Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

Initiated into the Secret Mysteries of Contentment

2009-05-17 Ephesians 1:2


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There is no calamity greater than lavish desires. There is no greater guilt than discontentment. And there is no greater disaster than greed. (Lao-tzu)  Of all the worldly passions, lust is the most intense. All other worldly passions seem to follow in its train. (Buddha) Just as a tree, though cut down, can grow again & again if its roots are undamaged and strong, in the same way if the roots of craving are not wholly uprooted sorrows will come again & again. Contentment is the greatest wealth. (Dharmapada) Contentment is the kernel of happiness. (Kabir)


Phil 4:10 opportunity 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have been initiated into the secret of being content in any and every situation, well fed or hungry, living in plenty or in want.NIVish 13  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

2Tim 2:1  Heb 13:34


Grace - the coin of the realm of heaven; power and desire to do God's will and experience His favor   
Peace - cessation of hostilities/conflicts from without and within
Contentment – 1. having all that you want or could desire;  2. being satisfied with what you have; 3. having no unmet needs or desires;  4. desiring nothing more than what you have;  5. freedom from covetousness and the love of money;  6. a lack of conflict between our experience and perception of what is necessary for our well-being;   7. being independent upon outside circumstances for our inner peace


Sources of Discontent: desires raised to needs; greed, comparison; envy. circumstances; poor self-esteem/insecurity; lust; love of money; Satan


Commit to Christlike Obedience so Christ can give power (Phil 4:13) and peace (as well as worth and value - Ps 84:11).  Jn 15
(God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble –Js 4:6. The humble don't demand nor insist on anything. They assert no rights.)
Isa 48:18 If you had listened to my commandments! then... your peace been as a river, & your righteousness as the waves of the sea:
Jn 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. Ps 34:14 Depart from evil, & do good; seek peace, and pursue it
1Pt 3:8-11 Let him turn away from evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it….His ears are open to their prayers but…
 Phil 4:9 Those things, which you have both learned, received, heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.


Occupy yourself with One consuming passion/objective; everything else becomes immaterial; make that passion something that's accessible, intransitory, eternal: Serving/glorifying God...mastering His word...making disciples; squander your life on a worthy purpose
Ps 27:4  One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek…dwell in the house of the Lord…behold the beauty…to inquire in His temple.
Mt 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.


Need only what is Necessary. Diminish the fire of desire, don't add more fuel to the flame. Enjoy the simple pleasures, don't develop a taste for truffles (not the chocolate kind) nor morels. Exalt in the everyday blessings. [Can’t do unless worth and value is fixed in God.]
Ecc 5:10 He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loves abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
Lk 12:15  "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."
Anything beyond food and clothing is a bonus 1Tim 6:8 And having food and clothing with these let us be content.


Transform your Desires from the earthly to the ethereal, from the carnal to spiritual, into God's desires (if we want what He wants to give us or what He wants, then it's a done deal) [closing might take a little longer than we'd like]. Rm 12:1-2 transform renew experience
Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.    Col 3:2  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 5 Put to death, therefore…sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed/covetousness, which is idolatry


Express needs and desires to God and Evaluate them through the grid of His perfect will Phil 4:4-8 rejoice…pray…do
Ps 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters
Lk 22:42  (prayed) saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."


Notice the chisel of God in the circumstances of your life  1Cor 4 - temporary trials produce an eternal weight of glory
2Cor 12:9 And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Instead of being bitter, number your blessings (not: could be worse)


Trust that God will supply all your needs in His perfect timing, so you don't have to worry about how to gratify your needs and desires Heb 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with what you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."  Mt 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things.

Phil 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. NIV

Ps 84:11 Lord God is a sun & shield: the Lord will give grace & glory: no good will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.


Questions for Discussion/Reflection/Response:
1. Is discontent the dynamo of human progress or the design of the devil? How does contentment differ from complacency/indifference?
2. When did you become satisfied with your: outward/inward appearance, job, dwelling, bank account, schedule, social life?
3. List some signs of discontent. Is desire for contentment discontent? Can contentment co-exist with a desire for change or something different?
4. In what areas is contentment most difficult in our culture? Why? How (and why) are your values different from your culture?
5. What's your most beneficial response to not getting what you want? [Fussing, bitterness, acceptance, change, transformation, patience, etc?]