In a Nutshell: Contentment is somewhere between a discipline and a gift. If at any point you decide it can only come from within you and not from God you have lost your true source and once again subjected to Satan's antics of "bate and switch." You thought that cigarrette would satisfy for more than a few seconds? If you decide to wait around until God decides to give it to you in spite of other life choices you will be waiting a long time. Paul said the secret was "Jesus in me." So how's it going?
Ice Breaker: When we question the motivation behind our choice we can discover the real driver of the intended action and open ourselves to the possibility of meeting the needs of that driver in alternative ways. True or False? http://www.withcaroline.com/blog/?p=32
CONNECTING WITH THE TEXT:
- Does Paul say in Phil 4:11 that he "can be" content or that "he should be" content? What's the difference?
- How many different ways does Paul describe the extremes of having plenty and being lost?"
- Did Paul think he should or should not receive money from the churches? 1 Cor. 9:3-17; 1Tim.5:17-18; Gal. 6:6; Why or why not?
- What was the sin of the rich in James 5:1-11
- Was the rich young man respectful to Jesus? Willing to do good?
- Why was the rich young ruler's plan not enough?
- How are the rich AND the poor saved?
- Where should you look to help you define "contentment vs. happy" issues? http://www.openbible.info/topics/contentment
REFLECTING ON YOUR LIFE:
- With what "things" in life do you struggle with the "just a little more" syndrome?
- Can you describe a particular season in life where you felt profoundly "content"?
- Can you describe a particular season in life where you felt profoundly "discontent"?
- In light of these Scriptures, what do you think caused the difference?
CONNECTING WITH YOUR CHURCH:
- How can the church help you grow in the discipline and virtue of contentment?
- How might parents cultivate for their kids a sense of contentment?
- Have you gone on a missions trip? If so, did it help you develop a better sense of contentment?
When I Don't Desire God by John Piper
the furious longing of God by brennan manning
Soul Cravings by Erwin McMannis
Title: In My Prison – “Rules are Useless”
Text: Col. 2:6-23
Questions: vss. 20-23 What types of "regulations" are mentioned and what are they not able to do? How might Romans 7:4-6 compliment this concept of how imposing rules do not help us control our fleshly desires?
Parents with your children: Find a way to illustrate that an awareness of a potential temptation to sin, mixed with a reminder not to sin tends to stir up the appetite to sin. End result? A lack of contentment! When the girls were little they wanted to go "look at" a pin ball machine. Initially we said, "No, it's a waste of money." They continued, "Just to look at it, not play it!" Finally I made a deal. "OK, we'll let you go LOOK at it as long as you will not ask us to let you play it, AND you come back and tell me if looking at it INCREASED your desire to want to play it or if it adequately SATISFIED your desires." You can guess the end of the story. :) A God moment was had by all. Watch for one this week!