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).