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Summary: Anything that that pulls us a way from God is dangerous to our spiritual health and well-being. What will degrade our stewardship to God? Greed. The Bible calls it covetousness.

Video: Possessions (1:10 min - available on SermonCentral)

I want to begin by asking a very simple question: Do you own your possessions, or do your possession own you? Think on that for bit.

The message today will deal with all our stuff. What do we do with it all? Is all our time taken up fixing and caring for our stuff? Take a boat for example. It wonderful to have for a day out on the water. But I have learned that a boat takes a lot of care and maintenance. Over time I have found that it cost more to own a boat than to buy one. Who owns who?

This sermon series is entitled: What Every Christian Needs To Know About Stewardship. Last week we looked at everything we have is from God, and since it all belongs to God, we are therefore managers of God’s things. Or another word for being a manager is Stewardship.

Today’s message: Poor Stewardship is Dangerous. How is that? Anything that that pulls us a way from God is dangerous to our spiritual health and well-being. What will degrade our stewardship to God? Greed. The Bible calls it covetousness.

Poor stewardship is dangerous for you. [statistics show that] Between 25 and 50 percent of church attenders give nothing or next to nothing. This is not a financial problem but a spiritual one. God is a giver. Our willingness to give reveals our relationship to God. [1]

Luke 12:15–21 (NKJV) And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Revelation 3:17–18 (NKJV) Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Let me tell you about a man who died some years ago: All he ever really wanted in life was more. He wanted more money, so he parlayed inherited wealth into a billion-dollar pile of assets. He wanted more fame, so he broke into the Hollywood scene and soon became a filmmaker and star. He wanted more sensual pleasures, so he paid handsome sums to indulge his every sexual urge. He wanted more thrills, so he designed, built, and piloted the fastest aircraft in the world. He wanted more power, so he secretly dealt political favors so skillfully that two U.S. presidents became his pawns. All he ever wanted was more. He was absolutely convinced that more would bring him true satisfaction. Unfortunately, history shows otherwise. He concluded his life emaciated; colorless; sunken chest; fingernails in grotesque, inches-long corkscrews; rotting, black teeth; tumors; innumerable needle marks from his drug addiction.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m telling you the a very brief bio of Howard Hughes. Howard Hughes died believing the myth of more. He died a billionaire junkie, insane by all reasonable standards. Leaving no will, His empire was divided among 22 cousins. [2]

What did Jesus say?

Luke 12:15 (NKJV) And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

If you looked back a couple of verses you see Jesus was answering in response to a man who asked Jesus to tell his bother to divide the inheritance with him. He was probably the younger brother who had no control over what comes to him. It was customary to ask a rabbi to decide legal matters. But Jesus refused to get involved. Why? Division of all that stuff would not solve the real problem. The stuff was not the problem. It was the desire for stuff.

Look at that word “covetousness” in verse 15. Most other translations have the word “greed.” “Thou shalt not covet” Isn’t that number 10 of the 10 commandments? It’s there for a reason, yet we ignore that commandment. We will use other words like “ambition” and "the drive to get ahead" to get around the word "covet." Don’t think that this only applies to the those who are wealthy, or financially well off. Disadvantage people will dwell on and greedily desire those things that others have. The Bible word for this is “covet” and God’s word say don’t do it.

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