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“Why We Believe We Should Be Content”

(Exodus 20:17; 1 Timothy 6)



I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.

We’ve seen,

If are to follow example Jesus gave us –

If be kind person that pleases God

And catches His eye –

Must love Him with whole heart,

Our lives must be centered on serving Him,

And we must love others as self.


Loving others means

Must honor authority Lord places over us,

Protect the lives of others,

Their purity,

Their possessions,

And their reputation.

B. Preview.

The last way

Lord would have us love neighbor

Is by not coveting/desiring what they have –

Not house, wife,

Male or female servant,
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Ox, donkey,

Or anything that belongs to them.


Tonight, let’s consider three things:

1. The Lord doesn’t want you to desire what others have.

2. How contentment is the cure to covetousness.

3. How contentment is the key to being happy in every situation.


II. Sermon.
A. First, the Lord doesn’t want you to desire what others have.


Might wonder why can’t even want what have.

How does that hurt them?


It does so in a few ways.

Wanting their house

Is mental stealing.

Might not be as bad

To want one like it,

But to want the one they have

Means your neighbor won’t have it –

That injures him in heart.

Same would be true of

Any of their belongings.


Wanting their wife,
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Violates the 7
th
commandment,

If desire a man’s wife –

Or if woman,

Desires another woman’s husband –

Is to commit adultery in heart.


To want their looks,

Their gifts,

Their position,

Their honor,

Is not to love them.

Paul clearly says, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous” (1 Cor. 13:4).

Coveting any neighbor’s possessions

Violates them

In mind and heart,

Causes resentment and jealousy

That can cause you to treat them poorly,

And can even be prelude

To breaking other commandments.

You are not to covet what they have.


But this commandment requires more:

Not only are you not to want what have,

But you are to be happy
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That Lord blesses them.


You are to love neighbor as self.

What want for self?

Good things:

A good house,

A faithful spouse,

Enough money to provide needs

And promote God’s kingdom,

Natural gifts to make a living,

Spiritual gifts to serve God.


If love neighbor as self,

Then that’s what want for neighbor.

Can’t do that and want

What he or she has at same time.


If they didn’t have what needed

Love would move you to help meet that need –

Should rejoice that they have them.


And so not only

Are you not to covet what they have,

Or be jealous of them –

You are to be happy
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The Lord has blessed them in this way

Because that’s what want for self.


B. But there is another principle here:

Not only are you not to covet/desire what they have,

And be happy with what Lord has given them,

You also need to be content with what He’s given you.


You’re only tempted to covet

When you’re not satisfied

With what God has given you.

Contentment is the key

To not coveting

And so being able to love neighbor.


Need to be content with what He’s given you.

With how made you

And where He’s placed you –

With your looks,

With family born into,

With social and economic status,

With natural gifts,

With spiritual gifts,

With position/calling gives

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With success He grants.


How can you be content?

Can look at where are

Relative to others:

Less than some,

But more than others.

Like man who complained

He had no shoes,

Until saw the man

Who had no feet;

Or the man who complained

He had no hat,

Until he saw the man

Who had no . . .

Well, you get the idea.


But there is a better way –

By having a more Biblical perspective.


If you feel shorted

Because there’s something don’t have,

Or because of something you might have lost,

Realize, you didn’t deserve

To have any of those things in the first place.
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Everything you have is purely of God’s grace.


Some bitterly discontent because lose part of body,

But if do, realize,

Didn’t deserve to have feet,

Or legs, arms, or body.


Or if lose sense,

You didn’t deserve to have

Sight, hearing, smell, taste or touch.


You didn’t deserve

To have an intellect, affections, or will –

To be made in the image of God.

You didn’t deserve even to exist.


The Lord didn’t have to give

Any of these things.

Could have just as easily

Not made you, as made you.

Or could have made you

Without some of these faculties.


And existing,

Didn’t deserve any good

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Because of sin.

Didn’t deserve to have air to breathe,

Water to drink,

Food to eat,

Clothing to wear

Or anything to sustain you.


You didn’t deserve the abilities

He’s given

That allow you to work

And provide for self and family.


You didn’t deserve

The spiritual gifts He’s given

That allow you to be blessing to others.


You certainly didn’t deserve

The righteousness of Christ,

His payment for your sins,

His Spirit to change your heart,

An everlasting home in heaven.


What you did deserve –

The only thing you and I have earned –

Is eternal punishment in hell.

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But God hasn’t given that to you.

He’s given you all these good things instead.

You have far more than deserve.

So how can you be angry

He hasn’t given you enough?

How can you hate others

Because the Lord decided to give them

The things He has?

That’s entirely up to Him.

Neither you nor they

Deserve any of it.


And so instead of asking,

Why don’t I have this or that?

Why did He make me this way or that?

You should ask instead,

Why do I have anything good?

I don’t deserve it,

I never have.


Just be thankful

To exist at all,

To be on this earth at all,

To be the kind of creature
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That can know God,

That your needs are met,

That you have some talents to take care of your needs,

That you have some gifts to serve,

That your sins are forgiven

And your future secure through Christ.


If we looked at it this way,

Perhaps do far less coveting

And far more thanking.


C. And this leads to last point:

Because you always have more than deserve

You can be content/even happy in every situation

Paul wrote in meditation, “For I have learned to be content in whatever
circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also
know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the
secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering
need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:11-13).


How can be unhappy,

When deserve to be in agony,

But not only are you not,

But your sins forgiven,

Have righteousness of Christ,

Have everything provided for you here,

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Will inherit everything

The Father is giving to Jesus,

And will spend eternity with the Father,

With His Son Jesus,

Perfectly filled with His Spirit,

As His sons and daughters?


If have all this,

In light of what deserve,

How can you complain

If all your needs are met,

Even if don’t have as much as others?

Lord knows these things aren’t true riches,

That they’re worthless,

Which why gives to wicked.

The rich man received his good things here,

But suffered after he died,

While Lazarus,

Who suffered on earth,

Was able to enjoy the true blessings

God has stored up for Him

Through His Son.


And if you’re content

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With all He has given you,

How can you not love neighbor

And be happy for Him

Because of what Lord gives them?

Only reason you’re unhappy

And want what they have,

Is because you’re not happy

With what you have.


Why would anyone steal

If he already has what he would take?

If you’re already as happy as you can be,

You don’t need anything else.


You can instead look at how poor

Your rich neighbor is

Who’s spending his inheritance now

But will suffer for all eternity

And reach out to him

That he might gain true riches.


Or can look at Christian neighbor

And be thankful for what Lord

Gives him to enjoy

And use for His glory.
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Contentment is key to happiness,

And cure for covetousness.

So remember how much Lord has given,

Be thankful,

And be content.

This will go long ways

In helping you love your neighbor. Amen.


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