The Secret of Contentment

Ordinary People: Radical joy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:06
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Last week, Pastor Hyeon Son Lim was released from a North Korean labour camp, imprisoned for his faith. He stated on Sunday, “I learned to fully accept all of this as a form of God's love and discipline to make me stronger.” Pastor Lim found contentment, even under terrible circumstances. What does this say about us and our trivial discontentment? How should we look at our finances, time and relationships, as content Christians?

Whitehorse Baptist Church "Ordinary People: Radical Joy" "THE SECRET OF CONTENTMENT" (PHILIPPIANS 4:10-13) OUTLINE STYLE: DEDUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT INTRODUCTION: IDEA 1. PRE-MESSAGE PRAYER (Facilitated by Worship Team) 2. (VIDEO) "PASTOR FREED" BY CITYNEWS TORONTO 3. (SLIDE 1) PASTOR LIM RELEASED! a) Interview w/ Chan Kim In "Speak Without Fear & Rejoice" Message b) (SLIDE 2-5) Some excerpts from Pastor Lim's translated statement: i) “I am so grateful that God has allowed me to be here with everyone here today..." ii) "I am grateful for my church community. I'm indebted to all the churches in Canada, the United States and in Korea — the many friends around the world who have prayed daily for two years and seven months, until the moment I was released and returned home. Through those prayers and the efforts of all involved, I finally came home yesterday, landing at 10 a.m. on Canadian soil. It still feels like a dream. Truly, this is all by the grace of God.” iii) “I was sentenced to death by North Korea but the sentence was commuted to life of hard labour. That too, was God's grace, and gave me tremendous peace. iv) From that moment, there were days of overwhelming loneliness. From the first day of my detainment until the day I was released, I ate 2,757 meals in isolation by myself. It was difficult to see when and how the entire ordeal would end. But this isolation also gave me the opportunity to spend an extended time of solitude with God.” v) “During my time there, I read over one hundred books on North Korea and began to grasp and gain a deeper understanding of the 70 year history that formed the nation. I also read the Bible in both English and Korean five times and memorized over 700 Bible verses. I worshipped alone for 130 Sundays. vi) While I was laboring, I prayed without ceasing...” vii) “There were many difficult moments but it was during these times that God gave me the strength endure and persevere. There were moments of discouragement, resentment, and grumbling but that soon changed into courage, joy, and thanksgiving. I learned to fully accept all of this as a form of God's love and discipline to make me stronger. By God's perfect and sovereign timing, I was released, returned home and here with you today.” c) Pastor Lim's story is pertinent to today's message! 4. (SLIDE 6) SERIES RECAP. & MESSAGE INTRO. TEACHING: 5. (SLIDE 7-8) PHILIPPIANS 4:10-13 6. (SLIDE 9) PAUL'S CONTENTMENT (VS. 11-12) a) (SLIDE 10) Paul told the Philippian church that he knows: i) " to be brought to abound...facing plenty...hunger... abundance...and need.” (And yet, he found contentment!) b) (SLIDE 11) Context Reminder (Paul lived a life of...) i) ...status and security before Jesus called him. ii) ...servanthood and suffering after Jesus called him. c) (SLIDE 12) Paul was "content". i) Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown: “The Greek, literally expresses 'independent of others, and having sufficiency in one's self.' But Christianity has raised the term above the haughty self-sufficiency of the heathen Stoic to the contentment of the Christian, whose sufficiency is not in self, but in God.” APPLICATION: 7. (SLIDE 13) LEARNING CONTENTMENT (VS. 11-12) a) (SLIDE 14) Contentment is a learned behaviour! i) Gen. X Vs. Boomer Gen. (Are choices got a lot easier!) Ø No, we're not going to pick on Millennials today! ii) (SLIDE 15) Forced Vs. Chosen (We have got to choose!) Ø I learned the hard way: (1) Calgary's Abundance, (2) Alaska's Need b) (SLIDE 16) Does that concept cause you anxiety? (Am I reading your mail?) i) According to Counselors and Psychologist, 3 Topics come up most: Ø Sex, Money & Communication (Money usually means contentment.) Ø “Seven Answers for Anxiety” by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD o Under a section titled “Contentment Commitment” Jantz writes: · “Anxious people could learn a thing or two about contentment from the apostle Paul. In his letter to the Philippians, he made an astonishing statement. He said he had ‘learned to be content whatever the circumstances’ (Philippians 4:11). Paul said that in any situation, he could find contentment…working hard, in prison, flogged, in danger of life, beaten; pelted with stones, shipwrecked…” · (SLIDE 17) “If he could learn, through all of that, to find contentment, shouldn’t we be able to learn to find contentment…I like that Paul said he ‘learned.’ I feel better because that means Paul wasn’t one of those people who are naturally content.” CONCLUSION: 8. (SLIDE 18) ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST (VS. 13) a) Rodeos, Cowboys & Philippians 4:13 (All things through Christ?) b) (SLIDE 19) No expanding of this verse is needed because Pastor Lim is a testimony to it's true meaning: i) “I learned to fully accept all of this as a form of God's love and discipline to make me stronger.” 9. (SLIDE 20) INVITATION (Worship In Response) Ø POST-MESSAGE PRAYER (Pray for OFFERING & Close Message)
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