Summary: Examines the problem of materialism and unbridled consumerism in our relationship with God

1. Title: I Want It Now! (Unbridled Consumerism, Materialism, Greed)

2. Text: I Timothy 6:3-10; Philippians 4:11-13; Hebrews 13:5; Ecclesiastes

3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd, March 5, 2006, 7th in the series ‘A Clear and Present Danger”

4. Objectives:

-for the people to understand the reasons that materialism is a threat and to understand the cure to being greedy is contentment in God

-for the people to feel free from the “necessity” of stuff and eager to live life free of the tug to have stuff

-for the people to get rid of material things that stand between themselves and God and to deliberately take up contentment in Jesus as a way to combat greed

5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to understand that the threat of consumerism is very real and to make sure that they don’t live in it.

6. Type: topical

7. Dominant Thought: a worldview of contentment honors God and helps assure that He is first in our lives

8. Outline:

Ill - You don’t remember the day it happened to you, but I know that it did. It was the day that everything changed for you. Up until that day, life was pretty simple. You were a happy and content person. Your needs were met, you were comfortable, and fairly non-stressed. Then it happened – bright lights, cold air, a smack on the rear maybe. There was breathing to be done for the very first time, and what’s that strange feeling in my stomach? Result? Discontent. “I don’t like the way this feels.” From the moment we draw our first breath in this world, the noise that follows is an indicator that we aren’t exactly happy about how things are. You get hungry, you cry. You get tired, you cry. You get cold or wet, you cry. Basically, your life becomes a series of events, moving from being content to discontent, crying every time you want something changed.

Oh, you say, that’s when someone’s a baby! When you grow up, you stop being that way. True. At least, you’re supposed to. You’re supposed to grow up. You’re supposed to stop being childish about your wants.

The clear and present danger to our generation that I want to discuss this morning is that of materialism – or greed.

Is it present?

I don’t think I have to spend a lot of time on this point.

Over the past 5 decades, with all the advances of technology, we could now accomplish the same amount of productivity of a 40 hour work week in a work week that’s under 30 hours long. What did we do with the time? Did we spend more time on our marriages, more time with our families together, more time developing ourselves or taking up a hobby? No, we took the extra hours, and worked them. In fact, we chose to work even more hours than before, for the sake of having more stuff.

How did we become so discontent? We’re living in a society that is consumer-driven. Every billboard, every TV or radio commercial, every magazine ad, every brand label on clothing and shoes is painstakingly created to make you be discontent or to convince you that you won’t be content unless you have it. It’s what underwrites the sports industry, because endorsements and TV ads are all part of this amazing web of power woven to convince you that you’re not satisfied, you’re not complete unless some product is a part of your world. Have you ever had that experience? You seem happy and then there comes this commercial for a widget, which you don’t have. It will somehow make your life better. In fact, how have you managed to live without it until now?!

Think this through: the whole purpose of advertising is to create a perceived “need”; to impair our self-control just long enough to make the sale. Commercials aren’t supposed to make you feel better.

They’re supposed to make you feel incomplete. Every year, billions of dollars are spent on them; Every advertisement created with one goal in mind: to create discontent.

So, we‘ve launched into an age of unbridled consumerism that has never been seen before. We’re consuming and spending at a rate that has never been matched by a nation as a whole. I can get on the internet, go on Ebay, find some item that someone has up for bid in Singapore, bid on it, pay for it, and have it in the mail to me in a matter of minutes.

And have you noticed - the acquisition of stuff hasn’t quelled our appetite for it. It has increased it. “If only I had a faster computer, if only I had a better car, if only I had a prettier wife, if only I had a better job, if only I were healthier, if only I had a bigger house…” and the list never ends.

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