(sermon by Andrew Allison)
Let’s face it. We’ve all got a lot of stuff.
God told Adam and Eve that they were to have dominion over all things and creatures. Translated to nowadays, we are responsible to be good stewards of all that we have.
Our pastor used the example of stewardesses on a plane. They don’t own or fly the plane – but they are in charge of the flight. I like that picture. We are to be good stewards of all that belongs to God – nature, possessions, money,time and relationships – “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24.1 NIV)
Paul wrote to the church in Philippi about an issue that potentially plagues us as we live out our days in this possession-obsessed culture.
In our culture, all of us claim contentment when…we get out of high school, when we get into the university of choice, when we graduate, when we land a job, when we find a life partner, when we get a raise at work, when we buy our first house, when we have children, when we make more money – and the list just gets insatiably longer with each passing day. Truthfully, contentment seldom settles with this “future” mindset.
Paul and Jesus experienced friendship and partnership together. Jesus’ resurrection put “stuff” into perspective and this radically changed Paul’s view about everything, including contentment.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4.12,13
Andrew suggested three ideas:
- Contentment feels like gratitude so start with “Thank you.” Put the “I need” on pause and just say, “Thank you.”
- Give away something precious that matters to you. Be generous with each other.
- Learn about and practise contentment. Give because you were given to first. All of life is a gift.
Good stuff to think about this week!