Summary: This is from a series I did on attitudes. I got a lot of ideas from a book called Lord Change My Attitude by James MacDonald.

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Things R Us

Sunday February 4, 2007

Scripture Reference: Romans 12:2, Numbers 11:4-15, 18-20, 31-35


A. What do you wish for? I have been trying to be a little more interactive in my sermons lately so that we can begin to see the impact changing our attitudes can have. I would like you to join me in another brief exercise. I want you to write down the one thing you wish for. Now I am not going to ask you to share this with anyone so you can be perfectly honest. What do you wish for?

1. Let’s see if any of the things you wish for are on the same list as these people. [] Show “I Wish” video.

B. To say that greed, materialism, or covetousness is a problem in America today is really more than a statement of the obvious. To say that we are living in an age of wanting more and more stuff is like telling the people jumping off the Titanic to be careful because the water is cold.

1. The danger to us today and I will direct my concerns to those of us who call ourselves Christians is not simply that there is a problem in our culture with materialism the greater danger is that we by in large do not even see the danger anymore. It is so much a part of us that we don’t even see it as a problem anymore. [] It is like the banner that hangs on the back of our sanctuary wall. That banner expresses the mission of our church, yet I wonder how many of us who attend Cornerstone on a regular basis even see it anymore. It’s not even that we don’t agree with the statement it’s just that we don’t really give it much thought. Last week I share a quote from a Vance Havner and in that quote he said, “What we take for granted we never take seriously.” If this is true and I believe it is then I don’t think we are taking it all that seriously that we have a real problem within the church with the attitude of covetousness, or wanting more and more stuff.

Trans. Now let’s begin today as we have done in the past with this series and define what we mean by coveting or materialism.


First of all to covet is to want the wrong things.

A. To Covet Is To Want The Wrong Things.

1. Now let me list for you a few of the things that I think are wrong for us to want or to pursue. I think that it is wrong for us to want power or to pursue power. Now I will say that power is not intrinsically evil meaning that power is not evil in and of itself but wanting power or chasing after power is wrong. People who want power are people who want to be in control and usually they want to be in control of others. [] I was in a class on Child molestation and Child Abuse a few weeks ago at a police chaplain’s conference. The instructor told us that in all cases the child molester is not after the sexual gratification he is after the power. He wants power over others and usually because he had no power over others in his early life. I think wanting position is wrong. Do you want to be the “boss” the supervisor, the club president? Now is there anything wrong with being a boss or supervisor or club president? Of course not but you would be hard pressed to convince me that people who want the position and pursue them find themselves doing things they would not normally do in order to achieve that position.

B. To Covet Is To Want The Right Things For The Wrong Reasons.

1. [] Let me use the illustration of police chaplaincy. I have witnessed in the 13 years that I have been a police chaplain that there are a few of the men who wanted to be police chaplains so that they could wear a badge or a uniform. Or they wanted to be a policeman but couldn’t make it through the normal channels so they decided to become a police chaplain. It is certainly a good thing to want to serve your community in this particular role but it becomes wrong when we want the right things for the wrong reasons.

2. We see this also in the life of the church. I have known people who wanted to be pastors. I think that is a good thing. I subscribe to what my pastor told me when I felt called to ministry. He said you are either called or crazy because no one would knowingly choose to be a pastor. But as I listened more closely to these people I discovered that they wanted to be pastors for the wrong reasons. They saw this as a cushy job where they could work just a few days a week. They saw pastors up in front of people getting a lot of attention and thought that would be cool. A college professor set us straight on this one as well. He said the fact that you stand up there in front of the people just makes you an easier target. They failed to read the words of James in 3:1 where James said that leaders would incur a stricter judgment.

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