Kingdom Principle: Greed sucks the life out of you, thanksgiving sustains your abundance.
|Hosea 11:1-11||Psalm 107:1-9, 43||Colossians 3:1-11||Luke 12:13-21|
By its nature, greed will never stop sucking… it is like a black-hole. Greed sucks everything unto itself until it eventually consumes itself. While I am not an expert on space, gravity or science in general, I have heard that you cannot escape a black hole either by feeding it or running away from it…. It is like trying to control our flesh/earthly nature – it cannot be done; the flesh must be crucified (Gal. 5:24)– totally destroyed or else its roots will again bear the fruit of this world.
Thanksgiving is counter-balance to Greed, where both seek abundance!
- Greed consumes possessions and passions.
- Thanksgiving confesses grace and truth.
But you don’t simply wake up and start to be thankful one day when you have led a life of greed. Let us first discover how deep the roots of greed reach, then how to foster a life of thanksgiving so that we don’t fall into the never satisfied gravity of greed. Contrast the roots of the Spirit with the shoots of rebellion which are the 7 deadly sins.)
Greed is never satisfied – it just keeps accumulating. There are many expressions of greed. Greed is closely associated with idolatry, because greed places you as the god at the center of all things. The 10 Commandments bookend with revoking idolatry and greed: Thou shall have no other god’s before me and Thou shall not covet. (Exodus 20:3,17) Greed is a root that thrives in the soil of a wicked heart, where greed is allowed to continue the heart become more wicked. Greed is a sin of excess. Greed is expressed outwardly in many forms….
One shoot of rebellion in the body is sexual immorality. (Gluttony & Lust) Sexual immorality includes anything that “feeds” the desires of the body including but not limited to adultery and homosexuality, pornography to prostitution
One shoot of rebellion in the soul is impurity of mind and emotion. (Wrath & Envy) Impurity includes anything that “feeds” the desires of the soul this is often expressed as lustful passion and evil desires
One shoot of rebellion in the spirit is arrogance and self-righteousness. (Pride & Sloth/Acadia) Self-Righteousness justifies one’s actions or avoidance of actions as superior in comparison to another.
Beware any prideful stance to speak of sexual immorality or impurity as detestable things that others do (as opposed to you) for this road is paved by generations of individuals who are arrogant, overfed and unconcerned with the needs of the poor. (Ezekiel 16:49) It is for this reason that Sodom was destroy and we find the focus of the Hosea passage resolving the issues of Israel’s greed.. It is for this reason that the love of money is declared to be the roots of all kinds of evil. (1 Tim. 6:10) This is the focus of the Luke passage.
- Greed is always accumulating, Thanksgiving is always appreciating.
To appreciate is the increased value and awareness of an asset as unpacked in 2LAF with regards to listening and relationships. Since greed is taking more than you need or require, the way to eradicate greed is by re-establishing what your needs are. This is captured in Col. 3 as by being raised with Christ and setting you hearts on things above. In this our old ways (flesh or sin nature) is taken off, and the new self is renewed in the righteous image of Christ. The LORD satisfies and fills the one who is wise and ponders the loving deeds of the God. (Ps. 107:8-9, 43)
The Church in Acts understood the solution to being overcome with greed, the tangible outcome was they sold their possession and gave to those who had a need and were filled with thanksgiving. (Acts 2:42-46) The rich man whom Jesus spoke of in the parable today completely missed it. He obsessed in his abundance, and attempted to store it away for later, yet he never saw the purpose of his labor or his life. How far have most people come from this today?
The Problem is ownership by possessions not ownership of possessions.
When your possessions and passions own you, your flesh is your master. Therefore, if you can’t tithe for fear of the bills that will come, or when you are working so hard to make the money you need, that you have no time to talk with a neighbor or care for others you have succumbed to ownership by possessions. Your stuff owns you, not the other way around….
Take 10 minutes and walk around your house, look at what you own, as well as what emotionally or financially owns you. (Anything that you are in debt with on/to owns you, as well as possessions that you can’t bear to part with from a certain outfit to heirlooms) And since no one can serve two masters (Luke 16:13) we must declare to the world in whom do we trust.
There is no real security in wealth, but there is wealth in real security.
Trusting in the provision of the LORD is the only true security. Real security is discovered by being satisfied in God’s deliverance. If you read all of Psalm 107 you discover the pattern, either you are thankful for what you have in God, or you are focused on what you want, which leads to rebellion and suffering. To which God will intervene for His love endures forever, and he will reject his promises. Yet this intervention is not always pleasant, and often it is a painful reminder of the selfish coveting/greedy choices you have made and the consequences that follow. Discovering that the Lord has not left you but delivered you always bring an expression of thanksgiving.
Stewardship and Generosity increase our Thanksgiving which overcome Greed…
Stewardship is the call to manage, invest and leverage all that God has made you a steward (manager) of…. In this a true steward knows and declares, none of “this” is mine – there is no possession for a steward. (this includes your children, your work, your success or your failure) Stewards have been entrusted to care and maximize all they have been entrusted with.
- Stewardship is a call to Obedience. (Luke 16 & Matthew 25)
Generosity is the call to give, distribute and bless using all that God has place at your disposal. In this God is the giver and you are the steward, and you must constantly check-in with the Holy Spirit to know how much and to whom to give, but your call is not to first meet your own needs, but rather trust in God to be your shepherd and care taker. And in the same way God calls you to do the same for your brother or sister.
- Generosity is a call to Compassion. (Luke 14:12-34, 21:1-4, Matthew 20:1-16)
May Stewardship and Generosity become your redeemed story to tell.