Summary: Continuation of our seven series. The world gives us greed and God helps us conquer it with the virtue of liberality.
Seven- Part 6
Greed vs. Liberality
Video- The Money Rant- found on www.sermonspice.com
Me- 6 week review (Pride- humility, envy-kindness, gluttony-abstinence, lust-chastity, anger-patience)
Today Greed vs. Liberality- this is like the video said a touchy subject. This is one we don’t want to hear about. It is one we fear because it has to do with all of us. Without money we don’t survive and everywhere we turn it seems people are asking for handouts. We work hard for what we have and we want to hang on to it. Spend it the way we want. And we don’t want some preacher telling us to give it to the church.
I was having a really hard time trying to figure out a way to bring this message to you. I have preached on tithing probably 2-3 times here and I was asking God how else can I speak on this topic. How can I bring this message to life without making it sound like I’m trying to get you to give and give and give. Last weekend God showed me a real life example of what it looks like when a man or this case a family has learned to overcome greed with liberality.
You- Greed (Def)- Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. To be a person of greed is a person who is all about themselves. It’s a person that holds on to the mindset that says, “I want that now” It’s the person who walks by the bell ringer with $5 in their wallet but politely tells them they have no change. It’s the person who goes out and buys the newest and best things for them and lets their kids wear hand me down clothing. It’s the person who works long hours to get another promotion so they can get more money to buy more things. A person of greed is consumed with owning, buying, spending. This definition says its all about them and never about others or obedience to God. Greed is not just about spending but its also a person who hoards money. Who is so focused on saving and not spending.
(poor begger- died of starvation begging on the streets but he was actually a millionaire. He was too cheap to spend it.)
This is a sin that every single person in here has been guilty of at least once in their life. We are born with a human nature that is inward focused. From the time we are born we know how to say, “mine.” We know how to be selfish. We have to be taught to share. We have to be taught to put others first. We have to be taught the importance of sacrifice.
Each week I have shown how our American culture is running wild with each of these sins and greed is probably the worst of the 7. Money focused on more than anything in our lives. The most popular tv shows today are the get rich quick game shows where millions can be won in minutes of work.
Stats- 88% of the population have more debt than assests. Money factors into over 60% of all divorces. The average American family today carries $8000 in credit card debt. Only 2% of people in America when they reach 65 are financially stable- they need no additional income. Greed consumes us.
God- Because money consumes us should it really surprise us that God spends so much time speaking about money? Should it really shock us that God desires for us to be freed from the grip of greed in our lives? God desires us to be holy as he is holy and to be able to live a life of liberality where no sin has built a barrier between us and our relationship with God is what he desires most. Stats- Jesus spoke more about money and how to use it than he did about heaven and hell combined. Of his 39 parables nearly half deal with greed, giving or generosity. Money is mentioned 2350 times in the bible. One out of every six verses in Matthew, Mark, and Luke is about material possession. It is mentioned this much because God is serious about wanting us to learn true freedom in our lives.
Here are some scriptures God gives us on greed.
Luke 12:15- the one who dies with the most toys still dies. Alexander the great learned this- asked to be buried with his hand sticking out of the coffin to show it was empty and we can’t take riches with us.
You- You get the point- God desires for us to learn the virtue of liberality. To learn how to make him first. That’s why God wants us to give back to him what is most precious to us. We tithe because we not only want the money used to advance God’s Kingdom. We tithe to show God, our relationship with him and our obedience to Him is more important than anything the world says is important.