Beware of Covetousness

In previous times, I discussed that the Lord rewards the faithful abundantly in return for their faith and accomplishment of assigned tasks.

As I learned from our pastors during bible study sessions at our church, the Lord truly rewards His faithful followers and He truly wants each and every one to prosper. In His Kingdom, there is indeed kingdom wealth and this clearly shows that there is no lack and no poverty.

For as long as we put God first while we live in the flesh being faithful, we can enjoy riches, the good stuff, the luxuries and other forms of profit plus even more so that we can afford to give to others. As I discussed before, the profit, luxuries and good stuff we enjoy here on Earth is only a fraction of the kingdom wealth that awaits us in Heaven.

While we the faithful enjoy rewards from the Lord, we must never lose track of Him. It is a fact that it is impossible to worship both the Lord and mammon. At the same time, we the faithful must be aware of covetousness and its corrupting effects.

In the Holy Bible, covetousness is a sin directed towards the acquisition of more possessions. This means wanting to acquire more things (while living in the flesh) and this is ultimately self-defeating and futile. Earthly things that are acquired without prioritizing the Lord are clearly not blessings from Him.

Covetousness is clearly emphasized in Luke 12: 15 which states

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

To understand the whole story, Luke 12: 13-21 was about the Parable of the Rich Fool. Our Eternal Savior Jesus was speaking to a crowd when a man said to him “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus asked him who made Him a judge or an arbitrator over him, then he told the crowd about covetousness.

Jesus then spoke a parable to them…the parable of the rich fool. The rich man in the parable wondered what to do with his crops as he no longer had any room left for storage. Then he said he will pull down his barns and build greater so that his crops and goods will be stored. As he was focused on his possessions, he would say to his soul that with many goods laid up to last for many years ahead, take ease, eat, drink and be merry.

Then God said to him: Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? (Luke 12: 20)

“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12: 21)

God called the rich man a fool because he was so short-sighted with his life, he focused only on his wealth and possessions living in the flesh. Clearly that rich fool did not prioritize the Lord and only cared of his own interest. Covetousness will not only lead to a hollow life, it will also lead to greed which itself leads to conflicts, crime, being self-centered and carrying other negative things of life.

The acquiring of more possessions under covetousness is not limited to material things and wealth. To covet also means getting someone and this is made clear in the Ten Commandments. Here’s a scripture for you and the words are from God.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. (Exodus 20: 17)

And then there is also the coveting of the false god or idols. Long ago, God warned the people of Israel to not covet the gods of other nations. The coveting in this case on the part of the Israelites was about them coveting the freedom to commit sin that other nations had incorporated into their worship of gods or idols of pagan origin. Heed the words of God below…

You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 7: 25)

So it is clear. Put the Lord first, be faithful to Him, accomplish the tasks He assigned you with (note: God has a plan for each and every one of us) and then you will enjoy riches and the good life. What could be greater than abundant rewards coming from the Lord Himself? Think about that!

Jesus said, “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” (Revelations 22: 12)

You don’t put the Lord first, then you are not rich towards God, you will be consumed by covetousness, and you won’t really enjoy your life and even your accumulated wealth. Trust me. There are rich people, in different parts of the world, living a sad and empty life. Covetousness is to think about or desire something so much, you will go to unreasonable measures to get it. To covet tells the Lord that you are not satisfied with what you have been blessed with. This, of course, blinds you of good judgment and what really matters most in your life.

Look at the different societies around the world. Covetousness clearly and negatively affected the lives of people and it is not limited towards the rich. Look at those bank robberies in which the robbers armed themselves, threatened people and even used tactics to break-in, disable security and organize planned getaways with the goal of escaping with a large stack of money or very valuable metals? The sad thing here is that these robbers are determined to harm and kill just for money! Think about that! Armed robbers would disregard other people’s lives for the sake of coveting wealth that they don’t even deserve!

Look at impoverished people who, during night time, go to a small business joint (or a family home), break in through the windows (or through a vacant aircon opening on the wall) then steal whatever valuable items they find inside. I’m talking about trespassing, damaging property and then stealing involved.

And then there are those “crime-less” acts of covetousness that get committed. A person can strive hard to earn money and/or find ways to get discounts all for the sake of buying the most anticipated video games for his gaming console. A person can go as far as exploiting the discounts of a big online sale ordering so many items that are not even needed. Along the way, the people committing covetousness can also harm himself/herself with the next bad thing – overspending!

Covetousness, again, is about desiring something or someone so much, you will take extreme measures to acquire successfully.

Clearly the Lord does not want people to commit crime or commit any bad deeds to gain something. The Lord knows fully well that criminals and other people consumed by covetousness are indeed foolish and sinful. The Lord is watching us all on how we spend or use the blessings He gave us, how we react on what is made available for acquiring within the flawed world system we are living in and what we do with what was acquired.

To really enjoy rewards from the Lord, you need to have faith in Him, repent to Him, prioritize Him and accomplish His assignment for you. This means opportunities to become a Kingdom Investor which I will emphasize in the future.

Clearly, you can enjoy riches, luxuries and the good life that the Lord will bless you with for as long as you prioritize Him and be faithful to Him. Don’t forget to discipline yourself with the money and other forms of blessings you received from the Lord.

What I have discussed with you here is not religion…it is the Biblical Truth. In my old life, there was never a single religious leader who ever warned me about covetousness or how we should handle the blessings we receive from the Lord. Religion did not help me connect to the Lord.

Religion will trap you. Religion will frustrate you. Religion will even corrupt you and lead you to greed and covetousness. The truth from the Holy Bible and having faith in the Lord and worshiping Him directly will set you free. I know! Because I experienced these in my life. I have been saved by Lord Jesus through His Instrument (a very dear friend of mine). Religion in my old life was darkness. As I learned along the way, it is better to be faithful to the Lord than to be religious.

There is more to your personal relationship with God than religion. You also need the Holy Spirit. You need to be born again and become a new creation in Jesus. Those are all true and you will realize it all eventually.

Are you a lost soul right now? Have you been living in darkness? Were you corrupted by covetousness and greed? You can still be saved and you have the power to decide to truly reform yourself! Reform does not happen because of a pretentious idealist who rants a lot on Facebook. Reform truly happens with the Lord and with His Spirit in your heart.

If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Clean yourself of the religious values that prevented you from connecting to the Lord.

Then pray the simple prayer in one of my past Christianity articles. It’s located at the end of my article Trust in God, Disregard those Idols and you only need to click here.

Remember that the Lord always blesses the faithful abundantly and He really wants us, the faithful ones, to prosper, be happy, be good and be able to give to others. Along the way, we ourselves have responsibilities to handle and we are still responsible over our circumstances just as we receive love and blessings from the Lord.

Resist the devil (whose tools include covetousness, lust, the frustration caused by religion and wickedness) by always being faithful to Jesus whose victory we should always remember.

With faith in the Lord and the Holy Spirit in your heart, you can be victorious, prosperous and happy eternally. Also never forget what Jesus said in Revelations 22:  12 in the Holy Bible.


Thank you for reading. If you find this Christianity article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

 

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Trust in God, Disregard those Idols

In this world we live in, it is too easy for us to allow ourselves to be distracted, to be swayed, and even worse, to be lost.

Look around you. People are so attached to their smartphones they spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other digital stuff it affects them tremendously making them addicted to technology. There is also the constant presence of cable TV news that somehow manipulate viewers to become news junkies (people addicted to the news) and the sad thing is that most people addicted to the news do not realize the fact that corporate media turned journalism into a commodity as they conspired with political forces and some advertisers behind the scenes.

And then there is the wide selection of entertainment from TV to mobiles games, the movie theaters, the radio and the like. There are those entertainment figures who become idols to their respective legions of followers. These are the famous actors, the famous singers, the famous fashion models, the famous media personalities and more. Apart from entertainment figures, there are also varied politicians who, because of democracy, developed their own respective legions of followers (voters) and they themselves become idols.

As I mentioned before, I am a geek and I love entertainment. I play video games, I watch movies and read comic books. I also pay attention to some news coverage of political news since it is an undeniable fact that public service affects a lot of people. However, I learned to restrain myself, stop the entertainment addiction, stop being indoctrinated by the news media and focus more on my job and other priorities.

One of the top priorities of mine is keeping faith in God and His Son Jesus and constantly learning lessons from the Holy Bible as well as applying those lessons on my daily living. I learned to avoid worshiping idols, both living and the non-living ones (in the form of man-made art). Trust me. When it comes to faith, I felt very relieved by getting rid of those statues and other man-made figures that were never truly worth worshiping. I also never idolized any living mortals. I also freed myself from the constraint and hindrances of religion. My worship is directed at God and His Son Jesus.

Today I would like to discuss Psalm 115 from the Holy Bible and the lesson will be about the futility of idols and the trustworthiness of God.

Let’s start reading Psalm 115 with my explanations.

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,

But to Your name give glory

Because of Your Mercy,

Because of Your truth.

Why should the Gentiles say,

“So where is their God?”

My take: Psalm 115: 1-2 opens with the prioritizing and trusting of God who is the all powerful creator who is not a tyrant but is actually a loving, caring, forgiving and just God who wants His faithful followers to spread His truth to others, to prosper and be happy. As God is in heaven, he cannot be easily seen on Earth by mortals who do not know Him, do not believe in Him and have limited themselves to what they perceive as real while living in the flesh.

But our God is in heaven;

He does whatever He pleases.

Their idols are silver and gold,

The work of men’s hands.

They have mouths, but they do not speak;

Eyes they have, but they do not see;

They have ears, but they do not hear;

Noses they have, but they do not smell;

They have hands, but they do not handle;

Feet they have, but they do not walk;

Nor do they mutter through their throat.

Those who make them are like them;

So is everyone who trusts in them.

My take: Psalm 115: 3-8 clearly describes the idols that humans (who don’t believe in God) invent out of nothing (or out of a very false belief) just so that they have something to worship. While God will always be real to His faithful believers, the idols are simply non-existing even though the people who keep on idolizing them live on with the lie that their idols are real, living and responding to them. There definitely is a contrast between the spiritual God who reigns omnisciently and omnipotently, and the man-made idols who are limited to the space of a carved object. In other words, idolatry is absurd, worthless and a terrible waste.

Can these man-made idols perform miracles like God? No! Can these idols send real messages to the people who worship them? No! Can these idols impact people’s lives? Absolutely not and the fact remains is that the people who worship the idols are living a lie and wasting their lives away. An idol is worthless and its followers become worthless as well.

Oh Israel, trust in the LORD;

He is their help and their shield.

O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD,

He is their help and their shield.

You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD;

He is their help and their shield.

The LORD has been mindful of us;

He will bless us;

He will bless the house of Israel;

He will bless the house of Aaron.

He will bless those who fear the LORD,

Both small and great.

My take: Psalm 115: 9-13 emphasizes the fact that God is real and therefore can always be trusted even though He cannot be seen through mortal eyes. He is in heaven, after all. Even though He is far away from, God has always maintained great awareness of His faithful believers and in return for their faith and purity, they will be blessed.

It is also essential to know that fearing the Lord leads to enlightenment. As such other forms of fear – fear of the unknown, fear caused by unrestrained emotions, fear that the worst will happen, fear of hopelessness, fear caused by interventionism, fear caused by brainwashing, fear caused by being self-centered, fear generated by religion and more – should be disregarded. Faith in the Lord is all what a person needs to have in order live better, to be blessed and to prosper. Having fear of the Lord is part of practicing faith in Him.

The non-believers meanwhile will only struggle and experience hardship. These are the people whose souls need saving. (refer to John 3: 3)

May the LORD give you increase more and more,

You and your children.

May you be blessed by the LORD,

Who made heaven and earth.

The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s;

But the earth He has given to the children of men.

The dead do not praise the LORD,

Nor any who go down into silence.

Be we will bless the LORD

From this time forth and forevermore.

Praise the LORD!

My take: Psalm 115: 14-18 emphasizes further that God is loving, caring and will keep blessing faithful believers. In return, faithful believers keep living their lives with purity, maintain an unwavering faith and praise the Lord always.

On earth, people were born in the flesh as naturally flawed beings (lost souls) who have to struggle growing up, figuring out life the hard way while dealing with the unpredictable moves of nature and local society. The struggle, however, can end by believing in God, realizing He is real, praising Him and being faithful to Him. This also means that a person must be born again (refer to John 3: 3) in order to be saved and to see God’s kingdom.

People who were born with lost souls, lived life worshiping idols (or completely ignoring them but still failing to realize God’s existence) and later died without being saved truly end up failing  to see God’s kingdom. That is a very sad outcome indeed and not enough people realize that.

In this world we live in, countless forms of distractions hound us all the time. Among them are the idols, both living and non-living, that people seem to be captivated with. The sad thing about following idols in the modern world is that the followers (of the idols) tend to forget and/or ignore God and His Son Jesus. These people don’t realize they became lost souls.

Worshiping idols is futile. None of those idols will ever come close to the power, the love and care of the Lord. Here’s a passage from Psalm 86: 8.

Among the gods, there is none like You, O Lord;

Nor are there any works like Your works.

The gods mentioned above refers to the idols and myths that pagans refer to as gods. David is not acquiescing to polytheism (refer to 1 Corinthians 8: 5-6)

And then there are these powerful words from God from Exodus 20: 3.

You shall have no other gods before Me.

And then there is the passage of Deuteronomy 5: 7-10 which is connected to the Ten Commandments.

You shall have no other gods before me. 

You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

God is the one true god to worship and very clearly idols are not meant to be worshiped. God’s character demands loyalty while idols are worthless. You worship an idol, then you will be lost! Do you really want to waste your life hailing an idol and ignoring God and His Son Jesus? Do you really want to live as a lost and unsaved soul? You may not realize it but you need direction and you need to be born again. You can start reforming yourself to find your path to Lord Jesus by getting rid of those idols (both living and non-living) and focus on Him.

We should all read the Holy Bible and remember that Jesus came to this world and dwelt among people thousands of years ago. He came and spread the good news of salvation and those who believed in Him received the free gift of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit received, the faithful believer will understand the Word of God as well as the nature of God, then receive a new heart and become a new creation.

This is not about religion at all. Religion itself will frustrate you and prevent you from truly connecting to the Lord. Rather this is about your personal relationship with the Lord. Any person – including you the reader – needs the Holy Spirit, needs to be born again and needs to become a new creation in Jesus.

As such, if you have been idolizing someone or something, you have been living with frustrations and you really want to be reformed deep inside, then immediately you must decide to stop worshiping idols and look up to God and trust in Him! You have the power to decide for yourself and the good news is that it is not too late for you to be saved.

If you seek salvation now, learn that the first step is to receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

Then pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations, reader! You are now a child of God! Praise the Lord and always be faithful to Him! The Holy Spirit is in you.


Thank you for reading. If you find this Christianity article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com