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Appetite and the Secret of Contentment

By Joe Boot/ March 15, 2016

Series  Ecclesiastes: Life Under the Sun

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Discipleship

Scripture  Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:18

Man in rebellion has replaced healthy, God-given appetites with insatiable, destructive appetites for worldly desires and wealth.

Scripture:  Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:18

Sermon Notes:

  1. Due to the problem of sin, man cannot realize his imagined ideal order; no matter how hard he tries, he fails because he has rejected the wisdom of God.
  2. It is in God’s house that we learn to depend on the living God for deliverance from oppression and injustice.
  3. In the mundane activities of our lives, God meets with us, granting us His intimate presence and joy in our callings.
  4. Created in God’s image, we’re to be self-controlled, creative, productive and obedient to our Maker in all our activities.
  5. Our goal is the cultivation of the kingdom of God; our joy and satisfaction is found in knowing Him and accomplishing His purposes (cf. Matt. 6:33).
  6. Man in rebellion has replaced healthy, God-given appetites with insatiable appetites for worldly desires and goods.
  7. Desire is not a product of the Fall, but the Fall brought about the redirection of that desire toward sinful ends.
  8. Rebellious man follows ravenous, insatiable, craving desire that leads him to slavery and destruction.
  9. Sexuality pursued for its own sake and without reference to God leads to insatiable desire and impotence.
  10. All people are fallen so we may expect to find corruption and injustice in the halls of power. Political power becomes a tool for plunder.  Greed and envy are promoted in the language of social justice and instituted in the policies of robber states.
  11. Biblically humans are given a stewardship over the earth to develop the world responsibly for the glory of God and the blessing of mankind.
  12. God’s intention was nations committed to just weights and measures, freedom, production, and family-based property rights (Ecc. 5:9).
  13. Personal wealth is not the problem; wealth is a gift of God. But the love of wealth is an idolatrous and insatiable desire.
  14. The Christian attitude consists of love toward God coupled with thankfulness for His gifts.
  15. Unbridled appetites lead to oppression, theft, corruption and total dissatisfaction.
  16. Wealth seems to promise happiness, but it cannot deliver. Family, friends, business associates, the tax man all want some of your wealth. The ordinary man sleeps well, not worrying about losing his wealth.
  17. Wealth is a bad security plan; it can be lost by disaster, theft, war, etc.
  18. We often lack proper appreciation for the ordinary things in life. We rely on grace, i.e., the gift of God for success in every area of our lives.
  19. There can be no happiness or satisfaction for those who are not living thankfully under God’s blessing.
  20. A man can possess everything, but have no joy.
  21. God alone gives us true joy in the time He has allotted us.
  22. God gives us the ability to be content in riches or in poverty. The ungodly may hoard wealth, but be given no power to enjoy it (Lk. 12:13-21).
  23. The stillborn child is better off than a wealthy fool who rejects God.
  24. The secret of contentment is in man’s heart, not in our external circumstances. Joy, satisfaction and blessing are a gift of God, and are not based on material goods.
  25. We’re to work for God in our daily calling and trust God for the results.
  26. Man’s appetites are fulfilled only in God Himself. As we hunger for God’s kingdom, only then will we find life and joy (Matt. 5:6).

Application Questions:

  1. Distinguish between God-given desire and sinful desire.
  2. Explain the dangers and emptiness of wealth.
  3. What is the path of joy and blessing?
  4. What is the secret of contentment?