Summary: This is a sermon for Thanksgiving.
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." 6So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
7Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to
you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
9Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good
that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited
those who have been occupied with them.
10We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right
11For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary
by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp.
12Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own
blood, suffered outside the gate.
13Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
14For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.
15Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God,
that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Joe Barton went to a revival
at a little church located out in the country.
Believe it or not...that old preacher
preached a message of close to an hour.
Several people responded to the altar call.
By the time the revival service was dismissed...
it was past 10:00.
Well...Joe got in his car and headed home...
over the river and through the woods...
It was a dark night...
and Joe didn't enjoy driving on those country roads.
Then it happened!
He had a flat tire.
Joe thought, "Great! This is just what I wanted!"
But there was nothing to do but get out,
change the tire
and drive on home.
So...Joe got out...opened the trunk...
found the little car jack...
and started to jack the car up.
But he discovered that his car jack was defective.
Every time the jack started to lift the car...
it would slip off the track.
"Oh, this is wonderful! This is just what I needed!"
Joe began to think of all the problems
that flat tire had created.
Though he had been perfectly happy up to that moment,
he quickly became irritated and angry.
He slipped into a dismal mood and frame of mind.
Too bad Joe didn't remember what the preacher had said.
That old windy Baptist minister had mentioned:
Proverbs 23:7 says,
"For as he thinks within himself, so he is."
Just like our friend Joe Barton with the flat tire,
sometimes we can think ourselves
into a condition of worry, anger, sadness, and depression.
Fortunately we can also think our selves
into a state of happiness, peacefulness and thankfulness.
That's what we need to do, isn't it?
Think our selves thankful.
Here's how to do that:
Point #1 THINK ABOUT CONTENTMENT:
Verse 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."
That's what Paul did in prison.
Philippians 4:11. "Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am."
Paul learned contentment.
He wasn't just naturally contented!
Paul focused his mind on being content.
Let's think about that word: Contentment
You can learn to be content.
We learn it when we quit counting complaints...
and start counting blessings instead.
Contentment means being satisfied
with what we have.
It's the opposite of complaining
for what we don't have.
Contentment is a sense of peacefulness.
It's not based on external possessions,
how we are being treated,
or the circumstances we find ourselves in.
Contentment is essential to gratitude:
Discontent people complain...
but content people are satisfied.
Remember the people of Israel
wandering in the wilderness
during the exodus from Egypt?
Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: "Who will give us meat to eat? 5 We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6 but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!"
And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, "If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?"