No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
Great Bible Invitations – Sermon # 4
THE INVITATION TO CONTENTMENT
Because I’ve caught enough fish for today, said the fisherman.
Why don’t you catch more fish than you need? the rich man asked.
What would I do with them?
You could earn more money, came the impatient reply, and buy a better boat so you could go deeper and catch more fish. You could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish, and make more money. Soon you’d have a fleet of boats and be rich like me.
The fisherman asked, “Then what would I do?
You could sit down and enjoy life, said the industrialist.
What do you think I’m doing now? the fisherman replied as he looked placidly out to sea.
Few people ever reach that level of contentment. In fact, one poet put it this way:
As a rule, man’s a fool
When it’s hot, he wants it cool.
And when it’s cool, he wants it hot,
Always wanting what is not.
Isn’t that the truth? We live in a world filled with discontented people. Everywhere you look, people are striving to get more stuff. They are laboring to have more things. Not many people in this world seem to be completely content and satisfied with their place in life. Why is that?
I think the answer lies in the fact that people are looking for true contentment in places, people and things that can never provide contentment to them. Look at verse 2 of our text. It answers this question for us in clear language.
1. People Seek Satisfaction In Their Possessions They think that their things will give them contentment. They spend their time making money so they can spend the money they make accumulating more things. People are looking for contentment in the things they possess.
What people fail to realize is that possessions are temporary at best. They wear out and must be replaced. All those “things that we hold in so high a regard are going to be left behind one of these days. You wont take a house, a car, a gun, a bass boat, or whatever your thing is, into eternity with you. Every thing you and I possess will be left behind one day! And, if a person acquires too many possessions, they may find that the things they think they own will end up owning them! As a man by the name of Bill Earle once said, If your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall. Possessions can never satisfy the deepest needs of the soul!
2. People Seek Satisfaction In Their Pursuits According to this verse, they labor for that which satisfieth not. They spend all their time and energy pursuing things that can never give them satisfaction of soul. Work, hobbies, sports, and the pleasures of life will never satisfy the deepest needs of the soul. The more you invest you time and effort in these things, the more they will require from you. Regardless of what you pursue in life, you will find, in the end, that your pursuits will pursue you. Whether it is work or pleasure, it will consume your life if you let. If you seek satisfaction in these things, you will discover that it will take more and more of these things to bring contentment into your life. And, just like possessions, the pursuits of life will end when this earthly life ends.
In these verses God reveals the true source of permanent satisfaction. He issues an ironclad guarantee of perfect, eternal contentment to all who will hear His voice and respond to His invitation. I want to take these verses and preach on The Invitation To Contentment. Let me show you where God says true contentment can be found. Notice some of the components of God’s gracious invitation to contentment.
A. The Right Provisions There are three basic substances that God offers in this verse. He offers these substances to all who will come to Him. Lets examine these in a little detail.
1. He Offers Water Water is one of the most important substances to us humans. Our bodies are comprised of 60-70% water and it takes a lot of it to keep us alive. The average human can live three days without water. We have to have water to live.
Water in the Bible is often a picture of
the new birth. When Jesus talked with Nicodemus in
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well
Jesus promises complete contentment to everyone
who will drink of the water that He offers. Unlike physical water,
which one must drink again and again, the spiritual water that Jesus
offers will forever satisfy the soul who will take just one drink
of it. Jesus makes this offer throughout the Bible,
2. He Offers Wine In biblical times, wine was just as important as water. Most of the water was not fit to drink, so wine was added to the water. The wine killed the bacteria and made the water drinkable.
In the Bible, wine is often used as a
picture of joy, Psalm 104:15. It was
used at times of feasting and happy celebrations. Wine is also a picture of the
Holy Spirit, Who enters a child of God at the moment of salvation and allows
the redeemed one to experience “joy unspeakable and full of glory,
On the Day of Pentecost, the Jews thought
that the Spirit-filled disciples were drunk with new wine,
Ill. Jesus took six empty stone pots at the marriage in Cana of Galilee, commanded them to be filled with water and transformed that water into wine. That is just what He does with His children. He takes our old stony hearts, fills them with the saving, satisfying water of His Gospel and transforms us by His power. He places His Spirit within us and then He pours us out to His glory in the world.
3. He Offers Milk Milk is essential for healthy growth. Milk is the first substance newborn babies receive for their nourishment. Milk is the provision of the mother for the hungry baby. Milk contains all the essential nutrients needed to transform a baby into a healthy child.
Milk in the Bible is a picture of the Word
of God. Not only does God give us the water of life that saves us and the
Spirit of God that gives us joy; He also gives us the Word of God that helps us
grow up strong in the things of God. The Bible is referred to as milk,
There are many people in the family of God who have not had the benefit of a formal education. Some did not learn to read or write very well. The world looks at them as ignorant and unlearned people. In truth, they are far wiser in the things of God than this world will ever be. They know the way of salvation, righteousness and faith. They know this because they have been drinking deeply of the good milk of the Word of God.
B. The Right Price The world makes you pay for everything your get. Religion will make you labor for every blessing you think you will receive. Sin, the flesh and the world all make you pay dearly for any promise of contentment they may offer you.
On the other hand, God places every offer
He has on the table as a free gift. He offers salvation and contentment to all
who will come to Him free of any charge. (
Since God’s gifts are free, anyone can receive them. God doesn’t require money, righteousness, good works or any other resource. He wouldn’t accept those things even if they were offered to Him. The only currency God requires is the currency of faith! He will open the storehouse of His blessings to all those who will exercise simple faith in His offer and come to Him. That is an offer anyone can afford!
How can God make such a free offer to
people like us? He can do that because His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, went to
II. v. 2b-3 THE OPPORTUNITIES OF THIS INVITATION
A. The Opportunity For Salvation God promises those who come to Him that their soul shall live.” This is a picture of salvation! The soul in its natural state is separated from God, Isa. 59:2, and in terrible danger, Eze. 18:4. Every soul born into this world is born with a sin-stained soul, Rom. 3:10-23. Every soul born into this world is headed to a place called Hell, Rom. 6:23, Psa. 9:17.
When a person receives God’s free offer and drinks the “water of life; when that person believes the Gospel of grace, that person is saved. We throw the word saved around a lot in church and it is a special word to every redeemed child of God. The word saved means to rescue from all harm and danger.” That word is special to my heart!
When God makes His offer to a lost soul and
that person accepts Jesus as their Savior, they enter into a salvation
relationship with God. At that moment, they are delivered from the
condemnation of sin,
The list of blessings the saints enjoy is far too long for one sermon. Just to name a few: peace, joy, rest, acceptance, blessing, love, and salvation. No wonder those who know the Lord are a happy, satisfied people.
C. The Opportunity For Security Gods promise is that He will make and everlasting covenant with you. A covenant is an agreement God makes with His people. Some covenants are conditional. God promises He will bless His people if they will walk to a certain standard, etc. This covenant only has one requirement. When a person accepts Gods free offer and they drink the water of life, God makes an unconditional, everlasting covenant with them.
Call it what you will, “eternal
security, once saved always saved, eternal life, etc. it all means the
same thing. Thos who come to God and accept His offer experience salvation and
are promised that their salvation will last for all eternity! This is the great
promise of the New Testament! Thos who receive Jesus as their Savior need never
fear that He will take their salvation away from them,
III. v. 1-3 THE OBLIGATIONS OF THIS INVITATION
A. There Is Something You Must Have Verse one tells us who this offer is for. It is for “every one that thirsteth. Thirst is a common human need. Every person on the planet experiences the desire to quench their physical thirst. However, the thirst we are talking about here is spiritual in nature. While everyone experiences physical thirst, not everyone experiences the same level of spiritual thirst. Some people have their thirst satisfied by the sins of the flesh and the world. That kind of person does not see their need. They have no desire for a new life and they have no reason to come to God.
But, every now and then a person will develop a spiritual thirst. They will look at the life they are living and become unsatisfied. They will want more than they have. They will realize that something is missing. Those are the people who become candidates for God’s offer of salvation.
You see, God’s offer is only for sinners.
He did not come to this world to save people who think they are righteous,
This desire and this thirst for God are
not natural experiences. They are the result of the work of the Holy Spirit in
a person’s life. When the Spirit of God begins to deal with a human heart, He
will convict that person of their sin and of their need. He creates within them
the thirst for more and the desire to come to God,
Is Something You Must Hear Four times in these verses God
If there is a thirst in your soul for a
different life; if you are dissatisfied with the way you are living and with
your prospects for eternity, it is the Lord speaking to you. If you will hear
His voice, and come to Him, He will save you and give you eternal life. All it
takes is a positive response to His call and salvation becomes a reality,
Conc: A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime.
But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. “I've been thinking,” he said. “I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone.
That wise woman could let go of that precious stone because she knew true contentment in her heart. She didn’t need riches to give her joy. She had joy in her heart.
What about you? Do you have true contentment today? Have you heard God’s call to your heart to come to Him for salvation? Has He given you contentment in your soul? If you He has, then you are truly blessed among men! You should thank Him and praise Him today!
If you are not satisfied, and you hear His voice speaking to you, you need to come to Him and call on Him for salvation. Is He calling? Do you need the contentment that He offers? Wouldn’t you like to be able to enjoy true soul satisfaction? You can, if you will come to Jesus Christ today.