From a greedy heart to a loving one

 

This has really been on my heart a while about the dangers of greed, and I wanted to share it earlier. In the process I changed my title.   I want to venture out and say that sin has different levels, and while I was preparing this message, the verse that someone commented on this blog became alive for me.  12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:11

Imagine running a race, when a 100 pound weight vest on.  That’s what people do on the Biggest Loser.  They sometimes run these races and they have these weights of all the weight they used to weigh and as they are running the race they drop off the weights in these containers.  Similarly, in the Christian walk, we all have weights that are called sin, which so easily ensnare us.  Yes Jesus Blood has cleansed us from sin, and removed all past sin from us, but we are still not perfect like Him, so then we have this sin that so easily ensnares us, and one of them I want to talk about today is greed. Greediness is tied into selfishness.

We know the world has greed and it can be seen anywhere, the stock market, George Fontenellis, said “operates on fear and greed”.  The world does not know any better.  Whether Christians should invest in the stock market, is not the purpose of this post.  But we as Christians should be set apart and act differently, than the world, and sadly, we don’t see that within the body of believers.  Sometimes we pray for stuff and then we get it and then the next day it’s something else, and something else.  It is also tied to not having a grateful heart or a heart full of thanksgiving.  We are always wanting more and more and more to the point that we are not satisfied.  We are always asking this and that from God, and sometimes forgetting to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

We can also be greedy about love.  We want to have all the love to ourselves, and not want to share it.  We are in turn being selfish, and while God does know us, He wants us to recognize that we do have this area to work on.  The first step in problem solving is to identify the problem.  The Holy Spirit works with you to recognize the problem, and then He helps remove this weights of sin off our lives, if we let Him.  If we don’t let Him, then He can’t work in our lives.  We all have problems, and they need to be fixed, and Jesus is the Master of fixing problems, but often times He does not do it in the way we expect.  For example when He came to Israel, they expected Him, to become King and dismantle the political system and save the Jews from oppression by the Romans, but that was not what He was there to do.  He was there for a bigger purpose.  He had to commission His Kingdom, and set the process of transformation of lives to begin with.

Many people can have spiritual gifts and anointing, ministries, and the like, but unless they allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives and remove the things that are keeping us from the glory to be revealed in us as it says in Romans 8, then all of that is in vain.  Unconditional love or Agape is the reason that Jesus died for us, and not just for our families, friends, and acquaintances, but for the whole world.  When we have this selfish greed in our heart it is keeping us from operating in the fullness of this Agape love, but since there are certain levels of greed operating in our lives, then we have to lay this sin upon the cross daily, and start renew and cultivate the love of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives.

What gets to me is when Paul says, “To be able to know what is the depth, and the height and the breadth of love, which surpasses all understanding”  We need to have more of this kind of love.  Greed is what makes people steal.  In 2 Kings 5:20 they talked about Gehazi who had greed, and the leprosy of Namaan clung to Gehazi.  Why?  Because He was not operating out of love.

This post is really not about tithing, or about money, or about possessions, but it’s about the character of God developing in you.  When you have this greed, or any sin, for that matter, it is like grime and it weighs you down so that you can’t run the race.  When you pray and you run to God to release the burden of the sin onto Him, and cast your cares onto Him, He allows it to work in your life, but you first have to surrender.

Many people think that once your saved, that’s it that you don’t have to change in anyway and that you can still be the same person, and that you cannot remove the old nature and to take on the new nature, but they don’t realize that this is all a process and a journey with many mountains and valleys, ups and downs.  Jesus is there to guide you through it all, and Thank God, for He is patient, kind, slow to anger, and merciful.  If it wasn’t for God’s mercy, we really would not be able to get away with all the stuff that we’ve gotten away with.

The power of redemption is to know what a sinner you were before, and to realize exactly what Jesus has done for you, so does that mean that once you have accepted you can continue to live in that way?  When you have redemption, not only has Jesus paid the price for your sin, but there is a transforming work inside of you that brings you from glory to glory so that you can be the shining example of victory that God has promised in your life.  Repentance, is not really just about saying I’m sorry, but like I said before, it’s about feeling remorse, and then turning, but as you turn it’s usually hard.  It’s where your faith comes in, and says if Jesus says that I can do it, then “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, and in this context is where the verse is properly applied because the context is about knowing that whether abased or abound, you can be content.

Isn’t that all that we want?  To be content.  It is the true heart’s desire for us to be content and satisfied, but in essence we are always wanting more and more and we cannot seem to settle in one direction or another, but to have that steadfast contentment in our hearts, knowing that no matter what happens as long as we have Jesus, all is well.  I know it is hard, but we shouldn’t let others’ discontentment, which can lead to issues such as anger and greed get to us.  At the same time, we need to avoid being greedy and avoid all kinds of sin around us.  Yes Jesus has removed us from the guilt of sin, so we do not keep on needing to beat ourselves up about it, but we need to allow God to transform and change us by surrendering to Him, and it’s all a little by little.  The seed is there and we are going to change, if we have the right attitude about it, and are willing to change for God.  The problem comes when we think we have completely changed once we are saved, and then our minds don’t need constant renewing in the Word of God, or that our character needs to change to develop Christ-likeness.  Then we can appreciate the Grace of God that allows us to change into the image of God because He put that seed to love in our hearts.

Heavenly Father,

We know we are not perfect without You in our lives, and we thank You that You have given your precious saints, the ability to change and to become more like You.  Guard our hearts today from any kind of sin, which so easily ensnares us, and let us lay down any weight that keeps us from You Lord God.  Transform our hearts and make us into the pure likeness of Your Spirit, and guide us all into discernment Truth.  I seal this post with the Blood of Jesus and I ask you Lord to renew our hearts daily so that we may become more like You.  Mold us, like the potter molds the clay, and make us conform to Your image Lord God.  Wherever there is violence or anger spewing in anyone’s heart, remove that and change into love, and compassion, and mercy, and forgiveness.  Teach people humility, and to be loving and giving of their time, resources, and the gifts and abilities You have given them so that they may know how they can reach out to others.  Thank You for this beautiful day for we know that whether it is sunny, or windy, or rainy, or snowy, or thundering, or shaking, You are still God and the midst of it all.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

 

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