This time of year is tough, we’ve just finished the “season of giving”, and now we’re on to working on ourselves and our resolutions. It might seem like a time where greed is not as prominent as it is on Black Friday, but it truly is. Greed is powerful, and although few of us would consider ourselves greedy, the truth is, we all are, and we are often consumed by our greed. Greed is just about wanting what isn’t ours, and being discontent until we get it, and we are very often very greedy.
Praise God though, because in the gospel, he’s given us freedom from greed! And I want to share an acronym that I came up with last year. I preached a sermon addressing the issue of greed, which you can listen to here, and this is some of the application that came from that.
So, I’ve got 4 brief points to show how the gospel frees us from greed, and I’ve put them into an acronym
Fix your eyes on Jesus
We can look to Christ, whose blood was shed so that he could show us the joy that comes from giving.
Hebrews 12:2 – Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God
God himself showed us that there is joy in being giving instead of being greedy. Jesus showed us that he finds joy in radical giving, and he knew that there was so much joy in giving, that he was willing to pay for his joy in blood, so that we could turn and pay for our joy by spending our money and time and energy for the glory of God and the joy of the world.
So, to be “free” from greed, first, fix your eyes on Jesus.
Remember the Commands of God
God commands us to be giving, but those commands come from the implications of the gospel!
1 Cor 6:20 – you were bought with a price, so glorify God in your body
1 Cor 7:23 – you were bought with a price, so don’t be enslaved by the world (including the world’s cares and the world’s standards for happiness through wealth)
Hebrews 9:14 – The blood of Christ, will purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
The blood of Christ was shed so that we would serve the living God – Jesus purchased your obedience to God. It’s so often forgotten that there was a purpose to our being set free from sin, and that purpose was to be free to love and enjoy and serve God. So, remember the commands of God – that it is better to give than to receive, and God loves a cheerful giver. And that we are commanded to be “rich in good deeds, and generous and ready to share.”
To be free from greed – fix your eyes on Jesus, and remember the commands of God
Excess – in Christ, we are always giving from excess
In the gospel, Christ’s blood paid the infinitely costly price of our righteousness and favor with God. And because of Christ’s substitute life, we are promised that we will always have everything we need in this life, or else we will have something infinitely better – heaven! We see this in 1 Cor 3:21-23, where Paul says that in Christ, all things are ours – whether the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours, and you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s. So, we need not be greedy with our time, energy and money – we need not worry about using them solely for God’s glory and other’s joy. We can give, and because of Christ we can even give till it hurts – which is called sacrifice. We can sacrifice for others, because we are ALWAYS giving out of excess.
Exceeding – In Christ, we have something better
Lastly, remember that we have something exceedingly better than money. We have infinite riches and happiness and satisfaction awaiting us in heaven, so we don’t have to hoard our money or our stuff or our time, and we don’t have to worry about it either. Your money will not come with you to heaven, but how you used it in life will. So use it for God’s glory and other’s joy – use it to see soul’s saved, to see the poor cared for, to see the hurting healed. Your stuff will vanish, your money will vanish, and your time will be gone in a flash -whether that’s today, or tomorrow, or a very short 20 or 50 years from now. One day, you will die – and nothing that isn’t done for the glory of God and the joy of the world will matter.
Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ, will last.
But…you have something better than more stuff, or more money – you have Christ – you have God – you have “fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore!” You have streets of gold and mansions, and perfect peace. You have heaven, so you don’t need to have heaven on earth, because even if you could, it would still only last a measly 80 or 90 years.
I have a friend who’s in his 90’s, and he’s nearing death – and I was thinking about him this past week and all I could think is “he’s so young” – 90 years is nothing!
Don’t waste your life being greedy – give, give, give, give, give of yourself to God’s glory and the world’s joy! Christ, by his blood, has given you something exceedingly better, so you are free from greed.
So, when you are tempted to be greedy – instead be FREE
Fix your eyes on Jesus
Remember the commands of God
You are always giving from Excess
And you have something Exceedingly better.