church, a little girl turned to her mother and said, "Mommy, the preacher's sermon this morning confused me."

The mother said, "Oh? Why is that?" The little girl replied, "Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?" The mother replied, "Yes, that's true honey."

"And he also said that God lives in us? Is that true, Mommy?" Again the mother replied, "Yes."

"Well," said the little girl, "if God is bigger than us and he lives in us, wouldn't He show through?"


ILL.- Someone wisely said: “Be content with what you have, but never content with what you are.”

Steve Shepherd, Jonesboro Christian Church, AR