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Learning The Secret, Part 2

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
July 16, 2020 8:00 am

Learning The Secret, Part 2

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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July 16, 2020 8:00 am

How to live a life that is full of contentment.

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J.D. Greear
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Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ forgetting what lies behind is that I press on the will. I probably beat you yeah I forgot I forgot. Although going to that city. I forgot what they going to make. I'm going also the storm and ran right into it using about you see the idea of it is not look back. Joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana going to have to go get her now shows us how God's word seal difficult it can be suffering your going through losses you had in your completely content I'm telling you people want to ask how do you have that how do you have content when I know I would never have contentment in the circumstances.

Well that's what he did.

They said, believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved you and your household. And they spoke the word of the Lord to him, together with all who were in the house and he took them that very hour that night and wash their wounds and immediately he was baptized. He and all his household and he brought them into the house and set food before them and rejoice greatly. Having believed in God with his whole household.

While now. How do you think Paul felt after experience that I'm ready for the next meeting Sam content I'm going to do this. I've learned to be content and explain even more to us as go back to web Philippians 4 look the text. JR Miller talks about what we learned to this contentment, and he says this one step toward contentment is patient submission to the unavoidable. The ills and the hardships. There are trials which we cannot change in the pleasures burdens which we cannot lay down crosses which we have to continue to carry thorns in the flesh, which must remain with the wrinkling pain, and when we have such trials. Why should we not sweetly accept them as part of God's best way with us. Discontent never made a rough path smoother a heavy burden lighter, a bitter cup less bitter. A darkly brighter sore sorrow lessor, it only makes matters worse, one who accepts with patients that which he cannot change has on one of the secrets of victorious living and contentment. Paul goes on with this now notice it's intentional. He's learning, it's through the experiences and now Paul says this I know how to get along with humble means. I also not a live in prosperity in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, but of having abundance and suffering need is Apollo saying contentment is the secret by weight as human beings were not naturally content now were all content when everything is going great okay but in any other circumstances were normally not content. So if your favorite team won a championship that day you find out also that day that your great aunt who you didn't know, left you a couple million dollars and that very day you run into an old classmate in high school. They say you haven't changed one bit. That's a content day for most people but that doesn't mean to be content tomorrow.

That's not fallen beings live in the cursed world. You see those Kennedy hardships they dissolve us this contentment has nothing to do with circumstances. Notice that Paul says he uses the physical things he said I've learned to get along with humble means and of also learn how to live in prosperity also been rich, probably as a Jew he was, but also whenever he was around some of the people like: Priscilla know people like that. Lydia people that had money. I'm sure that they get depot all kinds of stuff is not had that I don't how to be content with a lot or with little in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret that so interesting.

I have learned the secret JI Packer does a lot of good work in this and he says it's a pagan word not a typical word used by Paul. The idea of the secret means in the pagan religions you would be initiated into the pagan religion by secret rights, so you may have secret motions you go through her secret handshakes, we may say secret words, your initiated what Paul would be saying then as I have been initiated in the secret of contentment. You see, I have been initiated into that you think will call what is that while several years ago I did a series of sermons and I called up the fabric of contentment can remember that I made all of you have a little piece of fabric that I handed out to everybody and had them put in their Bibles and were not doing it today. By the way, but I can remember the idea of seeing it as a piece of fabric. The way I would do it now is there are four strands in this fabric would give you what I would call biblical Pauline contentment.

That's what Paul had ended it soon reveals itself in these verses the first strand of the secret you see the first strand of the secret of contentment is. Paul had confidence in God's providence. Paul had confidence in God's providence providence. By the way, is tied to the word provide it's done from a sovereign point of view, but Paul said I have confidence in God's providence. You see that in verse 10 he says, but I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned before you lacked opportunity. He said, but not that I speak from one book.

I am confident God's providence. God happened to use you to send me something but it was God who sent it to me.

He moved you and you sent it but I'm confident with God. If God sends something to me. I'm confident he sent it. If God doesn't send something to me.

I'm confident why he withheld it. You see, he's confident in the providence of God, and I'm not really sure that that really is the way we are. See we see it a little bit differently than that we've sort of let God know what we want in any no every circumstance and then we tell God what we want and we don't get what we want.

We think where is God he doesn't care for me wisely.

There got a sovereign's prominent member with the first sweetly talk about the Lord's words. I will never leave you nor forsake you know the whole idea is God's, as I will be there all things are going to work together for your good.

This is all the providence of God public confidence in that you see if someone said to Paul, is this a terrible accident that you're in jail see is in a terrible coincidence, policies, providence content, you see him content. The first step was the first strand kid confidence in God providence. Secondly there something else Apollo had. He was satisfied with little sewerage. It's hard for us to learn.

Paul was satisfied with little he says I know how to get along in humble means is him satisfied with. Paul said in another place he said you know have a roof over my head and the freedom satisfied nephew said Paul. What if you had a really nice revolving again a lot of food to give Abby satisfied that would be fine see this sort of flies in the face of American culture, American culture, at least its economy is built on the fact that you should never be satisfied ever never satisfied you if you are sitting here right now with a smart phone.

Three. Limit tell you there are ready to five you're missing the boat. You know, every year, and new ones coming out every year. Don't ever be satisfied with what you have, there's always the next thing. There's always the next big thing. Don't be satisfied. You see American culture views contentment as complacency bread that's not fair and it's not true contentment as I can be satisfied with little that's the second strand that was Paul thirdly and Paul says it here. He said I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am the apostle Paul says my contentment is independent of circumstances.

That's kind of the best kind, and it just imagine that. Just imagine the freedom of that fit your content. It doesn't matter what's going on in your life that your content and you have peace no matter what is a Paul had it really didn't matter to Paul. He had that kind of contentment Richard Swanson writes this, he said the best kind of contentment. The truest kind is the state of feeling unencumbered. It is a state of absence of fear or anxiety about wheat, about what we owner we don't own. It's about freedom from comparison regardless of what our neighbor has is about a lack of pretense so devastating to authenticity and so tedious to maintain and the best kind of contentment the very best is divorced from the circumstances of life. You have a kind contentment. See, I'm sure many of you don't. But what Paul is telling us we can learn that he sitters a secret to it, but I've already learned it means that I want to because I have confidence in the providence of God, I'm satisfied with little and he said, and I realize it's independent of my circumstances. Many so some amazing before strand verse 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me theirs were contentment comes from. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. He is sustained by divine power, confident in God's providence satisfied with little independent of circumstances, and sustained by divine power.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. I can do all things I can endure any circumstances through alcohol and drugs. No I can do all things through education. No I can do all things through money, no I can do all things through success, no I can do all things through friends know I can do all things through positive thinking. No, I can do all things through political maneuvering.

No, no, see no I can do all things through him who strengthens me see that's it. There's the secret I can do all things through him who strengthens me Jesus Christ was content.

He was content. As a boy and as an adult, he was content only speaking the summer and the money was content when he was walking on water. He was content when he was arrested and content when he was beaten he was content when he was flogging content when he was crucified. He was content. In fact, I know it because the writer of Hebrews says that Jesus Christ enjoyed and endured the cross for the joy that was set before him. He knew what was going to come out of this. He was content the same thing with the apostle Paul.

All those beatings, all those terrible things happening in his life and he says I am content.

You see, that's what Paul once for every single one of us come back just a couple pages to your left.

Ephesians chapter 3 in verse 14 and Ephesians 314. The context is obviously verse 13 and he says therefore I ask you not to lose heart. At my tribulations on your behalf for they are, he says your glory says don't lose heart, because how terrible my life is going. Please don't lose heart. I haven't lose lost hard over why would you lose heart. So Paulding says look I want to pray about this, he says. For this reason I bow my knees before the father. He says, from whom every family in heaven and earth derives its name that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with the power through his Spirit in the inner man pulses. I pray that you would have the spiritual power and notice that you would realize the spiritual power that you have in you that I have been me.

You see I'm saying I can do all things through him who strengthens me in your saying. Isn't life terrible for Paul. I feel so bad. You see the difference. It's not that the spirits not in you by faith. You don't happen to the power of the spirit of God in you at all.

He says, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breath and the length and the height and the depth and I know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge and that you may be filled up with all the fullness of God. You see, that's how you become content you can be a believer in Jesus Christ and you will be content but I guarantee you this, if you're a follower of Jesus Christ, you will be. You see, if you abide in him and his words abide in you, you will bear much fruit in one of the things you will bear his contentment is way set apart from me you can do nothing. That's why so many Christians have never really tapped in the power all their blinded by the circumstances they see how terrible it is how terrible this marriage is how turtle my health is how terrible the economy is when we see it we just blinded by it and then we just live our lives in woe is me this is so bad pulses you have learned the secret you see you don't have confidence in the providence of God, you're not satisfied with little you don't realize it's independent of the circumstances and most of all, we aren't sustained by divine power. That's the fabric of contentment. That's the secret of contentment. We make a couple final application appoints. If you going to be content you have to prioritize Christ in your life. You just have to look people, people go things, and things go health comes in health goes when Christ comes.

He never goes. You see, he's here to stay. That's what you have to prioritize your life and you have to accept God's providence over your preference. You have to accept God's providence over your preference. Hug limited example here's my preference. I would prefer to have a church that has Apsley no problems.

A problem people in it.

I would prefer that I would prefer to be married 75 years and then die in my sleep. That's what I prefer. That's not God's providence. Your proof of that.

Now there's the difference we have preferences, but I want to say what God's providence. I don't think Paul would've made a list after he converted on the road to Damascus and said these are all the things now I want to have happen. We never said that but understands him, he will nearly half of the New Testament God use the apostle Paul in a way that he maybe is news.

No other human being on it in the history of the earth, and Paul went through all that. That's what I'm saying is simply accept this providence of your preference.

1/3 point was that we be this. Don't look back. Please, if only what if if only I had married that other guy that is its fatalism.

By the way, the clock never runs backwards when waste when waste what Paul said in I live this life you know I was content forgetting what lies behind is that I press on to what lies ahead probably beat you yeah I forgot that you were starting a leopard, and I forgotten that although going to that city. You are going to duty. I forgot what they've done to me. I'm going Paul saw the storm and ran right into it just got God use them see the idea of it is don't look back.

Contentment is to be learned is intentional. You will never become content by being passive.

You have to look for them in the shadows. If the listen form whispering to you in the dark days of your life. Contentment is to be learned in our father wants to teach us and contentment is a secret in our father wants to reveal it. How great is that when you find contentment for you find so much more if you're content you know what you have joy inner happiness matter what you have peace notice apiece.

It is beyond all understanding other people satirizing a piece in the circumstances because I'm content have hope. You see at the surety of the future.

One of the reasons that we should be, of all people, so contenders were believers in Jesus Christ, we seek. I may see it. Too often, but I'll say it again when it comes to anything you fear in the future.

Let me say it. The worst thing that can happen to you. Can't happen to you. You gotta live like that.

The worst thing that could happen. You can't happen to you. You will never be separated from God, not ever to guide our lives. The apostle Paul got out of prison.

By the way, and then he went back.

But this time he didn't get up this time he was beheaded for his Lord and Savior, and the last words he ever wrote in second Timothy chapter 4. Listen as I read he said, for I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight. He said I have finished the course, I have kept the faith I die content when a lesson to learn this. Father, I thank you for the credibility of the apostle Paul in a short period of time in his life he suffered in ways that none of us ever will. And through all of that he learned to be content.

And he shared it with us.

Father, I ask each person in this room. The look in their own hard and say MI content MI content regardless of the circumstances, and if not why you see why am I not content. Father might be because we find no comfort in your providence that we are not satisfied with little but we want much, but perhaps most of all father is because we do not allow him to strengthen us. We do not allow the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection power of the spirit of God to help us to strengthen us to be content even in the darkest moments of our life father. It's clear, it is your will for our lives and we be people who are content before our good. It would be for now. Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever miss one of our broadcasting or maybe you dislike of the sum of the method one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called one that's one and you can listen the fellowship and the word online at that website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs is no Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We asked all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just the 100 support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC that SBC 10 oh LA not owe Argie at our website you will find hundreds. Pastor Bill sermon.

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