Intro. Jesus has just been asked to be an arbitrator in a property dispute between two brothers, He refused to get involved but warned, "Beware of covetousness."
I. BEWARE OF COVETEOUSNESS.
A. One of the 10 commandments is "Thou shalt not covet your neighbors house, wife, or servants, or anything that is thy neighbors."
1. The advertising agencies have caused us to covet many things.
a. The subtle suggestion is that you need their products to make you happy.
b. They have made a careful study of human nature and they know that there is a basic sense of unfulfillment in man.
c. There is sort of an awareness that something is missing.
d. They lead you to believe that their product is the missing link between you and fulfillment.
e. They then lead you into fantasies, just picture this car in your driveway. Picture yourself behind the wheel. Picture yourself in this luxury resort. See all the fun people have who do these things or have these things.
f. You begin to fantasize yourself doing these things or having these things.
g. This is where the problem comes, for reality can never live up to fantasy, and the attaining of the goal is usually great disappointment.
2. There has probably never been a time in the history of man when we had more things.
a. One of the greatest problems around our house is lack of storage space.
b. The abundance of things has even opened up a new industry, the renting of storage garages.
B. There is a big lie to all of this, and that is that life consists in the abundance of things you possess.
1. Somehow we have come to believe that things can make us happy.
2. We believe that happiness can be found by pursuing after it.
C. A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things that he possesses.
1. We read bumper stickers that say, the man who dies with the most toys wins.
2. I like the one I read that said, "The man who dies with Jesus wins."
3. We read the testimony of Solomon this morning concerning things. He had more things than any of us can ever hope to have.
a. He spoke of the emptiness and frustration that they brought to his life.
b. Note how he searched from one thing to another.
c. Having achieved one goal and finding it empty he set out for another goal only to find it empty also.
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this [is] also vanity.
D. The common folly today is the thinking that man can have a full rich life without the dimension of the spirit.
1. When God created man He created him a trinity - body, soul, and spirit.
2. When Eve was deceived into thinking that she could find a fuller life by yielding to the fleshly desires, and Adam transgressed the commandment in following her, they both of them experienced the death of their spirits.
3. From that time till now most men live in the animal plane of existence, the body conscious plane. Their spirits are dead.
4. Man is only 2/3rds whole. He still lives in a body and possesses a mind, but the spirit is dead.
5. The spirit is the most important and vital part of man's existence. It is in this dimension that man meets God.
a. Paul said that the natural man understandeth not the things of the Spirit neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned. The reason he does not understand or know them is because his spirit is dead.
b. Men who are spiritually dead have done what they can to rob the spirit from others. They have sought to remove God from our national life. They would make man god.
6. With his spirit dead, man is capable of all kinds of animal behavior. As our news media is so abundantly proving to us.
7. Paul gives a list of things that man void of the spirit will take pleasure in doing in Romans 1
. In that list he speaks of unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Imagine the violence and chaos in the streets when a nation has been robbed of the spirit.
8. When Jesus said that you had to be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven, He was speaking of the necessity of a spiritual birth. He said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, but that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
9. Man who lives in the dimension of the spirit is marked by love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self control, consideration for others, faithfulness to his word.
10. In choosing a neighbor, which kind of a person would you prefer? How about in choosing a mate for life? This is why the scripture commands us not to be unequally yoked together with an unbeliever. You have a totally different set of values. One is pulling hard toward the flesh, while the other is pulling toward the spirit.
II. THE PARABLE THAT ILLUSTRATES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAN'S ESTIMATE OF HIMSELF, AND GOD'S ESTIMATE OF HIM.
A. The man was rich, he had gained more than he could possibly ever use or spend. His barns were running over, he had so much, he had no place to store his goods.
1. He planned to pull down his barns and build bigger so that he could store even more.
2. He thought to himself, "I have enough to last me many years, I am going to take it easy, and just eat, drink and be merry."
B. That was his estimate of his position, but God said, "Thou fool this night you are going to die, and then who will possess your goods?"
C. Jesus said, "So is the man that has laid up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
D. The man that lives in the plane of the flesh, who lives only to fulfill the desires of his flesh, is dead while he is still alive. He is living only for the now. The man who lives after the Spirit, and seeks to walk after the Spirit, is living for eternity.
E. The bottom line is found in verse 34, For where your treasure is there will your heart be also. If your treasure is in earthly things your heart will be in earthly things. If your treasure is in heavenly things, then your heart will be in heavenly things.
F. Where are you today? Are you walking after the flesh or after the Spirit. Is your treasure in earthly things or in heavenly things?
G. Each one of us must take inventory of his own life, and then determine if I am satisfied to walk the path of death or do I wish to walk the path of life. Will I live after my flesh, or will I live after the spirit.
F. Many people are making the grave mistake of thinking that they can sow to the flesh and reap of the spirit. Nature tells us that you sow and reap in kind. If you sow to the flesh, you will of the flesh reap corruption, but if you sow to the spirit, then of the spirit you will reap life everlasting.
G. What is really important is not what you are saying about yourself, but what is God saying about you?