Once again, the apostle Paul comes in with a very powerful revelation that really has application for everyone in this day and age. This is another good mental principle that each Christian should seek to get worked into their mindsets and way of thinking in this life.
For those of you who live outside of the United States, my brother Chris and I live in the United States. We feel that our country is the most blessed country in this world as a result of our country being founded on the principles of true Christianity.
Though we still have many problems with some of the things that are going on in our country, we still feel that God’s hand is on this country and will continue to stay on it until the gospel has been preached to the rest of the world and the Rapture has occurred.
As a result of being the most blessed country in the world, many in our country have fallen prey to the spirit of greed and materialism. I am afraid with all of the material blessings bestowed upon our country by our Father, some of His children have become spoiled in the luxuries of this life, and now many of His own love the world more than they love Him.
Money, power, and material wealth has ruined many lives, not only in our country, but throughout the rest of the world as well. The Bible tells us that it is not the money itself that will corrupt and ruin a person and his life, it is the love and abnormal pursuit of that money that will ruin a person and his life.
There is no question that any significant amount of money that may fall into your hands is an incredible initial high. Once any kind of significant money falls into your hands, the first thing that will come into your mind is what you can buy with all of this money.
Your mind will go nuts with all of the material things you think you may really need and will want to buy with this money. Many people who have won big jackpots in some of our bigger lotteries have gone completely broke within 4-5 years. Millions of dollars were completely wasted on foolish purchases and unwise investments.
People have killed one another over money. Many people have lost their marriages and their good relationships with their friends and other family members over disputes over money and how to properly handle it.
Money will change some people’s personalities for the worse, making them forget where they have initially come from and who their real friends are in this life. Hollywood is littered with the casualties of what fame, money, and power can do to someone if that amount of money and fame is not properly handled.
Once again, the Word of God comes to our rescue as to how we should be looking at money and the material things of this life. God the Father has made sure that He put in the appropriate verses in His Word that will show us how we are to look at money and the material blessings that we can receive from Him in this life.
God loves to bless His children with some of these types of material blessings – but what each Christian has to do is to keep all of this in proper perspective with the big picture, and not let any of these material blessings draw us away from God and with what He wants to do with our lives.
Many pastors and churches have been ruined with the sudden influx of money and then the improper management of that money. Everyone always starts out with the best of intentions, but somewhere along the line people just get stupid and out of control with large sums of money.
Other churches have developed an unhealthy fear of losing whatever money they already have flowing through their churches.
I believe that some of these churches have gone too far to the seeker-sensitive side in their sermons and messages for fear of losing money from some of the flock they might offend if they preach all sides of God’s Word.
The fear of losing money is driving them as to what they should preach about on Sundays instead of being guided and led by the Holy Spirit as to what they should be preaching about.
As a result, some of our churches are out of balance with some of their teachings, and they are withholding some very valuable knowledge their flocks are needing to hear from God’s Word.
If God is calling you and anointing you to build and pastor a church – then trust and have faith in God that He will keep you properly funded and supported. Do not let the fear of man and the fear of losing money from your flock keep you from preaching and teaching what God wants you to preach about on a weekly basis.
If God cannot properly support you in the running of your church – then there is something wrong with your situation and you need to get with God to find out exactly what some of the problems and barriers are that is preventing you from receiving the right amount of money to help keep you afloat.
Per the article I just did titled, “Be Anxious For Nothing” – I listed a verse in this article that tells us that we are to first seek after the kingdom of God – and if we do, then everything else that we will need to survive and function in this world will be given to us by God the Father.
However, once God does start to release some of these material blessings into your life, you will really have to work to stay on top of this part of your game with Him and not let any of this money, wealth, and material possessions go to your head and start to pull you away from Him and what He wants to do with your life.
You always have to remember where all of this money is coming from in the first place. All of this money is coming directly from God. It is not coming from yourself or from the world in general, even though the rest of the world will try and tell you otherwise. Stay humble with whatever blessings God will bestow upon you as a result of the good works that you have already done for Him to-date.
Once you really enter into a full surrender with the Lord where you are now seeking Him and His perfect will for your life, then sooner or later some of the money and material blessings from God will start to be released into your life.
And once this starts to happen, you are really going to have to ground on the types of verses I will list in this article.
The apostle Paul once more very beautifully puts everything in proper perspective in the way that he has worded several of the verses in this article. In the verses I will list below, he says that:
- Godliness with contentment is great gain
- To be content in whatever state you may be in
- To be content with the things you already have
For many in our money-hungry society, these particular qualities are not operating in their lives and mindsets. They cannot be content with the things they already have because they cannot stop thinking of what they are going to buy next. No matter what they buy or how much they buy, it never seems to satisfy or fulfill them – so they are always on the lookout for that next new toy or investment.
As a result of always wanting bigger and better things, these types of people have a hard time in being content with whatever state they are already in since they are never satisfied with what they already do have.
As a result, they live in a lot of mental turmoil and they end up being totally miserable with all of their wealth and possessions. Hollywood is living proof that money, power, and material wealth will not buy you true happiness and fulfillment in this life.
As Christians, we already know that the key and secret to being able to find true inner happiness is by establishing a close, intimate, personal relationship with the Lord.
Once you really start to walk in the Holy Spirit and start to draw much closer to God in your own personal relationship with Him – you will find a very funny thing starting to occur in your life. You will find that your love and desire for money and material possessions will start to wane and lessen.
All of sudden your new house, your new car, your new wardrobe, and all of those new toys just do not seem to matter much to you anymore. The initial infatuation with some of these bigger material possessions seems to want to fade. You stop wanting to think about the next new thing you could buy.
All of sudden, you start to become very content with what you already do have. You start to see how blessed you already are in the Lord, and your desire for wanting bigger and better things seems to want to wane. You start to realize what is most important in your life and where you should be setting your priorities at in this life.
As you start to draw closer to the Lord in your own personal relationship with Him, the Holy Spirit will start to illuminate your mind as to what is most important in this life.
Once this starts to happen, He will start to draw you closer to God and further away from material things.
The closer you start to draw to the Lord in this life, the further away you will start to get from the ways and material possessions of this world – especially in the obsessive and abnormal pursuits of money, power, and fame.
Once all of this starts to occur, then you will able to live and dwell in the states that Paul is talking about in these verses. You will then start to become much more content with the material possessions you already have.
You will start to become much more content with whatever state you may be currently in as you realize that your happiness and state of well-being is founded and rooted in your personal relationship God and Jesus – not with the material possessions you already have in your life.
You start to realize that drawing closer to God and seeking after His perfect will for your life is more important than anything else you could desire or seek after in this life. Once the Holy Spirit starts to open up your eyes, you begin to see what should really matter the most in this life.
If you could sum up the three most important things that you should be seeking after in this life, I think you could sum it up in these three types of pursuits:
- Seek to establish a close, intimate, personal relationship with the Lord
- Seek to establish close, intimate, personal relationships with your family and friends
- Seek to accomplish the perfect will of God for your life
If you start seeking after God, family, and friends to deepen and better your personal relationships with each one of them – and then top it off by seeking to accomplish whatever God wants you to do for Him on a daily basis – then the lure and desire for money and material possessions will start to wane and they will no longer rule your life.
Jesus could not have put it any better when He said that you could not serve both God and mammon in the parable of the Unjust Steward. The word “mammon” in this parable means wealth and riches. This is why Jesus also said that it is harder for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
The abnormal love of money, and the abnormal and obsessive pursuit of trying to acquire more of that money, is what has led so many people to total ruination. This is why these specific verses from the apostle Paul are so important for each and every Christian to really grab a hold of and burn into their memory banks, so that we do not ever forget what is most important in this life and where we should all be setting our priorities at in this life.
When you really study the wording in these three verses, the Bible is once again putting everything in proper perspective in relation to the big picture and how we should be looking at this life and what our goals and aspirations should be centered on.
Bottom line – all of the money, material possessions, titles, awards, plaques, and trophies you may have acquired in this life will not be going with you when you die and cross over to enter into heaven.
The only three things that you will be taking with you when you cross over to be with the Lord is the personal relationship that you have established with Him down here on this earth, the personal relationships that you have established with your saved loved ones, and all of the accomplishments, works, and fruit that you have achieved for God while doing His perfect will for your life.
Jesus says that you will be rewarded for your good works and labors that you do for Him while down here on this earth. Works will not get you into heaven, as you can only be saved by His grace through your faith, but any good works that you do for God in this life will be appropriately and highly rewarded once you enter into heaven.
However, nothing else will cross over. I repeat, nothing else will be crossing over with you once you enter into heaven. They will all be left in the dust to rot and perish.
That nice big house, that nice new car, all of those beautiful clothes, and all of the money you may have stored up in your retirement accounts will not be going with you to the other side.
In other words, no suitcases will be need to be packed on your deathbed when you get ready to cross over to meet your Lord and Savior.
Paul saw all of this very clearly, and this was why he was able to word the following verses so eloquently and perfectly.
I will go ahead and put each one of these verses under three separate captions, and then point out certain key words and phrases so you can get these words of knowledge and wisdom ingrained and imparted into your storehouse of knowledge that you are building up in the Lord.
1. Be Content With Such Things As You Have
This first verse from Hebrews really hones in on learning how to be content with such things as you already have. The key word in this verse is the word “things.” I believe God is targeting our material possessions and things with the way He has worded this specific verse. Here it is:
“Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Notice this verse links the word “things” in with the phrase of letting your conduct be without covetousness – which means not wanting or desiring what other people may have by way of material possessions and goods that you may not have.
When you start seeking after God and His perfect will for your life, then God will start to bring in the material things you will need to operate in your calls and divine assignments for Him.
I believe God is trying to tell all of us to learn how to be content and happy with whatever He does bring in your life and not moan and complain with what He does not bring into your life.
Though we are all equal in the eyes of God, we are not all equal in the way material goods and possessions are distributed out in this life. Some people will make more money than others will. Some people will live in the bigger and fancier houses.
This is why God is starting off the above verse by stating that you are not to covet what other people may have that you do not have. Remember – what your neighbor may have that you do not have will not be going with them once they die and cross over to the other side.
2. Be Content In Whatever State You Are In
In this next verse, the apostle Paul takes it one step further. In addition to learning how to be content with whatever material goods and possessions you may already have in the Lord – Paul is now stating that we must also learn how to be content with whatever state we may find ourselves in.
For many in the type of world we live in today, this one is really a hard one to get worked into their mindset and way of thinking. Many people are constantly complaining about their current lot and state of affairs.
They are always looking for that better and bigger thing, that new romance, that new job, that new friend, that new thrill, that new promotion, etc.
These types of people have never learned how to stop and enjoy what they already do have. They have not appreciated what God has already done for them. They are always looking out at the horizon wondering when things are going to get bigger and better for them.
Granted, God wants us to continue to grow in His knowledge, grace, and power.
And in that growth process there will be new advances, new things, new adventures, new opportunities and new promotions that will occur during the course of our lives.
But we even have to keep all of this in proper balance and perspective.
If we are always concentrating and focusing on what God may do for us in our futures – we will never be able to fully enjoy what He has just done for us in our present.
Paul was really able to see and grasp this piece of revelation from the Lord.
He found a major spiritual secret in being able to find true, inner peace and happiness in the Lord in this life – and that spiritual secret is learning how to be content and happy in whatever state you may be at with God right now in your present set of circumstances.
If you cannot find happiness, joy, peace, and contentment in the Lord with what He has already done for you in your present – then you will probably not be able to find it with whatever He will want to do for you in your future, since you will always be looking for that next, new, big thing that you think will make you happy, content, and fulfilled.
Then when God does bring you up into the next level with the next round of rewards – you are once again looking off into your future wondering what God can do for you next instead of living in and enjoying your present.
This is why Jesus says that we are not to worry about tomorrow and what tomorrow may bring. If we are always looking off onto tomorrow and what tomorrow may bring, we will never be able to fully appreciate and live with what we already have today.
Here is this most profound verse:
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11)
Notice Paul says that he has learned to be content in “whatever state” he is currently in. He then further expounds on this by saying that he has learned how to be content when things are going good and when things are going bad. He also says he is content no matter where he is at.
In other words, Paul is covering the entire board on this issue. He has learned the secret to being content and happy in the Lord requires that you learn how to be content no matter what your present set of circumstances may be.
The word “abased” in the above verse means to be degraded or humiliated – to be lowered or brought down. He is covering one end of the spectrum to the other when he says that he has learned to be content when things may be at their lowest levels in his life, and when things may be at their highest level when he uses the words “abound” and “full.” In other words, he has learned how to be content whether he is abounding or abasing.
Material things do not mean much to God. Your happiness and contentment in this life is found directly in the quality of your personal relationship with God and Jesus.
The better the quality of your personal relationship with God and Jesus, the more happy and content you will find yourself becoming in this life. It really is that simple – and Paul found that secret out very early on in his walk with the Lord.
Paul then ends this verse by stating that he can do all things because Jesus can give him His strength to weather any storm cloud or adversity that could come his way. This was probably another reason why Paul was able to find this secret in being able to be content in the Lord no matter what his present set of circumstances were.
Even in the middle of the worse type of storm cloud imaginable, Paul found out that the Lord was always there to help him weather and get through any storm cloud that life or the devil could throw his way.
And boy, did this guy have to go through some severe storm clouds in his life. He is perfect living proof that you can go through some real severe adversity in your life, and yet still keep your head and act together in the Lord.
If Paul made it through some of the severe trials and tribulations that he personally encountered in his life, then all of us can make it through whatever storm clouds we may have to face in this life.
This one verse from Paul is loaded with major revelation. Study and meditate on this particular verse, and get these spiritual secrets worked and imparted into your mindset and way of thinking so you can learn to get them implemented into your personal walk with the Lord.
3. Godliness With Contentment is Great Gain
This last verse from Paul really puts the icing on this entire cake. In addition to learning how to be content with whatever things we may already have and in whatever state we may be in with the Lord – Paul now adds one more factor to this equation. He adds that we are to walk in “godliness” in addition to learning how to be content.
In one, simple, little sentence – he puts all of it together in the following verse and says that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” This phrase is so catchy, I decided to use it as the title of this article.
The word “godliness” in some of the different Bible Dictionaries is defined as:
- Holy living
- An attitude and style of life that acknowledges God’s claims on human life and seeks to live in accordance with God’ s will
- To be devout, reverence to God manifested in actions
Someone who is godly has godly traits and qualities built up into their personality.
What Paul is trying to tell us in this one powerful sentence is that it is a great thing and a great gain if you can learn how to be content with whatever you may have, with whatever you may get, with whatever state or current situation you may be in – and then to walk out this state of contentment with godly character and qualities manifesting through your personality.
Learning how to be godly in your walk with the Lord is once again all part of the sanctification process that God would like to start with each one us. As God starts the process to transform you into the express image of His Son Jesus, then you won’t be able to help but to become more godly in your personal walk with Him.
Here is the verse. Notice the comments Paul makes about those who are not godly and some of the fleshly things these kinds of people are operating in.
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
From such withdraw yourself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6: 3-11)
This entire verse is a real mouthful! Notice Paul makes two specific comments about money and wealth in general. He says that the love of money, not the money itself, is the root of all kinds of evil – and then he says that those who are always trying to become rich in this life fall into a bad temptation and snare which will end up drowning them in destruction and perdition. These are some very harsh and strong words!
This verse will line up with what Jesus has said in that it is harder for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
Paul even makes the charge that the love of money has caused some to stray from their faith in God. Is he saying that some can lose their salvation over this issue with God?
It is very interesting in this verse that Paul is comparing learning to be content with what we already have with those who are constantly pursuing the money and wealth of this world.
He ends this most powerful verse by telling us that we should all be pursuing godly things in our walks with the Lord, such as building up godly character and building up our levels of faith, love, patience and gentleness in the Lord.
Then right in the middle of this verse he really puts everything in proper perspective when he points out that we have brought nothing into this world and we will carry nothing out of it when we do die and cross over. Again – no suitcases will need to be packed on our deathbeds.
When you put all three of these verses together, one right next to the other, the revelation from God the Father on what is most important in this life really comes through loud and clear.
If you have fully surrendered your entire being and your entire life into the hands of God the Father – then God will now start to lead you down the path that He will want you to follow in this life.
And once you start to tread down that divine path, God will then make sure to bring you every single little thing you will need to walk out your divine call for Him in this life.
If you are walking in the perfect will of God in your life – then you are seeking after the kingdom of God. And Jesus has already told us that those who will seek after His kingdom will be given everything they will need to be able to live, work, and function in this life.
In this “everything” God will be giving you will be all of the money, wealth, material possessions, favor, people, friends, and marriage mates you will need so you can maximize your talents and abilities for the Lord in whatever He will be calling you to do for Him in this life.
However, as many as you already know, many of these extra goodies are not given to you all at one time. Many of God’s blessings are gradually released into the course of your life over a certain period of time.
As a result of the way God will work some of His people in this area, many of them will get frustrated, anxious, and impatient waiting for the bigger and better blessings to come into their lives.
When this happens, you will really have to ground on the types of verses stated in this article. You will have to keep on top of what the big picture is all about and keep everything in proper perspective.
If you do not, the frustration and impatience of waiting for all of this to manifest in your life could get you knocked right out of your call in the Lord if you decide to throw in the towel and start to try and do things your own way.
These three verses should be major, foundational verses each and every Christian should burn into their memory banks and seek to implement into their way of thinking and living in this life. This is what you call “big picture” revelation. This is major revelation on how we should all be looking at the big picture.
There is only one way to look at this life – and that is through the eyes of God Himself. You have to see things the way God sees them. If you try and see things through the eyes of this world or through the eyes of other people – you will never see things clearly and in truth.
The apostle Paul was given a major spiritual truth from God the Father with the way he has worded two of these verses.
Bottom line – learn to be content with whatever God has given you and with whatever state you are currently in – and seek to continue to walk as a godly man and a godly woman in the ways of our Lord.
If you do – then you will be able to find true inner peace, happiness, and joy in the Lord and it can all be given to you right where you are standing at right now.
As Jesus has already told us – do not worry about tomorrow or what tomorrow may or may not bring, for sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Paul found this secret out very early on in his walk with the Lord, and so can you if you work to get these powerful spiritual truths transmitted and imparted into your way of thinking and living in this life.