[I’ve been slipping on writing the notes from bible studies and sermons, so everyone please forgive me for that, I will get back to being more consistent. From now on, all of the sermon notes will be part of it’s own blog series called ‘The Review’.]
My Pastor just started a new sermon series last Sunday entitled ‘Single With Benefits’ talking about God’s plan for singles. Last week, he talked about how singles struggle with sexual sin. here are the notes from this past Sunday’s message and the second installment of the series: ‘What about me’.
One word describes how we should approach every unique situation in life . This one word is found in bible several times.
I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for 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 well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Paul writes this letter to the people in Philippi as a thank you letter. Mainly because of a gift they had sent him upon learning of his detention back in Rome. Inside this letter, Paul expresses several points and addresses different matters to the people in Philippi, but in chapter 4 he brings up how he has learned the value of contentment through his life. Paul lays out a small blueprint just in those few verses of how important it is in the Christian journey to learn the value of contentment.
Contentment is the ability to be satisfied with where God has you right now. It’s the feeling of peace knowing you have everything that you need, whether or not you could really use more or don’t have enough. In respect to being single, content means to be at peace with being just single. No dating. Just waiting. We get into a rush because the world around us tells us to rush into a relationship. to get “cuffed”.
Being content basically says ‘what’s the rush? God’s voice basically represents this word fully. You won’t ever hear God command us to rush into something (unless He’s talking about repentance and saving souls). That includes your season of singleness. Besides, while we’re rushing to be in a relationship, or desiring to be in one so bad, we could be putting that energy towards greater purposes.
I say “we” because I include myself in this. I feel that learning the value of contentment is vital in all aspects of life, especially your personal life. Achieving contentment doesn’t come overnight. a lot of us are impatient, frustrated, and we even sometimes doubt god. I’ve been there. I learned from Sunday’s sermon that there are 5 principles in achieving true contentment, even in a season of singleness.
1. Learn how to value yourself. Love yourself first.
You can’t love anyone else until this happens. You have to know that you are valuable. If you honestly feel right now that you don’t love yourself it’s okay we’ve all been there. Myself included. At this point you have to remind yourself that you are indeed loved and valuable. God believes that you are valuable. How am I sure? he sent His son Jesus Christ down to earth to die for you. Now that’s love right there. That should make you WANT to love yourself. Somebody gave their own life for you, and rose from the dead AND still loves you the same, even more. If that doesn’t do it, God tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalms 139:14) Never let life’s circumstances make you question your value. God says it Himself that you are valuable.
2. Learn to value your God. God is love.
To know God is to know love. (1 John 4) You wont find one in it’s true form without the other. Along with love, knowing God and his immeasurable value comes full revelation and understanding of who He is. To know Him is to love Him, but it’s also to fear Him and recognize what all God is capable of.. more than we could ever imagine.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm He said: Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off it’s dimensions? surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together an all the angels shouted for joy?
Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God? Do you not know? have you not heard? the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall. but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Knowing God helps us in our never ending quest to be content and wait on Him, not to mention strengthen our faith and our spirit.
3. Learn how to value who you allow in your life.
This is simple. Take pride in who you allow in your life. Unlike in the bible with Samson, don’t chase after anybody because they look good and end up in a compromising situation. A very special friend of mine said this. ‘Who you let into your life will have an effect on your life.’ I could not agree more. You have to be careful who you allow access into your life. It also says a lot about yourself and your desires. My pastor said during his sermon that we often sometimes misinterpret the meaning behind Psalms 37:4 ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ But what if your heart isn’t in the right place? The scripture really means if we truly delight ourselves in the Lord, He’ll re-align our desires with His. God has a perfect plan for your life.
4. Learn to value God’s timing.
Nobody else’s timing is better. Especially when His timing is connected closely with being content. The thing about contentment is that it’s never in a hurry. When it’s time to meet someone and date, remember there’s no rush. There’s no rush to get all boo’ed up and be kissing and or anything else and it’s only been the first date…slow down. After all, what’s the rush?
5. Learn to value substance over style.
Our society has programmed us to choose style of substance. From our appearance to who we choose to date, “style” is the more popular choice. Intellectual and spiritual values aren’t highly regarded in today’s culture. Even in relationships, people are so consumed in choosing someone with style (Looks, money, swag, sex appeal, etc.) that they fully miss out on the substance. Substance is the personality, the heart, the intellect, the deeper relationship with God. That’s substance! Choose that over style.
Contentment helps to discern between substance & style. If you’re content, you’re in no rush to make an immature decision in your personal life, or any aspect of your life.
Once you start to love yourself the way God loves you and value and know God for yourself, value who you allow access into your life, accept God’s perfect plan and timing, and choose substance over style, you’ll definitely say to yourself that you’re content with where God has you in your life.