Introduction: In our Sunday School class we just finished a series on Money, what does the Bible have to say about money. In thinking about money, covetousness is an apparent issue revolving around money. Let’s take a look at how easy it is to covet money and how we can protect ourselves from the danger of money in our own lives. Obviously, we have to work, make money, and spend it to live on this earth however, to covet money goes beyond just using it to make a living here.
To covet means to: A strong or inordinate desire of obtaining and possessing some supposed good; usually in a bad sense, and applied to an inordinate desire of wealth.
People will covet money to have better things, to spend more money on eating, trips, clothing, gadgets, etc. You have to make more money at work in order to have a bigger, a better, a newer, a modern, a different, thing.
I. The Warning and Reality– Luke 12:13-15 “beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth”.
– Warning– Jesus here is clear to give a warning, everyone is prone to wonder and covet other things so, we all need a warning against covetousness, it can spring up so fast in our own lives.
Exodus 20:17 “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’shouse, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservants, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s.
– Reality– Proverbs 15:16 “Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith”.
– God takes care of You- Matthew 6:25 “yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
– Philippians 4:19- “but my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”.
II. The Dilemma– Matthew 6:19-24 “No man can serve two masters…ye cannot serve God and mammon”. When you covet money, you will always be in a dilemma, to serve God more and to try to make more money at the same time.
– People will justify working more because they give more to “church or God” but at the same time, trying to get other things for self.
– Commit to one or the other- I Kings 18:17-21 “If the LORD be God, follow him, but if Baal, then follow him.” (You can’t serve two gods)
III. The Process– Joshua 7:20-21
1. You See- “When I saw among the spoils”.
2. You Covet- “then I coveted them”
3. You Take- “and took them”
4. You hide it- “they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent”
IV. The Consequences– Joshua 7:22-25- Covetousness not only affects you but everyone around you and it will eventually lead to destruction.
Destroys– possessions, family, friends, church members, etc.
Destroys Inheritance– Ephesians 5:1-5, speaking to Christians. This is not talking about salvation but about that we are laying up in heaven.
V. The Admonition– I Timothy 6:6-12 “Flee these things…fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life”. Don’t focus on the things of this earth, such as having more and more money but, focus on what matters most, the things of the Lord.
– Mortify It– (Count it dead) Colossians 3:5 “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry”.
Conclusion: As we have seen, Jesus warns us about covetousness and tells us that life is not about the things that we possess and gives us the reality of life, to lay hold on eternal life. Then we see the dilemma of coveting money, the process and lastly the consequences. Coveting never ends good, it always ends bad. Furthermore, what you do with coveting on this earth will follow you for eternity, meditate on these things.