Seven Deadly Seduction Series
Greed
The Insatiable Desire
July 23, 2017
Luke 12:13-
21
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to
divide the inheritance with me.”
14
Jesus replied,
“Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”
15
Then he said to them,
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a
man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
16
And he told them this parable:
“The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.
17
He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no
place to store my crops.’
18
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and
build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and
my goods.
19
And I’ll say to myself,
“You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be
merry.” ‘
20
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from
you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21
“This is how it will be with
anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich
toward God.”
NIV
Sounds like a great business plan doesn’t it? The Key to understanding the passage is verse 21.
William Willimon wrote a book titled,
Sinning Like a Christia, In it he writes:
If I were making a list of Deadly Sins, Greed would be at t
he top of my list. Maybe this is just
personal, or maybe it is the result of living in this society
Greed has a way of turning
everything that
s gold into dross.
As James Ogilvy says,
Greed turns love into lust,
leisure into sloth,
hunger into gluttony,
honor into pride,
righteous indignation into anger,
and admiration into envy.
Then he says if it weren’t for greed, we would suffer fewer of the other vices
(Willimon 103f).
My attempt to define; Greed is the idolization and relentless pursuit of something
An inordinate, insatiable desire for
money, power, status, and so on; it is the feeling that we
never have enough of it, and that we will not let and one or
anything stop us from amassing
and accumulating it.
Greed is an insatiable desire, it is idolatry, Jesus in strong terms warns us
…because it
2
I.
Deceives me about Things (v.15, 18)
15
Then he said to them,
“Watch out! Be on your
guard against all kinds
18
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my
barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my good
greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his
possessions.”
a.
Greed deceives
me
into thinking that what I purchase, or the things that I
own
defines my self-worth
Advertisers want us to believe that our self-worth, our value, our identity comes
from what we buy. From the car, we drive to the clothes we wear; from
restaurants to chewing gum; from exotic vacations to a
n extension cord. Want
us to assess value to who we are, what we do, whether we matter based on our
ability to acquire.
Notice all the pronouns in the text associated with
I
What a miserable lonely life
a life all about me!
An legend says, once upon a time there was a Miser who used to h
ide
his gold at the foot of a tree in his garden. but every week
he used to go
and dig it up and gloat over his gains.
A
robber, who had noticed this, went and dug up the gold an
d ran away
with it. When the Miser next came to gloat over his treasures, he found
nothing but the empty hole.
He tore his hair and raised such an outcry that all the neighbors came
around him, and he told them how he used to come and visit his gold.
“Did you ever take any of it out?” asked one of them.
“Nope,” he said, “I only came to look at it.”
“Then come again and look at the hole,” said a neighbor; “it will do you
just as much good.”
Which leads me to the next deception of greed about things
b.
Greed deceives me into thinking things bring lasting satisfaction
Just ask John D. Rockefeller Sr.  Rockefeller was an American oil industry
business magnate and philanthropist. Founder of the Standard Oil
Company.
He is widely considered the wealthiest American of all time and t
he richest person in modern history. According to Forbes his worth was
$392 billion in 2016 dollars; inflation-adjusted) in 1913.
3
J.D. Rockefeller said,
I have made many millions, but they have brought me
no happiness.
Later he said,
The poorest man I know is the man who has
nothing but money.
Or ask John Jacob Astor, the
American businessman, real estate builder,
investor, inventor, writer
who left
$69 million of his $85-million estate
(equivalent to approximately $1,712,389,655 in 2016 dollars
.
John Jacob
Astor described himself as
the most miserable man on earth.
The point Greed deceives my about the accumulation of things.
The Second reason Jesus warns us about Greed is because it
II.
Deceives
me
about my Priorities (vs.19-20)
18
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will
tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will
store all my grain and
my goods.
19
And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for
many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘
20
“But God said to him,
‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from
you. Then who will get
what you have prepared for yourself?’
a.
Greed deceives me into thinking that the
good things
(v.19) of this life is all
that matters! Sounds very much like Hedonism (self-indulgence and
pleasure seeking)
Solomon warns us from His own experience when he says:
I made great works; I built houses and
planted vineyards for myself; I made
myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of
fruit trees. I made myself pools
from which to water the forest of growing trees
I also had great possessions
of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in
Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself
silver and gold and the treasure of kings
and of the provinces; I got singers, both men and women, and delights of the
flesh, and many concubines. So I became great and surpassed all who were
before me in Jerusalem
Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them;
I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in a
ll my toil, andthis was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all t
hat my hands had done and
the toil I had spent in doing it, and again, all was
vanity [vapor] and a chasing after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun
(Ecclesiastes 2:4-11).
4
Solomon
says that after accumulating things and accomplishing his plans, looking
back it
he wonder what did it matter? He ends Ecclestiates with all the
matters is
Eccl 12:13 Here
is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his
commandments,
for this is the whole [duty] of man.
NIV
b.
Greed is a deadly sin that deceives me into believing the future is a lessor
priority than the present (v.20)
In the movie CASUALTIES OF WAR, Michael J. Fox plays Private
Erikson, a
soldier in Vietnam who is part of a squad that abducts an
d rapes a young
Vietnamese girl. He didn’t participate in the crime.
Afterward, as he struggles with what has happened, he says
to the other men in his squad, “Just because each of us might at any second be blown away, we’re acting like we can do anything we want, as though it doesn’t
matter what we do. I’m thinking it’s just the opposite. Because we might be
dead in the next split second, maybe we gotta be extra careful what we do.
Because maybe it matters more. Maybe it matters more that
we ever
know.”
Death for all of us, is a breath away. And the nearer death is, the closer we
are to answering to God for all we have said and done.
(From the book, Death
AUTHOR: Joel Sarrault pg. 46)
Finally,  Jesus warns us about this deadly sin of Greed because it
III.
Dethrones God in my life (v.21)
This is how it will be with anyone who stores up
things for himself but is not rich toward God.”
NIV
a.
We should note the conjunction
but
it is not a sin to be wealthy. (Probably all of
us in this room are saying
Well, I don
t have to worry about that Preacher!
b.
Being rich (a relative term) does not necessarily mean that a person is greedy.
Abraham, Job are examples of men who were rich in earthly terms BUT they
were also wealthy in spiritual terms
rich toward God.
c.
Greed is about our relationship to our money and stuff,
no matter how much or
little we have. It is not about quantity. It is about relationship. You see you can
be poor and greedy just like you can have a great deal and be greedy!
d.
Again –
It
s all about our relationship to our money and stuff!
e.
That is why God
s Word tells us:
5
1 Tim 6:17-
19
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to
put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain,
(farmer in our text)
but to put
their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
18
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and
willing to share.
19
In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm
foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is
truly life. NIV
Conclusion:
Many years ago, a major American company had trouble keeping employees working in
their assembly plant in Panama. The laborers lived in a
generally agrarian, barter economy,
but the company paid them in cash. After a week’s work, the average employee would have
more cash than he’d ever seen
so many of the workers were quitting
completely satisfied
with what they had already made.
What was the solution? Company executives gave all their employees a Sears catalog. No
one quit then, because they all wanted the previously unimagined things they saw inside
that book.
Their focus changed
and so did their priorities.
Today it’s Amazon, YouTube or Television Commercials that lure us
to the previously
unimaginable! BUT God has given us a cure a bondage breaker over greed.
1.
Jesus took our sins (greed included) and was nailed to the cross for our freedom
2.
Receive his work and make him the Lord of our lives
3.
Follow the Word, Tithe and Be Generous
© 2014 Abundant Life Media
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