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“Going Nowhere Fast” Series: #3 The Money Chasing Rat-Race (Peace)

10 Dec

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“God made man simple; man’s complex problems are of his own devising.” –King Solomon

“Because we lack a Divine Center, our need for security has led us into an insane attachment to things. We really must understand that the lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic. It is psychotic because it has completely lost touch with reality. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. ‘We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like.’ … We are made to feel ashamed to wear clothes or drive cars until they are worn out. The mass media have convinced us that to be out of step with fashion is to be out of step with reality. It is time we awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick society is to be sick.” —-Richard Foster

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace….” (Gal. 5:22-23)  –The Apostle Paul

The second of the two most popular Christian greetings is “peace” (eirene). It is roughly the equivalent of the Hebrew shalom. But, though it is related to this word, it also means more.

 Above all, peace is God’s gift to man, achieved by him at the cross of Christ. It is peace with God (Rom 5:1) and is to express itself both in peace of mind (Philippians 4:6, 7) and in a very practical peace between all those who know God.

 This latter peace should be seen, as Barclay notes: in the home (1Cor 7:12-16), between Jew and Gentile (Eph 2:14-17), within the church (Eph 4:3; Col 3:15), and indeed in the relationships of the believer with all men (Heb 12:14).

 (1 Peter 3:11)  “He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.”

 The importance of this word is evident from its frequent and extensive occurrence in the NT–80 times and in every book.

 We Are Chasing Money in Hopes of Finding Contentment.

“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.” (Phil. 4:11-13)

 Contentment is a Gift of God Given by the Holy Spirit.

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give you (peace) as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.” (John 14:26-27)

QUOTE “Peace is rare: Less than 8 percent of the time since the beginning of recorded time has the world been entirely at peace. In a total of 3530 years, 286 have been warless. Eight thousand treaties have been broken in this time.”
Peace– free from war or commotion, quiet, calm, serene, composed, tranquility.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace….” (Gal. 5:22-23)

 Misconceptions About Contentment:

“But Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (I Tim. 6:6-10)

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa. 48:17-18)

C. Paul’s Key Text for Understanding Peace: (II Cor. 5:18-21)

(2 Corinthians 5:18-21)  “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: {19} that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. {20} We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. {21} God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

 D. The “Am I A Peacemaker?” Test: (I Peter 3:8-12)

(1 Peter 3:8-12)  “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. {9} Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. {10} For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. {11} He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. {12} For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.””

 1. Do I strive to live in harmony with others?

2. Do I strive to be sympathetic to the feelings of others?

3. Do I give the benefit to others I would give to myself?

4. Do I tend to insult or bless?

5 Do I spread goodwill with my conversation?

6. Do I pray for people to be in harmony with God and others?

Some Recommendations for Getting Out of the Money Chasing Rat-Race

  1. Buy things for usefulness, not status.
  2. Reject anything that is addicting to you.
  3. Develop a habit of giving things away.
  4. Learn to enjoy things without owning them.
  5. Stay away from “Buy now, Pay later.”
  6. Stay away from things that benefit you at the expense of others. 
A. The Four Key Levels of Contentment:
1. Contentment With God- This Is a SPIRITUAL Reality.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:1) “The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” (Prov. 19:23)
2. Contentment With Self- This Is an EMOTIONAL Reality.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)
3. Contentment With Others- This is a RELATIONAL Reality.
“Let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification.” (Rom. 14:19)
4. Contentment With Circumstances- This is a TEMPORAL Reality.
“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.” (Phil. 4:11-13)
B. Key Personal Question: Do You Want to be CONTENT?
“Some (people) suppose Godliness is a means of gain. But Godliness with contentment is great gain. For, we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (I Tim. 6:6-10)
C. The Pathway to Contentment: Seeking First Things First (Matt. 6:31-43)
1. Do Not Chase After THINGS. (Uncontrolled Ambition)
2. Do Chase After ONE THING. (Inner Peace)
The Prerequisite for Contentment: GODLY LIVING (Faith & Obedience)
The Corollary to Godly Living: A Godly Christian Will Be CONTENT.
Contentment Comes… From Knowing My NEEDS Are Met in Christ.

I. Keep your knees bent (in prayer).

Phil 4:6-7 (KJV) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 “You should pray when you’re in a praying mood, for it would be sinful to neglect such an opportunity. You should pray when you’re not in a praying mood, because it would be sinful to remain in such a condition.” Spurgeon

 A. Never let a day begin without it.

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Psalm 5:3

 SONG “Ere you left your room this morning, Did you think to pray?”

 B. Never let a day end without it.

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17

 

C. Never face a situation/problem without it.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and LEAN NOT UNTO THINE OWN UNDERSTANDING…” Proverbs 3:5

 D. Never neglect it when it seems unnecessary.

Little boy when asked by minister if he prayed everyday, said, “Not everyday. Sometimes I don’t need anything.” That’s the response of an immature individual.

“In everything give thanks…” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Praying always… WITH THANKSGIVING…” Phil. 4:6-7

II. Keep the Bible open (and read).

A. You need to keep it open to grow.

“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

 

B. You need to keep it open to have victory.

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119

 

C. You need to keep it open to give you PEACE

“Great peace have they which love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165

“A clean Bible means a lean soul.” D.L. Moody

III. Keep submitting your heart to God.

“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Colossians 3:15.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22

A. When the Bible says something, DO IT, SUBMIT TO IT, or there is no peace.

B. When you KNOW THE WILL OF GOD, DO IT, SUBMIT TO IT, or there is no peace.

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17

“Peace is the deliberate adjustment of my life to the will of God.”

IV. Keep concentrating your thoughts on God.

“For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and PEACE.” Romans 8:6
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is STAYED on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3
 .

A. Everything starts with your thought life.

“If you sow a thought, you reap an attitude. If you sow an attitude, you reap an action. If you sow an action, you reap a habit.”

“… every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.” James 1:14-16  

B. You can fill your mind with many different things.

C. If you want PEACE, though, you must fill your mind with God.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

V. Keep living right.

“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” Psalm 37:37

 

A. Nothing destroys peace like sin in your life.

“We lose the peace of years when we hunt after the rapture of moments.”

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 10, 2014 in Article

 

One response to ““Going Nowhere Fast” Series: #3 The Money Chasing Rat-Race (Peace)

  1. Terry Davenport

    December 10, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Very good. Worth the read. Thanks. TJ

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

     

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