Do you believe the lie that your life consists in the abundance of possessions? Have you been deluded into chasing after something in this world thinking it’s going to fill the void in your life? Wake up from that delusion and seek Jesus Christ as your all in all.
View the full sermon, “Covetousness: One of Those Respectable Sins“.
Covetousness is the desire to have. It’s a desire fed by the belief that my life consists in what I have. My life isn’t going to be right unless I have a certain thing. I’m not living. It’s not really life. I’m not really living unless I have that. It’s that void. What’s the void in your life? The thing that there is this emptiness there. I’ve got to have that.
You keep feeling like: Well, if I’m really going to be happy in this world, I have to have that thing. You see, that’s what’s happening here. The man in the parable – what was it he wanted? Many years of relaxing, eating, drinking, being merry. I will, I will, I will… he laid up treasures for himself. The man who wants the inheritance? He has the same mindset. What’s the mindset? That that inheritance was crucial to his life. His happiness hung on it. You see, the man who has a bunch, even more than he knows what to do with, his happiness – he’s got it all calculated – his happiness rests on what he has. This man who doesn’t have, he’s got the same mindset. He’s thinking his life isn’t going to be right as long as his brother’s running around. This isn’t fair. His brother’s got all the cash. He’s got all the goods. He’s got all the possessions. He’s got all the cattle, all the crops, all the land. He’s got all this! And I don’t have it. So of all the questions that he could bring to the Lord, this is the thing festering in him: Lord, make my brother set that right. His happiness hung on it. And you see, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the inheritance and want it or you already have more than you know what to do with. Covetousness is the lust of the heart that stems from a worldview that a person’s life can be measured by what he has. See, that’s where we have to stop and think, every one of us, (incomplete thought). And you know, there are some things – there are some things that you ought not to be content with. There are some things that you ought not to be settled with and satisfied with. You ought to want more of the Lord. You ought to want more holiness. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about stuff. What defines your life? You’re going along and you’re thinking: Well, you know, my life is pretty good right now, but it would really be complete if I had fill-in-the-blank. What is it? A woman? A man? A home? A car? Shoes? Gun? Mower? Job? Ministry? Popularity? Success? Fame? A trip somewhere? Some title? Good health? Right status? Certain rank? Education? Learning? Knowledge?
See, covetousness is that mindset that my life is not right, it’s not whole. I’m not satisfied unless and until I get that thing. It’s a person who isn’t happy and imagines that he never can be truly happy until he gets that thing. Yet, what I find most interesting is what’s said a little further down. Notice if you drop down in Luke 12 and you get down to verse 33. “Sell your possessions.” Here’s a man that wants possessions. He wants part of the inheritance. He doesn’t say how much. His brother’s got it all. He wants some of it. He wants a piece of the pie. Probably he’s thinking 50% would be fair. And Jesus flips this thing right around. Instead of thinking about all the possessions you should be getting, and that your life is incomplete with that, maybe you ought to see that your life is incomplete until you start actually selling your possessions. You say, incomplete? Well, yeah, because obviously He’s saying that you sell your possessions to get some money bags here that you obviously would not have if you didn’t sell the possessions that you have. “Sell your possessions and give to the needy, provide yourselves with money bags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches, no moth destroys, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Stay dressed for action.” You know, when you hear this kind of thing: “Stay dressed for action,” what does that mean? Be ready for when the Lord comes. How? By having a proper mindset when it comes to stuff here. That’s what’s on the table here. When He talks about a man being dressed or a woman being dressed for action, “Keep your lamps burning,” “be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.” You see, you don’t go and open that door at once when He comes and knocks if you’ve got all this stuff over here that your life is invested in, that you think you have to have to be happy. It’s like, no, I don’t want Him to come! My life is too tied up in my family, my kids, my yard, my house, my car. It’s all tied up in these things. No, Lord, don’t come! I’m not ready for You to come yet! We’ve got this thing going on this week and all this stuff. I haven’t done this yet. I haven’t got to take that trip over there yet. Don’t come now! You see, the person that’s ready, you start selling everything. Then your eyes are there. You’re very much ready for Him to come. You’re not holding on to stuff here. This excerpt was taken from the full sermon: Covetousness: One of Those Respectable Sins