Sermons

Summary: One of the keys to a Godly life is understanding the nature of sin and the danger it poses in our Spiritual lives.

7 Deadly Sins Series

June 15, 2008

Greed

After 13 years Bill Gates is no longer the richest man in the world. The technology tycoon was not ranked Richest man in the world for the first time in over a decade. Bill Gates fell from his spot on the top to a lowly number three position. His net worth of $58 Billion only goes to hold a number three spot in the wealth of the world. The wealthiest man alive is a man by the name of Warren Buffett he is worth $62 billion dollars. Poor Bill Gates might need to go out and get a job before he ends up begging on the streets. Not quite. There are almost 200 countries whose Gross National Product is less than $58 Billion. That means there are at least three people who have more money by themselves then almost 200 nations produce in goods and services in an entire year. Can you imagine what you would do with $58 billion? Thats almost too big to calculate. So lets break it down. Lets say that Bill Gates wants to spend all his money before he dies. He is almost 53 years old. Lets say he lives for another 20 years. To spend all of his money before he died he would have to spend 2.9 Billon dollars a year. Thats still kind of big for more most of us to picture so lets break it down more: if you divide that 2.9 billion by 365 days in a year you are left with $7,945,205 to spend every day. Thats a huge number. So lets make it smaller: take that by 24 hours in a day. In order to spend everything he has now if he did not make another penny while he was alive Bill Gates would have to spend $331,050 per hour or $5517.50 a minute, or $92 every second. That just sounds unreal. We dont make anything like that. So lets look at where we are.

There is this program called the global rich list. You input how much money you make every year and it puts that into a global perspective. Obviously Bill Gates is top dog on that list¦but where do you fall? According to this global rich list if you make $60,000 per year you are in the top 1% of the world. Not all of us are so wealthy as to live in that top 1% so lets break it down a little further. At $40,000 per year you are in the top 3% of the richest people in the world. If you make $30,000 you are in the top 7%. Honestly its a bit surprising to think about it. $30,000 a year is hardly enough to live comfortably off of here, yet it puts you in the top 7% of the world. I wanted to see just how far this went so I plugged in some really low numbers to see where they would land: $3,000 puts you in the top 15% of the richest people in the world. $2,000 a year drops you all the way to 18% of the richest people. Do you realize that the homeless people sitting outside Wal-Mart begging for money are making more than 80% of the world? What is really unbelievable about this is that Bill Gates makes more money in a second then some people do in an entire year.

This week we are looking at the sin of Greed. The hard thing with this sin is that it is completely culturally acceptable. In fact many people in this country would consider greed a virtue not a vice. We look at it as a natural motivator to do more. Romans 1:29 warns us of the dangers and evil of greed. Just look at the crew that greed runs with. This is rough bunch. :

Ro 1:29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, Ro 1:30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; Ro 1:31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Ro 1:32 Although they know Gods righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Now as everyone knows the key to happiness is found in one word: more. More money, more power, more cars, more stuff = more happiness. The American dream is all about the accumulation of things. The dream is all about working jobs you dont like to make money so that you can buy things that you dont need.

Greed is defined as a desire to acquire wealth or possessions beyond the needs of an individual. So what do you need? We go through life saying: I need this I need that I have to have those things but in the end what do need? Food, water, clothing, and maybe shelter. Everything else is just a glorified want. Sure there are things that make life easier. There are things that make life seem more enjoyable or more comfortable. But ultimately they are not things that we need. One of my professors at Ozark described greed as wanting-more-ish-ness, I am not sure that is a word but it gets the idea across beautifully. You see the problem is not money or stuff. There is this wonderful misconception that money is the root of all evil. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Money is not good or evil in and of itself. The problem is that we have bought on to this idea that money or stuff will make us happy. So we mindless pursue the god of more thinking he is the key to happiness. We have this insatiable desire to have more than we do. When is it enough? Never. There is always something else to buy, always something else to have. When I was studying this week I came across a very interesting book. It was called: I’m Rich Beyond My Wildest Dreams--I Am. I Am. I Am.: How to Get Everything You Want in Life it was paperback. I remember thinking, wow¦what a perfect way to describe the American mindset. Riches=happiness. If you have the money you can get everything you want in life. After all the one thing our consumer economy will tell us is that you can buy anything for the right price.

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