1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We are glad that you tuned in.
3. We’re about to begin a very short series of messages.
4. There are only two messages in this series,
5. so I don’t want you to miss it;
6. and we’re calling this "Discontentment and God’s Purpose,"
7. and I want to begin, today, by telling you about a fable.
8. This fable goes something like this:
9. two teardrops were floating down the river of life.
10. One teardrop said to the other,
11. "Who are you?"
12. That teardrop replied,
13. "I am the teardrop from a woman who loved a man and lost him.
14. And who are you?"
15. The first teardrop replied,
16. "Well, I am the teardrop of the woman who got him."
17. This little story shows how so many of us are discontented with our lives.
18. At some point, all of us have been conscious of that dull hum of dissatisfaction in our lives.
19. This discontentment is not limited to those who are struggling with life’s tragedy.
20. Many believers are discontented for other reasons.
21. They may be disappointed with God.
22. They may be disappointed with church.
23. They may be disappointed with other believers;
24. and they hear this nagging inner voice that says, "Something is still missing in my life.
25. I am not fulfilled in life..."
26. and they try to quieten that voice by making some changes in their lives.
27. They try to quiet that voice by acquiring some things.
28. They try to quieten that voice by unhealthy relationships;
29. but nothing seems to work.
30. Have you ever asked yourself this question?
31. What lies behind my desire for contentment?
32. I want to talk to you, today, about discontentment and God’s purpose.
33. There are two components to finding contentment in life.
34. One component is that sin causes discontentment.
35. The second component is that hope in Christ leads to contentment;
36. and that is why we’re calling this series of messages, "Discontentment and God’s Purpose."
37. When sin dominates one’s life, life will become morbid and guilt-stricken.
38. God, in His Word, makes it very clear.
39. Discontentment and dissatisfaction in life are spiritual matters,
40. and spiritual matters can only be dealt with spiritually.
41. My listening friend, listen to me carefully.
42. Loss of contentment can push you in one of two directions.
43. The search for contentment can lead us down the wrong path, or, it can lead us in the right path.
44. It can lead us to turn to God,
45. or, it can lead us away from God.
46. The wrong path will lead us to more discontentment with its tears and grief.
47. The right path leads us up to the only place where we find rest.
48. That place is in the heart of God.
49. You know, we often make the mistake of thinking that discontentment is a 21st century phenomena;
50. but, in reality, discontentment is as old as humanity itself,
51. for the Bible tells us that this spiritual problem of discontentment began with Adam and Eve in the Garden.
52. The moment they chose to go their own way, they lost their peace.
53. The moment they declared their independence from God, their discontentment began;
54. and, from that time on, discontentment has been the legacy of all of humanity.
55. Well, what’s the solution then?
56. You are halfway to the solution when you realize that discontentment is a spiritual issue.
57. You are halfway there when you think that your discontentment is rooted in sin.
58. Today, I want to give you two biblical examples of two men.
59. These two men chose two different solutions to their discontentment.
60. One of them kept on pursuing human solutions to his discontentment,
61. and he never found contentment and died a miserable death.
62. The other man allowed his discontentment to drive him to God and receive grace.
63. The first man is Cain.
64. The other man we call the "Prodigal Son."
65. Cain’s restlessness began with his envy of his brother, Abel.
66. Abel learnt from his parents, Adam and Eve.
67. Abel learnt from his parents that the root of discontentment is disobedience.
68. Abel learned from his parents’ failure and wanted to please God God’s way.
69. Abel offered God the sacrifice that was pleasing to God.
70. You say, "How did he know to offer the animal sacrifice to God?"
71. Here’s what happened.
72. Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden for disobedience to God;
73. and God taught Adam and Eve, after He sent them out of the Garden, that blood must be shed to atone for sin.
74. This sacrificial atonement foreshadows Christ’s sacrifice on the cross,
75. and Abel learnt that lesson from his parents and sacrificed an animal.
76. His sacrifice was accepted by God.
77. Cain, on the other hand, decided to choose a sacrifice on his own, instead of following God’s instructions.
78. He chose to offer grain.
79. Cain’s sacrifice may have cost as much as Abel’s;
80. but, my friend, listen—the problem was not the value of the sacrifice.
81. Do you know what the problem was?
82. Cain did it his way, not God’s way.
83. Cain did it for the wrong reason,
84. and that is why his sacrifice was rejected by God;
85. and he became incredibly angry, because God rejected him, but did not reject his obedient brother, Abel.
86. Cain flew into a rage and killed his brother, Abel;
87. and Cain lived in restlessness for the rest of his life.
88. The Bible said Cain went out and built a city and became a restless wanderer.
89. Sadly, Cain did not recognize his sin and repent of it.
90. If Cain had repented, God would have forgiven him and restored him.
91. My friend, listen carefully to what I am going to tell you.
92. Many people are running away from God, just like Cain.
93. Like Cain, many people are attempting to quieten their restlessness in all sorts of cities.
94. Like Cain, many people are running away from their past.
95. Like Cain, many people are looking for something, or someone, to fill their inner void;
96. but running away from God never solves the problem.
97. Running away from God never cures the restlessness.
98. Only in running to God will you find healing, restoration, joy and peace.
99. The tragedy of Cain’s life was this:
1. Cain never went to the only One who could have given him true contentment.
2. My listening friend, if you are like Cain today,
3. let me appeal to you.
4. Come to the only One who can give you true contentment,
5. and let me show you an example of someone who came to God.
6. Jesus tells us about that other man.
7. This man’s story is found in Luke 15.
8. The young man’s name is not given in the story.
9. We know him only as the "Prodigal Son;"
10. and we know that he, too, was restless in his dad’s house.
11. He, too, was discontented with his family life.
12. He, too, wanted to go to the far city and find himself.
13. He, too, thought that he could find contentment by doing his own thing;
14. but he soon discovered the error of his ways.
15. As soon as he ran out of money, his friends deserted him;
16. and he was left with nothing.
17. Finally, he found himself eating from the pig’s trough.
18. He had reached the absolute bottom;
19. but here’s the difference between Cain and the Prodigal Son:
20. unlike Cain, the Prodigal Son did not allow his pride to get the best of him.
21. Unlike Cain, the Prodigal Son began to deal with his spiritual discontentment.
22. Let me tell you something, my listening friend, that may be new to you.
23. It takes more courage to come to God in repentance than to persist in foolishness.
24. It takes more courage to admit and confess than to pretend that everything is fine.
25. It takes more courage to acknowledge sin than to ignore it.
26. Only courageous people can say to God, "God, I have sinned."
27. The Prodigal Son story touches its readers' emotions in a lot of ways,
28. but one of the most poignant moments in the story comes when the father runs to meet his lost son.
29. In reality, the Prodigal Son story is about the father’s loving grace.
30. The Prodigal Son squandered his father’s inheritance,
31. but he came home.
32. His father never condemned him.
33. The father did not keep him out in the street so that he would learn his lesson.
34. The father never asked him to pay him back,
35. and that is what, my listening friends, we call "amazing grace."
36. The grace of God is uniquely taught in the Christian faith.
37. All systems demand some sort of rituals and restitutions;
38. but the grace of God is free.
39. When you come to Jesus Christ, only three words are necessary:
40. “Father, forgive me.”
41. My listening friend, listen carefully as I conclude.
42. When you finally get tired of wandering and searching,
43. when you finally get tired of restlessness and discontentment,
44. all you have to do is come to God the Father through God the Son,
45. repent of your sins,
46. and God the Father through God the Son will welcome you and forgive you.
47. He will never accuse you of being weak or foolish.
48. He will never ask you, "Why did you do this?"
49. No, He will welcome you with open arms.
50. He forgives you of all your sins.
51. He clothes you with His righteousness,
52. and He feeds you, and He will feed your soul.
53. My listening friend, let me tell you, you can be like Cain and continue in your restlessness, or, you can be like the Prodigal Son and come to your senses.
54. If God has spoken to you today,
55. why don’t you accept His invitation,
56. and ask His forgiveness,
57. and you can come to Him today;
58. and, then, write to us and let us know.
59. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.