It never ceases to amaze me how God places things/people/sermons/etc in our lives with just the right timing. I had a lengthy discussion with my boyfriend of six years last night about this topic, and about being happy no matter what your income level is. I am a firm believer that God's will is the best thing for our lives, and that we should focus on seeking Him first and finding His will for our lives, and doing it! These scriptures are ones that I hold on strong to, and have proven true for me and my life:
- "There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary - we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!" ~Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)
- "It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose He is working out in everything and everyone. It's in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free - signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what's coming, a reminder that we'll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life." ~Ephesians 1:11-14 (MSG)
- "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." ~Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)
- "Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." ~Philippians 4:11-13 (MSG)
- "You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, His generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus." ~Philippians 4:19
"I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances." Once I was able to be completely content with my life, and where I am at in life, I was able to experience for the first time the true joy and peace that can only come from God. It is such an incredible way of living, following Him and His path - so much better than any way I was trying to live before!
"A simple life is a happy life." ~Philip Arnold
Notes from the sermon:
- Generosity - three types:
- Generosity of Spirit - Act with kindness and graciousness to all, look past the fault of otheres and considers their best. Encourage others. Do small acts of service. Say thank you often. Realize that what everyone does for you is a gift. All relationships work better with generosity of spirit!
- Generosity of finances - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also!
- Generosity of time and talents - Jesus was constantly interrupted, and always stopped to help others. You will always feel more alive and fulfilled after you have taken the time to serve others!
Scriptures referenced in the sermon:
- Ecclesiastes 5:10 - "Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless." (NIV)
- Provebs 22:9 - "The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor." (NIV)
- Luke 12:15 - "Then he said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.'" (NIV)
- 1 Timothy 6:18-19 - "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." (NIV)