Summary: Greed is a powerful and prevalent enemy to spirituality, but God has shown us how to overcome it.
The Enemy Within - Greed. I Tim. 6:6-10
INTRO.: This morning we begin a new series of messages titled “The Enemy Within.” We will examine some of the great obstacles to living the Christian life.
Opposition to the Christian comes from both outside and inside. From the outside, Satan hurls his temptations and trials against us, sometimes with great subtlety and sometimes blatantly. We need to beware of all his schemes.
From within, however, there are some even more subtle and dangerous threats. They are also the result of Satan’s influence and efforts. He uses the weakness of the flesh to entice us to sin.
We want to look at some of the ways Satan works from within to destroy our faith and influence for God.
The first is greed. Paul speaks of this subject as he writes to Timothy, his young protégée.
We’ll look at this subject from two perspectives: the threat itself and the defense God has provided.
I. Greed is a very dangerous and prevalent tendency:
A. It is a great threat and always has been:
1. Causes fights, quarrels. James 4:1-3
2. Caused a rich man to miss out on the Kingdom. Luke 18:23
3. Caused Judas to betray Jesus.
B. Notice the language of verses 9 and 10:
1. “Temptation and a trap.”
2. “Foolish and harmful desires.”
3. “Ruin and destruction.”
4. “Wandered from the faith.”
5. “Pierced themselves with grief.”
C. Besides, you can’t take your wealth with you. V. 7
1. Prosperous farmer of Luke 12:16ff
2. Haggai 1:5 - when Israel neglected God’s house in favor of their own comfort, they suffered because of their greed.
3. If all we have is invested in this world, then we will lose it all when Christ returns.
D. “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil”:
1. Every evil deed you can imagine has been done for money. Even the betrayal of Christ.
2. We need to use our money to help others and not make it the goal of our lives.
3. Luke 16:13 "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."
4. God is not so concerned about how much we have as how we got it and how we use it to His glory.
II. How do we avoid greed?
A. The apostle advises godliness: Put your trust in God.
1. God promises to supply what you may need. Phil. 4:19
2. This means living close to Him and allowing His Word to guide you.
3. Do what you can to provide your needs and look to God to do what you can’t.
B. Then he recommends contentment.
1. The richest man alive may not be as wealthy as I because he may not have all he wants.
2. No matter how much we have, we can’t be happy if we are not content with what we have.
C. Jesus is our example: II Cor. 8:9
1. He left all the riches of Heaven to be born in a stable.
2. He did this so we might share in His riches.
3. This provides powerful motivation for our giving to the cause of Christ.
D. Lay up treasures in Heaven: Matt. 6:19-21
1. Jesus told his disciples to sell all they had. And give to the poor. Luke 12:32-34
2. Of course, these were special circumstances.
3. Paul gives Timothy the final answer in I Tim. 6:17-19.
E. He provides a very practical plan for avoiding the pitfalls of greed:
1. Don’t be so arrogant as to put your hope in wealth.
2. Put your hope in God, the real Provider of wealth.
3. Be rich in good deeds, generous, willing to share.
4. In this way we will invest in Heavenly life.
CONC.: When we allow greed for money or possessions to get a hold on us, we rob God, our families, and ourselves.
We rob God of resources that could extend His Kingdom and benefit His people.
We rob our fellow man of resources God expects us to use to help others in need.
We rob our families of our presence and attention because we spend excessive time and energy amassing wealth.
Let’s strive for godliness with contentment. There’s great gain to be had in doing so.