Summary: In the Eighth Commandment God calls us to be wary of allowing our possessions to rule us and take our focus off God.
“Gripped By Greed”.
You know the feeling don't you? It may come as you jump into your rusted out HQ Holden, while the guy parked next to you slides into a brand new BMW.
It may come to you when you try on a pair of $20 bargain priced shoes, while the woman next to you can't decide between the $200 red high heels and the $180 black slip-ons.
It may come to you while you watch your class-mate at school buy a present which is worth your whole years pocket money.
What is this feeling?
It’s a longing, a desire, a wish to have those things which others have and you don't.
It begins as a small thought … “I just want a little more.” But soon the small thought becomes an unquenchable desire.
It is the feeling of greed.
The issue with greed is that it can hit anyone. Rich or poor. Famous or completely unknown. Because, for so many of us, there is this thought that we have that we just need a little more.
Just one more dollar.
Just one more toy.
Just one more set of shoes.
Just one more game.
Just one more electronic devise.
Just one more …
Think about what your “just one more” is as we read our text this morning.
This is a classic story of “just one more” – in this case it was “just one more barn”.
And it really helps us to understand what greed is.
Jesus says very clearly `Watch out!' and `Be on our guard against all kinds of greed'.
How many types of greed are there?
Jesus gives us at least three examples.
Greed comes when we do not acknowledge that all our riches, small or large, are lent to us by God.
Who gave the farmer the bumper crop for the season? Wasn’t it God?
Who gave the farmer the bread on his table that morning? Wasn’t it God?
Who gave you any of the things that you have in your possession? Wasn’t it God?
In the parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus says, “The seed grew by itself” – God is behind the growth.
Even when it comes to the result of Gospel labour … some plant, some water … but God makes it grow.
In Psalm 50:10-12 God declares:-
Every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine.
If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
We may have been the one who worked to get the money, but didn’t God give us the ability we needed?
We might not even have job at the moment. Yet we still live in a country where we have good social security support. It is because God put us here.
All that we have is on loan from God – who is a generous provider. Which means all that we have is not merely at our disposal to use how we like.
To think anything differently is to have an attitude of greed.
Greed comes when our wealth and possessions give us a misplaced sense of security.
Look at the man in our passage. He seems to think he will live forever, he is untouchable.
I’m going to eat and drink and have a great life.
I’m going to go into early retirement and live the good life and get really old and only then will I die.
He is confident because he has long-term wealth security.
There are many people like that.
Kerry Packer was the 94th richest person in the world when he died at 68 in 2005.
He previous had a heart attack in which left him without a pulse for six minutes. In an interview with Ray Martin after that event Packer said.
You want the good news or the bad news?
(Ray) Give us the good news.
The good news is there is no devil. The bad news is there no heaven. … There's nothing.
I’m sure Kerry is still coming to terms with the surprise that he was wrong.
But money can do that to you can’t it?
It can give us a sense of security that is completely misplaced.
That is why lotto is so popular … winning the lotto will solve all your problems.
But it doesn’t.
70% of people who win $1,000,000 or more will lose or spend their money within 5 years.
The divorce rate for lottery winners is four times the average.
Money doesn’t solve your problems – if anything quick money brings out the worst in you.
It all comes back to putting your faith in the accumulation of wealth … which is greed.