1. Hello, listening friends.
2. Thank you again for tuning in to this broadcast.
3. We are bringing you this second, and the last, of a short series of messages.
4. We are calling it, "Discontentment and God’s Purpose,"
5. or, how God can use discontentment in our lives to serve His purpose;
6. and I want to begin by asking you a question.
7. Have you ever found yourself walking in a strange city?
8. You have looked carefully at the map or the directions that you have been given,
9. and lo and behold, you see a detour sign, “Road is blocked;”
10. and the natural thing to do is to follow the detour signs, right?
11. You don’t know the place very well.
12. Your map or direction only shows you one way to your destination.
13. You feel that there is no other option but to follow the detour sign;
14. so, you follow the signs.
15. You go left and right and right and left,
16. and, then, all of a sudden, no more detour signs;
17. and you don’t know if you go right or left or straight ahead.
18. Whatever the reason may be, you feel lost;
19. and you are panic-stricken.
20. You use your best judgment, but you’re still lost.
21. Today, I want to talk to you about some dangerous detours.
22. These dangerous detours can take us away from contentment.
23. If you are listening for the first time, we have been talking about contentment and peace in life.
24. In the last message, we saw a contrast between Cain and the Prodigal Son.
25. Cain allowed his restlessness and discontentment to lead him away from God,
27. and, thus, away from contentment;
28. but the Prodigal Son allowed his restlessness and discontentment to lead him into God’s grace;
29. and, there, he found the place of rest and contentment.
30. Today, I want to speak to believers--
31. the believers who have known and experienced the rest for their souls that comes from knowing Christ;
32. that rest that comes from basking in the grace of God;
33. but many believers, after coming to Christ and experiencing the peace of salvation, they face detours.
34. These detours can become a source of restlessness and discontentment.
35. These detours can steal our joy and peace;
36. and, today, I want to give you four detours that you must watch for.
37. Each of these can be a source of restless wandering.
38. Each of these can turn your relationships into rancor.
39. Now, before I give you these four detours, I want to remind you of the fact that total contentment is not possible in this life.
40. Complete peace can never be achieved in this life.
41. Later on in this message, I want to tell you more about this;
42. so, what are these four dangerous detours that can send us off course?
43. They are as follows:
44. number one,
45. unwillingness to confront your weaknesses.
47. unawareness of the lie of legalism.
49. underestimation of the pitfall of pride.
51. unfaithfulness in self-giving.
52. Let’s look at these four, one by one.
53. First, unwillingness to confront your weaknesses.
54. Every one of us has an area of weakness.
55. To some of us, our weakness may be a physical weakness.
56. To others, it may be a moral weakness.
57. Still to others, it may be a flaw of personal character;
58. and, yet, still for others, it may be a lack of spiritual discipline.
59. Whatever your weakness is, you must learn to apply the grace of God to that area of weakness.
60. If you do not daily apply God’s grace to your weakness, that weakness will constantly be a detour in your life;
61. and your weakness will take you off your spiritual course of contentment,
62. and will lead you to discontentment.
63. Now, I don’t want you to misunderstand me, my listening friend.
64. Do not focus on the area of your weakness.
65. Focusing on the area of your weakness all the time is a terrible mistake.
66. Do not focus on the area of your weakness until it becomes an obsession.
67. The answer to all of our weakness is to focus on the grace of God,
68. because God’s grace becomes perfect in our weakness.
69. If God’s grace is not sufficient for you,
70. then, probably, you are focusing on your weakness, instead of on God’s awesome grace;
71. and the antidote to the detour of weakness is to trust in the grace of God.
72. Trusting in the grace of God to meet your weakness will lead to rest and contentment;
73. and, therefore, I come secondly to the area of the lie of legalism.
74. First, let me define "legalism."
75. Legalism is the elevation of man-made rules to the level of God’s commandment.
所谓“教条主义” ， 就是用人制定的规条取代神的命令。
76. Many people grow up surrounded by legalism.
77. They accept what man said to be equal to what God said.
78. Let me explain what I mean.
79. We believe that salvation is by grace alone;
80. so, if anyone would say that salvation is by grace plus any other requirement, then, you have fallen into the lie of legalism.
81. Legalism means that you have abandoned the grace of God as the only basis for your relationship with Him.
82. Now, don’t misunderstand me, please, my listening friend.
83. There are those who are on the other extreme.
84. There are many people who use grace as a license to do what they want.
85. They presume on grace to cover their immorality.
86. This is even more dangerous than legalism.
87. Remember that the keeping of the commandments of God is not legalism.
88. Legalism is the keeping of the commandments of man.
89. Why do I say this?
90. Because thinking that legalism pleases God makes you feel super-spiritual,
91. and thinking that you are super-spiritual will diminish the wonder of God’s grace in your life;
92. and thinking that way will rob you of your joy.
93. It will rob you of the joy of trusting in God alone;
94. so, let’s now recap.
95. First, ignoring our weaknesses can be a dangerous detour from contentment.
96. Secondly, legalism is a detour from contentment to restlessness.
97. Thirdly, the pitfall of pride is another dangerous detour from contentment.
98. First, let me tell you a few things about pride.
99. Pride is very deceptive.
100. Pride can be disguised to look like something very spiritual.
1. Pride can be disguised and presented as selflessness,
2. when, in reality, pride is always self-serving.
3. In fact, pride can hinder answers to prayer.
4. Pride can rob many Christians from praying big prayers.
5. My listening friend, do you know that God loves His children to pray big prayers?
6. God loves prayers that are designed to bring glory to God.
7. Now, I want you to ask yourself this question,
8. and, I want you to be honest with yourself.
9. When you are all alone with God, is your pride standing in the way?
10. Is your pride preventing you from seeing God to do great and mighty things?
11. And, ultimately, pride can rob you of your joy of seeing Heaven rejoice.
12. Finally, lack of generosity can be a detour to contentment.
13. Generous and hilarious givers are almost always joyful and contented people.
14. Some people give to God like they are paying their taxes.
15. They are uptight when they give.
16. They feel that they are giving out of a sense of obligation,
17. and, they look for the first excuse not to give.
18. They think that God is very fortunate to get what they give Him.
19. Do you think that giving has to do with how much you have to give?
20. Let me tell you a story about Jesus.
21. One day, Jesus was standing in the Temple;
22. and he watched the Pharisees giving their big donations with big, public displays of devotions.
23. Everybody was clapping and applauding;
24. then, Jesus saw a simple widow who came in with two small coins.
25. These were the least coins that you could give to the Temple;
26. and, while this woman was giving the least of all, yet, Jesus points to her and says that she is giving the most of all.
27. Somebody may have turned and said, "But, Lord, these men are giving some big amounts of money here."
28. Jesus answered and was saying, "These men may be giving big amounts, but their big amounts are crumbs to them;
29. but this widow gave everything."
30. Remember these four detours to contentment in Christ.
31. Our weaknesses,
34. and lack of generosity.
35. Let me conclude by saying this:
36. God has framed human history between two gardens;
37. and, then, there was a third garden in the middle.
38. There was the first garden—the Garden of Eden—which became stained with Adam’s sin.
39. His sin, there, created discontentment for all of humanity.
40. On the other end of history, there’s going to be another garden—
41. the City Garden that is coming from above, which is called the "New Jerusalem;"
42. and, in between those two gardens, there is a middle garden called the "Garden of Gethsemane;"
43. and, in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Son of God paid the price, the wages and the penalty of sin;
44. and it is only when you go through the Garden of Gethsemane will you be able to go to the Garden City, the New Jerusalem.
45. Let me tell you about this new City—the new Garden—that will be coming from Heaven.
46. In that Garden City, all conflict and strife will cease.
47. In that Garden City, all the tears will be wiped away forever.
48. In that Garden City, all the forces that are constantly pushing us away from God’s presence will disappear.
49. In that Garden City, called the "New Jerusalem," all of our striving and tension and disharmony will cease.
50. There will be no death or dying,
51. no sickness or suffering,
52. no hatred or bitterness,
53. no tears or fears.
54. My listening friend,
55. is that your destiny?
56. It can be, if you come to the only One who can get you there.
57. Will you come to Him today?
58. It is my prayer that you would come to Him; and, then, write and let me know.
59. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.