Romans 12:2 (MSG) Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you…God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Luke 12:15-21 (NAS) Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”
And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NIV) Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 (TEV) Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and are caught in the trap of many foolish and harmful desires, which pull them down to ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a source of all kinds of evil. Some have been so eager to have it that they have wandered away from the faith and have broken their hearts with many sorrows.
Acts 20:35 (CSB) “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, because he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Matthew 16:26 (NLT) “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
Acts 14:17; 17:25 (NIV) “He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy…He is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.”
1 Corinthians 4:7 (CSB) For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you didn’t receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as if you hadn’t received it?
Luke 6:38 (CSB) “Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”
2 Corinthians 9:8-11 (NLT) God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others…For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous.
Proverbs 21:26 (NLT) Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
Hebrews 3:7-8 (CSB) Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.
What is your warmest Christmas memory from childhood?
How do you maintain & manage the distinctions between “secular & the sacred” at Christmas time?
What do you find most alarming personally about greed as we see it in our culture today? How do you think Jesus might address it differently than he did 2,000 years ago if he were giving a sermon on it today?
What things about generosity appeal to you? What things scare you? What do you think are the greatest obstacles to it to overcome?
Which scriptures from this message seemed to speak to you with power and clarity to your life circumstances?
Look over the scriptural prescriptions for greediness that Steve gave at the end of the message. Which of these do you feel you’ve especially grown in recently? Which would you like to make more progress in? Is there anything you would add to these?
Elementary Parents, throughout December your kids will be learning about the true meaning of Christmas. Our bottom-line today is: God knew we needed a Savior. Ask kids if people had waited a little while or a very long time for Jesus to come. (A very long time.) The people thought the Savior would arrive as a warrior or a king, but he came as a helpless baby. A baby whose love for us is so immense he was born to die to take the punishment for our sins.
A born teacher, Steve combines a depth of insight with unchanging biblical truths to provide messages that are both engaging & life changing. Married to Jean, his bride of 35 years, and the father of three adult children, Steve enjoys early mornings on his porch in study, time with family & friends at the coast, and playing Bluegrass music on his guitar.