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

   The key to living a joyful, blessed life is contentment.  Godliness is a spiritual relationship with God.  Contentment is a state of mind.  It is what you think in your mind.  It is not based on what is happening around you.  It is not based on the circumstances in your life.

   Are you content with your life?  Are you content with your spouse?  Are you content with your children?  Are you content with your home?  Are you content with your job?  Are you content with your income?  Are you content with your health?  Are you content with your "stuff?"  Are you content?

   1 Timothy 6:6 gives you the key to contentment.  The key to contentment is godliness.  Without a true and vital spiritual relationship with God you cannot be content.  I do not see how people in the world without a relationship with God can ever be content.  In fact, if you have talked to people living in the world without God you know that they are not content.

   Contentment comes from God and God can fill your life with contentment.  No matter what circumstance or situation you are in right now in your life - with your health, with your relationships, with employment - God can fill your heart with contentment.

1 Timothy 6:7-8
   For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
   And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

   Life is simple.  We had nothing when we started.  We take nothing with us when we leave.  All the "stuff" in between is what we deal with in life.  It is important to keep that perspective of the simplicity of what life is all about and how our life is precious and our time to live is short.  The key to success in living an abundant life is contentment; and the key to contentment is godliness.

Hebrews 13:5-6
   Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
   So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

   The word "conversation" means "manner of life."  Contentment in our life is a great guard against a life of covetousness.  Covetousness is an over desire for things.  It is wanting beyond what you need.  People covet cars, houses, money, etc.   Covetousness is when you always want more and can never get enough.  The tenth commandment in the old testament is "thou shalt not covet."  The way we live a life without covetousness is by living with contentment.

   We can live a life of contentment because God is our helper.  God will never leave us and He will never forsake us.  It is our true, vital, spiritual relationship with God (godliness) that makes it possible for us to be content with such things as we have knowing that what we have (a relationship with God) is far greater than any of the "things" of this life.

Luke 12:13-15
   And one of the company said unto him [Jesus Christ], Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
   And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
   And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

   One of the company asked Jesus Christ to mediate in a family inheritance situation.  These situations are many times some of the most greedy and covetous situations in life.  Jesus Christ answered him: "who made me a divider over you?"  In other words - "That is not my job."  I am not here to decide who gets what "things."

   A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things he possesseth.  Life is all about godliness.  It is not about "things."  The things that we have and hold so dear . . . our possessions,  our relationships,  our income . . . these things are not what life is all about.  Our true, vital, spiritual relationship with God is the substance of our life - not the things.

Luke 12:16-21
   And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
   And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
   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.
   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.
   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?
   So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

   Do you think that there is anything in this life other than God Almighty that will bring you contentment?
   Do you think a certain job, or a different job, or a job that has security or a certain salary is going to bring you contentment?
   Do you think that having a lot of money in the bank is going to bring you contentment?
   Do you think that having a new car is going to bring you contentment?
   Do you think that having children will bring you contentment?
   Do you think that having the right mate is going to bring you contentment?

   Do you think that having a different spouse is going to bring you contentment?

   People sometimes think that their current mate is their problem and that if they just had a different spouse then their life would be full.  It is so crazy.  People that are married wish that they were single.  People that are single wish that they were married.  People that don't have children wish they had children and people that have kids wish they had none.  We are so into NOT living life in the NOW.  We get discontented by focusing our life on that which we do not have.  We should just enjoy that which God has given us and enjoy who we are now.  Don't look at someone else and say,  "I wish I was like him."  Look at how great God has made you and what He has given you NOW!

   Do you think that owning your own home will make you content?  People get their own home and then complain about all the work it takes to maintain it:  mow the lawn, shovel the snow, make repairs.  Once they have the house then they wish they did not have it.  Or people think that getting a new car will make them content; then they worry and complain about maintaining the car and making loan payments.

   Contentment is NOT in the things of life.  If you think that any of the things of life are going to make you content then you are deceived.  Contentment only comes from God!  We need to be thankful for that which God has provided and live joyfully with God's help in whatever situation in life we are in right now.  Satan's attack on the believer is to get him or her to look at that which they do not have.

   The Devil has worked to get believers to focus on what they do not have and be discontent from the beginning when he tempted Eve.  And this is the same temptation he uses every day of our lives to get us to take our eyes off of God.

   Contentment is not determined by the situations in life.  Eve was in Paradise yet she was tempted to be discontent with her life.  Being content or being discontent is a state of mind.  It is not dependent upon the circumstances which surround you.  Contentment comes from living a life that is God centered rather than a life that is conditions centered.  Contentment is a state of mind.

Philippians 4:8-13
   Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
    Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
   But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again: wherein ye were also careful; but ye lacked opportunity.
   Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
   I know how both to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
   I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

   Godliness with contentment is very great gain.  If we keep our mind focused on God in Christ in us and think about the benefits of His Word we will live a joyful life of contentment no matter what the situations in our life.

Condensed and adapted from a teaching by John Cortright.
January 28, 2000
Michael Cortright