1. Hebrews was written to encourage the Lord's people to remain faithful to Him. 2. Ch.13 contains a number of instructions that promote faithfulness, especially during times of affliction. a. (vs.1-3) We must fulfill our responsibilities toward others. b. (vs.4) We must remain faithful in our marriage relations. 3. (vs.5-6) In order to remain faithful to Christ we must be content. 4. The first step in being content is . . .
I. (vs.5a) "LET YOUR 'CONVERSATION' [manner of life] BE WITHOUT COVETOUSNESS"
A. Two main words are translated "covetousness" in the New Testament. 1. One is a general word that refers to "greed" [an uncontrolled desire for more]. 2. The other is a more specific word that relates to "the love of money" (Hebrews 13:5). B. Both types of covetousness are condemned in the Bible (Luke 12:15; 1 Timothy 6:9-10). C. Bible examples of covetous people include: 1. Achan (Joshua 6:18; 7:19-25) 2. the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:21-22) 3. the Jews in the temple (Matthew 21:12-13). D. The first step in being content is eliminating covetousness. E. After eliminating covetousness, . . .
II. (vs.5b) "BE CONTENT WITH SUCH THINGS AS YE HAVE"
A. The opposite of covetousness is "contentment." B. Contentment has to be learned (Philippians 4:11-13). C. Affliction may have caused the Hebrew Christians to lose many of their possessions -- it would be important to learn contentment to prevent falling away. D. Something that will help us learn contentment is remembering that . . .
III. (vs.5c) "HE HATH SAID, I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE"
A. This promise was made to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 31:6) and Joshua (Joshua 1:5). B. Christ has also promised to be with His followers (Matthew 28:19-20). C. We must place our trust in the Lord and not in possessions -- possessions may leave us, but the Lord will not. D. A person who has learned to trust God and to be content can boldly say, . . .
IV. (vs.6) "THE LORD IS MY HELPER, AND I WILL NOT FEAR WHAT MAN SHALL DO UNTO ME" (Psalm 118:6; Psalm 23; Romans 8:31)
1. These verses teach us that we have a choice to make. a. We can put our trust in "things" [covetousness], or . . . b. We can put our trust in God [contentment]. 2. In order to remain faithful to Christ we must put our trust in God. a. We must be free from covetousness. b. We must learn to be content.