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).