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Summary: Jesus warns us in the strongest language to beware of covetousness. The inordinate desire to accumulate wealth will kill our souls.

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Beware Covetousness

by Rev. Don R. Parmely

Text: Luke 12:13-34

I.Introduction

A.We are on the eve of remembering the terrorists’ attack of September 11, 2006.

1.Do you remember where you were?

2.Do you remember your thoughts?

3.Do you remember what your church did in response?

4.Did the church experience any growth after the event?

5.Do you know anyone whose spiritual life changed as a result of the attacks?

B.A [recent] study by The Barna Group shows that despite an intense surge in religious activity and expression in the weeks immediately following 9/11 the faith of Americans is virtually indistinguishable today compared to pre-attack conditions.

C.The director of the Barna study, David Kinnaman, put the findings in context.

1.“Many Christian leaders predicted that terrorism on U.S. soil would catalyze a spiritual awakening in the country.

2.The first few weeks were promising. But people quickly returned to their standard, faith-as-usual lives: within a month, most of their spiritual fervor was gone. Within 90 days, surprisingly few people were pursuing important questions about faith and spirituality.

3.Now, five years removed from that fateful day, spiritually speaking, it’s as if nothing significant ever happened.

4.People used faith like a giant band-aid – it helped people deal with the ugliness of the event but it offered little in the way of deep healing and it was discarded after a brief period of use.”

D.On that day and the days immediately following it seemed that we had a clarity that we no longer possess.

1.We knew what was important.

2.We knew that the things of the life were transitory.

3.We knew they could all be gone — along with our life — in an instant — in the explosion of a terrorist’s bomb.

E.But it seems that clarity has evaporated.

F.We’re back to business as usual.

II. Self-Centered

A.As we consider this text within its context we need to think about what Jesus has been saying.

1.He has been dealing with spiritual matters.

C.He has just spoken of:

1.Hypocrisy

2.Wisdom of speech

3.The fear of God

4.The necessity of confessing Jesus before others

5.Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

D.When all of the sudden someone from the crowd says:

1.“Make my brother give me my money.”

E.And Jesus sees the heart.

1.He knows what this man is continually thinking about.

2.Vs. 15

F.What about us?

III. When Coveteousness Takes Over

A. To try to get through to this man and others like him.

1.To get through to people like us

B. Jesus tells a parable — a story that teaches a lesson — a deep spiritual truth.

C. The man Jesus speaks about in this story has an “I” problem.

1.What shall I do...

2.Since I have no room

3.I will do this

4.I will pull down

5.I will will build

6.I will store

7.I will say

D.He is consumed with himself to the exclusion of all others.

E.He didn’t thank God.

F.He was full of pride.

G.He was consumed by covetousness

1.A craving, a desire for more, a dissatisfaction with what is enough

2.It is the cry of the heart that says: “Give me, give me.”

H.What happens to the covetous man?


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