Monday, October 22, 2007

the disease of discontentment

An excellent sermon on Philippians 4:10-19 this week from Kyle...

He opened by pointing to some of the symptoms of the disease-- comparing spouses and houses; most credit card debt; and the use of alcohol, food, spending, and entertainment to briefly satisfy or dull greater longings.

In the text, Kyle noted Paul use of "learned" twice (11, 12) and inferred that contentment (or not) is a state of mind. Moreover, Paul presents five principles that help us reach that mindset.

-10a's "rejoice greatly in the Lord"-- all blessings (and there are so many) graciously come from God

-10b's often, the experience of giving and receiving in community

-11a's defining "needs" properly-- ironically, Paul was "in need" by any standard criteria, but he didn't see it that way; too often, we compare our situations to others or to utopia

-11b-12's understanding that's its character much more than circumstance; it's spiritual much more than material/physical; it's about joy rather than happiness/happenstance

-13's classic verse on "Jesus is all you need"-- both an amazingly trite answer and THE answer

On this last point, Paul wraps up the passage with 19's "God meets all you needs" and 20's "living for God's glory"-- two cousins of the same thought. Or to bring in the last member of the Trinity: as Paul puts it in Galatians 5:16, "Live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature."

All of this reminds me of the old hymn, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus...and the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace." Amen!


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