Leroy service January 29th

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I have learned to be content...

Maybe you’ve heard the saying too soon, too late!
It can be so easy to become unsatisfied with our lives. It can be the people that we work with, the type of work that we have to do. It can be the circumstances that we live in: our community, our housing situation, the stores that we shop in, the price for gas, and the list can go on and on.
Solomon said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” In other words, hard times are new, others have had to struggle through difficulties before us, and they will happen to others after we’re gone too.
As we continue in the letter that Paul wrote to the Philippians, this is what he wrote,
Philippians 4:10–13 NIV
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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 this through him who gives me strength.
Tonight, I want to spend more time with learning to be content in whatever circumstances we are in, and next time spend some more time on living in the strength that God gives us.
Let’s break down our Scripture passage a little bit.
In verse 10, Paul makes a statement about the people’s concern for him and their inability to give. The Philippian church didn’t have an opportunity to give to Paul so they didn’t, but when the time came for them to give, they did.
Here at Leroy Community Church, I don’t want you to feel pressured or guilted in to giving. That being said, I don’t want to take away your ability to give to God.
In Scripture, there are different types of giving.

1. The Tithe

This is 10% of what you make.
Malachi 3:10 NIV
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
This can be hard to do. You look at the bills and the things that are needed and you wonder, “How in the world am I supposed to make the ends meet?”
Here’s the principle: Everything that we get comes from God and He asks for 10% back. I promise you this, God has never failed me yet. There have been times that I have wondered, “How I am I going to make it?”, and God provides.
He tells us to test Him in this. I want to encourage to take a step of faith and ask God what He wants you to do. You might say, “ I don’t have faith for that...”
I want to encourage you to take a step of faith and believe that God will bless you. You might only have faith for $5.00, and for some you might have faith for $100. It’s not about giving to a church or an organization, it’s about obedience to God.
God doesn’t need our money. He owns everything, but He wants us to trust Him.

2. Offerings

This is when we give to missions. This is different than our tithe. As a church, we used to give $50 a month to James and Colleen Guskjolen. James came from Semans, SK. They were overseas. Our kids club is giving to an orphanage in Paynesville, Liberia. In 2017, I had the privilege to be at that orphanage, and they are changing the lives of many children.

3. Alms

This could also be called benevolence. This is where we help somebody who is in need. Maybe there’s a health crisis or a crisis where something happens out of the ordinary, and God lays it on our hearts to help. It could even be something like the crisis in the Ukraine or the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.
I haven’t taught much on giving but I want to give you an opportunity to invest in God’s kingdom in Leroy, but also throughout the world.
Matthew 6:19–21 NLT
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Let’s take a few minutes and look at the practice of

Learning to be content

Philippians 4:11–12 NIV
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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.
There’s a difference between contentment and apathy or just settling or giving up all together.
Another word for contentment is being satisfied. Even though there were times when Paul was hungry or he lacked the provisions that he needed, he had learned that in everything that he needed was found in Christ Jesus alone.
This isn’t a natural human characteristic. Sometimes we can give up because we have no hope, but our hope is not found from this earth or the things that we can gain on it.
Romans 15:13 NIV
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We have been given everything that we need for life and for godliness.
Paul said that he had learned how to be content. It was something that had taken time and it had also taken trials.
1 Timothy 6:6–10 NIV
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
(A shepherd looks at Psalm 23, Philip Keller)
There was a man that owned a sheep. It was one of the most beautiful sheep that he had ever raised. She even raised beautiful lambs that grew quickly and were ready for slaughter at a young age.
There was one glaring problem that this sheep had, it was never content with what it had. It didn’t matter how good the grass was within the pasture, this sheep was always looking for a weak spot in the fence to get out. It didn’t matter how good or bad the pasture was on the other side, This sheep called “Mrs Gad-about” had to be out.
I’m sure that if you’ve had animals of one kind or another, you can probably think of that cow or horse or other animal that just is not content with what’s provided.
I wonder what the Lord thinks of us when we get discontent with His plan.
When I go to a pasture and see the cows laying down and chewing their cud, I know that they are satisfied. We have learned a lot when we find that we can be content in God.
Psalm 23 NKJV
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
Let’s pray.
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