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Oct 23, 2022

The Sneakiness of Greed

The Sneakiness of Greed

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Wisdom Of The Master

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: money, church, worship, faith, jesus, wisdom, sunday, god, sermon, freedom, bible, christ, gospel, hope, joy, preaching, philosophy, peace, believe, spirituality, materialism, jesus christ, christianity, stuff, greed, happiness, eternal life, blessing, bible study, greedy, society, consumerism, consumer, bible verses, personal growth, the secret, live music, self help, livestream, burnt hickory baptist church, burnt hickory worship, wisdom of the bible

Greed isn’t about our possessions, but a reflection of the fallen condition of our hearts. As we study wisdom from the master through Luke, we learn that it’s possible to appear to be living for Jesus but still be consumed by greed. Jesus teaches us to be on guard against all kids of greed, and that life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. Through this bible study, we learn the symptoms of greed as well as the biblical cure for greed. We should be reminded of the biggest gift of all which we’ve already been given, God’s grace. We would love to connect with you and answer any questions you may have. You can always take the next step in your faith journey, just reach out today – burnthickory.com/next

Well, good morning, Church. We are incredibly excited that you're here this week. And for all of you that were here last week, probably one of my favorite days of the whole year was just watching what happened on the front lawn. Last week with all of your life groups. And I successfully ate my way through every one of them. So, it was a good Sunday last week. But let me just also say this, man, a huge welcome and an official welcome to the 40 people who said yes last week and joined Burnt Hickory. Officially making this their church. So, man, that's awesome, man. That was a great week. We talked about the church last week and the importance of it.

Well, as we promised, we're jumping back into our series this week. We took a week off last week to talk about church. This week we're jumping back into our series that we've just called Wisdom from the Master, where we're walking through some of the life messages that the gospel writer Luke, that Dr. Luke gives us in his gospel. You know, the more I read Luke and the more I studied on my own, the more I just fall in love with how Luke just kind of nuances, some incredible conversations, and he just speaks every single chapter into how I and how all of we can walk with Jesus, how we can know Jesus and fall more in love with Jesus. We've walked in this journey. This is the sixth week we're in it. But if you're new this week, don't worry about it. They don't all build on each other. They're kind of individual messages. And we've watched Luke give us some wisdom from the Master. We watched him on week one, just kind of show us the difference of a self-righteous religious person to a really true follower of Jesus. And it comes down to what do we put our foundation on. We looked at him in week two and he in Jesus just told us to live out of the grace that He's given us. On week three, he showed us that that he's God on the sea. He calms the sea. Not only is he a messiah, but he is God. And the appropriate response to that is that I live my life with an awe, with a fear, with a holy respect of who God is, and a following that that He wants and desires from me. Then after that, we just watch Jesus kind of swing that pendulum back and he showed us that the healing touch of Jesus is available for us just in a tender way. I love how Luke did that, right. He showed that he's God calming the sea, but he also showed that he cared enough about this lady just to heal her and to raise this young girl from the dead. And then the last study in Luke that we've looked at is where Jesus looked at us and told us to take up our crosses and to follow him.

Well, today we're jumping into an incredibly relevant topic where Jesus warns all of these religious people around him and us, I might add, about the sneakiness of greed, about the sneakiness of greed. And he shows these religious people today that greed has this power to sneak into our lives, grab hold of us without us even knowing. And it has an incredible toxic nature about it, and it's an invisible sickness in our lives. Today we're going to be in Luke chapter 12. If you want to join me, men, I always encourage you. Join me in Scripture. I put them up here, but sometimes we go in a little bit different direction. I just want you to have it so far. The app up fire your Bible app up join me in Luke Chapter 12. As you're finding it, one of the things that popped into my mind this week thinking about greed was the show Hoarders. Anybody ever seen the show Hoarders? It's kind of like one of those shows. You can't believe you're watching it, but you're watching it. It's one of those shows. If you're flipping through the guide and nothing else is on and that shows on, you'll click on it, not even caring about what's going on. If you've never seen Hoarders, let me explain the premise. Not that I am a professional, but I know what's happening. The show Hoarders takes you into someone's life that has absolutely lost control of what is going on in their house. I mean, they are up to their eyeballs in Barbie dolls, gerbil cages and Encyclopedia Britannica’s. I mean, they are like to the roof in their house. They've never thrown anything away. They, it is just them and the rats. Right. That is all that is happening in their house. I mean, I'm talking so bad that they lost grandma in the back room. That's what's happening in the show. Hoarders. Well, once the family decides that they can't do anything about it, they schedule an intervention. So, by the way, if some of you today, if that's you and your family's coming over, get ready. Right? They schedule an intervention. And almost every time in the show that they do this, I don't watch it often, but every now and then they will bring in two professional people. The first professional is what you would just call a professional organizer. Right. They are there to deal with the “what” of the problem. They are there to peel those layers back those newspapers from 1986 and everything that this person has ever bought in the yard sale, they are there to organize it, get rid of it, give the charity and shovel their way out of grandma's house. Right. That is the why. That is the “what” person? The second person they bring in is a psychologist. They bring in a psychologist and they're there. They're there. You can say that they're there to deal not with the what, but they're there to deal with the why of the problem. Right. The why this person is crucial, because if you go into grandmother's house and shovel it out in three weeks, she'll hit every yard sale that’s ever been and fill the house back up. And then they'll be right back in the problem that they're in. You see, when the family has enough, they pull these people in. And what you begin to realize is that you need both people to deal with the problem. But here's the interesting thing about the show. It shows almost every time you're going home, watch it today.

Here's what happens almost every time at the end of the show Hoarders, what you realize is it's never really about the stuff. It's never really about the stuff. It's about what's going on in the heart, in the mind of the person. Now, here's where I thought, well, here's why I thought about this week, that this week. Because that is an incredible statement when it comes to greed in our lives. It's really not about the stuff. I mean, at the end of the day, it's really not when dealing with greed. And that's what Jesus is about to show us in this passage. In fact, I want you to write this principle down before we jump into the text, because we're going to back our way into it. Okay. I just want you to have in your notes, here it is. Write this down. Greed is not ultimately about our possessions. It's about the fallen condition of our hearts. It's not ultimately about our possessions because you can have all the possessions in the world. And if your heart is right, it's not greed. That's the point, right? It's not ultimately about our possessions.

So here we go. Luke, chapter 12. We're going to start in 13. And hey, listen, we go cover a lot of scripture today, but this is church. That's what we're supposed to do. So, all right, here we go. Right here is Luke 12 verse 13. Here it is. Someone in the crowd said to him, That's Jesus said to him, Teacher, he's talking to Jesus. Tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me. Now pause there and let me bring some context to what is happening. According to Luke 12 verse one, there are many thousands of people around Jesus right here. So don't think hundreds don't even think a thousand think many thousands of people. And Jesus is in one of those sessions in his walk where Jesus is teaching. And He's not just kind of teaching peripheral things either. You can go back and read it. Jesus is teaching things like salvation. He is teaching things like the Trinity. He is teaching the Holy Spirit, he is teaching forgiveness, he is teaching heaven. And he is in a deep, deep teaching moment. And then all of a sudden, this guy from the crowd, what did Luke say? He yells out from the crowd. Right? He speaks out from the crowd. This seemingly random family inheritance problem. Now to which, let’s give it some credit. Scholars do tell us that was a problem of the day. A lot of the older brothers would rip the younger brothers off and steal from them. But I want us to think about the bigger picture of what's happening here. I want us to think about the heart and the motive behind the question, because go with me on this. If Jesus is speaking about salvation, If he’s speaking about forgiveness. He's speaking about salvation. And all of a sudden, somebody from the crowd goes, Hey, tell my brother to give me my share of the estate. Right? There's a problem with that.

Do you know what that shows you? Shows you what's really on the younger brother's heart? That's what it shows you. It’s kind of like this. If I was up here in the middle of the invitation today. I'm drawing the net. I'm talking about giving your life to Jesus. That's like somebody in here stepping up as loud as they could and go, Hey, Matt, tell them to give me my money back. You look at that person and go, Listen, you didn't listen to a thing I said during this message, all you're concerned about is your money. You see, here's the problem. It shows that clearly the younger brother right here has no desire for anything spiritual. He just sees Jesus as an end in this situation. Okay, so I want you to know that's the premise of what's going on, but I want you to watch what Jesus does right here, because this is why Jesus is so masterful in his communication. Watch what Jesus does, because he uses this situation to teach us an incredibly massive warning about the hugeness of greed. Watch verse 14. What did Jesus do? I love it, Jesus replied Man who appointed me a judge or an arbitrator between you. Then he said to them, Watch out be on your guard, against all kinds of greed. Life does not consist of an abundance, in an abundance of possessions. Now, let's pause there because we need to do some work understanding what's going on. Because it seems like Jesus is a little bit herky-jerky right here. Why? Because in verse 14, it seems like Jesus doesn't want to get into the conversation, doesn't it? It seems like he's like, Man, I don't want to deal with that. That's been you. That's between you and your brother. I don't want to get there. And to Jesus's credit, sometimes he does this. Sometimes people ask him random sideline questions. And in order to keep the main thing the main thing right, salvation and repentance and the kingdom of God. Sometimes he doesn't answer every single question that is given because he knows that if we can handle the big things like salvation and repentance, a lot of these other things will fall into line.

So, it seems like that's where he's going to land in verse 14. But then in verse 15, Jesus does lean in, and he gives us this incredibly strong warning on greed. And look at the warning. He says, Watch out, be on your guard against all kinds of greed. Now, let me point out a few things that kind of fly under the radar here on what Jesus is doing here. First of all, you got to ask yourself, why didn't Jesus just rebuke the older brother for being a jerk to his younger brother? Right. That's the question I asked when I read it first. I'm like, come on, Jesus, you know what’s happening. Just go, hey, younger brother, bring the older brother over here. Let me call him out because I am God. And I will I will do so. I don't know. Whatever. Let me call him out. Does Jesus do that? No, Jesus doesn't do that. In fact, Jesus, when this guy asks the question, who does Jesus speak to? Who's the speak to? It's in the text. Jesus speaks to both brothers and the crowd. You say Matt, how do you know that?

Look at verse 15, it tells us. Then he said to them. Remember, I say this all the time. The details in Scripture matter. They matter a lot. The guy asked the question to Jesus, but Jesus turns around to the older brother, the younger brother, the crowd, and to all of us in the answers. He pulls them all together and Jesus says, Look, yes, that is a specific issue, but there's a bigger universal issue in life, and it's the common issue of greed. And it's the common issue that greed sneaks into our lives. And so, what does Jesus do? Jesus gives us a warning about it in verse 15, but I want you to see what part of the warning is saying. Right. The second principle down here it is right this now it is possible to appear like we're living for Jesus and still be consumed by greed. That's what Jesus said in his warning, it is possible to appear like we're living for Jesus and still be consumed by greed. Look at the warning again. Watch what Jesus says. Jesus says this. He says, Watch out. Right? Verse 15. Be on your guard against all kinds of greed. So, what is Jesus saying? In our language Jesus is looking at you and He's looking at me and he's saying this greed can sneak into your life without you even knowing it, without anybody else knowing it. And this is big. This is a really big moment in scripture. And let me tell you why. All right. Nowhere else in scripture when Jesus is talking about a sin, does he give to qualify fires like he did for this one. What did he say? He gave us to, didn't he? He said, watch out. And then he said, Be on your guard.

And here's why he did this. He did this because greed sneaks in and we don't even know it. He doesn't do this for language, right? He says a lot about our language that we should watch out about our language. Right? There are other places, he says, that we should be on our guard against things, but he never smashes those two things together because there's not a need to smash those two things together in those. Why? Because here's the deal. When potty mouth language comes out of your mouth. Right? Let's put it into our terms. You know it, don't you? You're like, oh probably shouldn't have said that. Right? Let's think about like this. When you commit adultery, you know it, right? You're like, Oh, you're not my wife. What do you know? No, that never happens. Right? In our life? That one is going to get me. That that never happens in your life. But that's the point in this. That's why I said it like this. Watch out and be on your guard. Because with greed it is very easy to be greedy and not even know it, not even realize it. So, here's. Here, write this down. Greed is a kind of money sickness that one of the symptoms of the sickness is being blind to your condition.

That's what Jesus is saying here. And also, Jesus is making this assumption in the story that we all in some way deal with a problem with greed. Now, obviously, some is worse than others, but Jesus saying, watch out, be on your guard. You know that Jesus talks about greed and money more than he does about the danger of sex because he knows how it sinks into us. Let me say it again. It is possible to appear like we're living for Jesus to be a good person, to do everything that Jesus asked us to do from the outside, looking in and be consumed by greed. That's the younger brother. So, before we go any further, we got to start with the mentality or the mindset that the chances are I have a problem with greed. In fact, I want you to look at your neighbor beside you. Even if you don't know them and go, you have a problem with greed. Now don't do that. Don't do that would just be bad, right? But that's the point of the story. And I have to say this. A little sideline moment here as Americans and I'm one of them, so I can say it, it's kind of baked into who we are. It really is. You say, Matt. Well, how do you know that? Go to another country that's not like us. And just look at it. I love this country. I love our work ethic. I love how most of our needs are met. But listen, one of the curses of how prosperous we are as a country is that as our possessions increase, listen, so does our appetite for more. That's why greed is so sneaky, because it just continues to grow in us, and we don't even know. Listen to some of these stats that blew me away this week. Did you know that as an American, that we make on average four times as much as the rest of the developed world, the rest of the world? But catch this we spend 98% of it on ourselves, on ourselves. As Americans, we spend more money going out to eat than we do charity. We spend more money. Not us, but as Americans, we spend more money on our pets than the poor in America. And look, it's not because we're in a tight spot. Do you know that we give less of a percent to charity today than they did during the Great Depression as Americans? Not us, but as Americans. Right. Let's talk about the demographic of where we live. Do you know and we know a little bit about our demographics here? Not as much as Home Depot in the big box stores. I mean, those people know how many toilet squares you use. I mean, they know everything about you by the way. Do you know that if your family has an income of six figures, let's say if your family has a six-figure income, do you know that you were in the top one half of the 1% of the world of the world? Yet listen to this that I read this week, only one third of the people that have six figure incomes feel like they have their needs met. That means one half of the 1% of the world. A lot of those people don't feel like everything is enough. You know what that does to most of us? It just sinks us into more and more and more credit card despair. 71% of the people that have credit card debt pay the minimum balance every week. I mean, every month. Americans spend a dollar and $0.26 for every $1 they make on average. Listen, church that's because of greed. It's greed like the younger brother.

We have a greed problem. And I what you see that Jesus deals with it and he tells us a parable that not only diagnoses the problem, but it prescribes a cure for money sickness. Go with me, Luke 16. Luke 12:16 says this. Watch what Jesus does and how he gets them out of this problem. And He told them this parable, the ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, What should I do? I have no place to store my crops. Then he said, This is what I will do. I will tear down my barns and I will build bigger ones. And there I will store my surplus grain. And I say to myself, You have plenty of grain light up for yourself for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink, be merry. Verse 20. But God said to him, You fool, this very night, your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves. Watch this. But is not rich to God. Hear me right. God does not have a problem with any of us having stuff, but he wants us to be rich to him first. Keep going, verse 22. Then Jesus said His disciples, Therefore, I tell you, don't worry about your life, or you will eat or about your body, or what you will wear for life is more than food and the body is more than clothes.

Skip down to verse 30. We're going to come back. Don't worry. For the pagan world runs after such things and your father knows that you need them but seek his kingdom first and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock for your father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, give to the poor, provide purses for yourself that will not wear out a treasure in heaven that will not fail. Where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys. Verse 34 for where your treasure is there also your heart will be. And we can probably just circle that last line and go to the Cracker Barrel. But we're not, right? In reading this this week and through about six or seven different articles, some messages, Tim Keller kind of being one of the primary people that I leaned into for some of this. They define in this, seven different areas that show that we're money sick. I want to give them to us this morning because I think they're incredibly helpful to walk us through and just diagnose the sickness, that kind of sneaks into our hearts. And we have that. Sometimes we don't even have it. Let me give them to your real class. Number one sign of us having some money, sickness or greed in our life is boasting. It's boasting. The man in Jesus’ parable, what is he doing? He's gloating. He's finding glory in his wealth and in his position. He's probably looking over the smaller farms around him, saying, Man, look at these things. Look at verse 19. He says this, and I'll say to myself, You have plenty of grain laid up for years. Take it easy, eat, drink and be merry. In today's language, you know what that says? Hey, look at my stuff, look at everything that is around me. What is this guy doing? His wealth gives him his confidence and it gives him a complete south of a sense of self-worth. And he wants to show his wealth by doing what? By building bigger barns. It’s the whole point of the story.

You see, for those who are money sick, how you define yourself is determined by how you look in relationship to other people. And what that is, is boasting about what we had. I heard a CEO in an interview once say this When you get to the top, your first feeling is not what you think it is. And that's to be happy. When you get to your when you get to the top, your first thought is to look around you to see who else is there and how you can be better than them. You see, boasting is the first sign of money sickness. Greed is so competitive, so even if you don't have a lot of money, you're always trying to find somebody that's a little lower than you so you can feel better about yourself. Let me ask you, do you ever catch yourself looking at others and comparing yourself to in relation to where they are? That's greed number one. Number two is worry. Number two is worry. Look at the yin and the yang here. You got boasting way up here and then you got worry way down here. That's the two sides of greed. I love this because if you have this kind of money sickness, what you do is you're just constantly thinking about money. You're constantly worried about the future and hear me right. I'm not saying don't plan for the future. I'm not saying sell it all and just trust in whatever. Now, if God told you to do that, you do it. But here's what I'm saying. You need to be concerned with the future. But when your concern becomes more than a concern and a constant worry that drags you into despair, then you have a money problem, you have a money problem, and you don't have a trust problem in your life.

Watch this in verse 22. Then Jesus said to his disciples, Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body or what you will wear. You can bring that in the current language. You just say this, don't worry so much about the stuff that you can't control, that you don't realize that God is the provider, and He is the Father who wants you to flourish. You see, really if the material things in your life block out the promise and the provision of God given to you as a child of God man, that's going to start bringing you into a sense of just constant worry. Constant worry. I can't be generous. Look at what's happened in the world. I can't do that. Look at what's happened in the world. I can't take care of the poor. Look at what's happened in the world. Worry is a sign of money sickness. Number three is money comfort. Money comfort. It's a sign of money sickness. I wanted to say finding comfort in money, but it was just too many words, right? It's just money. Comfort is finding our identity and finding our comfort in money.

What is this guy doing? He's talking to himself. He's comforting himself by what? By what God is doing in his life? No, by what he has. Look at verse 17. He thought to himself, What should I do? Verse 19. And he said to myself, You have plenty of grain. What is he doing? He is comforting himself, telling himself this, Hey, no matter what happens in life, I know I got enough stuff and I know I can make it and I know I will be okay because of my possessions. You see, he thinks the ultimate comfort comes from money and not God. Comes from possessions and not what God wants to do in his life. Let me just ask you, do you only feel safe when your finances look right? I mean, is there some money problems? Or do you feel incredibly vulnerable or grumpy like it's been in the last like year? Right? When you're looking at your future going, oh, my goodness. I'm not saying don't be concerned, but I'm saying we can't lean into stuff as our comfort. Here's number four greed symptom, stinginess. We're going to step on everybody today. Stinginess, right? Here's what this means when you follow this guy in Jesus’s story, not one time does it mention this guy thinking to himself at all what could part of my wealth do for others? Now, there's not one mention of that, right? There's not one mention of him saying, Hey, I want to bless people. There's no mention of him thinking like This, man, God gave this to me. What can I do with it? There's no mention of that. He is a religious Jew. I mean, that's the context of the story. He probably would have paid his temple tax, but I guarantee you there was no joy in his heart on giving. There was no recognition of the one who gave him the stuff. There's no sense of, man, I'm never going to use all this. How can I bless others? You see, here's the deal. Greedy people do give, but they give out of a sense of obligation and not out of a sense of joy that I can make a difference of what God has given to me.

That's what He's saying in the story. Stinginess. Here's number five. Overspending. Now Matt, you're getting in my business. No, overspending. You see, when greed is a part of your life, here's what happens. Money becomes the medication for whatever negative emotion that you're going through, it becomes the medication. You say Matt, what does that mean? That means you fire up Instagram, you fire up whatever somebody's selling, you fire up Amazon. And what do you do when you're sad? You shop. Why? Because that's going to make me feel better. When you're bored. What do you do? You buy. Why? Because there is something out there. Probably I need. And this will make me feel better. Now Matt, get out of my business. No. That's what greed is. That's what he's saying right here. I'll just build a bigger barn to take care of my problems. And let me just say this. This is why debt is so big. And that's why our credit cards have become our savior in a lot of ways and not Jesus the Messiah, because we're leaning on them and we're not leaning on who Christ is. I know some of you were trying your best not to look at your spouse. Don't do it. I'm just telling you right now. Don't. Don't. Look at your stuff in your barn. Here's number six. Sign of greed. It's the inability to turn off the desire for more. Sorry, I couldn't make that shorter. It's just the inability to turn it off. What does that mean? That means there's just this internal thing in you that is always saying, I need more. I need that next step. I need to become the next whatever. I need that next advancement. I need something to happen. I need more and more and more. Look, let me just think into this guy's life in a parable for a minute. This is Matt talking. But here's how I imagine it in my sanctified imagination right? Because a young man is saying something like, man, if I could just get some cool clothes, right, I would arrive. People will respect me. And then what happened to this guy? He got some cool clothes and he's like, Man, that didn't work. Okay, man, if I could just get a new chariot to ride around Jerusalem a little bit, then I will arrive and then people will respect me, and I will have enough. But it didn't work. He got the chariot. And then he’s like, I mean, if I could just buy a farm. I could just be a farmer, I'll be a landowner, I'm an aristocrat. I will be a huge member of the society. And what did he do? He got the farm and then he was like, Well, that's not enough. And then he said man, if I could just get some workers to work the farm, then people will respect me. Then people will know. Now find out who I really am. And look, he got some people to work the farm and then one year he had a huge bumper crop. He said, Now this is going to do it for me. I will become who God wants me to be. And then He's like, Now I got to build bigger barns. Where does it quit?

That's the point of our inability to turn it off. You see, greed or money sickness just leads us into this constant battle of never being satisfied and always enough is always right around the corner. It's always at the next title. It's always at the next money thing. Reminds me the CEO that said this, I quote, I spent my entire life and career sacrificing everything to climb the ladder of success, only to find out I was leaning against the wrong building. Man, that's greed. Here's number seven. If none of these I've got yet stockpiling. What do we see in the story? We see this guy looking at stuff and my barns not going to hold it. I've got to build some bigger barns. Look, money sickness, it just leads us to save just an excessive amount. Now, hear me right. I mean, it's like the third time I've said this. I'm not talking about investing wisely for the future. I'm not talking about that. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be a blessing to your kids and your kids’ kids. That's not what I'm saying. That is. All that is biblical. But what I am saying is this when you begin to prioritize saving over the obedience to God and saving so much that becoming generous is not a priority, then what is it? We're falling into money sickness. We're falling into greed. Now, look, that's just seven. There's a lot more we don't have time for, but I think that at least got the got the got the mind going a little bit maybe. We have a problem with greed and possessions are hard and they grab us, and they drag us away because what do we do? We begin to submit to our possessions and not to our savior.

So, what do we do about it? Jesus says, Let me give you four cures for greed. He doesn't just leave us hanging. Thank goodness, right? Thank goodness. We don't just leave. At that point. Jesus says, Hey, let me give you four ways that you can bust greed in the mouth. Number one, here it is. Realize the shortness of life. Realize the shortness of life. It's the first thing we see in the story, right? This rich man, security is in his stuff. Right. But what was the point of the story in one sentence, God destroys his hanging on to his stuff. By what? By a quote. It's a quote that God is going to say to every one of us at some point in one day.

Here it is, verse 20. But God said to him, You fool, this very night, your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? You know what this young guy did? He went to bed that night. He was comfortable. He was excited about tomorrow. He had picnics on the plans he had. He was going to rule the world. He had parties to attend and then, boom, his time on earth was done. Listen, church life is short. It's short. But we press so much of our attention into living for the temporal things and not the things that last. I love how Moses says it in Psalms 90 verse 12, he says, God teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. What does that say? That says really and truly the heart of wisdom, the beginning of wisdom, is when I realize that this life is short, and I need to begin to live for the things that are outside of this world and not just the things that are inside this world. Having a view of a shortness of life will change my perspective and my path so differently. It's insane to sacrifice the eternal for the temporal. That's the point. So, can we just stop living like this world is eternal? And start living like the next one is? Which leads me to my second point. Jesus said, Not only do we realize the shortness of life, but number two Strive to be rich towards God. Strive to be rich towards God. There is nothing in Scripture against you being rich. Hallelujah, right? Nothing. There is no vow of poverty that God is asking you to take, but he's asking you to be rich towards him first. That's what he's asking you. He's asking you to live for him. I love what he says. He says man, if you want to strive to be rich, that's fabulous. Do it. You buy as much stuff as you can, as long as you are rich towards God first. I love verse 33. It says, sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourself that will not wear out and a treasure in heaven that will never fail. No thief, no mouth destroys. In other words, here's what it says.

Just put your effort into eternal. Yeah. Take care of your family. Yes. Make wise stuff. But eternity matters. Eternity. Here's the deal, we got what? About 90 something ish years left? Sorry if that's where you're at. We got 90ish, like in the nineties, right? On this planet? But man, do we strive so hard for this side of eternity, rather than on God. I'm storing it up. I'm building it up. This stuff's never going to wear out. Look, if you're some further reading, I don't have time for today, but jot down the book, “Don't Waste Your Life” by John Piper. He wrote it in 2003. Incredible, whether you're young or you're old and rounding third base, that book will change your perspective because the whole premise is when you die, only what has been done for Christ lasts. That's it. Number two Strive to be rich towards God. Number three, redefine contentment. Redefine contentment. My granddad used to say it like this. Just get your wanter fixed. And that's terrible English. But it's great theology, isn't it? Just get your wanter fixed. Realize that God's going to meet your needs and you submit to him and live for him. Let me ask you, what is it that you really find fulfillment in? If it's your stuff, it's going to go away. Look what Jesus says in verse, trying to, he says. Then Jesus said to His disciples, Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life. What you will eat or about your body, and what you will wear for life is more than food, and the body is more than clothes. In other words, Jesus said, Hey, listen, when you think money and stuff is the essence of everything, man, that's not good. Yeah, you got to have it. I mean, please wear clothes, but you got to have it right. And then he gives us two examples in verse 24, he says, man, consider the Ravens. Consider the Ravens. Look at verse 24. They don't sow or reap they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you than the birds? You do realize Jesus is looking at us going man, I take care of animals. They don't have souls. And you were created in my image. But yet you think it's all on you. It's not. Submit to me.

Then it goes in verse 27 even more. He says, Consider how the flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in his splendor, was dressed like one of these. If that's how God, watch wat he says, clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire. How much more will he clothe you? Oh, you of little faith. Man, this blows my mind. You know why God is taking care of temporary things that He knows is going to burn up that don't have a soul. But yet I am the imago dei. I am built in his image. But yet I think all I have to do is keep striving and striving and striving. Where God goes, Hey, just submit to me. Live a reasonable life. Submit to me. Here's the point. The point is not Don't spend money, don't buy clothes, don't do stuff. That's not the point of the story. The point of the story is that God is so much more reliable as a source of joy and a source of life that God gives us security for the future, and He gives us beauty and significance and fulfillment for the present. That's the point. So, let me just ask you, what is it that gives you security? What is it? Because if it's a number on a bank statement, I guarantee you're going to be tight fisted and never fulfilled. But if it's God, you will live a life that flourishes. So, stop thinking that contentment and money and happiness is all around our money and our stuff and start seeing that Jesus is the source.

Look at verse 31 but seek his kingdom. Amen. That's the whole message. Seek his kingdom. These things will be given to you as well. You know, in context what seek his kingdom means. It means here's what he's going to give us. Fulfillment and happiness. So, we're talking about the whole text. Seek his kingdom. Here's number four, it’s the last one. And probably the most important. Remember the biggest gift of all, grace. You want to see money sickness go out of your life? Look at what God has done for you. Look at how He has reached down, and He has grabbed you. In fact, God desires to give you, His grace. One of the most incredible verses that sneaks by so many people who teach this text is verse 32. Look at it. Says this. Look what it says about God. It says, Do not be afraid, little flock. That's us. That’s you. That’s me. For your father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. You know, what that means? You realize? This just climbed over me this week that God is pleased to give to us. He's pleased. Well Matt, I've been praying for a million dollars for a long time, and he hasn't given to me. I didn't even hit the Powerball this week, right? No, it's not what it means. That God is pleased to give you, his kingdom. And now here's our response. Our response is just to live like a little flock that knows he's the shepherd, that knows he's protecting us, that knows that he's the almighty creator. We've seen all of this in this teaching, this full teaching of Luke, but now we're seeing him as the careful and thoughtful and caring father. You to know how to get rid of money sickness? It's pretty easy. See God for who He is. See yourself for who you are and walk in His kingdom living. Listen, I know it gets weird talking about this stuff in church, but there's a reason Jesus talked about it so much.

It's because where our treasure is, that's where our heart will be. I'm not asking you today to... Well, we're taking up bank statements today. Here we go. No, I'm just say, man, where's your treasure going? Is it in your stuff? And are we going to find you like Grandma in the back room, piled up in gerbil cages and encyclopedias? Are you pushing it into the next world and reaching this world?

Lord Jesus, God, as we walk into this time of decision today, God, our prayer is that God, you would just show us our hearts. And when it comes to our possessions, when it comes to money that God, you turn them to you. God, you, the giver of grace. You're the giver of salvation, and you're the giver of the Kingdom of God. God, I pray for souls in this room that don't know you today, that you've been dealing with their heart this week about turning their hearts over to you, Savior and Lord God, that's where it all starts, is knowing you. God, would you move their hearts during this time of invitation? How would you have them respond? Lord, I just ask that, that Lord you would just pause in a moment in their life, show you that you're worth it? And God, they would walk down to the front of whichever room they’re in today and just say, Hey, Matt, I need Jesus or one of the counselors. Hey, I, I need Jesus today to save me.

God, I also just pray for the people in the room that know you people that are watching this online, that know you, that God, let us just realize today that greed is so sneaky. But God, when you set us free from it, we lose the gifts of heaven to be poured into our lives. Thank you, Jesus, for so many faithful people in this church that get this lesson already. And God, I just pray that you take today's message, and you turn us into cheerful, generous people who lead people to your kingdom and it’s in your name.

Amen.

Follow Along with the Message


The Sneakiness of Greed

October 23, 2022

PRINCIPLE: Greed is not ultimately about our , it’s about the fallen condition of our hearts.

Luke 12:13
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
Luke 12:14–15
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

PRINCIPLE: It is possible to appear like we are living for Jesus and still be by greed.

Luke 12:16–23
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” 22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
Luke 12:30–34
30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

7 Major Symptoms of Greed

1.

Luke 12:19
And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”

2.

Luke 12:22
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.”

3. Money=

Luke 12:17
He thought to himself, “What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.”
Luke 12:19
And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”

4.

5.

6. Inability to turn the desire for more

7.


The Cure for Greed

1. Realize the of life.

Luke 12:20
But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”
Psalm 90:12
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

2. Strive to be rich toward .

Luke 12:33
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

3. Redifine .

Luke 12:22–23
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
Luke 12:24
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
Luke 12:27–28
27 Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you — you of little faith!
Luke 12:31
But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

4. Remember the biggest gift of all, .

Luke 12:32
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Additional Notes

 

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