. . . they shall mount up with wings as eagles . . . Isaiah 40:31

Beware of Covetousness

Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

Watch with the mind and keep guard against the greedy desire to have more. This is something to be ever mindful of. Why? Because it’s an easy trap to fall into.

The Value of a Man

Notice that Jesus said, for a man’s life is not based on or determined by the abounding of the things he owns. Yet that’s exactly how the world values a man. How wealthy is he? What is his net worth? Mens’ lives are valued in society by how much money and stuff they have accumulated.

And not in all cases, but many times, the wealthiest men are the most wicked. There are those who are wealthy, those whose net worth is very high, yet they have little or no value at all where eternal things are concerned. Remember the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus, the beggar, died and was transported to Paradise, while the rich man died and descended into hell.

A Basic Sin

Covetousness is a basic sin of human beings. Otherwise, it would not be in the Ten Commandments, which lists the top ten sins of mankind. Thus it’s a sin that every person must take heed, and beware of, not just all those “greedy” people out there.

God’s Value System

Proverbs 15:16 Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.

This man has little substance, but in his heart is the greater treasure, the fear of the Lord. And the Bible says that man is better off than the man who has great treasure and all the trouble that comes with it. God’s value system is different from that of men. The Bible says that man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.

It’s Not a Sin to Prosper

Please don’t misunderstand. It is not sinful to be blessed and prosperous in this life. God desires that we prosper and be in health. But it becomes a problem when wealth becomes our god, a false idol that replaces the true and living God in our life. Take heed, and beware of covetousness.

Luke 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

Here’s a man who is already rich in material things. It says that he was a CERTAIN rich man, implying that it’s a true story, not just hypothetical.

And it says he had a windfall harvest, which only added to his already good fortune.

Luke 12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

The man already had barns that were full to the brim. He had no place to put his harvest.

Luke 12:18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.


In his thinking, the best solution was to tear down his old barns and build newer and bigger ones, and then put up all his stuff in the new barns.

When is Enough Enough?

The rich man was already wealthy far beyond his needs. He already had barns full of goods. But covetousness is never satisfied. It always wants more. It’s a driving force in mens’ lives. The best solution to him was to incur the expense of tearing down his perfectly good barns and embarking on the project of building newer and bigger ones, just to be able to keep all of his current harvest.

Many folks believe that if they can just get far enough ahead, then they can relax and enjoy life the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Yet, even when they become wealthy, in most cases it’s just never enough. They never seem to arrive at that place. Take heed, and beware of covetousness.

Eat, Drink, and be Merry

Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

Then I will finally be able to say to myself, now I have put away enough for many years, go ahead and relax and take it easy. Eat, drink, and be merry.

But could this have been a delusion? Would his desire for more really allow him to stop and enjoy life? Probably not. It had not allowed him to do so up to this point. Why stop now, especially when there’s always more to gain?

Can’t Take it With You

Luke 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

You fool, you’ve spent all this time and all this effort to store up all this stuff, and tonight you’re going to die. Then who will own all that stuff you’ve stored up? What good will it be?

You cannot take any of it with you. What benefit is it now? None, no benefit at all.

Rich Toward God

Luke 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Is it wrong to lay up treasure for one’s own self? No, that’s not what it said. It said, so is he who stores up for himself, and is NOT RICH TOWARD GOD.

Some of our wealth should be for serving God, providing for things that are important to Him, things that are near and dear to His heart, things that provide us with eternal reward.

Later in this chapter Jesus gives instruction about this.

Luke 12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

Sell what you have, not all of it, but some of it. In other words, if you don’t have cash to help others with, then sell something, liquidate something, get some cash on hand to use for alms.

Why? So that you can provide for yourselves money bags that do not grow old and wear out, something stored up in heavenly places that will not fail you in your time of need, to give you help from heaven that you can always depend upon.

This is the kingdom's alternative to covetousness. Instead of storing up so much stuff for yourself on earth, store up some treasure in heaven for future use. How? By giving alms, by giving to other people in need.

Helping the poor is a thing that is near and dear to God’s heart. Just a short study of that subject in the Bible will yield such truths as he who considers the poor lends to the Lord, and what he has given the Lord will repay, and another verse says he that gives to the poor will never lack. Those are great promises of God to take action on.

And doing these things on a regular basis removes the natural covetousness that’s in our hearts, and replaces it with faith in the promises of God, allowing us to lay up treasure in heaven, treasure that will not only provide for us in this present life, but will also provide future reward in the next life. It will give us confidence in the heavenly treasure we have stored up, for where your treasure is, there will be your heart, your faith, your trust.

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