Dealing With Greed: Need vs Want

Joe & Kerry Willis will lead the Sydney Mission Team
assisted by Mason Fetelika and his fiancée Nathalie
Moningka, who will build the campus ministry !
Joe & Kerry Willis will lead the Sydney Mission Team assisted by Mason Fetelika and his fiancée Nathalie Moningka, who will build the campus ministry !

A Study by Joe Willis, Leader of the North Region of the City of Angels International Christian Church & Sydney Mission Team Leader

Joe & Kerry Willis will lead the Sydney Mission Team assisted by Mason Fetelika and his fiancée Nathalie Moningka, who will build the campus ministry !

Joe & Kerry Willis will lead the Sydney Mission Team
assisted by Mason Fetelika and his fiancée Nathalie
Moningka, who will build the campus ministry !

Luke 12:15Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.

Introduction: What is greed and how did we get to the point of so much greed in today’s society

What is GREED? Simply put the excessive desire to have, to acquire, to possess, to consume, more than one needs or deserves – most obviously seen in the outward examples of money, possessions and food or drink.
Why do we buy over expensive cars, houses, clothes, top brands, designer labels, food etc as opposed to the basic version that will meet our needs? Because the world tells us to! Have more, eat more, look better, YOU DESERVE IT! Our economy is built on people consuming more: a good question to ask ourselves is if we are an advertisers dream or nightmare?

While we do not all need to imitate the life style of John the Baptist in camel’s hair clothes and eat

ing locusts, we may need to be reminded there was nothing outwardly that made Jesus attractive to the world:

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.Isaiah 53:2-3

Greed has its roots mainly in two things:

A) Trying to justify ourselves to others as opposed to God.


And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” – Ecclesiastes 4:4

B) In self-gratification, wanting to feel better about self, either by focusing on being self- consciousness, selfishly ambitious, self-focused, self-indulgence, self-piteous, self-interested or fulfilling selfish desires.

All man’s efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied.” – Ecclesiastes 6:7

Greed - Is It In You?

Greed – Is It In You?


(1) How God views greed

(2) Avoiding the influence of the world

(3) The Solution to greed (Moderation and generosity)


1. How God views Greed

I was enraged by his sinful greed; I punished him, and hid my face in anger, yet he kept on in his willful ways.” – Isaiah 57:17

Greed angers God

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” – Ephesians 5:3-6

Greed will keep you out of heaven, it’s that serious, do not be deceived, the world would say “Greed is good” Greed is a form of worship, the TV, magazines sell greed to us constantly, have more, you deserve it, have a better, easier life. Remember friendship with the world is hatred towards God.  We must put it to death because it is idolatry, something emotionally more important to us than God and his Kingdom. Don’t let others deceive you that it is not that bad. Not even a hint!

  • Proverbs 15:27 “A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live.”
  • Proverbs 28:25 “A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper”
  • Deuteronomy 32:15 “Jeshurun [Israel] grew fat and kicked; filled with food, he became heavy and sleek. He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior.”

Greed damages families; it breeds division in the church and amongst Christians, if left unchecked it will take you away from God.

Ways we justify our greedy thinking can go like this:

  • I deserve it; Other people (in the church) have it; I will use it for God and his Kingdom; It was a bargain (Joke: I saved so much I went into debt); It’s my only indulgence; I want it, you can’t tell me I can’t have it


2. Avoiding the influence of the world

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” – John 2:15-17

  • We as Christians are to be “in the world but not of the world”. “The place for a ship is in the sea, but if the sea gets into the ship it will sink; the place for a Christian is in the world, but if the world gets in the Christian/church it will sink.”

A) Cravings of sinful man: Security from wealth or possessions as opposed to our relationship with God. Handing ourselves over to a life of self -gratification, chasing the dream of happiness through experience.

B) Lust of his eyes: Question, how does a blind person spending differ to mine? A person who cannot lust? What would their buying decisions be based on? We must not let what our eyes see damage our heart. Luke 11:34

C) Boasting of what he has:As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner  except to feast his eyes on them?” – Ecclesiastes 5:11

D) Boasting of what he does: We should be boasting about what God does, and be secure in God’s love

Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” – Mark 4:18-19

One way to see how much the world has a hold on you is to see how effective you are in bearing fruit; to bear fruit takes focus, emotional commitment, time, desire, hard work. Is this time in your life the most effective you have been in bearing fruit? When was the last time you bore fruit?

The world tells us to save up and prepare for retirement, God says to sell our possessions and save up for heaven – Matthew 6:19-21; Acts 2:45; Luke 18:22-30; Romans 12:2.

3. The Solution to greed, is to be found in focusing on the opposite of greed

A. Moderation

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-8

When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” – Proverbs 23:1-5

B. Generosity

Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.” – Psalm 112:5

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” – Proverbs 11:25

1 Timothy 6:18 “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”

A) Money: Am I moderate in the way I spend and am I generous in the way I give to God, his kingdom, his people.

B) Time: Am I moderate with my commitments to work, pleasure, school, upkeep of possessions and am I generous with my time in serving, leading, getting with people, studies. What are my nights and weekends filled up with?

C) Eating: Am I moderate in what I eat and am I generous with hospitality?

D) Appearance: Am I moderate in what I wear and am I generous in spirit, known for beauty of my heart not looks?

Conclusion: Are you obsessed with abundance over God?

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” – Colossians 3:5-6

Is there any possession, job, house, arranged commitment etc that you could not give up immediately for the sake of God and his Kingdom? If so then it has become an idol to you. What do you need to change in your life today?

Where do you see greed deceiving you in your life? Ask others where they see greed in your life.

Could you do the one suit case challenge; because when we die we will all take the no suitcase challenge!

What do you need to change in your life today? Where do you see greed deceiving you in your life? Ask others!



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