Sermons and Lesson Outlines

CONTENTMENT: “We need much less than we think we need.”

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Maya Angelou receives a Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington.(Photo: Reuters).

CONTENTMENT 

ACCEPTING GOD’S SOVEREIGN CONTROL OVER ALL OF LIFE’S CIRCUMSTANCES

 

1. “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength”   (KJV, Philippians 4:10-13).

 

Superlative in quality – EXCELLENT

Having undisputed ascendancy – PARAMOUNT

Of the most exalted kind – SUPREME

Unlimited in extent – ABSOLUTE

Total autonomy – INDEPENDENT

COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL

2.”In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

(Ephesians 1:11)

 

  • POINT OF VIEW (POV)

There is no power above the authority of God (No Corp. Board Room or Democracy). Trust God’s Word ( God is Mutually Inclusive, Elohim is plural, Gen. 3:22, 11:7).

             We use God’s Word as THE FINAL AUTHORITY on all Matters.

Paul‘s TESTIMONY:

(Synonym: IMPETUS- force, power, source)

Paul understood that God propelled him in ministry.

Paul wrote the Philippians letter while imprisoned.  To make a bold claim that “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” must be understood in His role as a Disciple of Jesus Christ.  Paul was personally commissioned by Christ to take the gospel to the Gentiles.

SAUL: MURDERER OF CHRISTIANS (Before Christ, B.C.)

PAUL: APOSTLE TO THE GENTILES (After an encounter with Christ, A.C.)

YOUR PROCESS: A Secret

Paul indicates that he learned which implies a process that manifests a secret which few come to grasp.  The secret learned was that contentment does not hinge on circumstances.

The Obedience of Christ is the ultimate expression to observe, while

Coming into the knowledge of the truth about God’s Sovereignty.

 

 

CHRIST LEARNED THROUGH SUFFERING

3. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9). 

 

DEFINITION:

Perfect: Mature, Complete, Entire or without lack

PROCESS PARADIGM:

 

4. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Rom. 5:3-4).

 

Tribulations:

May occur in the elements, as that to which, a plant is exposed: rain, sun, wind, insects, etc, to reach maturity.

  • POINT OF VIEW (POV)  

           Where you’re planted matters

            Plant in toward the eastern sun and your perennials will prosper

 

Location! Location! Location!

5.  AN INTREGAL PART OF THE PROCESS PARADIGM, IS LOCATION.

As found in Matt. 13:4 in the fowl/ v. 5-6 the stony places and the sun/ v. 7 the thorns.

Discussion QUESTION:

 

 POINT OF VIEW (POV)  

             Wisdom Key to Paul’s Secret is to Recognize the Truth and operate therein. 

             Volunteer needed to state Serenity Prayer

Name some things that God will strengthen you to do?

BUILDING BLOCKS for the mindset of contentment:

6. “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Is. 41:10).

7. “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (I Tim. 6:5-7).

Compare and contrast: contentment & discontentment

  1. Real contentment begins internally. (The Glory rests inside of You)
  2. Contentment is need not want oriented (needs breeds discontentment/boy toys).
  3. “Contentment is a matter of trust and faith that God has your best interest in Mind.
  4. Discontentment erodes relationships
  5. Discontentment clouds the ability to make wise decisions
  6. Discontentment distorts our view of God.

 IS EXPERIENCE THE BEST TEACHER? Discussion: Negative verses Positive

ANSWER: Yes & No, Depending upon the circumstance for negative experiences Ans. can be no (i.e. eternal separation from God (Hell) a hot stove, drug use or the consequences of bad behavior).  For temporal experiences such as exposure to different environments pertaining to a field of expertise, experience can be the best teacher, but as a rule the answer is No.

Study Guide for Charles Stanley, Handbook for Christian Living: CONTENTMENT pg. 307
Lesson Plans by Minister Boswell from Charles Stanley’s, Handbook for Christian Living: CONTENTMENT pg. 307

“We need much less than we think we need.”
Maya Angelou

COMPROMISE

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To make concessions in order to gain something

Art by Alan Hicks, Source: June-2012-COGIC-Young-Adults-Sunday School Quarterly
SOLOMAN’s Wisdom proved early as depicted in painting by Alan Hicks, Source: June-2012-COGIC-Young-Adults-Sunday School Quarterly

Scripture: I Kings 11: 1-13

1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; 2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. 3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. 4. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. 9 And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this thing that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. 11 Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. 12 Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. 13 Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen .

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“This is a day of diplomats not prophets.  It is nicer to be an appeaser than an opposer.  It is the day of Erasmus, not Luther; of Gamaliel, not Paul.” Vance Havner (1901 – 1986)

dip·lo·mat

1.  A person appointed by a national government to conduct official negotiations and maintain political, economic, and social relations with another country or countries.

2. A person who is tactful and skillful in managing delicate situations, handling people, etc.

proph·et

a person who speaks for God or a deity, or by divine inspiration

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General Question 1: Does the Ends justify the Means?

[Answer No: “And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully” (II Tim. 2:5)].

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GENERAL CLASS DISCUSSION

General Question 2: Is it better to learn by experience or learn from observation and the wisdom of others?

       (Answer: We are considered wise when we learn for the mistakes of others.)

General Theme: The Heart

General Topic:

Healthy compromise is demonstrated when we are able to give in without sacrificing our values and beliefs.” Page 65

Sibling rivalry
Sibling rivalry

GIVE AND TAKE:

Give examples of healthy compromise:

 In relationships_____________________________________________________________

In the workplace_______________________________________________________________

At home in your family__________________________________________________________________

At church__________________________________________________________________

In society__________________________________________________________________

Conversely, unhealthy compromise is always contradictory to God’s laws and principles for living.  It diverts us from the right attitude of obedience to the dangerous ground of independence apart from God. (Paraphrased from pg 65) 

  1. 1.      Pharaoh’s daughter received riches into her dowry her marriage to Solomon this was diplomatic matrimony (I King 9:16).
  1. 2.      God had put wisdom in Solomon’s heart, if one so wise can be swayed, What about us?
  1. 3.      Solomon compromised the wisdom that God put in his heart (Deut 7:3)

a)      Empathize  Heart-Luke 8:1-15 ”The Parable of the Sower, But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth with patience.” 

b)      Good ground is maintained by deliberate acts of obedience (Pg 66) and casting down imaginations (II Cor. 10:5).

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A CLOSER LOOK

  1. Admiration– (Sin begins as a thought, Matthew 5:28) Obedience to God’s Law no longer held the place of importance in Solomon’s heart that it once had.  The magnetic allure of the “grass being greener on the other side of the fence” is an illusion grounded in man’s covetous nature.
  2. Association,Visualization, Intense focus leads to association.  “Solomon clung to these in love” (I Kings 11:2).
  3. Involvement was the natural course of association “For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods” (I Kings 11:4).  An undesirable testimony that we can learn from.
  4. Possession the compromise is usually subtle at first but concludes in a total abandonment to disobedience. (I.e. common addict’s testimony- cigarette-beer-whiskey-marijuana-cocaine-crack-crime-homelessness, etc.)

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POV: Point of View

Armed with this knowledge why argue that drinking a little wine or some other seeming insignificant indulgence is not wrong, when the final stages in many cases lead to dire circumstances. (Page 68)

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Do you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?

Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

 

Study Guide for Charles Stanley, Handbook for Christian Living: COMPROMISE
Study Guide for Charles Stanley, Handbook for Christian Living: COMPROMISE, Page 65

 

ENDURANCE

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Graduation from United Bible College Newark NJ 1995 (fr Left Evangelist Marlene Simmons, Brother R. Boswell, Evangelist Regina Gainer & Nurse Geraldine Wade of Holy Temple COGIC TomsRiver NJ.
Graduation from United Bible College Newark NJ 1995 (fr left Evangelist Marlene Simmons, Brother R. Boswell, Evangelist Regina Gainer & Nurse Geraldine Wade of Holy Temple COGIC TomsRiver NJ.

Endure: is from two Greek words Hupo-meno, Hupo (under) Meno (remain)

To remain under or bear experience within a certain time or authority.

SCRIPTURE

 

1)  2 Timothy 2:5-6, 8, 10, 12 KJV

5    And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

6    The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

8    Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according

    to my gospel:

10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes that they may also obtain the

    salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

 

Bible opened to Proverbs Source: Christian Concepts @ Hubpages.com
BIBLE OPENED TO PROVERBS
Source: Christian Concepts, Hubpages.com

POV  (Point of View)  

Something earned has a greater intrinsic value

than that which is acquired illegally.

Verse 6: Paul took pointers from Jesus by using parables (an earthly story with a heavenly meaning) in his letter to Timothy. [FYI: The Husbandman is translated into Farmer in NIV Bibles (commonly used by Gospel writers; John 15: 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.) also see the Wicked Husbandman Matthew 21: 33, Mark 12:1)]

Verse 8: Identified Christ and told how Jesus was raised from the dead (after the worse of trials, the excruciating pain upon facing Golgotha.  Yet, He endured by carrying the cross up to Golgotha (place of the skull) Mt. 27:32, Luke. 23:26, John. 19:17.  He clung to the old rugged cross bearing its weight after being stripped, tortured spit upon and ridiculed; when just a week earlier the people were singing “Hosanna, blessed be the rock”, and probably saying something like “He’s a jolly good fellow that nobody can deny” Yet Jesus endured saying, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou, wilt” (Mt 26:39).  What endurance!

Verses 10, 12 (see Heroes of Faith)

 

DEFINITION

 

Endurance (to stand, tolerate and continue)

Exemplified in the Bible can be seen by the

HEROES OF FAITH as mentioned in (2) Hebrews 11: 4 – 33

  • Abel offered a more excellence sacrifice
  • Enoch, had this testimony, that he pleased God
  • Noah moved with fear,
  • Abraham obeyed/Sarah received strength
  • Isaac blessed his sons/ Joseph blessed his son
  • Moses mother hid him/Moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (v. 25).

GIVING UP IS NOT AN OPTION!

Many in the Bible didn’t endure:

  • Vashti, Esther 1:12,
  • the Rich Young Ruler (RYR), Matt. 19:16
  • Judas, John 18:5, etc.

OUR ENVIRONMENT DOESN’T DETERMINE OUR ENDURANCE (Page 313)

3) Galatians 4:9

But now, after that ye have known God or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements where ye desire again to be in bondage.”

 

Paul refers to soldiers (verse 3) while encamped in battle who must be single minded and withstands hardship, rain, cold and fear of the enemy because of the commitment to the people he’s fighting for.  As a Saints of the Most High, The People of God should endure through the fear of God/ the reverence of the Lord.

 

Paul also refers to athletics whom the author (Charles Stanley) says eating, sleeping and socializing is regimented so that on the day of the event perform will be at an optimal level. (Muscles gain stamina muscles have memory)

 

Jesus, Paul and other Gospel writers use the farmer motif often (as mention earlier).

Farmers depend on the elements to receive a good harvest with great weather conditions a good harvest can be received however when catastrophe hits a whole season of work can go unrewarded.  Nevertheless, the elements are only a resource of the grace of God and not to be observed as a source of prosperity as observed by heathens in their various blood sacrifices to terrestrial deities.

 

ENDURANCE INVOLVES ENCOURAGEMENT

FROM OTHERS

4) Hebrews 12:1

 

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us

Great Cloud of Witnesses

  • Ensamples are written in the Bible as ensigns for our spiritual development. “Obey God and leave the consequences to Him” Charles Stanley.

Every Weight & Sin (contrast)

  • Sin is specific (singular)
  • Weight is an encumbrance (plural and maybe mixed with unknown hindrances) and is more subtle and not as easy to see.  An enemy may be fought strategically if you know his tactics but a hidden enemy (encumbrances) are harder to fight.  Yet, Satan’s tactics never change and the Saints are not ignorance to his devices.  Though the phrase is not in the Bible it remains principally a reality that the best trick Satan has is to convince men, women, boys and girls that he doesn’t exist. Therefore, the Word of God is indispensable. Its illuminating qualities lights our path and exposes Satan as we endure the race set before us.
Study Guide for Charles Stanley, Handbook for Christian Living: ENDURANCE  (pg 314)
Study Guide for Charles Stanley, Handbook for Christian Living: ENDURANCE (pg 314)

Post Study for Bible Scholars:

Compare and Contrast: the Work of God (John) and the Works of the Devil (I John).