by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Psalm 128
I. We often speak of our longing for heaven, our home where the cares and troubles of this life will not exist.
A. We know that heaven is a blessing reserved for the followers of God, but all rewards for following God are not consigned to the next life.
B. Our life as a Christian is a reward. As we grow and learn how to apply the principles of Christ to our life, we become better people - Galatians 5:22-23; Colossians 1:9-12
C. Yet, there is a possibility of temporal blessings.
1. It is only a possibility because the actions of the wicked may rob us of physical things.
2. In normal circumstances the faithful will be able to build richly blessed lives that are in accordance to the will of God.
D. All blessings are in Christ - Ephesians 1:3
II. Contentment in our labors
A. It is a blessing of God to enjoy the results of our labors.
B. Work is not a curse
1. True, man’s sin caused his labors to be more difficult - Genesis 3:17-19
2. It is not the work itself that is the curse, but the difficulty in gaining produce from that work.
C. We must labor and it is fitting to enjoy that work - Ecclesiastes 5:18
D. It is even a greater joy when that labor is productive and we are blessed to be able to enjoy that produce - Ecclesiastes 5:19-20
E. This is why we are commanded to work, so that we may do good with what we produce - II Thessalonians 3:12-13; Ephesians 4:28
F. With food and clothing, we shall be content - I Timothy 6:6-8
III. Contentment in our families
A. A wonder as two people work to mold their lives together - Proverbs 30:18-19
1. Finding a good wife is finding favor from God - Proverbs 18:22
2. God said it was not good for man to be alone. A wife is a reward in this life to him - Ecclesiastes 9:9
B. Children from the union of a man and wife are also a blessing - Psalm 127:3-5
1. The imagery in Psalm 128 is an olive tree sending out shoots from its roots, having its children gathered around.
2. Yet, to obtain that blessing is not without work.
a. Parents must manage their households - I Timothy 3:4
b. They must bring them up in the ways of God - Ephesians 6:4
C. To live to see your children’s children, your grandchildren, is also a blessing to enjoy.
1. Life is short, but to see God’s righteousness kept to succeeding generations is precious indeed - Psalm 103:15-18
IV. Contentment in walking the pathway of God
A. It starts out with a healthy fear of God. A strong awe for God and his great might.
1. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom - Psalm 111:10
2. The fear of God is clean. It is pure - Psalm 19:9
3. It leads to life and contentment - Proverbs 19:23
B. God gives favor to those who fear him - Psalm 147:11
1. Walking his path allows us to be helped by God - Psalm 37:23-26
2. Walking God’s path is doing God’s will, not striking out on our own, or following the paths of our own desires. - Psalm 86:6-13
C. God’s way is a source of strength - Proverbs 10:27-30
1. It is a source of strength and protection - Psalm 18:30-36
2. It carries us through times of trouble - Psalm 84:5-7
3. God is the strong arm we can lean on in times of trouble - Psalms 37:39-40
4. We can do all things with our Lord’s aid - Philippians 4:13
V. Contentment is for the follower of God - Psalm 23
A. Do you desire such a life?
1. It doesn’t just happen.
2. It is the result of applying God’s teaching to your life.
3. Make certain to practice such things - II Peter 1:10-11
B. There is no better time to start down that path that right now