Summary: How being content leads to godliness in the way we use our possessions.
September 12, 2004 GODLINESS with contentment
When a Christian really grabs hold of the promises of God, he will realize that God has given him everything - absolutely nothing has been held back. First and foremost, he has complete perfection in Christ. Hebrews 10:10 states that we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Second of all, God promises us that ALL THINGS work out for our good. (Romans 8:28) Therefore, he believes Paul when he promises that, “All things are yours whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” (1 Co 3:22-23) This has a great effect on the way he lives. Obviously, he has to be content. You and I realize that if God has everything serve our good, and we are most importantly going to heaven - how can we complain? How can we really be unhappy with what God has given us? But it goes beyond just being content. Paul told Timothy that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” When we are content, it leads to living and pursuing a godly life. Today we’ll see how.
I. It frees us up to serve freely
Godliness with contentment - that’s God’s formula to stewardship. If anything in this formula is missing or reversed, it leads to disaster. For example, many people are driven to contentment WITHOUT godliness - which leads to disaster. It’s found in little kids who think, “I have to make the soccer team.” Or, “I have to get that new video game.” In high school they think, “I have to get a new car”, or “I have to get a date.” As you grow older, the have to’s become more expensive. People feel they have to get new furniture, a new house, more children, and a hundred other things. Others get plastic surgery on their bodies thinking that then they will be more acceptable to society. The problem isn’t necessarily that they are seeking these things - but that their world revolves around them alone. As a result, everything they seem to do in life - whether eating, drinking, working, dressing, or playing - never brings contentment.
Even we as Christians can get caught up in this mindset. Max Lucado wrote an interesting book called, “If I only had a Green Nose”, that wonderfully illustrates how this goes. It features two little wooden dolls - one by the name of Punichello . They lived in a village where everyone felt it was fashionable to have green noses and walk with their noses in the air. Punichello at first thought it was ridiculous to walk around with a green nose, but when a cute girl thought that Punichello should paint his nose green, he went ahead and painted it green. Pretty soon, the color changed to red, then yellow then another color and another. After they had spent several months trying to keep up with the other dolls, they finally gave up, went back to their maker, had him painfully rub off the coats of paint from their noses, and went back to being what their maker had made them be.