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June 15, 2023

Loosen The Stranglehold Of Greed

Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

–1 Timothy 6:18-19

Immorality quenches the Spirit’s presence in our lives. Bitterness quenches the Spirit’s power to heal our hurts. There is a third Spirit-quencher, and that is greed. Greed quenches the Spirit’s purpose in our lives. Let me explain what I mean.

Romans 8:28-29 says God has one purpose for every Christian, and that is to conform us to the image of Christ in our actions, our attitudes, and our affections. But God also has a specific plan for your life, a unique path He wants you to travel on. And the way He communicates His unique purpose to you is through the Holy Spirit. In Philippians 2:13, Paul wrote, “It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” God has given you both the desire and the power to fulfill His unique plan for your life.

But do you know what can quench the Spirit’s purpose in your life more quickly than anything? Holding on to your money. Now, in Luke 14, Jesus said a wise person counts the cost before starting a project. But sometimes we do not follow through on what the Spirit is leading us to do because of an obsession with money. We say, “I would like to do that, God, but I just do not have the money right now,” or, “I do not want to leave my high-paying job,” or, “I had other plans for this money.” Greed can quench what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.

How do you keep greed from extinguishing God’s purpose in your life? First of all, view money realistically. Its power to protect you and satisfy you is far less than you imagine.

Second, hold on to money loosely. After you have tithed and set aside funds for your future and for emergencies, learn to hold the rest of your money loosely. If God prompts you to buy a gift for your child, go ahead and buy it. If God prompts you to take your mate on a trip, go ahead and take the trip. If God prompts you to give an extra gift to His work, go ahead and give that gift. Every time you follow the impulse to let go of money, you reduce by just a little bit the stranglehold greed has on your life.

Third, thank God for your money regularly. I remember thanking somebody who had made a generous contribution to our church, and they replied, “Pastor, it’s really easy to give when you realize it’s not yours to begin with.” When you express gratitude to God for what He has given you, you are reminded that it all belongs to Him.

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Flame Throwers vs. Fire Extinguishers” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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