Sermons

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

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?

1. He dies.

2. Solomon noted in Ecclesiastes 2:18-19 (NKJV) Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.

I. If you work and slave and stress over having more and more what good does it do you?

1. So many times — most of the time — when you don’t put God first — your work in this life will profit you nothing.

2. It’s as Haggai said in Haggai 1:5-6 (NKJV) Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! 6 “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”

3. Not only that but ultimately you leave all your efforts to someone else.

i. Paul said in 1 Timothy 6:7 (NKJV) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

4. Jesus calls us a fool.

i. He said in Mark 8:36 (NKJV) For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

5. Finally, we have to give an account before God.

i. Romans 14:12 (NKJV) So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

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