Contentment, Coveting, Priorities

1.   Godliness with contentment is great gain.

1 Tim. 6:6. Now godliness with contentment is great gain.

2.   Learn contentment, for love of money brings misery.

1 Tim. 6:7–10. 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.

3.   Keep free from love of money and be content.

Heb. 13:5. Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”[Deut. 31:6].

4.   Paul learned contentment even in the most difficult circumstances of life.

Phil. 4:11–13. 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.

5.   Contentment promotes peace.

Prov. 17:1. Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife.

6.   Life does not consist of what one possesses.

Luke 12:15. And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

7.   The parable of the rich fool teaches that life is more than material riches.

Luke 12:16–21. (The rich fool stored up things for himself but was not rich toward God, so his life was demanded of him.)

8.   Do not allow the deceitfulness of wealth to crowd out the word.

Mark 4:1–20. (the parable of the sower)

Mark 4:7, 18–20. “And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

9.   Put covetousness to death.

Col. 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

10. Do not lay up earthly treasures, but heavenly treasures.

Matt. 6:19–21. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

11. You can’t serve two masters at one time.

Matt. 6:24. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

12. Seek first God’s kingdom.

Matt. 6:33. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

13. Don’t seek status, as the disciples did.

Luke 9:46–48. Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”

14. It’s better to have a simple lifestyle than to have wealth with a lot of conflict in the home.

Prov. 15:16–17. Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, Than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred.

15. Don’t wear yourself out to get rich.

Prov. 23:4–5. Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.

16. Seek neither poverty nor riches.

Prov. 30:8–9. Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches—Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.

17. It’s better to have wisdom than to have wealth.

Prov. 16:16–17. How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

18. A good name is more desirable than great riches.

Prov. 22:1. A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.

19. King Ahab’s unchecked covetousness finally drove him to murder.

1 Kings 21:1–14.

1 Kings 21:2–4. So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near, next to my house; and for it I will give you a vineyard better than it. Or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money.” But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!” So Ahab went into his house sullen and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food.

20. King Hezekiah had his priorities turned around. In pride he displayed earthly riches, and was judged for it.

2 Kings 20:12–19.

2 Kings 20:14–19. Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?” So Hezekiah said, “They came from a far country, from Babylon.” And he said, “What have they seen in your house?” So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.” Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ ” So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?”

21. Habakkuk was content with God’s way and trusted him even when things looked very hard.

Hab. 3:17–19. Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills. To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.

22. God chastised Gehazi severely for his covetousness.

2 Kings 5:19–27. (Gehazi deceitfully obtains a gift from Naaman.)

2 Kings 5:19–20. Then he said to him, “Go in peace.” So he departed from him a short distance. But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “Look, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him.”

2 Kings 5:27. “Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow.[1]

[1] Kruis, J. G. (1994). Quick scripture reference for counseling (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

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