The Virtue Of Contentment Week 3
A Spring Bible Study Session that includes Bullet Journaling
Small Group Discussion Outline
1 Timothy 6:3-10
3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. 5 They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 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.
It is crucial to believe that the Whole Council of God (The Bible) is (the ultimate) truth and provides sound instruction for our daily lives. Apart from the revelation we receive through the Holy Spirit, we cannot understand the ways of God. If we try to reason with our limited human mind, we are often led by pride and understand nothing. If we lean to our own understanding we develop unhealthy interests (often self focused) which draw us to controversy, quarrel, envy….(corrupted minds) We are robbed of truth pursing (little g) godliness for personal gain. Temptations are traps that lead to destruction. Love of money is a root of all evil and leads to grief. / “Pride comes before the Fall.”
All of these things separate us from our Father, and keep us in a state of discontentment.
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Life is more than food and clothing. These physical necessities will not yield fruit (love joy peace patience, etc.) God provides ALL we need if we rely on Him.
“Look at the birds of the air”, if the Father provides for them, He most assuredly provides for His children!
Worry and anxiety create chaos and “does not add a single hour to our life.”
The Father knows our every need, and if we seek FIRST HIS Kingdom and His righteousness all these things (that we need) will be given to us as well. Our God is a promise keeper.
Live one day at a time, relying on God, moment by moment, through our helper the Holy Spirit.
IN THE WORKBOOK
1 TIMOTHY 6:3-10
- Our truth meter is God’s Word. (The sound instruction of Jesus Christ)
- Read Acts 17:11 / What does this instruct us to do?
- (Measure all teaching with God’s Word for yourself. Don’t assign truth to anything you are taught without searching the scriptures yourself to see if it is true)
11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica,for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scripturesevery day to see if what Paul said was true.
Another word for conceit is pride. Pride leads us to turn inward, placing ourselves at the center of our focus. What are the results of this kind of thinking?
(self focus, lack of empathy, division, lack of compassion for others, inability to give sacrificial love, need for control, stepping into God’s shoes, frustration)
In what ways has pride come before the fall in your life or those close to you?
PRIDE LEADS TO DISCONTENTMENT BECAUSE IT CAUSES US TO TURN INWARD (self focus) AND AWAY FROM GOD. Pride leads us to the pursuit of ourselves (being right, financial gain, division) and takes us down a road of destruction.
“It is impossible to be content when our hearts are SET on gaining MORE. A desire for godliness (placed before God) is quickly eroded by a greedy covetous spirit. (Pg 52)
Good deeds or godly behavior can be a source of pride in our lives.
Read Matthew 23:25-28
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
-Did anyone in your group do the PRAISE LOG? (See Example below)
-Was this practice helpful in —-> replacing “cravings/desires” (& pride) with gratitude
-Were you able to record some of the things you are anxious about?
-How do you try to handle these worries on your own?
How does this relate to pride?
-Were you more aware of giving these worries and fears to the Lord this week?
Trusting God to provide all our needs requires obedience
“When God instructs us to do something based on our knowledge of Him, He moves our relationship from mental to experiential. God doesn’t just want us to hear about Him, but to see and experience Him in our lives.” -Priscilla Shirer
Contentment is something we can learn. We heard this from Paul in our first week. So, why does it continue to elude us? We tend to keep tripping over the most common stumbling blocks that prevent us from living the life of Contentment God created us for. This week we took a closer look at Pride and Anxiety.
Our Father is very clear…we should not rely on our own (human) understanding…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6
Leaning on our own limited thinking, leads us to a place of pride where we have no true understanding of truth…this leads to self focus & discontentment.
God is also clear that He is to be our sole provider. We can trust Him, for He has proven to be faithful. Lack of trust in our Sovereign God leads to anxiety and fear….this moves us further from contentment.
The bullet journal exercises this week, are to help instill a practice of releasing our fear and anxiety to the Lord. (Worry Jar)
We are to work on replacing our pride with praise, and to work on stepping out in obedience as we become more aware of the role pride plays in our life and relationships—->To recognize it, and then surrender our behavior as we listen to the Lord’s correction and redirection through the Holy Spirit. As we are able to set aside our pride (through the help of the Holy Spirit), God will allow us to see beyond our limited understanding to see with His perspective…Beyond the circumstance we are in, to the hope He has for us! This develops fruit in our lives, and leads us to Contentment, and living a life like Christ.
Watercolor, Unity Stamp, StazOn black ink pad, Micron 005 & 01, Bold white uniball-signo pen.
FOR THE PRINTABLE/TRACEABLE script above click on the image for pdf
Unity Stamps https://www.unitystampco.com/
Happy post Easter week!
He is Risen!!! He is Risen Indeed!