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Phil. 4:10-13 THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE SATISFIED

Intro: Paul uses the word “content in verse 11. This word speaks of “being satisfied with what one has, regardless of how small it might be. Are you a contented person? Are you satisfied with your lot in life? If you are, then you possess great treasure, 1 Tim. 6:6. Someone has said that contentment “softens our privations, sweetens our provisions, and makes a cottage as fair as a castle.”

We live in a world of discontented people! You might be saved and have much in this world and still not be content. Ill. Quaker who promised to give a piece of land to the most contented person in the village. “If thou be content, then why dost thou want my lot?

Rather than living lives of grateful contentment, our lives are often filled with complaining. We “whine, pine and recline.” We complain when children are noisy, instead of being thankful that they are healthy, happy and in right mind. We complain about our home when thousands have no home. We gripe about work when many have no jobs. We fuss about our cars when many have never seen a car. Why? We have never learned the secret of contentment! Ill. Benjamin Franklin said, “Contentment makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor. Il. Pro. 13:7.

There is a secret to satisfaction and Paul knew all about it. Look at his words: “I have learned, v. 11, this word means “to gain knowledge. I know, v. 12, this word means “to understand, to make a discovery. I am instructed, v. 12, this phrase means “to be initiated. Paul uses the language of Greek “mystery religions. They claimed to have special knowledge of deep, divine secrets possessed only by the initiated. Paul borrows their words to tell us that he has been initiated into The Secret Society Of The Satisfied. He knows the secrets and he shares them with you in these verses. Here are the secrets that will allow you to join The Secret Society Of The Satisfied.

 

I. v. 10, 12 SECRET #1: REJOICE IN YOUR SUBSTANCE

A. Ill. 1 Tim. 6:7-8 Be satisfied with what you have!

B. God knows your needs. Ill. Paul had needs – 2 Tim. 4:13. Ill. Paul – Snored, sneezed, scratched; got cold and hungry. Ill. All have material needs – food, shelter, clothing, etc. God knows! Ill. Matt. 6:32. God will meet our needs in unusual ways. (Ill. Blessing to be saved!)

1. He may send it directly Ill. Elijah and the ravens, 1 Kings 17. He could send it from Heaven like He did the Manna, but He often chooses to use us, so that we can get a blessing too, Ill. Widow of Zarepath 1 Kings 17.

2. He may meet our need through others - Ill. The Philippians gift to Paul. Had been 10 years, but they sent to his needs. Had lacked opportunity, but when time came, they gave. Ill. flourished again - To bloom again Ill. Like flowers in the spring after long, cold winter. Got Paul on heart and acted. What prompted them? God did! (Note: When God lays something on your heart, do it! When you have an opportunity to do good, take it! Ill. Gal. 6:10.)

C. Regardless of what God provides, rejoice in it, Ill. V. 12; Ill. Heb. 13:5. Ill. Sometimes, it is harder to handle a lot than it is a little! (Ill. What does it take to satisfy you? Gadgets, cars, recreation, clothes, keeping up with neighbors, etc. Ill. Many not content to keep up with Joneses, want to be the Joneses!) Ill. Instead of complaining about what you lack, how about praising Him for what you have? (Ill Lady, bread and water: “All this and Jesus too!) (Ill. I know how to be abased and to abound… Do we?)

 

II. v. 11 SECRET #2: REST IN YOUR SITUATION

(Ill. Paul a contented man. In jail, not fretting or fuming. In difficult situation, but content. What does it mean to be contented?)

A. Not Self-Satisfaction We should never settle for less than our best. We can be ambitious and still be right with God. Should not be satisfied to be an office boy when could be President; to make C’s when could make A’s; to play 3rd string when could be All-American; to be mere Christian when could shake the world for God. (Ill. D.L. Moody; Ill. Charles Spurgeon) Ill. A holy discontent – Phil. 2:12; 3:14.

B. Not Self-Sufficiency to be enough in one’s self Ill. Stuff you hear from motivational speakers; smile and be happy preachers. You can do anything you want, just put your mind to it. (Ill. Peele and Osteen) Ill. Word taken from Stoic Philosophers – Moved by nothing outside themselves. Completely independent of all things and people. Need nothing and no one. Not church, God, or Bible. Eliminate all emotion. (Ill. Break plate, lose pet, lose loved one, etc. – “Don’t care! But, we do care! T.R. Glover – “The Stoics made the heart a desert and called it peace.”

C. It Is Self-Surrender Word made Christian. Means “to be self-contained; to have all needed within. Used to describe a city or country that needed no imports. They had all they needed to sustain life. (Ill. Cruise ship; Retirement community) This is the essence of God-Dependence. The Christian has hidden resources – Ill. John 4:14. (Ill. People who blow up and out have no inner resources!) This allows us to ACCEPT our situation. Ill. Some people like trapped animal chewing at circumstances. (Ill. Boy riding log) (Ill. King, garden, whining, Oak, Pine, Vine, Peach, Violet – Be the best I can be!) ADAPT to our situation – Adversity proves Jesus to be true riches; plenty proves Jesus to be greater than riches. APPROPRIATE our situation. Every event in life becomes and opportunity to make Jesus known, Ill. Paul – Phil. 1:12-13; 4:22.

 

III. v. 13 SECRET #3: REALIZE YOUR STRENGTH

A. Paul does not say “I can’t That is the language of PESSIMISM. Ill. Hear this kind of talk everywhere. Churches can’t grow, or be great for God. Christians can’t witness, pray, be effective.

B. Paul does not say “I can That is the language of PRESUMPTION. Ill. New convert reading NT and “Paul, you’ve gone too far now! Hear this a lot too. People say, “I can run my own life! I do not need God, the church or the Bible. I am the captain of my own soul and the master of own fate. Take Christ out of Christian and what do you have? IAN = “I am nothing Ill. Rich fool – “I will Luke 12:32.

C. He said “I can…through Christ That is the language of POWER. This is dynamic contentment; this is dynamic Christian life. This is victory over every temptation; grace for every trouble; strength for every task. (Ill. What are “all things? Jump off church? Stop speeding locomotive? Play piano? Means all things in v. 12! Jesus gives power to face life’s adversities. He gives the power to cope. He gives the power to enjoy contentment regardless of the circumstances, Phil. 4:6-7. People succumb because can’t cope. He gives the power to face anything that comes your way with true contentment. Ill. strengthens me infuses His strength into my life.” Ill. Pres. Tense!

 

Conc: Ill. Poor farmer worked hard and had nothing. When he died, his property was found to be sitting on a sea of oil. He had a treasure he had never tapped into! Are you content? Are you saved? Are you tapping the well of His power?

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