Sex, Success & Stuff -Greed Sucks!

Kingdom  Principle: Greed sucks the life out of you, thanksgiving expresses your abundance.

Hosea 11:1-11 Psalm 107:1-9, 43 Colossians 3:1-11 Luke 12:13-21

The reality is that greed will never stop sucking… 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 do know that you cannot escape a black hole, by feeding it or running away from it….  It is like trying to control our flesh or 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.

The answer given this week in the text is that Thanksgiving is counter-part to Greed. 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 when you have led a life of greed. Let us first discover how deep the roots of greed runs, then how to foster a life of thanksgiving so that we don’t fall into the never satisfied gravity of greed again.

First: 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 20:3,17Greed 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…. The chief sinful expression of greed in the body is sexual immorality. Gluttony and Lust are included in the 7 deadly sins with greed at their root. The chief sinful expression of greed in the soul is impurity of mind and emotion. Wrath and Envy are included in the 7 deadly sins with greed at their root.  Sexual immorality includes anything that “feeds” the desires of the body including but not limited to adultery and homosexuality, pornography to prostitution. Beware any prideful stance (another one of the 7 deadly sins) to speak of sexual immorality 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. Impurity includes anything that “feeds” the desires of the soul this is often expressed as lustful passion and evil desires.  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. Yet as we connected last week – God established his Covenant with his people, and Coveting while violating the relational rights, does not destroy the promise.  Adam’s sin was rooted in greed, in that the fruits of the tree were seen as pleasing to sight… (Gen. 2:9, 3:6) the act of being seen as pleasing and desirable is the root of greed. Will you live out based on God’s will or succumb to your wants….  I want, I want, I want it now – regardless of the cost.

While Greed always accumulates, Thanksgiving need ever stop – it just keeps appreciating. (there is certainly a word play on the word appreciate, speaking both of the increased of value of an asset as well as unpacked in the 2LAF approach 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 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 of 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 never saw  the purpose of his labor or his live. What are we to do today?

First let me clarify that ownership of possessions is not the demise…. ownership by possessions is the derailment.  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 working so hard to make the money you need, that you have no time to talk with a neighbor are forms 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, and what emotionally or financially owns you. (Anything that you are in debt with on 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 Covenant.  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.

Let’s make it simple: Stewardship and Generosity root out Greed… which is marked by Thanksgiving.

Stewardship is the call to manage, invest and leverage all that God has made you a steward (manager) of…. In this a true steward know and declares, none of this is mine, (this includes your children, your work, your success or your failure) but I have been entrusted to its care and use.  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, your 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.

About chaplaincasey

In my Community I am a Chaplain, Coach and Catalyst.
This entry was posted in After Pentecost, Year C and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Sex, Success & Stuff -Greed Sucks!

  1. Richard Martinez says:

    Bless you bro!!! Put this stuff together & you have a book! Ha!

    Healing one heart at a time!

    Check out my new website! http://www.you-nify.com

    http://www.healingheartsandnations.org http://www.edenprojects.org http://www.world-team-foundation.org

  2. Richard says:

    Good word bro. We get my giving. Giving/generosity is a weapon of warfare against the enemy who likes to rob, steal & destroy.

    Even giving in our tithes is powerful is establishing the Kimgdom.

    The Tithe: the Gift of God to Sanctify.
    How can we take a city, nation for God? How can we with so many not participating? What is the purpose of the tithe?

    The tithe sanctifies the rest of the money. The tithe sanctifies the other 90%. Wow! tgats powerful already.
    The Lord in the same way can apply this principle to taking a city. The Lord can take 10% of the key leaders in the city, nation & get them in agreement. This 10% will sanctify the rest & we got a city/nation!!! Amen.

    Give!

  3. CLARA HAYES says:

    Casey, I’m reading a great book titled “one thousand gifts” by Ann Voskamp ….a dare to live fully right where you are….with a thankful/grateful heart right in line with what you are sharing in your blog! Just thought I’d pass on a great read!

    Thanks Clara

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

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