Researchers brought a number of boys into a room, one by one, and they were asked, the six year old boys, whether they wanted one cookie or two. Every single one of them, naturally, chose two cookies.
One by one as they came in. Johnny, do you want one cookie or two? I want two. Jimmy, do you want one cookie or two? I want two. Bobby, do you want one cookie or two?
Two. Then they brought the boys in pairs, so Johnny and Jimmy come in. And the researchers say to Johnny, Johnny, do you want one cookie or two? And the boys said, well, I want two.
And the researcher says, now be careful. If you choose two, Jimmy gets three. You get two and Jimmy gets three.
So here's the choice. Do you want one cookie? Each of you will get one. Or do you want two cookies?
Understand. That Jimmy will get three. What do you think the boys chose? I know you're very spiritual here, but these six year old boys, not surprisingly, really, if you know how little boys act, they said one.
Every single one of them. The researchers are proving that sometimes we would rather have less than see someone else have more than us. We call that greed. We thought of the sin of envy. Envy resents what other people have. Greed wants more than everyone else. Mark Twain said, few of us can stand prosperity.
Another man's I mean. Envy and greed go together, don't they? Well, today we've come to the six of the seven deadly sins. We've dealt with pride, with envy, with anger. With sloth, with gluttony.
Two weeks from now, Lord willing, we'll deal with lust. But our subject today is greed. None of us would like to think of ourselves as greedy.
If I said you're a greedy person, that is rather insulting, isn't it? But the seed of greed of avarice, I would suggest, is in all of our hearts. All of us know what greed is.
Today, we want to take a closer look at this deadly sin of greed. And then think of it in the light of Scripture. First of all, I want you to turn in your Bibles to Exodus chapter 20. Exodus 20, if you know your Bible, contains the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses. Ten Commandments. Ten words as it were.
And we're going to read the last one. Exodus chapter 20 verse 17. Here is the tenth of the Ten Commandments. You shall not covet. You shall not covet your neighbor's house.
You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's. The deadly sin of covetousness or greed. Greed is a sin. Which is sometimes translated in our Bibles, greed, and sometimes it's translated covetousness.
It's the same thing. We understand what it is to be greedy. Not just to desire something, but to desire something more and more. We see little boys at a cookie jar, don't they? Grabbing maybe three or four cookies in their hands. My mom says, you can have a cookie.
What do they do? I remember catching our little grandson when he was about three years old. Gudney, his Oma, as they call her, had the cookie jar and said to little Ian, you can have a cookie. And I watched the little boy, little sinful boy.
He put his hand in and he came out with two cookies and one was sort of hidden in his hand. It just seems that we want more and more. But this sin is much deeper, isn't it, than greedy little boys eating too many cookies. Greed is all around us, in our personal lives, in our homes, and in society and at work. There was years ago that movie about Wall Street, I know it was fictional, but in it, a character said, greed is good. It's good to be greedy. No, it's not. Greed is never good.
It is wrong. Greed is a deadly sin. The Ten Commandments says, thou shalt not covet. Greed, when you think of it, is a disregard for the interests of others so that I can serve my selfish ends.
My little grandson wasn't concerned with how many cookies were left so they could be shared with others. No, he was just focused on himself. Let me get as much as I can and I certainly want more than you have. It is an insatiable selfishness. It wants more and more and more and more and is never satisfied. It is, the New Testament tells us, Paul writes of this in Colossians 3 verse 5, he says that covetousness is idolatry. It's idolatry.
But we think of these seven sins, but we can see that, don't we? We make idols of things. God gives us food. We are to accept that with thankfulness that's from the good end of God and what do we do?
We take that good gift and we turn it into gluttony. God gives us rest. There was rest in the Sabbath. We need, as human beings, a time of rest, a time of worship. That's a good gift of God and what do we do?
We take that rest and we turn it into sloth. Becomes an idol, doesn't it? God gives us sexual desires, a very good gift, a wonderful gift from God. And what do we do with that? We make our lust, our sexuality, a God idolatry.
Greed takes the good things of God. And instead of being satisfied with them, we want more and more and more. It's not because we need more, it's simply that we want more. We want more than our friends. We want more than our neighbors.
If you have brothers and sisters, you want more than them. If you're at work, you want more. Your boss may give you a pay award and your salary may go up, but you're really put out when you realize that Bob down the hallway got more than you have. Greed.
Instead of saying thankful to your boss, you think, well no, I should have more and more and more. There's no state or federal laws against greed, are there? Most people will never challenge you if you're greedy. If you're a gluttony, they may make comments about you of a jocular nature, but never about greed. This desire for more and more is often hidden, isn't it?
But it's against the Ten Commandments. Greed, of course, like all of these deadly sins, often lead to other sins. If you're greedy, that can lead to theft. If you're greedy, it can lead to you falsifying your expenses at work. If you're greedy, it can lead to you not paying your taxes.
You fiddle your income tax. You don't pay what you're due. You pay less and less of your debts because you want more and more and more for yourself. Greed results in us as a society, doesn't it? Exploiting our resources so that they're depleted, so they're destroyed by man's greed. Greed throughout the world, devastation in some parts of the world because of our greed. It's a selfish, it's a deadly sin, and it's in all of our hearts. One of the most common manifestations of greed, of course, is the desire to have more and more money. We're never satisfied with how much we have, how much we make. Now, we must understand, and we're going to read about it in a minute, that money, that cars, possessions, or homes are not sinful in and of themselves.
No. All of us need money. That is true. But it is, says Paul, the love of money, which is the root of all kinds of evil. It is this greed, this love of money.
It is where I make my possessions, my love, my bank balance, my portfolio, my pension, where I make that God, and I never have enough. And I am a greedy individual. It's an insatiable desire for more money. It may manifest itself by impulsive buying.
It may manifest itself in reckless consumption. It may manifest itself in a gambler. Some of you are gamblers and you're greedy.
You bet on whatever. And behind it is just a greed for more money. Or, and the other extreme, some of you are great at saving. In fact, you're so great at saving that you check your savings every day.
You watch that market. And when it comes to a point, you're stingy. You're not a generous person. You're stingy.
Why? Because you're greedy. You want more and more and more for yourself. The greedier we are, isn't this true, the less concerned we are about others around us.
The greedy person is a very selfish person, is a very self-absorbed individual. She's just concerned about herself. She may pay lip service. She may have some platitudes.
Certainly, if she takes the name of Christ. But deep down, she's selfish. She's self-absorbed. It's one of the characteristics of greed, isn't it? Selfishness.
Self-centrement. That's true of all of the deadly sins, isn't it? We were singing about God. I read from Psalm 24. He's the Lord of glory. He's the Creator of the universe.
He's the one who sent His Son to die for us. But we, as it were, dethrone Him and we put ourselves at the centre of our life, our work, our money. I think you'll agree with this. The greedier we are, the less we enjoy what we have. Have you noticed that? The greedier we are, the less we enjoy what we have.
Why? Because our focus isn't on what we have. Our focus is not receiving the good things of God and enjoying them and giving thanks to them. No, we're always thinking about we could have more. We enjoy what we have.
The little boy is so quickly consuming that cookie so he can get another one down his throat before his mother sees it that he doesn't really enjoy the cookie. As you say, been there, done that. It's greed, isn't it? That was the biblical teaching. Exodus 20 verse 17.
It's repeated in the second given of the law in Deuteronomy 5. What must I covet? Your neighbour's house. This is your neighbour's wife. Do you think, whoa, my neighbour's got a beautiful wife.
Don't do that. Not many of you have servants and not many of you, we covet the person's ox or donkey. Unless you're a farmer. But we do have cars. We don't go on donkeys and horses or camels. We go in cars.
And the point is, don't covet what belongs to someone else. When we lived in Michigan, our neighbour, one of these guys, he always came home exactly at five o'clock. He had one of these great jobs where you could do that. And the first thing he did was to go out and walk on his lawn because he had one of these beautifully lawns. I mean, and I just would love a beautiful lawn.
Just perfect. So if there's any weed, little bit of weed, something else, he's taking care of his beautifully manicured lawn. Just like in a golf course. And it's difficult not to covet that. I mean, we had a nice lawn.
But his lawn was much better. Don't covet what someone else has. You look in the mirror one day and looking back at you is an ugly green-eyed monster. That's you.
That's me. Greed, the deadly sin has come into your heart and your life. And time and time again in Scripture were warned against greed, against the sin of covetousness. Here are the children of Israel. They've gone through the wilderness.
Moses has died. Joshua is leading them into the Promised Land. They conquered Jericho.
And there's this city of Ai. And as they're going in, they're having victory over the pagans. And the pagans are quite wealthy.
They've got clothes and they've got money. And Joshua tells the people that when you go in, you do not take anything from the pagans. But there's a greedy man, a man called Achan. And he sees a beautiful cloak. He sees silver and gold.
He coveted them and took them. Joshua 7, verse 21. And that greed, that covetousness, spiritually impacted all of Israel like a little leaven. And evil had come into Israel. You say, well, isn't it so bad? I mean, you know, after all, they're pagans and a little bit of gold and silver. No, he had broken the commandment.
And the Lord was so angry that he took Achan's life. Greed. It's serious. Covetousness is serious.
Don't minimize it. It's a very serious sin. Another example, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha. There's a story in 2 Kings 5 of this famous commander. He's a Syrian. His name is Naaman. He's a mighty warrior, but he's got a huge problem, a problem which he can't solve, and that is he's a leper. That leprosy might be able to be solved, be healed. And Elisha tells him yes, sends the word yes, you've got to go seven times in the River Jordan.
Some of their group are going to get baptized in the Jordan. I'll only put you down once, I can tell you. If you've got leprosy, maybe seven times. But Naaman goes under the water seven times, and miraculously he's cured. And of course, he's very appreciative. He's a commander. He's a wealthy man, and he offers Elisha some goods. He's got silver, and he's got gold, and he's got beautiful clothes. And Elisha says no. He's demonstrating that this is done by God. It's a gift of God.
You can't buy this. But Elisha has a greedy servant, Gehazi. And as Naaman and his entourage are leaving, Gehazi goes after him and says, actually, my master has changed his mind.
Some friends have come, and we could do with some help here. And Naaman said, oh, that's fine. Here's some clothes, and here's some silver. And he takes it. And Elisha finds out. And for that sin, you say, is that so bad? Well, he lies. He's covetous. He's giving the commander the impression that you can buy the blessings of God.
And so what happens? The leprosy that Naaman has clings to Gehazi, and his leprosy is like snow, the Bible says. That's greed, covetousness, and it is condemned. Now, in the New Testament, we have various occurrences of greed. Turn with me to Mark chapter 7. Mark chapter 7, we've seen this passage before, where the Lord tells us that the real problem is not what's out there, it's what's in here in the heart. Mark chapter 7, and we'll look at verse 20. He said, what comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart, now this is your heart and mine, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting. There it is, wickedness, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All of these evil things come from within, and they defile a person. Don't say this is just a little sin, everyone does it.
No, this defiles you. This is sinful. It's got to be rooted out over to the book of Ephesians. Ephesians chapter 4. I'd like to use our Bible, I want you to get familiar with your Bible. Some of you still are not reading your Bibles, and you're wondering why your spiritual life is stale.
I can tell you why it's stale. You're not feeding on the Word of God. Ephesians 4 verse 19, Paul is talking to the Ephesians of what they were prior to coming to Christ. Ephesians 4.17, they've become callous and they've given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
Chapter 5 of Ephesians, verse 3. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you as is proper. Verse 5, for you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure or who is covetous, that is an idolater, has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Notice, put in the same list as sexual immorality. You say, well, these are really bad sins.
Yes, they are bad sins, but so is covetousness because what you have done and what I tend to do is to take something and make it an idol. And that drives me, and that drives you, and that defines who you are, and you have taken away God, and the first commandment is no other idols. God will not be taken for granted. He's the great God. He's greatly to be praised.
He's got to be number one, not number two or three. You're to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. We also see in Colossians 3.5 where Paul says that covetousness is idolatry. This word is used, this greed or covetousness is used also in 2 Peter 3 to characterize the false teacher.
Here's one of the ways you could recognize the false teacher. 2 Peter 3 verse 3, in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Verse 14, they have hearts trained in greed.
Notice that the false teachers always asking for money, always promising you something. They are greedy. They've got their personal jets.
I can't even get a helicopter here, but they've got their private jets. It's all about money. A sign of greed with a false teaching. They're using the gospel, they're using the name of Jesus Christ in order to make money. They have their hearts trained in greed. What a terrible description, isn't it?
You wouldn't like that said of you, would you? That your heart is trained in greed. So Scripture gives clear warning. Greed is destructive.
It will wreck your life. It is a deadly sin. Let's read a parable Jesus told about this in Luke chapter 12. This is a brilliant parable, rather short, easy to understand, but very, very convicting. Luke chapter 12, Luke is the one who tells us this parable. And we'll begin at verse 15. Luke chapter 12, verse 15. He said to them, take care and be on your guard against all covetousness. Jesus is telling you, are you listening to him this morning?
This is the Word of God to you and to me, be on your guard against all covetousness. For one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Don't define your life, don't define your self-worth based on what you have, based on your achievements, based on your portfolio, based on your success. That is not how you define your life. It doesn't consist, says Jesus, in the abundance of his possessions. He told them a parable to illustrate it. Here's the point. The land of a rich man produced plentifully.
That's great. Good farmer. He thought to himself, what shall I do? For I have nowhere to store my crops.
What a problem. Not going to warehouses for his successful farming. I'll do this. I'll turn down my barns and build larger ones. And there I will store all my grain and my goods. It's good.
Nothing wrong so far, is there? He's a businessman. He's expanding. You can't criticize him for that. In fact, in some ways, he's to be complimented. He's very successful.
He's expanding his business. Here's the problem. Verse 19, I will say to my soul, soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years. Relax. Time to retire.
You've done well. Eat, drink, be merry. He's covetous, but I think he's also a glutton, don't you? And I think he's going to be slothful in his retirement. God said to him, notice what God says to him, what God calls him, fool. Fool. All of us would like to think we are wise. The book of Proverbs is written that we are to be wise.
What's the first characteristic of wisdom? The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, Proverbs 9 verse 10. This man does not live his life in the fear of God. He lives it in his own accomplishment, in the abundance of his possessions, and God calls him a fool. If your life consists in what you have, your success in your business, God says you're a fool. This night your soul is required of you, and the things you've prepared, whose will they be?
All these crops you've got stored up, who's going to get them now? Here's the conclusion, verse 21. So is the one who lays up treasure for who? For himself and is not rich toward God. This man is greedy.
It's all about him. I, I, I, I'm going to do this. I've done well.
I'll relax. I'll have a great time, but he has not laid up treasure in heaven. He's laid up treasure in himself, and in a moment, in the parable, he's gone.
God takes him. Then, who's going to get all the things that you had? Do you ever think about that? Because equally, this tells us of the guy who works hard, stores it up, and then he dies and he leaves it to a fool who just spends it all.
Is that really what you want? You've done very, very well, but perhaps it's become an idol. How much did he leave when he died, this man?
Everything. He was not rich towards God. Are you rich towards God? Now here is, before we have communion, very quickly, three cures for greed.
I'm going to give you a prescription, and it's got three powers. There are three things I want you to understand. First of all, here's the cure for greed, contentment. Contentment. Turn in our Bibles to 1 Timothy chapter 6, and we'll see the difference between greed and contentment. When we're greedy, we're not content.
And what's the answer? We need an eternal perspective. 1 Timothy 6, verse 6, Godliness with contentment is great gain. Remember last week we said we're to pursue godliness? We're to pursue God?
Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, you came naked, and we can't take anything out of the world, you will leave naked. For if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content. You got food today? You got a roof over your head? I don't see any naked people sitting here.
All of you have got clothes? Be content with that. Verse 9, but those who desire to be rich, some of you desire to be rich, so on your goals, you're very proud of your achievements. Tell people how much you're worth. Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. It's through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. If you pursue, if you have this love of money, you're on a very dangerous path and you're going to wreck your soul because if you love money, you've forgotten that you're to love God first.
And if you pursue that love of money, young man, your life, from a spiritual standpoint, will be disastrous. No godliness with contentment is great gain. Turn back to the little pistol of Philippians. Philippians 4 verse 11. Paul talks out of his own experience. Philippians 4 verse 11. Not that I'm speaking of being in need, for I've learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Paul's learned that. I'm still learning that. Contentment does not come easily to me. By nature, I'm a restless person. I want to do something. I want to achieve something.
And that's good. Good to be ambitious, provided you're ambitious for God. Paul said, I've learned, in whatever situation I am to be content, I know how to be brought low.
You know how it is to be humiliated, to have little. And I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance I've learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. How wonderful.
Paul, in all of his varying experiences in life, he had times of abundance and times of need. Whatever circumstance he says, I've learned to be content. Not wonderful. I've known some people who are like that.
Sadly, they are unusual in our busy society. Isn't it? The secret of being content. Hebrews, Hebrews chapter 13. Again, a well-known verse, a verse that some of you have memorized.
I have it underlined. Just the other day, in my new Bible, Hebrews 13 verse 5. Keep your life free from love of money. There it is. Do you hear this today?
Some of you really need to hear this. Keep your life free from love of money. And be content with what you have.
Well, you always want more and more. What are you going to do with it? You say, I run a business.
This is good. Nothing wrong with making money. Nothing wrong with being successful. In fact, hard work is commended and if God has given you a good business brain and you're using it, and God is blessing you financially, be thankful, but remind yourself that that can be a snare.
Not the money, but the love of money. Make sure you're rowing up for yourself treasure in heaven. Be content with what you have, for He said, I'll never leave you nor forsake you. How wonderful that whatever you do, Paul had learned this, in abundance and need God is with me. Therefore, I'm going to be content.
The man said, I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet. Remember in Luke chapter 3, the time of John the Baptist, the soldiers are told, be content with your wages. Are you content? You're an employee. Are you content with what you have? You say, well, I really deserve more.
I know that. You're this tremendous employee, but God is saying to you, be content. Be content.
So, first part of the cure is contentment. Secondly, linked to that is faith in God. The just shall live by faith. When we're greedy, we're not living by faith. We're saying that God isn't going to take care of us.
You think you need this. We get greedy. And you know what greed does? You know what greed produces? It doesn't produce nice people, does it? A greedy person isn't very nice.
They're not a good friend. You know what it does? It produces anxiety and worry. I read just this week that about 70 percent of working Americans experience some anxiety in terms of their work.
And I'm sure part of that relates to money. We're a very anxious people. We're a very restless people. We're not at peace.
What has happened? We've lost the secret of contentment. Again, I say this is not an appeal to be lazy without a sloth. God wants us to be ambitious. God wants us to work hard. But it is for His glory.
I must always remember that. And when God blesses you, take it from the good hand of God. Now, do you believe that God can give you anything He chooses? Do you believe that God's provision is inexhaustible?
Obviously, yes. Therefore, I'm to trust Him. Do you believe that God can meet all your needs? Therefore, trust Him. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That's the secret, isn't it?
Through Christ. I'm to find my joy, my identity in my money? No. No. In what I have?
No. I'm to find my joy, my satisfaction, my identity in Christ, the all-sufficient Christ who promises me, John, whatever the circumstances, I'm never going to leave you. I'm never going to forsake you. Think of the worst thing that can happen to you in life, and God will never, ever, ever desert you.
In the darkest of night, wherever you go, you go into that surgery room alone. No, Christ is with you. You deal with that devastating family situation, Christ is with us. We are to trust Christ.
This is hard for us, isn't it? But this is what it means to live by faith. My trust is in Christ. Remember in the Old Testament how God provided them through the wilderness? When they got their food, angel food, they complained about it as well. It came every day, other than the day before the Sabbath. And Moses told them, when you collect that manna, only collect it for that one day. There were some greedy Israelites. You know what they did?
They took extra. You know what happened to it? It got full of worms. God was teaching His people. God is teaching us. I am to live day by day. What's part of the Lord's Prayer?
Give me what? Today, our daily bread. This day, God will supply your need. Trust Him.
As I say, you've got food, you've got clothes. God is with you today. God will give you all of the strength, all of the wisdom you need today. Have faith in God. Trust God today.
Stop being greedy. Stop worrying. Trust God. This is what it means to live by faith every day. Every day I need to remind myself of this. I live in the same world as you do. I have the same temptations as you do.
None of us are immune. Day by day, I'm to trust God. I'm to have faith in God. First, contentment.
Second, the faith in God. Third, generosity. Generosity, coupled with thankfulness, is the cure for greed. Generosity breaks the stranglehold of greed. I read from 1 Timothy 6 about the love of money. 1 Timothy 6, further down the chapter, verse 17, As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, don't be proud if you're rich, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, on the uncertainty of the stock market, on the uncertainty of your employment.
Don't do that. Who are you to set your hope on? On God. I love that Paul says this. Who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. God's bless, Jupiter, enjoy it from the good hand of God.
What are you to do? You're to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. Isn't that wonderful? Generous. Generosity. Enjoy the good things of God. Accept them as a gift from God. We sang about our Father's world. This is wonderful.
Charlotte is a wonderful place to live in, isn't it? Be thankful. Everything you have belongs to the Lord. Paul tells the Israelites in Deuteronomy, remember, God gives you the power. God gives you the ability to make that money. God gives you these gifts.
God gives you everything you've got. You are not the owner of your resources, but a steward, and you're accountable to God. You're answerable to God. How are you using the gifts of God and the resources of God for the kingdom of God?
Let me ask you. You asked this before the Lord. I asked myself this week as I prayed about this. Are you a generous person? Wouldn't you expect Christians of all people to be the most generous? Is God generous? Do we have a generous kind, God?
Absolutely. We learned as we were going through Ephesians that God blesses us what? According to the riches of His grace. He lavishes His grace upon us. He gives us grace upon grace. We are saved by the mercy of God. The riches of His mercy, Paul says. He can't get enough words, superlatives to explain the bounty of God, the goodness of God, the kindness of God. God is incredibly kind, infinite in His kindness. Therefore, what about those who are followers of Christ?
I mean, I think that's one, a real sign, isn't it? If you're a follower of Christ, and you're not a generous person. Generous. Let me ask you. If you come here, if this is your spiritual home, do you give generously to the work of the Lord at Calvary?
I praise God for many of you who do. People said, you know, you didn't charge us for the family day. That must have cost a lot of money. Yeah, it cost a lot of money, let me tell you. You say, oh, it was really good.
I went free with my family. Do you ever think who pays? Do you think somehow there's some person somewhere just writes a check? Are you generous? Do you give to the Lord? See, greedy people are not generous.
That's a good test for you. Greedy people are not generous. Now, you can make all the excuses you like.
I've heard many of them. I've heard many, many people try to get out of not giving generously to the Lord. You can have all of the excuses, but isn't it at the center of it you're greedy? You're not trusting God. In 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9, you need to read these if you're not giving generously. Paul explains that every follower of the Lord is to give. And he talks about the Macedonians who are very poor, and he tells us that they gave out of the abundance of their poverty. They're poor people, but they give abundantly and generously.
And I've seen that in ministry that some of the poorest people are the most generous. This week I received a check from Verdict for Verdict. We have the radio program. It goes many places. It goes into prisons. And I've been corresponding with this man who's in prison for a very long time. And I sent him one of our booklets. I sent it free. I'm not going to charge a guy in prison. I sent it free to my amazement this week. I got a check, to me, to the Verdict ministry, from a prisoner.
It's for $5.55. Now, some of you have been in prison. You know you don't make a lot of money in prison.
You say, well, it's only five bucks. You know that prisoner who claims to be a follower of Christ, he's demonstrating his generosity. We produce these booklets not to make money through the generosity of you that were able to do this ministry. That we can reach out to the nations with the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. That we can have a family day and not charge people so that people who are on the fringes and may not be even believers in Jesus Christ, they can come and we can get to know them and understand the grace of God. That we don't want anything from them. We want them to receive the grace of God. Having received it, we are the most generous. So, Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 16, and with this I close as we now break bread. And I see I've gone over time, but that's OK.
I leave tonight. 1 Corinthians 16, verse 1, concerning the collection for the saints, as I direct to the churches of Galatians also, you are to do on the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up as you may prosper so that there will be no collecting when I come. First day of the week, what do you do? You store up as God has prospered you. You're rich, you give much. You're poor, you just give a little. God owns everything, anyhow.
It's a demonstration of our love for Christ. Don't be greedy. Don't be a taker. Be a giver.
Be generous. Be like God, who so loved the world. What did He do? That He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believes in Him should not perish and have everlasting life.
Paul says, the Son of God who loved me and what? Gave Himself for me. God gave His Son, His very best for your salvation. Now we who are His followers are to be generous and that is a great cure for the sin of greed.
Receive, if you've never done it, the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. And so, our Father and our God, we pray. As we break bread, there's a demonstration right in front of us of your generosity. We thank you that you're not a greedy God.
You're the very opposite, you are infinite in your kindness. And so we pray, Father, that we'll not be greedy. Bring peace to troubled hearts. May we know what it is to experience godliness with contentment. That pleases you, that gives peace to us. We thank you in Christ's name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-13 11:38:57 / 2022-11-13 11:55:55 / 17