Godliness With Contentment

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One of the words I have often heard abused by professing Christians – particularly during this Covid-19 pandemic – is the word “happy”. I have heard the word in this context:

I’m not happy with my job.
I’m not happy with my boss.
I’m not happy in my marriage.
I’m not happy in my Church.

When the professor makes this claim, it is usually followed with:, “I’m going to leave, and …

I’m going to find another job.”
I’m going to find another boss.”
I’m going to find another spouse.”
I’m going to find another Church.”

In the United States of America you can make a life choice and make a life change any time you want. After all, our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”.

This wonderful Declaration states that one of the rights that all humans have is the pursuit of happiness. That’s a wonderful thing, the basis of freedom. But if you are a Christian, what is it that God directs you to?

Does God Tell You To Seek

What should my pursuit be? Tonight we’re going to examine a letter written by the blessed Apostle Paul to one of the young Christians he led to the Lord and was mentoring. Paul wanted Timothy to succeed, especially as Paul was going to send Timothy out to help establish local Churches. The Apostle told Timothy in

1 Timothy 6:6 … godliness with contentment is great gain.

Godliness And Happiness Are Tied Together

The world teaches that self must be satisfied. If you are not HAPPY, then you a right to be HAPPY. As a result people in America and all around the world chase after things, thinking that these things will bring happiness.

If you are saved by faith in Christ, the Lord wants you to be happy. But happiness as a Christian, born again of the blood of Christ, is not achieved by worldly standards. Christian, you were saved by faith in Christ to become godly, like unto the Son of God. The Scripture says:

2 Corinthians 5:21 For {God the Father} hath made {Jesus Christ} to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Salvation takes us from a state of godlessness to a state of godliness.
Salvation takes us from a kingdom of darkness to one of Light.
Salvation takes us from selfishness into a place of selflessness.
Salvation takes us from this world, and points us to a higher plane.
Salvation takes us from slavery to sin, freeing us to serve the Savior.
Salvation takes from us our old life, and gives us new life.
Salvation takes us from the rat race, telling us to run with Christ.

If you as a Christians are seeking happiness in the old ways of the world, you will never find it. It has been my experience when a selfish person is given something, they always want more. The selfish are never satisfied. What they are given, in time, ceases to bring pleasure – then they want more.

As Christians, our happiness is tied to godliness, to behavior in keeping with what our Father calls us to be. The Bible says:

Job 5:17-21 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: 18 for he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. 19 He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. 20 In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword. 21 Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.

God disciplines His Children, those who are saved by faith in Christ. The Christian is happiest when following God. The commands:

Ephesians 5:1-3 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Christian, the Spirit of God lives in you. You cannot be happy while using people as tools to satisfy your bodily pleasure. To follow God is to love as Christ loved, a sacrificial not a selfish love. Jesus Christ is the AUTHOR of salvation FOR ALL WHO OBEY HIM (Hebrews 5:9). When the Christian draws away from the Master, unhappiness besets us.

There can be no happiness for the Christian who does not pursue God. There can be no happiness for people who will not heed what Christ has said, what the Scripture directs. The Psalmist wrote:

Psalm 144:15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

As Christians, we are kings and priests unto God (Revelation 1:6; 5:10). Under the Old Covenant God’s Priests, the Levites, received no inheritance of the Promised Land. Why was this?

Deuteronomy 10:9 … Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him.

This is truly the best inheritance. The priests of Israel had no inheritance but God. But Beloved, that is the greatest thing. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but GOD is the strength of my heart, and MY PORTION forever” (Psalm 73:26). When God is our Portion we know that He will meet all our needs. Didn’t our Jesus say:

Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore {do not worry}, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

God is our Portion. We may not have land, but God, Who made the land, will insure we have a place to stay. We may not have money, but God, Who controls the nations, will not let us go hungry.

We are HIS priests, HIS children, HIS people,
and HE is OURS!

Psalm 146:5-9 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: 6 which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever: 7 which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners: 8 the Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous: 9 the Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

Are You In An Unhappy Place?
Look To God For Happiness!

We as Christians have a Power Source far greater than anything this world has. Are you in a bad spot? The Apostle addressed those in the Roman Empire who were SLAVES:

1 Timothy 6:1-2 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. 2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

The word “SERVANTS” here is the Greek DOULOS, a reference to slaves, bond slaves, or those in lowly, servile conditions. At this time in history the Roman Empire actually had more slaves or every color than it had citizens. In our day and age the cancel culture wants to wipe out all mention or memory of slavery in American history. I believe this is foolish. There have been slaves of all colors throughout all of human history. I despise the thought of it, that a person would use another person like an object. But it happened. What does the Bible say to those who are in slavery, or in terrible jobs working at slave wages?

The Lord directs those in slave like situations to “honor and serve the master that the name of God and his doctrine not be blasphemed”.

Our Lord Jesus willingly entered this earth as a lowly human. He came to serve, not to be served. Jesus trusted the Father, and submitted to Him in all things. The Bible says:

Proverbs 16:20 … whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.

Do you trust in the Lord ONLY when things are going your way? Then you are not trusting in the Lord. To trust in the Lord is to obediently serve Him no matter what place you find yourselves in. To be godly, we are to imitate Jesus.

In the ancient world, slaves often cleaned the feet of their masters when they came home. In that world animal excrement was often found in the streets where people walked. To clean a person’s feet was the lowest job a person could be given. Hear the Scripture:

John 13:35, 12-17 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. … 12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Did you notice the last words Jesus spoke in our text. HAPPY ARE YOU IF YOU DO THEM. If you’re not happy, ask yourself,

Who am I serving right now? Myself, or someone else?

Be honest with yourself. WHO have you served TODAY? WHO have you served YESTERDAY? WHO will you serve THIS WEEK? It’s not service if you’re being paid for it. Are you bending your knee and washing someone’s feet? If not, you will never be happy.

Too many people today treat the Church like a marketplace. They come to Church, sit down, and say “Now make me happy”. God will not make you happy apart from making you godly. Godliness and happiness are tied together. If you are not serving God by serving others, you will NEVER be happy!

To Be Happy, Lay Down Your Life For Others,
Just As Jesus Showed Us To Do

In Romans chapter 14 there was a battle going on in the Church that Paul addresses. In Rome there were many pagan gods and goddesses, many temples dedicated to the worship of these false idols. Animals were sacrificed in these temples, so many animals that many of the temples offered the meat for sale at bargain prices.

Some of the Christians in the Church at Rome began to buy this discounted meat, a thing which offended others. This caused a stir in the Church. The Apostle told the Romans:

Romans 14:1-4 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

The Apostle commanded that the believers cease drawing battle lines over meat, and instead come together in love focusing on Christ. The Apostle said:

Romans 14:19-22 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which {God} alloweth.

The Christian way of life calls us to godliness, which is by faith serving one another. The Christian is not a consumer, but a producer, a giver, just like Jesus gave. HAPPY IS HE that condemns not himself in what God has allowed. A good thing becomes a bad thing when it causes your brother or sister to fall from faith.

Even if the Scripture allows it, put it away
if it hurts your weaker brother or sister in Christ!

Monetary Gain Will Not Bring Happiness

1 Timothy 6:3-5 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

The Bible never tells us that it is a sin to be rich. In fact, there are many places in Scripture where God has blessed His Children by faith. When Joseph continued to faithfully serve God though sold into slavery by his brothers, the Lord blessed him:

Genesis 39:2 the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

David’s son Solomon loved and respected God. The Lord told him:

2 Chronicles 1:11-12 God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honor, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: 12 wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honor, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.

When we seek to do as God calls us to do, loving Him and loving others, God will meet our needs. He will give us what we need. If we put God’s Kingdom first then all else will fall into place.

1 Timothy 6:6-10 … godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Money is a great temptation, and has caused many to fall away from the Gospel. God calls us to be content with what He has allowed us to have.

Money and stuff does not bring happiness. Only a right relationship with Christ does this. Many who have chased after the riches of this world have brought misery on themselves and on others. We should instead be content with the riches we have in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul was pleased to ..

Ephesians 3:8 … preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Illustrate When we trust in riches and pursue riches, this will lead to an unhappy state. I like to watch educational shows on television, and saw one episode about something called the Angler Fish. The creature has an appendage on its head that looks just like a worm. The fish goes and buries itself in the sand of the ocean bottom, then, leaving this appendage sticking out, begins to wiggle it. It’s not long before a fish comes along and takes a bite on the bait, then, GULP, the fish is gone. Money is like that. It tempts people, and traps people, then ultimately destroys people. If you have been blessed with riches, then use them for the glory of God.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

If you, dear Christian, have been blessed with money or talent or position, then use these things for the glory of God. God gave you these blessings so that you can bless others, not so you could hoard what you have. Jesus warned us of the danger of trusting in riches.

Luke 12:16-21 The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

In that parable you see the trap of riches. Sooner or later we must all stand before our Creator. Have we used what God has given us for His glory, or are we hoarding riches, while scrabbling for more? “Let not the rich person glory in their riches. Let them instead glory in knowing the LORD our God” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

If You Will Be Happy,
Run Toward Jesus & Run Away From The World

1 Timothy 6:11-12 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

The Apostle loved to use athletic metaphors. Paul was ministering among the Gentiles, and the Gentiles were avid followers of the sporting events Caesar offered in the coliseums. In Hebrews 12:1-2 the Apostle tells the Christian to “run with patience the race set before us”.

In our text today (as well as in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27) the Apostle uses BOXING as an illustration of the Christian walk.

We are to “fight the good fight”. I’m sure you have all seen boxing matches. Have you ever seen when one fighter gets overwhelmed by the competition, then he goes into the clench. He wraps his arms around the opponent, rendering his punches ineffective, and giving himself a moment to revive. When life begins to beat you down, go into the clenches. Not with the opponent, but lay hold on eternal life, the life to which you have been called. Focus Heavenward. You are children of the Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Timothy 6:15-16 … Who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.

You belong to Jesus. Avoid the profane and vain babblings of science falsely so called (1 Timothy 6:20). You are children of eternity. Let your happiness come from this place, the place where we will one day be, if we belong to Jesus.

May God touch your hearts with His Word and His Spirit. Oh God, revive us again. Revive your Church. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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