By Pastor Greg Byman
January 28, 2018, 10:00 a.m.
A search for the word “content” reveals that Scripture has much to say about the matter. In Philippians 4:11, the apostle Paul famously exhorts millennia of fellow Christ-followers, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”
But how do we become and remain content? Today, Pastor Greg Byman opens a new series called “Keys to Contentment” and today’s message is entitled, “Adjust Your Perspective.” The sermon was preached on January 28, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
You heard a Scripture verse to kind of kick start where we're headed this morning and I want us to talk about. A topic that is on everybody's mind whether they believe it is or not in their minds we always are bombarded with the idea in my content. Many times we are driving a vehicle where we say boy if I can only have that vehicle or we are in a situation where we're in a job and you say oh if only I had that job or we get a paycheck and we say oh could I have a little bit more or maybe we're in the middle of an educational journey or way we've completed an educational journey and then we think to ourselves I wonder if I could go to the next level there's nothing wrong with asking some of these questions the question is are you doing it to feed your discontent or are you doing it because God is calling you to do something more than you've ever done before is he calling you to be in charge of more than you've ever been in charge of before is his call is it calling you to learn more is he calling you to be empowered more is he calling you to take on more responsibility of the question is is not that is the question is are you doing it because you're wrestling and you're discontent and I will say to you that it is no money there is no education there is no power there is no position in this world there is no more time by the way same amount of time is no more or less or no more it's all about the same amount of time that we have nothing will solve the problem of discontentment contentment is not about what you have it's being OK and working within an operating on the basis of what you already have I'm talking about squelching ambition not squelching your desire to learn and grow if you've stopped learning then you might as well check out living. If you stop expanding and desiring more than you've ever then you might as well finish it right now and I don't mean you just you've got to be ready to go with whatever it is God wants you to do next but. But if you're restless because you don't have something and you've got to have this. In order for contentment to kick in you've missed the whole concept of contentment we're bombarded mercilessly by the media about how discontent we ought to be with what we have why if I were to tally up all the things that I see in the midst of a one hour program. Of course depending on the time of the day or evening. You're going to see things to say by this in jest that attend here go there sue that person for what is your due and then you go later into the night and you've got counselling. You've got all the addictions counselling which these are all great things. And then the lawyers kick in even more. And all these complicated words of things that if you ever had that done to you and like well maybe. Maybe I did. There's some money in this. I got coffee maybe he has around some mess of things and they me a little family. OK. I'll get some of that you know now I'm not too pulling the need to hold you know companies responsible for their Don't get me wrong some is it or no don't go there. Ralph Nader in small measure is OK Some of you don't even know who rough mater is. Old story but you know going after but but that's not where you're contentment going to be. That's not how you're going to find contentment and so this morning I want to start a process of learning keys to contentment there's many keys but I want to hone in on contentment is being and enjoying what you already have. Even as you prepare for what God may want to give you later and we'll get into some of these phrases later but one of my favorite phrases is God's not asking you to what you got to do with what you've got to get He's asking you what do you do with what you've already got I've got friends who will say Oh oh boy when I'm a I had a friend and told me all the time if you know when I win the million dollars. You're going to get that building when we report about church why I'm going to pay for it I'm going to buy it. And I said well we've got a building fund right now. And I don't need a million I don't need a tithe out of million dollars but I'll take the what you make because I know what you make is pretty good I didn't say that. But it was true. And I know you want to give that to a body. Because he's selfish know I don't know what he does he may give a lot of money away but I mean I one cared about what he was going to earn and when it was going to the windfall of what he was going to get it's what are you doing now with what you've got what I have more time Pastor I'll be able to serve the poor I'll be able to do this or do that the question is What are you doing now with what you got your time well I learned a little bit more I was talking to somebody this week and he said I just don't feel like I'm ready for this or ready for that and Mike will just be in the zone of what you're already doing and give yourself away with what you've already got and when you do that you're going to actually learn more which will make you more valuable and you have more confidence to do the next of what you say you want to do but you can't do because you're not ready God has a plan for all of us the plan isn't for you to wait until he gives you something else he said take what I've given you and God Oh and do something special with your life many times we get stuck because we're discontent. And we just feel like I don't have what I need to do what I really want to do for God. Young people often say I just I want I'm ready for something big for God I want to do something big for God I'm think this what you doing right now I'm waiting for doing some big for God really. I remember when I was. Going to seminary my first year seminary and I went up to one of the associate pastors of this mega church I was in and I said. I said hey. God's called me to preach. And I know a few people at home know it but you all don't know this but God's got his hand on me. But arrogance right. And if you ever know of a ministry position where I can preach I told God when I surrendered and I'll preach wherever he tells me whatever the door opens I'll do it. By the way. Be ready for what God says. He says yes thank you there's a nursing home over here and on every first Sunday of the month we have a Nursing Home Ministry now there's nothing wrong with that but I never thought about preaching in a nursing home. But I won't tell you that every pastor out of preach a while in a nursing home. People Polian and they and they wake up and they go I don't want to go to church and they're trying to wheel out. Some some little lady and I used to be I don't know if I was good looking then but I was younger right and I was younger and bias there and she come up and she come up and she came up while I was preaching and she'd hit the little pulpit. You're cute. You're I mean it's like. Mabel I don't know what her name was this list and it was just it was a joke but you know what I learned I learned to minister I learned to serve and by the way I was a horrible preacher but they didn't care. And I got to hold out some messages so that eventually when I got to preach revivals and go different to churches and preach be ready for what God gives you and then say Al I want that spot over there and I'm getting off topic when Jesus said When you get her into a banquet hall don't say the head of the table you might get asked and not you it has to be better if you sat in the back of the room when they invite you to the front rather than a sit in the front they invite you to the back that's embarrassing Jesus is pro practical. The Bible so practical. So this morning I want to start with a gesture attitude I mean just your perspective I guess it's a attitude too because your perspective change your attitude. Kisa contentment so let's get out is some chapter twenty four verse so says one to the first thing I want to say about adjusting your sect of it is God owns it all God everything it's all here is. It's all here is some twenty four WANTED TO YOU go ahead and turn their turn turn in your bible or turn in your phone. To some twenty four. We're going to do several verses today so we're going to give you three off the bat for you to mark or to put a little highlight in your Bible and the rest I'm just going to read them through quick and you can write down the verses because we're not going to have time to go through all of them and I am not going to explain all of them I just gave you the point of that passage but the first one is God owns everything in other words. When someone owns something. They own the rights to it. When they went when somebody made this microphone they patented it so that they have control over how this is they have control over the intellectual rights they have the control over the rights of selling it of producing it. It's a patent and sometimes you see patent pending because they are the guys who are looking for a particular patent from the U.S. government from an authority that says you have the right to hold this in trust and nobody else is allowed to to control it and oftentimes patents are actually good for as long as even longer than the lifetime of the person who applied for it and it will be public domain it sums point some of them are not I don't know all the rules and regulations but it's in order to protect the person who created the product. While God created the world. And has a patent on it because he has the right to have a patent if we have the right as a human being that it stands to reason that God has the right to have a patent on us right to say yes OK so. OK let's read together Chapter twenty four versus one through two let's read it let's read it from there so we can get all the same verse together the earth and everything in the world and all its inhabitants belong to the Lord for he laid its foundation on the see this and established it on the reverse so as an owner of everything God has the right to control it as he chooses and pleases and if he is the owner is there anybody is there a partner in this know it's a Father Son Holy Spirit the Trinity it's God he's in charge. And if we read the Scriptures well enough we know that it was the Son Jesus Christ who laid the foundation it was Jesus. Who created in the Trinity God the Father interested in the partnership with himself the son to bring everything into being everything belongs to God So he is God It is the owner. Do you agree with this. Do you agree with this yes he's the owner which means he owns everything he owns everyone. I mean Genesis one one says in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And we either believe that or we don't and there may be some in this room that have a difference of opinion about exactly how it happened I have a very I have a pretty strong opinion about that myself I have a conviction about that actually God made it. And science must bend to what God says in His Word not vice versa because God's word. Is true. But God Goddess of what you think and how exactly happened he made it. So there's a causation thing when you know when someone decides as a couple that they're going to have a child they decide to have a cot I mean I just don't say let's just have a child and then then some has to happen and they have a child right. And then if that's the case then there is every time something happens there was something that happened to cause that to happen. And then something behind that the cause that to happen something got hind that to cause that to happen and finally we get to the very very beginning in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and everything else past that has happened because God put it into motion. You have seen with those ball things that go back and for those little metal balls on strings ever they used to be real popular don't seem as much anymore and you hit one ball and it hits three balls in the middle and the fourth one goes out in the air like this and then it comes back and his this one of his the other one at the end so cool and sit there and look at that for a long time and it goes but I you know what I found out. It and do it on it's own. Fits in there stationary somebody has to take one side make a start you know that side spinners I mean if you ever had a spinner in your hand these fitter things. This is the spinner that I grew up with but I don't know if. It's free by the way but I'll pay you for it if you give me a dollar I'll let you do this on Sundays. Cheaper than a spinner out there I found that you hold the spinner in your hand to make that spin or move You gotta. Spin it. Got started this thing and it's not random chance he's in charge of the verses about that but the point I'm trying to get at the supporting is God owns it because he started it he made it he has the right to oversee it the other thing is I belong to God not just that he owns it all but the subtext of that is I belong to God as well First Corinthians chapter four in your New Testament turn way over to First Corinthians. Chapter four first seven and we're going to see a little bit deeper on this that you know God created everything and all of its inhabitants that first verse we just read but this verse is telling us that we personally this is deeper into it I belong to God. First Corinthians four seven let's read this out loud for who makes you so superior What do you have that you didn't receive if in fact you did receive it why do you both as if you hadn't received it now there is there anything I have there is anything that I am that God hasn't given to me all look at me Alec you God did a pretty good work on you pretty cool pretty cool how he made you pretty cool how he's turned you out to be in spite of yourself and say it it's pretty cool what what gifts that you have Wow It's pretty cool that you have a natural ability to do what you do but you didn't you may have developed something God gave you raw material and you were a good steward of that that's a whole nother conversation but whatever you have for the basis of what you had to work with was given to you. Your ability to work was given to you your ability to produce wealth was given to you your ability to handle wealth Well you did have some skills involved but some of you are better at handling it than other people. And God's given you that ability to do so. Their name by here they can say look at me I'm a self-made man no you're not I'm a self-made woman no you're not. God gave you what you have and nobody is superior because you know so well I can do this and you can only do that know that one up to you. That one up to that person some of the greatest people in the world will never be seen on the public arena. Some of the most talented people in the world. For doing the will of God and being a part of his activity and producing having a fruitful life that's even more for all the some of the most successful people in the world may never get on any stage in this world and be seen for who they are. God made you who you are God gave you the gifts that you have there's nothing that I have that was not given to me. First Corinthians Chapter six nineteen if you just go a few pages over in that same Bible book First Corinthians Chapter six verse nineteen and in the middle of that verse it begins a sentence that by the way sometimes I just I get why they have chapter changes and verses changes the way they're marked in there but and I get why they did what they did but sometimes don't ever sometimes they put a verse. In the middle of a sentence a verse change or a chapter change in the middle of a thought so I don't know why that is so if you're going to ask me why they do that I don't know I when they're OK the chapter numbers and the verse numbers are not inspired of God. That's a manmade way to get to where you need to go in this sixty six book collection called one book the Bible God's Word to us OK that was tossed in but first Corinthians Chapter six. Verses nineteen you get to the right place here. You are not your own for you were bought at a price therefore glorify God in your body. Now whether or not you're a follower of Christ or you're still discovering what it means to be a follower of Christ today you've been bought with a price God sent his one and only Son and God the Son chose to deny himself the right to be called God on this earth and he denied himself the nature that would be in spiritual form and he put himself in human form and he humbled himself and became obedient even obedient to death. That he might pay for your sins in my sins on that cross in his death. And do for us what we could never do for ourselves he paid the price for our freedom from sin and death and hell. And whether you've accepted it or not he's done that for you. You're not your own. You're bought with a price and for us who are believers we know that full well because there was a point in time when we came to our knees and we said Jesus I'm done doing things my way I'm done living life the way I want to do it I'm done being my own boss I want you to be my boss and I ask you to forgive me for everything I've done to offend your name to offend you and to offend people around me because remember if he's the if he's the owner of everything then ultimately if we've mishandled what he's given us which is his then we've offended him. Never ever get to those. You ever had a device and it says Do not break seal or they have the one screw that will open it but it's covered up with a sticker so you can't find it to open up the electronic device Am I the only one. I used to pair part things all the time as a kid what's in there what's that like and occasionally went back the same way but anyway we had to reel to reel like reel to reel tiny cassette they weren't cassettes reel to reel. Recording devices. Yeah one of them worked when we put it back you know than the other one not so much. Some of that was to the right so that part you can't fix this or you can't alter this because this is the way I made it. We actually pay for the rights to put lyrics on the screen because that's intellectual property somebody made that and their living is to produce music and then they get a royalty and even even in Christian sources you know it is what it is get over it and we pay for the right to put words on the screen because. And then if we change things around to do this and the other there are some things you can't change around less you get permission to do it so if this is true and we generally accept this as true in the world today on human level then why are we upset when we hear God say by the way you're accountable cannibal to me for how you handle your relationship with that loved one you're accountable to how you handle your sexuality your hand you're accountable to how you handle your money your accountable to how you handle your time you're accountable to everything you do in life why because I own everything you have I made you the way I made you you are everything that you are because I am God and I am the creator and you are the recipient of everything I am as if you have messed up anything that I have given you you have offended me and you must ask me for forgiveness this is a logical choice. And that is why so many times that there are people in our lives and there is a majority in the world that say they want to deny the existence of God because if God exists and he did make us then we are responsible to him by that very logical conclusion. But if we deny God exists and we deny that he had anything to do with creation and we believe in the absolute evolution of random chance then there was no divine providence that is involved in the creation of our universe and our world today then you have nobody to answer to and you can do anything you want and you can become your own God and whatever you say or whatever the majority says that you can get to agree with you goes and you can take out any more ality you can take out any plan that anybody has and you can insert any kind of lifestyle in any kind of way of doing any kind of handling money and it kind of ripping somebody off that you want to because you're not accountable to anybody except for yourself but when God owns it all. Work countable to him. And that's why we go to him for giving this that's why we go to him when we've done something we should not have done because we've offended a holy God. Yes we may have offended our spouse yes we may have offended a friend yes we may have cheated somebody out of money and we owe so maybe yes we may go to jail because we did something we should have done and it was illegal but ultimately in that jail or in the prison of unforgiveness in your relationship that you're in or in the prison of yourself that you've put yourself in because you've had self destructive behavior you have to go to God first and say oh my god. I've offended you I belong to you this real belongs to you everything I've touched is yours and I've mismanaged it. And it was willful were brilliant and I asked you for Him And God said that's OK it's not OK You did it. And there's a price to be paid to guess what that price has been paid and it was paid by Jesus and all you have to do is trust. But I've made a way for you to be reconciled to me and to have a how to become the kind of manager of the things I've given you that you were intended to be before you're ever before he's put his Holy Spirit in the believer to be able to do the right thing and that's why Paul can say in this verse who is really talking to believers not unbelievers therefore glorify God in your body and so for you this morning so how do I glorify God in my body the only way you do it is you trust in Jesus and let him and well your body by the power of the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit himself he comes to live inside of you and he gives you the ability to do what he's asked you to do. You and I belong to God So God. I belong to God. So then finally as I've already been building up to and saying all along I am accountable to God. I'm accountable I'm accountable to him in so many ways I'm accountable to him personally. Myself. I'm accountable I'm accountable. To God myself and Romans Chapter twelve verse one and says they're full brothers by the mercies of God I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God This is your spiritual worship. I'm accountable to God for myself. I'm a accountable to God for my possessions Luke Chapter fourteen verse thirty three it says in the same way therefore everyone who does not say good bye to all of his possessions cannot be My disciple Whoa. I means I have to give everything away pastor Well if God tells you to yeah but you need to willingly have everything in your hand like this to say God if you want me to keep it that's great but if you want to take it away I won't do this everything you have is not yours it belongs to God. If I were to come out here and say. Give me that pen that's in your hand. Near to hand it to me and I say OK thank you and I break it and throw it on the ground the rest room of what you just do you just broke has been sold or panned. But what if I then told you I gave them that pen at the beginning and I said here this is mine you can use it well then you say well still stupid for breaking a pin I'm sure going to waste of resources but it would change from oh well if that was yours to begin with. Then that's not offending the person that you took the pen from and broke it because of one there's I mean if God gives you four hundred dollars and then by Providence in your life God takes away the four hundred dollars. That's not fair. Well who gave you the four hundred dollars. God it's his to do with as he pleases and you're the manager of it why it's in your possession you know some people get things taken away from them because they don't know how to handle it that's sort of like a kid right. We give a kid something say you're responsible for taking care of this now. How many of you guys or gals to remember your first pocket knife. And you get it when you can handle it right. And my daughter is showing a scar that she is has now because sorry you and he's leaning into my wife and your mom but they really I got some too. Willing away and your dad or mom said put your hand behind where you're cutting right you know this way but how many as adults years later have still put your hand this way and you. Because that's how you had to hold the thing that you were doing to do the thing that you were doing you can handle mines and then have you ever had something taken away from them as a kid because they couldn't handle what they were given by their parents. And the only one yeah and one on one OK thank you Karen's laughing now she's our counselor she knows me says I don't know you as a kid but I know you as a kid seriously. If that's how we handle kids are we not God's kids. And sometimes he has to do that with us. All right we're going to with possessions later but time after five I preached on this while back. Something you don't remember paid careful attention then how you walk not as unwise people but as wise making the most of the time because the days are evil there is time that we spend how much time have you given back to God. Some of the time but if some of you believe in tithing your money how many of you have ever typed your time how many of given twenty four hours of your life how many of you have given. Time to God How many of you can say that the first twelve months of the year you've given a little more than a month of your time to god. And I don't mean you know I just mean you've said I'm yours now we're all his and all our time is his and everything we do need to be directed by him but how many US of you have given away that you've said I'm not going to be in control of myself and this time of my life I'm all that people handle that I'm going to be under the authority of something else that I have necessarily not necessarily any kind of personal benefit from I'm just giving it away just like I give away my money to an organization or I give my tithes to the church and I take no strings attached it's all God's And if you give in your time like that we'll talk about that and give you some practical thoughts about that as we go along these next few weeks and then my abilities particularly my spiritual gifts but abilities is is included in in the conversation and we'll get into that and a different time too but first Peter four ten is therefore based on the gifts they have received everyone should use it to serve others as good managers of God's various graces. As managers of the of the grace of God You see when you have a gift and ability when you got his and dad you with a special gift and every person has a believer in Jesus Christ has a spiritual gift at least one. And it's not rocket science it's not an exact science it's more of an art and a science combined of figuring out what it is that you're good at in the Lord in the spiritual function of the Holy Spirit but. But when you have that it's a way in which that you offer and show and display and give away the grace the unmerited favor of God to someone else it's not something you bury and are afraid of using In fact if you're afraid of using and you're burying a gift that God has given you that is a sin and you need to stop it you're sitting on your hands because you're you don't have the courage to stand up and serve in the way God gifted you to serve if you're saying well it has to be the right particular way in which if you just say I'll do whatever it is and be ready for some one and some say Go preach in a nursing home whatever it is that you sound if I ever do that or not will let God tell you what to do instead you tell God what to do. And let God work in your life with the gifts that he's given you. Expanding that conversation beyond this verse to say my gifts my abilities there's nobody superior Let's go right back to that passage we read in first Corinthians to say everything you have God gave you. Your gifts of book ational service your gifts of being able to relate to somebody whether you're an interviewer or an extrovert whether you're a good listener you're not a good listener not being a listener you need to be a good listener anyway but I mean there's all kinds of things that you need to do that that you're better at that maybe other people are around you and you're part of the team and you need to bring to the team what you have so that you can be a full team so that we can be a team together to be the Body of Christ the way we're supposed to be. In this world for God enjoy the spot where you're at. Maybe looking forward to a spot that God may give you later. But be content with what you already have where you are already have what you already have how much time you already have. And who you already are I'm accountable to God for these things see if he's the owner. And the manager. So let's conclude this morning let's let's say that together let's admit it out loud. Let's admit it out loud let's go to the next slide David if you would thank you. What now the next slide right here God is the owner let's say that together I am the manager we didn't say that so well. Is the owner. His manager that's a hard one. I'm not in charge of McDonald's I'm just managing it. I'm not and you know some like there's a subway regional manager and he he starts subways all over this region this particular region and they have a particular way in which they can give you leave the way but the be real honest the reason that a subway picture a picture in a Subway shop is right there and the reason that's a picture in the Subway shop is because the franchise the French the manager of the subway Brand says that's how the franchise owner has to do it period and it's not one inch more when it's there it's not as big or this big it's that one it looks like that that's the exact replica and that's exactly what they have to do some of the style like that one on cold water is pretty cool looking some of that is it can be licensed to do that but it's underneath the authority of who owns the brand subway. Friend of mine started. Big coffee shop love that place which it was closer to my office but I like the ones up the street too maybe a little I want to own that. I like a mall OK There you go but I like walking to the ones up the street here in North Anthony but he said you know what I know how to manage people I don't know how to sell coffee that's what he told me Craig says I don't know how to I don't I don't know how to actually do this marketing. But that's why I bought a franchise because they tell me how to do it they tell me where to put the product they tell me where to put these mugs that are totally not cost effective for me personally when you think they tell me where to put all these things they tell me how to put the displays up because they've done research and they tell me and I'm under their authority to make this coffee shop big. Like anybody would find anywhere they walk into a big piece and then I just handle the management of taking care of people he manages their brand. He's not in charge of it how well you managing the brand of God. How many of you are managing what God's already given you by his graciousness in your life so what do I need to manage better what do I need to manage better myself my possessions my time my abilities what is it. It starts as I've already mentioned. Where their personal relationship with Almighty God through faith in Jesus team lunch come on up we're going to sing one more song. Begins by surrendering your life to Jesus Christ by saying to him I'm done owning my life because by the way I realized this morning God that I don't own it and I'm a pretty lousy boss. I've messed a few things up I've messed some relationships up I'm in a pit right now. And only you can get me out of it. I've tried to create ladders to get myself out of the pit and every time I get up on two or three rungs they start to break and fall down one time I got up on a ladder and I realized I came out but the pit the wrong way and I don't have to go back down into the pit. The ladder of success on the wrong wall. And you get to the top and realize the same emptiness is the same emptiness that you have. That you had when you started your ascent into success and so you have to just say God I turned away from being my own boss that's my problem God I want to be in charge and I'm not and I surrender the rights to be in charge to you Jesus now believe that you have a purpose for my life. And right now Jesus I believe that you died on the cross for my sins and I now surrender myself to you to do with as you please. And I ask you to forgive me come into my life and change and make me into the manager of everything you've given me quoting myself. That you've intended for me to be but I might be the content person but I've always longed to a stand or feet in a few moments as we sing the song I want to invite you but if you've never put your faith in Jesus Christ he just walked down and say I want to put my faith in Jesus this morning I'm done being my own boss I'm what Jesus to be my boss John and Gene are going to be up front I'm going to be down here for a few before we close. And I just invite you to just come to us with your yellow card checked on it whatever it is that God saying that he wants for you to do to someone I just invite you to respond openly to what he's asking you to do in your heart privately Father God give us this moment and thank you for it that we can respond by faith in what you've called us to do. I pray that you might release us all and bring us measure of contentment which has never been felt before in this room by the power of your Holy Spirit through our faithful walk in obedience it's in Jesus name.
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