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).