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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Nov. 3, 2008

  • 2008 Nov 03
  • COMMENTS
 

What To Do in a Global Economic Collapse

 

REVELATION 18:20-24

 

WHAT CAN WE DO TO GET READY

FOR THE END OF THE WORLD?

There is a plague sweeping America. It’s neither AIDS nor TB; it’s a dark cloud that overshadows all of life. It's called DISCONTENTMENT. What is the plague we face here in America? It’s the plague of discontentment. Discontentment is like an infection. You can catch it by contact unless you are resistant.

DO A STUDY OF THE SEVEN KEYS TO LEARN AND MAINTAIN

BIBLICAL CONTENTMENT FROM I TIMOTHY 6:

 

1. Remember things are only temporary v.7.

 

2. Only seek necessities; wait for the rest v.8.

 

 

3. Avoid a consuming desire for prosperity v.9-10.

 

4. Flee materialism v.11.

 

5. Cling to eternal life v.12-16.

 

6. Fix your hope on God v.17.

 

7. Give until it hurts v.18.

 

Contentment is the byproduct of following the Shepherd. It is experiencing the inner-peace that only He can provide. It is knowing He will promote you at the right time. Contentment is the sense of satisfaction that comes to a husband and wife as they emulate the provision and care of the Shepherd to their own children. Contentment comes from serving Christ instead of money and from providing not only financially for your family, but also emotionally, morally and spiritually. 13

Finally, What can be the result of living by the Bible’s definition of contentment? Let's look at just three:

 

1. If you are content, you can enjoy the present rather than being anxious about the future. Mt 6:25

 

2. If you are content, you can be liberated to truly enjoy the successes of others around you without envy. Ps 37:7

 

3. If you are content, you will be able to let the Lord build a true sense of thankfulness about everything. I TH5:18

 

BEWARE OF DISCONTENTMENT.

Listen to Packer’s insightful analysis.14 “Discontent will destroy your peace, rob you of joy, make you miserable, spoil your witness,” warns Packer. “We dishonor God if we proclaim a Savior who satisfies and then go around discontent.”

The advantages of contentment, on the other hand, are many: freedom, gratitude, rest, and peace -- all components of health. They who are content do not have to worry about the latest styles or what to wear tomorrow. They can rejoice in their neighbor’s good fortune without having to feel inferior. They do not fret with wrinkles or graying because they accept what comes. They do not have to worry how they might buy this or that because they have no desire for this or that. They are not consumed with how to get out of debt because they have no debt. They have time for gratitude even in small things. They have time for relationships because possessions and the bank do not own them.

Contentment, explains J.I. Packer, “is essentially a matter of accepting from God’s hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good.”

BEWARE OF THE PROSPERITY LADDER

Another erroneous measure of contentment is the prosperity ladder. Most of us look “up the ladder” and notice that the wealthy have more than we do. This, of course, strikes a near fatal blow at one’s contentment. If, instead, we reversed our gaze and looked down the ladder, our gratitude would thrive and opportunities for sharing would abound.

The pettiness of my own sources of discontent would be amusing were I not so repentant about them. I have been know to grumble when our house temperature drops to sixty degrees, yet there are untold millions in the world who do not have shelter. I have been known to complain if the day is rainy, yet a large segment of the world’s land is shriveling up in drought. I have been known to groan if I miss my dinner, yet thousands who go to sleep tonight without food will not awaken in the morning. Christ came to save me from sin -- not from sixty-degree homes, rainy weather, and delayed dinners.

This relativism, where the grass is greener on your neighbor’s lawn, can be remedied, but first it must be confessed. We need to quit staring at those who have more than we do. We need to override the set point by spiritual maturity, to look down rather than up the ladder, and to fix our contentment on godliness rather than relativism. It helps immeasurably if we are surrounded by a community of like--minded friends rather than a society where envy has been normalized.

What should we do?

 

1. DON’T PANIC. Listen to and only operate in the realm of the Word of God. Note what Isaiah 30:15 For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not, and Isaiah 32:17 The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.

 

2. PRAYERFULLY DO SOME RESEARCH. Look up some Y2K articles, read a book or two, track the Internet for a week.

 

3. THOUGHTFULLY CONSIDER THE IMPLICATIONS OF THESE SCENARIOS:

 

 

􀀹 What would you want to do for the Lord if He was returning next Sunday?

 

􀀹 What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole day in January, 2000?

 

􀀹 What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole week in January, 2000?

 

 

􀀹 What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole month in January, 2000?

 

􀀹 What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole year in 2000?

 

 

4. THINK ETERNALLY. Do you need this or that in light of eternity? Where would time and talent best be invested?

 

5. GIVE STRATEGICALLY. Where would a gift of money best be used? Right now the elders are planning a strategic campaign to raise $400,000 to plant churches in Russia through SGA. Would you like to invest? We also are looking at training Arab world church planters. Would you like a golden opportunity?

 

6. PREPARE EVANGELISTICALLY. How can you be ready with your quake pack as in California (enough to help fellow motorists or neighbors).

 

7. TALK PROPHETICALLY. You can speak with confidence about the future. The world will not end; the planet will not be plunged into nuclear winter, etc.

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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