Summary: Covetousness is described by Jesus as getting rich towards self, without getting rich towards God.. Christians are warned to take heed and beware of it.

Beware of Covetousness

Study Text: Luke 12: 13 - 21


- A man interrupted Jesus in His sermon with the matters of inheritance and his brother, rather than listening to the sermon.

- Jesus said to this man, “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth”. Yet we act as though the greatest good on earth consists in adding to our possessions.

- The happiest man is not the one who possesses the most, but the man who lives to please God and shares with others the good things God has entrusted to him.

- No one will ever be saved who is living just for self. He must come to the place where, being convicted of sin, he turns from it and puts his trust in Christ alone for salvation.

- We all do well to heed this warning: “Take heed, and beware of covetousness”. To ‘Beware’ as used in the scripture, is to be cautious or to take heed of an impending danger.

- Covetousness is a sin that greatly displeases God, yet it easily ensnares many Christians today (Hebrews 12:1).

- Covetousness can manifest itself in love of money, desire for power or gain, or indecent crave for food and drink, sex or other material things.

- We shall be discussing the topic under three subheadings:

1. The Description of Covetousness

2. The Dangers of Covetousness

3. The Deliverance from Covetousness

1. The Description of Covetousness

- Covetousness can be described as an envious eagerness to possess something or extreme and insatiable greed for material wealth.

- There is danger in wanting more and more things (clothes, money, houses, degrees and all kinds of awards), or in wanting what belongs to another. The apostle Paul called this intense, inordinate desire “idolatry” Colossians 3:5

- Covetousness is “laying up treasures for oneself at the expense of being rich towards God. Luke 12:21.

- Covetousness is a quiet desire to possess today all that tomorrow will need. It is a desire to keep something that is not actually a necessity today, for next year.

- There are some things which we have a right to desire. Wanting things is not necessarily wrong. A desire for things, which is limited to the will of God for you, is not sinful, but all other desires are evil. God made you to desire things, but that desire must always fall within His will.

- The cause of covetousness is a selfish heart, which leads to a selfish motivation. Covetousness makes us unaware of our greed. It prevents us from having feelings of deep concern for God’s will and for other people. It blinds us to our own selfishness.

- The man in the parable gathered so much for himself, without living for God, and died unexpectedly. That was the end of this covetous man’s life, but it was not the end of his existence.

- He went into eternity to meet the God whom he ignored, the God who showered mercy upon him all his life, but who never received any appreciation from him.

- He went into eternity to face the Lord Jesus whom he had never recognized. He had been so busy laying up treasures for himself on earth that he made no provision for eternity.

- Whatever our wealth may be, we are not truly rich if we do not know Jesus Christ as our Saviour. If we do not have Christ we are miserably poor.

- After we have trusted Christ we are warned against laying up treasures for ourselves on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.

- Instead we are told to Lay up our treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal (Matthew 6:19-20).

- Even Christians are in danger of this spirit of covetousness. Happy is he who, instead of laying up treasures on earth, is sending treasure on ahead to be enjoyed in heaven.

2. The Dangers of Covetousness

- What is the root of all evil? The love of money: people may have money, and yet not love it; but, if they love it inordinately, it will push them on to all evil.

- Covetous persons will compromise righteous principles of the Word of God and even quit the faith, if that be the way to get money or to become wealthy.

- The grip of covetousness is so strong on some people to the extent that they would be running even after things they have no immediate use for.

- If this covetousness is limited to sinners it would have been understandable, but numerous believers are today bound in the claws of covetousness. Even preachers are not left out. The reason behind many shady and dubious business in life and ministry is covetousness.

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