Heart Conditions - Greed
Council Meeting tomorrow
Wednesday - Water sports
Dan and Jennifer Winn
Nick and Raegan McVay
We are in our third week of a Series I am calling Heart Conditions. We are, together, looking at the different conditions, issues, irregularities in our hearts that might take us away from being the people that God has called us to be.
Like medical heart conditions - spiritual heart conditions must be taken very seriously. Heart Contitions, if left untreated, will draw you away from God entirely. We want to know how to diagnose ourselves, so that when we see these things creeping up in our lives - we know what they are, and how to treat them.
Before we open the word lets pray together.
Someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” “Friend,” he said to him, “who appointed me a judge or arbitrator over you?” He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “A rich man’s land was very productive. He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops? I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared—whose will they be?’ “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Stephen Cole - a retired pastor from Arizona said it like this - Greed is the insatiable desire to have more money or possessions for self-gratification, while ignoring God and eternity.
There are several woods in Greek that we translate into greed or one of its adjectives.
Greed is the desire for more. And more. And more.
Like pride, the issue of greed is dealt with throughout scripture. We could study it in the old testament and the new, it is found in many of the gospels and the epistles. God cares about this issue.
And yet, it is a difficult issue to tackle, because as it might be easy to see how greed is affecting someone else - Like Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates, yeah, its easy to see greed in those guys. Or - in your neighbor who is always getting new things, it is significantly more difficult to see in ourselves - as our hearts turn away from the Lord and his provision, to focus just a little more on our own comfort.
Thats what we want to look at today. Not at our neighbors problem with greed, but our own. We want to see how to identify that heart condition and also how to treat it.
Diagnosis: When money consumes our time, our thoughts
Questions we can ask ourselves:
Why do I want more?
What are we willing to compromise for more money?
What is the focus of my spending?
Who do I credit for my provision?
Who’s money is it?
I’ve been looking for a new truck the last week, since mine was destroyed, and I have been working through these questions. I have been looking online and I see man - there are some really nice trucks out there. And I have an idea of what I want.
And when you shop for vehicles now, you can go online and you can put in all the options. You can select every thing you want.
It has to have six seats, because I have to be able to fit the family.
Ram has these boxes in the sides of the truck bed, built in. I want those.
It needs to have at least a 5.7L hemi. Because Power.
I want it to be 4 wheel drive, because the six blocks I drive either direction gets really sketchy sometimes.
I want it to have bluetooth radio and a back up camera.
I want, I want, I want....
And so I have been online and found the things and done the things and gotten the price… and then comes the conviction. Why do I need those things? What is my rationalization for those things?
Does God need me to have that kind of vehicle? What kind of status am I looking to keep?
A Greed filled heart says I am the provider in my home.
A greed filled heart says its just a little lie for a little bit of money.
A greed filled heart says I need to be more comfortable, I need brands and lables.
A greed filled heart is a lot like one filled with Pride. And it sets you up for the same kind of failure.
Greed is almost always listed in scripture when sins are counted out, and in those lists we often find the seriousness of the problem..
For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, self-indulgence, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.
Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or males who have sex with males, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.
Interesting - Do not be deceived. We might think that we are getting away with it. We might think hey - I give my ten percent tithe check, and the rest is good.
Once we know how to identify it - and we see it in our lives… we have to treat it - or it will kill us.
Jesus tells us in Luke 12:15 that we need to be on guard for it.
He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”
To be on guard means that we are constantly watching for this kind of mindset to creep in. We are looking for it in our decisions, we are judging ourselves to make sure that we are
Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.
Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians - that we have to put it to death.
Dealing with greed is a lot like plucking your eyebrows… you have to get real close to the mirror to see whats going on, and then pull real hard.
Beware of false teachers.
There will be people who use the name of God - and promote greed. Read the word for yourself. Know that God is not in it.
2 Peter 2:14–15 (CSB)
They have eyes full of adultery that never stop looking for sin. They seduce unstable people and have hearts trained in greed. Children under a curse!
They have gone astray by abandoning the straight path and have followed the path of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of wickedness
Cultivate a heart that is content and giving.
If we go back to that original passage in Luke, Jesus tells a story of a rich man - a man that clearly had enough.
Set our eyes upon the Lord, put our hope in him.
Be rich in the Kingdom of God
The one who loves silver is never satisfied with silver, and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with income. This too is futile. When good things increase, the ones who consume them multiply; what, then, is the profit to the owner, except to gaze at them with his eyes?