Category Archives: Beware of covetousness

"Beware" (Luke 12:1-34)

A sermon by Mike Gors

Introduction:
1. Many gathered to hear Jesus preach (Luke 11). In this they heard a strong rebuke:
a. He called them a wicked generation looking of a sign (Lk.11:29)
b. The Queen of Sheba would rise up and judge that current generation because she sought wisdom from Solomon
and one wiser than Solomon stood in their presence.(Luke 11:31)
c. The people of Niniveh would condemn the current generation because they repented at the preaching of Jonah
and a greater preacher than Jonah had arrived (Luke 11:31)
d. He pronounced “woe” to the legalism of the Pharisee (Luke 11:46)

2. Even though it was a strong rebuke that left no one untouched they came back for more (Luke 12)
a. There gathered together an inumerable multitude of people”
b. “Myriads” – thousands upon thousands.
c. This was perhaps the height of Jesus popularity.

3. The afternoon sermon/ discourse was one of warning and trusting.
a. Strong warnings of things that would clearly hinder them from receiving the reward of heaven.
b. These warnings are signified explicitly with “beware” twice and once implied “beware”.

4. There was in front of these followers of Jesus certain dangers that could cause them to fall away.
a. Things that are beyond physical persecution and are far more dangerous…attitudes that lie deep
within the human heart [mind] and are very difficult to remove from ones life.
b. This sermon/ discourse Jesus uses to exhort the followers to be on guard, vigilant, and sober minded
in order to indentify and overcome the various hurdles in life.

5. Lets look at these three difficulties that are within the human heart.

I. Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisee…Hypocrisy (Luke 12:1-12)

A. Beware of the Leaven:
1. Leaven, by and large, refers to corruption, sin, or evil. (i.e. 1 Corinthians 5:6)
2. In modern language we may use “cancer” to convey the message of that which is to be avoided
corrupt and unwanted.
B. Hypocrisy- by definition “An actor on a stage; to act; to wear a mask and pretend.
1. A term often misused and abused.
2. A Christian who stumbles and commits a sin is not automatically a hypocrite, it makes them human.
C. A hypocrite actively pursues putting on a show. He/She pretends to be something they are not. He/she wants to
make people think they are one thype of person when the reality is within they are the opposite of what they pretend to be!
1. The Pharisee say the love God but hate Jesus…they are pretenders!
2. The Pharisee say they glorify God but the want and love the praise of men…they are pretenders!
3. Many today say the love Jesus, even call him Lord but refuse to be baptized…they are pretenders!
(Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15,16; John 3:3-5; Ax 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3,4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians3:26,27; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21)
D. Who they really were could not be hidden for ever (Luke 12:3,4). A time would come when difficult decisions would have to be
made (Luke 12:4-12)
1. Where would they stand in the moment of truth? Would they pretenders when persecution came?
2. Where do we stand in the moment of truth?
3. In that moment of truth: Judas betrayed the Lord! Peter denied the Lord! Thomas doubted! Stephen died ! Under
which name will we fall in that moment of truth.
4. Will we be pretenders of faith or contenders for the faith!
Beware of hypocrisy!!

II. Beware of covetousness (Luke 12:13-21)
A. By definition covetousness is “To fix a desire upon”
1. Luke uses “epithumeo”: “epi” – upon; “thumeo” – passion
2. To be consumed or passionate from the inside out about someone or something.
(food, clothes, sports, entertainment, etc.)
3. Within the text it is clearly about material things / money.

B. It almost seems to be our nature to never be satisified with what we have. We always want a bigger paycheck,
a bigger house, better/newer cars, the latest elctronic gadget etc.
1. Haggai told Israel they had “money bags with holes”. As quickly as money came in, it went out to maintain their
lifestyles of ease while God’s house and all things eternal were largely ignored. (Hmmmm, sound familar!)
2. Many today are simply slaves to a lifestyle. Two incomes in a home and yet no happiness nor contentment.
C. Covetousness is at the heart and soul of the gambling issue.
1. Some call it harmless entertainment
2. Others say it is similar to investing in the stock market. (To any that claim this argument begin today redirecting the same
money from your 401k or equivalent to buying lottery tickets..probably doesn’t sound like sound investing now)
3. Gambling is the epitome covetousness – Turning one dollar into millions overnight in dreams of a life of ease.

D. Life does not consist in “THINGS”. (Luke 12:16-21; 1 Timothy 6:6-12 Read these verses carefully).
Beware of Covetousness!!

III. Beware of anxiety/doubt/worry (Luke 12:22-34)
A. Fear is very effective.
1. Fear can paralyze us from taking action. (We don’t take the lead in a noble deed for fear of mockery)
2. Fear can enslave us to a lifestyle.
(fear losing a home we can’t afford so we get a second and third job to the neglect of our souls and family obligations)

B. There are many things beyond our control so why do we bear the burden rather than trust God (Luke 12:25-28)

C. God clearly provides for the animals he created and he clothes the plants he created.
1. Look around the great state of Indiana, do the deer endure and live through some very cold winter nights? Did
they go hungry during any of the many winter storms we have had this year?
2. Have you ever taken time to watch God feed his birds, on any given day while driving down an Indiana highway
stop and watch a hawk fall on its prey. That is God providing food, food for a soulless bird.
3. Human beings are of much greater value than the deer or hawks etc. yet for some reason we don’t believe that in
his care for us nor his providence to fulfill his promis of care (Matt.6:33) .
(No, He does not give hand outs: The deer have to get up and find food, the hawks have to hunt and to fly and go get the food God provides.)

D. Why should we not be filled with anxiety, worry and doubt, Luke 12:32 really says it all. Do not be afraid because the
imagery Luke provides to tell us about our relationship God has with his people:
1. God is a Shepherd over the “His flock”- guiding, feeding, nuturing and caring for his sheep.
2. God is a Father who takes pleasure in giving His children care, instruction,guidance, wise advice through His word.
3. God is a King sitting upon His throne! As a benevolent King he reigns with all authority and will protect and vindicate His
subjects.
E. In the mean time diligently demonstrate your faith by immersing yourself in service to Him in His kingdom trusting He will provide for all the things you need (Luke 12:33)

Conclusion:
1. Beware of hypocrisy – don’t be a pretender be a genuine sincere follower of Jesus!

2. Beware of covetousness – life is not about having stuff for the sake of
having stuff!

3. Beware of worry/ doubt- God is aware of what you need and is willing to give it. The real problem is we don’t really believe it.

4. Jesus has warned us. IF you have ears open them up and listen! If you have eyes open them up and see what Jesus says!
otherwise consider Luke 6:46!

4. Your words and deeds will display for the world and for God where your “heart” and “treasure” really belong! (Luke 12:34)

5. Is your heart and treasure with Jesus or with self ? You know and God knows! Where will you go from here?

Find the truth about God and become a New Testament Christian. Find out more about New Testament Christianity by running some Internet searches for “church of Christ” and “churches of Christ.” You may also want to visit http://www.abiblecommentary.com for Bible study information.

Remember, in order to be saved and enjoy all God’s blessings (not the least of which is salvation), a person must have faith (Jn. 8:24), be willing to repent (Lk. 13:3), and after confessing Christ as Lord, the final step is water baptism (Rom. 6:3; 1 Cor. 12:13; 1 Pet. 3:20-21). Bible baptism is by immersion only (“burial,” Rom. 6:4), and once it is done, heaven puts that person “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27; Rom. 6:3). After proper baptism a person has their sins forgiven (Acts 2:38).

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