Thursday, June 29, 2017

Contentment, Prosperity, & God's Glory - Chapter 10

Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory [ISBN 978-1-601778-232-8] is book of sermons by Jeremiah Burroughs on achieving contentment during times of abundance which were compiled as an appendix to The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  The Rare Jewel helps the Christian to find contentment in times of want, while these follow-up sermons help the Christian to find contentment in times of prosperity.  In both books, Mr. Burroughs expounds Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

Mr. Burroughs succinctly concludes his thoughts from both aspects of Phil 4:12 -- "So put a gracious heart into any condition, full or empty, and grace will help him lie evenly whatever his condition," (p. 115).  So "whether in prosperity or adversity, the gracious man will still respond consistently before God" because "[e]xternal things cannot alter a heart full of grace," (pp. 118, 119).

"It is a great part of the glory of God to be unchangeable and yet to operate in the midst of changeable circumstances.  Likewise, it is a mark of the excellence of God's image in the hearts of His saints that in a variety of conditions they too would remain the same, to know how to be abased, and how to abound," (p. 119).

Thank you joining me on this journey through Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory.  May you carefully consider your Christian witness as you abound in the blessings of God.


***
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God," (2 Cor. 3:5).

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Contentment, Prosperity, & God's Glory - Chapter 9

Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory [ISBN 978-1-601778-232-8] is book of sermons by Jeremiah Burroughs on achieving contentment during times of abundance which were compiled as an appendix to The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  The Rare Jewel helps the Christian to find contentment in times of want, while these follow-up sermons help the Christian to find contentment in times of prosperity.  In both books, Mr. Burroughs expounds Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

In Chapter 9, Mr. Burroughs gives several applications for improving the prosperous condition of a Christian:
  1. All that has been said up [to] this point serves to rebuke those who are concerned only with learning how to gain abundance in the world but are not concerned with learning how to abound (p. 106).
  2. We are taught that an excellent thing religion is; it helps us in every condition (p. 107).
  3. Based upon what we have heard, there should be moderation in all our desires for the things in this world (p. 109).
  4. Any of you with rich friends now see the great need there is for you to pray for them (p. 110).
  5. In all your abundance, learn thoroughly your utter dependence upon God (p. 110).
  6. While you may be above in your abundance, let your hearts be attentive to the meager, low condition of others (p. 113).
  7. To those whom God has given these mercies...praise Him for His blessings, but especially praise Him if He has blessed His blessings to you (p. 113)
The author simply states the condition of most American Christians: "The life of many men and women is nothing more than learning how to better use their wealth," (p. 112).


***

"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God," (2 Cor. 3:5).

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Contentment, Prosperity, & God's Glory - Chapter 8

Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory [ISBN 978-1-601778-232-8] is book of sermons by Jeremiah Burroughs on achieving contentment during times of abundance which were compiled as an appendix to The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  The Rare Jewel helps the Christian to find contentment in times of want, while these follow-up sermons help the Christian to find contentment in times of prosperity.  In both books, Mr. Burroughs expounds Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

In Chapter 8, Mr. Burroughs shows how Christians increase the guilt of the sins of abundance:
  1. The first condition is when you abuse your wealth in light of the suffering of others (p. 102).
  2. The second condition is when you abuse your wealth after God has raised you up from a poorer condition (p. 102).
  3. The third condition is when you abuse your wealth after God has preserved your riches through difficult times (p. 103).
  4. The fourth condition is when you abuse your wealth while ignoring the prodding of your conscience (p. 103).
  5. The fifth condition is if you are abusing mercies that were previously taken away, but have not been restored to you (p. 104).
  6. The sixth condition is if you are using your wealth for selfishness rather than service (p. 104).
  7. The seventh condition is if you forget previous promises you made to God when you wealth was threatened (p. 104).
  8. The final condition is when you ignore the means of grace to help you honor God with your wealth (p. 105).
The author clearly states a sobering thought for the full Christian:  "If you still enjoy your worldly goods, despite the fact that your consciences accuse you of being guilty of greatly abusing them, it is a wonder that God has not violently torn it all away from you--or torn you away from it," (p. 103).


***
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God," (2 Cor. 3:5).

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Contentment, Prosperity, & God's Glory - Chapter 7

Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory [ISBN 978-1-601778-232-8] is book of sermons by Jeremiah Burroughs on achieving contentment during times of abundance which were compiled as an appendix to The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  The Rare Jewel helps the Christian to find contentment in times of want, while these follow-up sermons help the Christian to find contentment in times of prosperity.  In both books, Mr. Burroughs expounds Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

In Chapter 7, Mr. Burroughs mentions several lessons for learning to be full.  A Christian must learn:
  1. The source from where all his good comes (p. 93)
  2. The fear of God (p. 94)
  3. That the very preservation of the world is through the mediation of Jesus Christ (p. 95)
  4. Unworthiness (p. 95)
  5. The vanity of created things, as well as the uncertainty of them (p. 96)
  6. That all things are only talents (p. 97)
  7. That man is born to hard work (p. 98)
  8. That God very seldom entrusts His own people with these outward comforts (p. 98)
  9. The excellence of true riches, namely, spiritual riches (p. 99)
  10. That the least sin is a greater evil than all earthly prosperity can be good (p. 99)
  11. That we are not ourselves for our abundance (p. 100)
  12. That we should desire a measure of grace proportionate to whatever we possess, so that whatever we have will not harm us rather than turning out for our good (p. 100)
  13. That God has set this time of your life as the time to provide for eternity (p. 100)
The author concludes by saying that a Christian needs to "be serious-minded, ...remove much of the vanity and frivolity from your spirits, ...[and] "be cautious of spending so much time in the use and enjoyment of the things of this world if they hinder you in the least in fulfilling the great work for which you live: the advancement of the gospel and your own spiritual good," (p. 100).


***
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God," (2 Cor. 3:5).

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Contentment, Prosperity, & God's Glory - Chapter 6

Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory [ISBN 978-1-601778-232-8] is book of sermons by Jeremiah Burroughs on achieving contentment during times of abundance which were compiled as an appendix to The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  The Rare Jewel helps the Christian to find contentment in times of want, while these follow-up sermons help the Christian to find contentment in times of prosperity.  In both books, Mr. Burroughs expounds Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

In Chapter 6, Mr. Burroughs states that a "godly man's heart goes further than natural wisdom is able to teach.  He learns to sanctify the name of God in the estate and outward blessings he has received from God," (p. 76).  A godly man learns:
  1. To abound by being faithful (p. 76)
  2. How to be full by regularly (p. 76)
  3. By seeking to preserve his comforts and enrich himself by sharing what he has (p. 78)
  4. By learning how to have comfort by his riches by putting his affections for those riches to death (p. 80)
  5. By sanctifying all that he has by the Word and prayer (p. 83)
  6. By increasing his humility (p. 87)
  7. By accounting it better to lose for God, and return to God, than to gain for himself, and keep to himself (p. 89)
  8. By raising his heart, in a holy way, above all his abundance (p. 90)
  9. By abounding in holiness (p. 90)
  10. By being aware and sensible of his dependence on God in the height of his prosperity as he is in the depth of his adversity (pp. 91-92)
The author gives a clear picture of the Christian who has learned to be full: "If a man appreciates what he has through the lens of the Word of the promise or by the Word of the gospel, where Jesus Christ is revealed to us, his ability to profit from things he enjoys becomes transformed by Jesus Christ, the Word who sanctifies everything to us," (p. 85).  He also convicts us that "[t]he more any man has, the more need he has to pray; therefore, rich men need to pray more than poor men.  Few of you think so, and even fewer of you do so," (pp. 86-87).


***
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God," (2 Cor. 3:5).

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Contentment, Prosperity, & God's Glory - Chapter 5

Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory [ISBN 978-1-601778-232-8] is book of sermons by Jeremiah Burroughs on achieving contentment during times of abundance which were compiled as an appendix to The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  The Rare Jewel helps the Christian to find contentment in times of want, while these follow-up sermons help the Christian to find contentment in times of prosperity.  In both books, Mr. Burroughs expounds Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

In Chapter 5, Mr. Burroughs details the several ways in which the excellency of learning to be full can be seen:
  1. It shows great nobility in the heart of man (p. 66).
  2. Whatever grace such a man has is much more evident than other men's graces and is more beautiful (p. 67).
  3. It is an excellency because it is so rare (p. 67).
  4. It is proof that someone is strong in grace when he is full and has learned how to be full--that is, how to be moderate in his prosperity (p. 68).
  5. A person who has learned to be full is in a position to do a great deal of good (p. 70).
  6. When it comes time for you to die, oh how sweet you will die when you can say, "Oh, Lord, remember me for this good." (p. 71)
  7. If God should ever bring affliction into your life, you would find sweetness and comfort in the fact that you have used your prosperity well (p. 72).
  8. This is the way that God attains His purpose and the purpose of His creatures (p. 72).
The author exhorts that "God highly esteems those who constantly render to Him the rent of praise and honor for the many enjoyments they have in the world.  This cannot help but bring you a great deal of comfort and shows the excellency of learning how to be full," (p. 73).


***

"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God," (2 Cor. 3:5).

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Contentment, Prosperity, & God's Glory - Chapter 4

Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory [ISBN 978-1-601778-232-8] is book of sermons by Jeremiah Burroughs on achieving contentment during times of abundance which were compiled as an appendix to The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  The Rare Jewel helps the Christian to find contentment in times of want, while these follow-up sermons help the Christian to find contentment in times of prosperity.  In both books, Mr. Burroughs expounds Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

In Chapter 4, Mr. Burroughs notes several reasons for the necessity of learning to be full.  If those who are full do not learn how to be full:
  1. Then they will be guiltier of abusing the gifts of God than others (p. 53).
  2. Then they will be guilty of sinning against God's mercy more than others (p. 54).
  3. Then they will grow extremely wicked (p. 56).
  4. Then their portion will be in this life (p. 58).
  5. Then their possessions will be cursed to them (p. 60).
  6. Then their evil hearts will be revealed (p. 62).
  7. Then they will do a great deal of harm in the place where they live, not only to themselves but to others (p. 63).
  8. Then the unbelievers' full estate will endanger their salvation exceedingly (p. 64).
  9. Then death will be made more terrible for them (p. 65).
The author reminds the Christian that "[y]ou were made for eternity, and those created things were not.  Therefore, if your hope is in this world only, you are a wretched creature," (p. 58).  He concludes by noting that "Christ tells us what a rich man is: one who trust in his riches," (p. 64)...and that "you must be called to an account for all the things that you enjoy," (p. 65). 


***
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God," (2 Cor. 3:5).

Monday, June 5, 2017

Contentment, Prosperity, & God's Glory - Chapter 3

Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory [ISBN 978-1-601778-232-8] is book of sermons by Jeremiah Burroughs on achieving contentment during times of abundance which were compiled as an appendix to The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  The Rare Jewel helps the Christian to find contentment in times of want, while these follow-up sermons help the Christian to find contentment in times of prosperity.  In both books, Mr. Burroughs expounds Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

In Chapter 3, Mr. Burroughs gives various reasons why it is difficult to learn how to abound:
  1. Because we are mostly flesh; there is more flesh than spirit in us (p. 37).
  2. Because in prosperity there are more duties required of us than in adversity (p. 37).
  3. Because there are a variety of temptations that go along with a full condition (p. 39).
  4. Because fullness not only provides a temptation to sin but also provides fuel for all kinds of lusts (p. 42).
  5. Because a full condition is in danger of hindering those graces that are distinctly Christian (p. 44).
  6. Because of the solemn and frequent charges God gives to His people to take heed to themselves when they are full (p. 46).
  7. Because the Bible does not show that a full condition ever turned any soul to God or was the means of doing so, when that person had not turned to God before (p. 48).
  8. Because most of God's children who were brought into a full condition became worse for it than better (p. 49).
  9. Because God uses affliction and not abundance as a tool for sanctification (p. 50).
The author warns that a "wealthy man's estate is a temptation to pride, to uncleanness, or to overindulgence...Fullness will feed those lusts if you have not learned how to be full," (pp. 41, 42).


***
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God," (2 Cor. 3:5).

Friday, June 2, 2017

Contentment, Prosperity, & God's Glory - Chapter 2

Contentment, Prosperity, and God's Glory [ISBN 978-1-601778-232-8] is book of sermons by Jeremiah Burroughs on achieving contentment during times of abundance which were compiled as an appendix to The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.  The Rare Jewel helps the Christian to find contentment in times of want, while these follow-up sermons help the Christian to find contentment in times of prosperity.  In both books, Mr. Burroughs expounds Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need."

In Chapter 2, Mr. Burroughs gives several evidences that indicate when a Christian has learned how to be full:
  1. When he has learned to set a suitable price on his fullness (p. 13).
  2. When he learns how to be full when he can discern the best use of what he has--that is, when he can tell how best to distribute the fullness God gives him (p. 17).
  3. When he can use the comforts he has received but does so in a way that avoids the evil temptations that go along with them (p. 19).
  4. When he knows how to be full when he can keep under his command everything he enjoys, and he can retain command over his own spirit in what he enjoys (p. 21).
  5. When he can use the gifts of God and yet remain ready to part with all his comforts if God calls for them (p. 23).
  6. When he can make all his fullness to further grow in all his graces--to act upon his graces, to exercise his graces, and to draw forth his graces (p. 26).
  7. When his fullness leads him to the source of his fullness--that is, when his grace leads him to God (p. 27).
  8. When he can spread out all his fullness and offer it to God for His use--that is, when he can improve what he has to serve God (p. 28).
  9. When he uses the things of this world as if he did not use them (p. 29).
  10. When he knows how to make use of his worldly comforts, yet is able to do so in such a way that he is not hindered by the afflictions or troubles that go along with those comforts (p. 31).
  11. When he knows his own heart in the midst of his abundance (p. 33).
The author encourages the reader to recognize that "[y]ou have finally learned how to abound when your heart can pass quickly through created things and move on to enjoy God as your most prized possession," (p. 28).


***
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God," (2 Cor. 3:5).