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Summary: The Apostle Paul will help us to understand the secret of contentment it’s not found in a fountain that provides perpetual youth, or being 18 again or in money or success… but in the Lord!

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Southern Hills Baptist Church

March 16th 2003

“The secret of contentment”

Philippians 4:10-13

By Pastor Mark Hensley

10I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I 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. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4: 10-13

Introduction: (1474-1521) Juan Ponce de Leon, known by schoolchildren everywhere as simply "Ponce de Leon" was a Spanish explorer and conquistador. He was the first European to explore Puerto Rico, Florida, the Florida Keys, and parts of Mexico.

The driving force behind much of Ponce de Leon’s exploration was his obsession with tales of the Fountain of Youth. This mythical fountain was reported to flow with water that cured illness and granted the drinker eternal youth. Perhaps equally important to Ponce de Leon, it was also rumored to sit amidst a wealth of gold and silver.

Throughout his career, Ponce de Leon was plagued by rebellions from the natives he conquered. The Puerto Rican inhabitants stood up against his rule in 1511 during his brief governorship of the island. In 1521, during his second trip to Florida, Ponce de Leon found himself again faced with a rebellion. He was wounded by a poison arrow in this battle and, despite being transported to Cuba for medical treatment, died in July of that year. Ponce de Leon is buried in San Juan Cathedral in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was 47 when he died!

Transition: Every seven seconds someone in America turns 50. That process will repeat itself through 2014, when all 76 million baby boomers will be over 50. Aren’t you excited that you came to church today!

If you were able to stumble on the fountain of youth that eluded Ponce Deleon would that bring you contentment? To be able to move through the day pain free, to have energy and stamina?

George Burns a comedian from another generation once sang a song titled

I wish I was 18 again

At a restaurant in Dallas an old man chimed in,

And I thought he was out of his head.

Just being a young man I just laughed it off

When I heard what that old man had said.

He said I’ll never again turn the young ladies heads,

Or go running off into the wind.

I’m three quarters home from the start to the end.

And I wish I was 18 again.

I wish I was 18 again.

And going where I’ve never been.

But old folks and old oaks

Standing tall just pretend.

I wish I was 18 again.

Now time turns the pages

And oh, life goes so fast.

The years turn the black hair all grey.

I talked to some young folks,

Hey they don’t understand

The words this old man’s got to say.

I wish I was 18 again.

And going where I’ve never been.

But old folks and old oaks

Standing tall just pretend.

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