p>Hebrews 12:1 -Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, …and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
1 Timothy 6:9,10 -People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Luke 12:15 – Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist of abundance of his possessions.
About a year ago, a friend loaned us a Christian movie entitled, “Time Changers.” The plot involved a Christian professor who lived around the turn of the 20th century but with the help of a time machine, he was transported to our present. When he arrived he was shocked to see how pagan our society had become in a little over a hundred years-but what REALLY stunned him was how much Christians had changed. As he visited in the churches of our day he found Christians embracing sinful behaviors and lifestyles that the Christians in his time period found abhorrent.
Now, the special effects in this film were nothing to write home about-but the plot of the movie was very convicting. I mean, you and I can’t travel into the future-but in a sense we CAN travel into the past. We can use our history books to look back at our culture a century ago and see that the plot of this film rings true. Christians have indeed become more tolerant of sin. Over the years more and more of us have embraced the sinful acts of our culture. More and more of us have chosen to ignore God’s Word where it says we are NOT to, “…conform to the pattern of this world…” (Romans 12:2)
Now-I’m not making excuses-but part of the reason for this tendency toward sin is the fact that there are more opportunities to be ensnared by sin today than at any other period in history. Think of it, television, video, the music industry, the Internet-all these modern conveniences combine to give us constant access to shows, movies, songs, and web sites that promote sinful behavior. In his book, Right From Wrong, Josh McDowell writes, “Our children seldom hear the words ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ from Hollywood, Nashville, and Madison Avenue. Instead they are bombarded with thousands of hours of sounds and images that glamorize immorality and mock biblical values.”
Well all this cultural bombardment has led us to think of actions Christians used to avoid-actions we used to clearly refer to as evil-as being “normal” and therefore acceptable. But our fallen culture can’t take all the blame. In his classic book, The Pursuit of Holiness, Jerry Bridges cites three other factors that lead more and more believers to become ensnared by sin.
1. First, our attitude toward sin has become more SELF-centered than GOD-centered.
Bridges points out that these days, “We are more concerned about our own ‘victory’ over sin than we are about the fact that our sins grieve the heart of God.” Like our forefathers we NEED to learn to see all sin as an offense against our Holy God. We need to learn to pray with King David, “I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.” (Psalm 51)
Author W. S. Plumer writes, “We never see sin aright until we see it as against God….All sin is against God in this sense that it is His law that is broken, His authority that is despised, His government that is set at naught.”
To fend off sin’s snares we must learn to think of avoiding sinful actions in terms of OBEDIENCE-not victory. Our motivation for living Godly lives must be reverence and love for God-not an attempt to earn some sort of “I didn’t sin merit badge.” Remember-Jesus said, “If you love Me you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) Ask yourself, “Am I living like I love God? Am I obeying His commands?”
2. And then, a second problem is that many of us have misunderstood “living by faith” to mean no EFFORT at holiness is required on our part.
We mistakenly think that all we need do is have faith in the limitless grace of God. J. C. Ryle, bishop of Liverpool from 1880 until 1900 once said, “The Scriptures teach us that in following holiness the true Christian needs personal EXERTION and WORK as well as faith.” Ryle is right. To be HOLY-to live as Jesus lived-requires more than faith in His amazing grace-it requires our efforts. Our desire to be holy must lead us to TRY not to sin!
Reminds me of the man who asked a sales clerk at J.C. Penny what the tag on a pair of pants meant-a tag that said, “WRINKLE RESISTANT.” The clerk replied, “It means the pants still wrinkle-they just doesn’t want to.” Well, as Christians, we should be “sin resistant” -we still sin-but we shouldn’t want to. We should TRY not to. We should RESIST sin.
3. And then a third component in all this is the fact that it has gotten to the point that we just do not take some sin SERIOUSLY.
Over the years we have mentally categorized sins into those that are unacceptable and those which may be tolerated in today’s society-and the tolerated list grows longer every day. The more sins our culture accepts-the more believers eventually accept. It’s as if we pridefully decide that more and more of God’s prohibitions have become out-dated so they can be ignored in the 21st century. For example, our culture says it’s okay to fudge on your taxes-so we say it’s okay to deceive Uncle Sam-even though one of God’s clearest laws forbids dishonesty. Our world embraces new curse words every day-words our parents would never even think of using-and these words begin to find their way into our “Christian” vocabulary as well-even though God’ Word clearly says: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths…Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking.” (Ephesians 4:29, 5:4)
The world says its okay to live together before marriage-and more and more believers do so as well-even though the Inventor of marriage, plainly tells us that sex outside of marriage is fornication. Well, this slippery slope into more and more sinful behaviors by Christians is sad-first because ALL sin grieves the heart of God. Whenever we disobey Him in any way it causes Him pain. Do you remember the words to that old Ray Boltz song? “Does He still feel the nails every time I fail? Does He hear the crowd cry ‘CRUCIFY!’ again? Am I causing Him pain? Then I know I’ve got to change. I just can’t bear the thought of hurting Him.” It DOES cause God pain when we pridefully chose to go along with the pressure of our fallen culture. Remember, our Heavenly Father has commanded us to be different. We are to be,
“…blameless and pure without fault in a crooked and depraved generation…such that we shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the word of life.” (Philippians 2:15-16)
Well, for seven weeks this Spring, I want us to try to work toward correcting this problem in our own lives-by studying sin-specifically seven of the deadliest sins. We’ll study sins like hypocrisy, pride, lust, and dissension-in an attempt to discover how to break free of these worldly practices. I want us to learn to obey the instructions God has given us and, “…throw off the sin that so easily entangles, and run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)
Today we are beginning this series by focusing on the sin of GREED-and GREED is basically a form of wanting-but it’s more than wanting-it’s wanting MORE and MORE and MORE. GREED’S cousins are envy and covetousness. And, at the onset of our study we need to open our eyes and admit that GREED is one of the most socially acceptable sins in our fallen culture. GREED is very much a part of our world. Think of it. If an individual starts a business, pounds his employees mercilessly, undermines his competitors deceitfully, overcharges his customers regularly, but makes a fortune in the process, what do we call him? – A SUCCESS!
The fact is our society is structured to encourage all of us to be GREEDY. Every day we are pelted with ads that prompt us to WANT more. In the United States alone the advertising industry spends over six billion dollars a day. According to an article in the Educational Forum a few years ago, “the typical U.S. consumer is the recipient of 3,000 advertisements daily…”…on billboards, in magazines, on TV, radio, the Internet-not to mention the U.S. Mail. I don’t know about you but MOST of my “snail mail” both at home and here at the church is ads of one form or another. Well, merchants spend all this money on these ads because they work-in that they lead more and more of us to live in a perpetual state of wanting more and more and more which leads us to buy more and more and more. This reminds me of the old “Dennis the Menace” cartoon strip where Dennis is looking through a Christmas Toy catalogue saying, “This catalog’s got a lot of toys I didn’t even know I wanted.”
And, adults have their own “toy catalogues.” For example: A few months ago I saw an ad about a new backyard grilling tool that all dads need! It’s a probe that you put in the meat that tells the temperature inside so you can be sure its done. And, I guess that’s not such a bad idea since uncooked meat can make us sick. But this particular probe also came with a remote control that you wear on your belt. It buzzes when the meat is ready-and it costs a fortune! I’m sure this ad has sold tons of these devices-convincing thousands of men to shell out all this money because they believe they NEED this gadget in order to cook a burger-when years ago men cooked perfectly good food on the grill using only their eyes to determine when it was ready.
Now, many of us think, “Well, I’m not rich, so GREED isn’t going to be a problem for me!” But that’s not true. All of us-no matter what tax bracket we fit into-suffer from GREED. Bill Hybels writes: “Some of the greediest people in the world have very little but they spend countless hours, scheming and fantasizing and standing in lottery lines, fully convinced that more money would solve every problem and meet every longing in their life.”
Plus-greed is not just a MONEY thing. We can be sinfully greedy about anything. We can be greedy for popularity-or for a better spouse-or for a better body. The list goes on and on, which is why Jesus warned, “Be on your guard against ALL KINDS of greed.” We also need to be honest enough to admit that Christians embrace this sinful attitude just as much as non-Christians. Robert Wuthnell, a sociologist at Princeton has written a book entitled, God and Mammon in America and in it he says there is not much difference between the financial behavior of those in the church and those outside of it. For example, his study has shown that 86% of all people agree that GREED is a sin but only 16% of those in the church say that wanting a lot of money is wrong. The rest of us think its okay.
Now God’s Word has a great deal to say about this particular deadly sin-and please hear that adjective-because like all sin greed IS deadly-which is why God warns us about it so much!
In fact all of God’s laws are WARNINGS because all of sin hurts us! Bill Hybels writes: “The Lord tells us specifically that His commands are never burdensome. By this, He doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easy to keep. Rather, He’s telling us that they’re never foolish. They are never unnecessary or purely arbitrary. He doesn’t force us to observe meaningless formalities, nor does He impose rules that have no value. On the contrary, every guideline, every law, every imperative in the Bible was crafted in infinite wisdom. They were given not only to honor God, but to benefit us as well.” In Jeremiah 29:11 God says to you and me, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” And later in chapter 32 God goes on to say that His desire is,”….that people will always fear Him-but for their own good and for the good of their children after them.” So God’s prohibitions against sinful behaviors and attitudes are not negative in nature. Their purpose is not to burden us but to protect us.
And with that in mind, let’s begin our study of the sin of GREED by reviews several ways that GREED hurts us. Let’s look at why God would WARN us about GREED.
1. First, greed DECEIVES us.
This sinful desire motivates us to try to earn more than we need, own more than we can use, and ache for stuff that never satisfies. Greed promises that material well-being will deliver much more than material well being can. I mean, greed lies to us and promises things that it does not deliver. Greed tells us that if we get what we do not have-if we get what we desire-we’ll be happy.
True-when we get something that we have wanted for a long time there is a brief thrill, but the thrill never lasts. Like a tire with a hole in it, it quickly loses its ability to bring us happiness. But we never seem to learn this lesson. When the thrill fades we just yearn for another THING, hoping that it WILL bring us lasting happiness. And the process begins all over again.
One example of this vicious cycle is seen every Christmas when we’re presented with those “must” items that we simply have to buy for our kids in order for them to be happy. And every year the “Big Thing” to find under the tree is something new. Several years ago the gift of choice was a Tickle Me Elmo. People stampeded through stores to get one. Remember? In past Christases there have also been Pet Rocks, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Beanie Babies, Furbies, GameBoys, and I-Pods, to name just a few. When our kids get these things they enjoy them for a few days but eventually those things that they wanted so bad-those toys that they absolutely had to have to be happy-lose their appeal. And then the next year the BIG THING to have is something else.
And we adults are just as bad. We yearn for something that we believe will bring us a thrill, only to aim our desires at something else when the thrill is gone-and the thrill always leaves! So, Tickle Me Elmo isn’t giggling anymore; he’s on the top shelf of the closet in most homes between a Salad Shooter and a Vega-Matic. You see, greed is VERY deceptive. It promises happiness but it always leaves us wanting, which is why when Andrew Carnegie was asked, “How much money is enough?” He replied, “Just a little bit more.” One reason God warns us to avoid GREED is because He knows that wanting is an endless search for joy that fades. Like a dog chasing it’s tail greedy people never quite catch lasting joy. This is why Epicurus said, “If you want to make a man happy, add not to his possessions, but take away from his desires.”
Last Sunday night was the annual Academy Awards and if you watched then you know one of this year’s most highly awarded films was THE AVIATOR, the story of billionaire Howard Hughs. Well Hughes is a perfect case study of what GREED can do because his life was an obsession to have more. He wanted more money, so he parlayed inherited wealth into a billion dollar pile of assets. He wanted more fame, so he went to Hollywood and became a film maker and star. He wanted more sensual pleasures, so he paid handsome sums to indulge his every hedonistic urge. He wanted more thrills, so he designed, built and piloted the fastest aircraft in the world. He wanted more power, so he secretly dealt political favors so skillfully that two U. S. Presidents became his pawns. All Howard Hughes ever wanted was more. And yet this man ended his life emaciated; colorless; with a sunken chest. His fingernails resembled grotesque, corkscrews that were inches long. His teeth were black and rotten, and innumerable needle marks from his drug addiction covered his body. He walked around nearly naked most of the time with his beard and hair to his waist. He lived in darkness, wore rubber gloves, and sterilized everything in his junk-filled room. He spent most of his time watching old movies and drinking soup. He was so lonely that he talked on the phone for 10 to 15 hours a day. I remember when Howard Hughs died, newscasters reported that he weighed only 95 pounds and I’m sure that with every ounce he still believed in the myth of more. His life shows the truth of that old Latin proverb: “He who covets is always poor.”
2. And then a second reason God warns us about GREED is that so often it leads us to embrace other sinful BEHAVIORS.
As our text from 1 Timothy 6 says, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” And the Bible records several examples of this greed-induced downward spiral. For example, 1st Kings 21 tells that King Ahab wanted the land that adjoined his property but it belonged to his neighbor, Naboth. Ahab offered to buy it for a reasonable price but Naboth did not want to sell because the land had been in the family for a long time. Ahab was depressed over the matter until his wicked wife, Jezebel assured him that she would take care of everything. She had the neighbor falsely accused of blasphemy and treason and put to death. And then King Ahab was able to confiscate the land. So, the king’s GREED gave birth to lying, murder, and theft. I’m sure you remember from our recent study of Acts the record of the actions of Ananias and Sapphira who sold some land and bragged that they gave the entire proceeds to the church. Acts 5:3 says that they lied to the Lord. Instead of giving it all to God they had kept some of the money for themselves. They were stricken dead for their deceit. It all began with their GREED for the popularity that Barnabas had gained due to his selling property and giving all the proceeds to the church.
Here’s a more current example. A survey was done recently to find out what the average American would do in exchange for two million dollars.
- Twenty-five percent said they would be willing to abandon their families.
- Twenty three percent said they would become prostitutes for a week.
- Sixteen percent would leave a spouse.
- Three percent would put their kids up for adoption.
Now, I know what you’re thinking-“I’d never do something like that.” But the truth is GREED is the door that leads all of us from small sins-to deeper and deeper ones. You could say that GREED is the “mother of all sins” for it is an inward sin that gives birth all manner of outward evil acts. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said, “…out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks…the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up IN HIM.” (Matthew 12:34-35)
3. A third danger is that greed blinds us to what is really IMPORTANT in life.
This is what Jesus was warning us about in Luke 12:15 when He said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
When I worked for Reynolds Metals Company I learned the value of over-time. Just a few hours of time-and-a-half pay-or double-pay on holidays-would really increase your pay check. It was always very tempting to work over-time when possible. Well, we had men at Reynolds that we called “over-time hogs” because they would literally work non-stop if you let them. Their paychecks were huge-but ironically they never had any time to spend the money. And even worse, they never saw their children or wives because they were always at work. Greed led them to forget that, “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Well, think about this for a moment. Has greed done that to you? Has it deflated the “price-tag” you put on the truly important things of life? Has it messed with your priorities?
Years ago Sue and I would almost always watch MAD ABOUT YOU before turning in. I remember the episode in which their baby was born. Apparently the hospital labor and delivery ward had one room that all expectant mothers wanted. It had rich wood paneling, a large screen TV, a great stereo system, beautiful furniture, and expensive art work on the walls. It was known as “the GOOD room.” When they arrived at the hospital another couple were having a baby and they raced to see who would get the “good” delivery room. In spite of some pretty tricky wheel chair driving, Paul Reiser and his TV wife lost the race and ended up in a “normal” delivery room. But the moment his little baby girl popped into that room a few hours later he said, “Guess which room just became the ‘GOOD’ room.”
You see, if we are not careful, GREED can make us care more about furniture and things and popularity and big pay checks and earthly success than what is truly important-like those special-unrepeatable moments of life and one reason God gave us this commandment is because He knows that wanting can keep us from LIVING!
So GREED is indeed a DEADLY sin-it is deceitful-it blinds us to what is truly important-it leads to other sinful behaviors….but the greatest danger of GREED is this.
4. Greed can lead us to push GOD out of our lives.
You see, GREED is a form of coveting-a behavior the 10th commandment forbids. Well GREED-COVETING-breaking the 10th commandment-it CAN lead us to break the 1st commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” You see what a person WANTS, he serves-and that which a person serves is his god. Martin Luther rightly said, “Whatever thy heart clings to and relies on, that is properly thy God.”
Do you remember the Rich Young Ruler? Luke 18 tells us of that tragic day when he came to Jesus and asked what he had to do to inherit eternal life. In response Jesus asked him if he had been obedient to all of God’s commandments and this brash young man basically replied by basically saying, “Yep! All ten-since I was a youth. No adolescent rebellion phase in MY life. No sowing wild oats. I don’t smoke or drink or go with girls that do. I’ve perfectly obeyed ALL of God’s laws-every single one. Nothing but net!” Jesus response was, “Really? Well then you lack just one thing. Sell everything you have. Give the proceeds to the poor and then come and follow Me.” Now, don’t get nervous. Jesus wasn’t saying that “cashing out” like this is a requirement to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Of course not. Salvation is a matter of repentance and faith in Christ. It is a gift available to anyone, rich or poor. No-Jesus said this because He had picked up on this young man’s greedy attitude and He wanted to flush it out in the open. His requirement that the young man sell his possessions was a test to show how serious this guy was about obeying the FIRST commandment. You see, if he truly put God first in His life then He would obey Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, and sell all his possessions. And his negative response revealed that his true God was mammon-money-wealth. Over the years GREED had led this young man to make a “God-exchange.” His greed-inspired love of things kept him from following Jesus. He held onto things and as a result pushed aside a relationship with God.
So when you think of it he didn’t possess things. They possessed him. He foolishly gave up eternal life for temporary earthly riches. This shrewd 1st century businessman made a very bad business decision for as Jesus said, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” And we need to obey our Lord because GREED can lead us to make the same foolish error.
Mark Buchannan refers to GREED as, “The CULT of the Next Thing” and he warns us that it is dangerously easy to get enlisted. In fact it happens by default-not by choosing the cult, but by failing to resist it. He writes, “The Cult of the Next Thing is consumerism cast in religious terms. It even has its own litany of sacred words-words like: ‘more,’ ‘you deserve it,’ ‘new,’ ‘faster,’ ‘cleaner,’ ‘brighter.’ It has its own deep-rooted liturgy: ‘charge it,’ ‘instant credit,’ ‘no down-payment,’ deferred payment,’ ‘ no interest for three months.’ It has its own preachers, evangelists, prophets, and apostles: ad men, pitchmen, celebrity sponsors. It has its own shrines, chapels, temples, Meccas: malls, superstores, club warehouses. It has its own sacraments: credit and debit cards. It has its own ecstatic experiences: the spending spree.
The members of this cult spend more time with advertisements than with Scripture. The Cult of the Next Thing’s central message proclaims: ‘crave and spend for the Kingdom of Stuff is here.” Sanctification is measured by never saving enough, for the cult teaches that our lives are measured by the abundance of our possessions.”
Buchanan’s words hit home don’t they?! I mean, I’ve read lots of books about cults but none of them mentioned the cult of greed and they should because so many of us have allowed GREED to lead us to worship MAMMON as the god of our lives.
Okay…it’s obvious then, that GREED can ensnare us and hurt us. Well, how can we BREAK FREE of the sin of greed?
1. First, ACKNOWLEDGE it as a REALITY in our life. Admit that it has pull and power.
Don’t say you are exempt because to do so would be kidding yourself. The survey I mentioned earlier revealed a very interesting thing. It showed that four-fifths of all people who responded wished they had a lot more money even though 86% of the respondents said GREED was a bad thing. In other words the vast majority of people would say, “I’m not greedy. I just want a lot of money.” The truth is GREED affects all of us to one degree or another. Many times its hard to see because as I said our society encourages it-but its there. And to deal with it we have to first of all be honest and admit this is true.
You know, the fact is we have no problem acknowledging the greed in others. When Martha Steward was caught we all said, “Put that GREEDY woman behind bars!” But we refuse to acknowledge that the pittance we put in the offering plate each Sunday is a sign of our own greed-or that our refusal to give of our time for ministry and mission is greed-or that paying more attention to the stock market than we do the Bible is greed-or that having more clothes than we can possibly wear is greed-so many clothes that instead of wearing them, we wear ourselves out taking care of them! Erwin Lutzer writes, “We try to define greed out of existence. We tell ourselves we really don’t love money. We might romance it, ruminate on it, worry that we might lose it, but we really don’t love it.”
To break free from this powerful sin we must begin with CONFESSION. We must ask God to open our eyes so that we can cultivate an awareness of how often we find ourselves planning and scheming and dreaming of ways to get more and more and more.
2. And then a second way to defeat GREED is to expose it’s LIES.
You see, so much of GREED’S power to enslave us lies in its exaggerations and deceptions. It leads us to think, “If I could only HAVE that car or those clothes I would be happy for the rest of my life…Those things would give me LASTING JOY!” Well, when GREED tempts us with thoughts like this we must remind ourselves that this is a lie, mainly because nothing on this earth lasts-so nothing GREED can give us brings lasting joy! Do you remember Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount? He warned us that on earth, “…moth and rust destroy…” everything. (Matthew 6:19)
Our Lord is telling us that everything on earth is temporary. Everything is vulnerable to rust and decay. All those clothes in your closet??? Moths are going to get them eventually. John Ortberg reminds us that the word for “moth” here in the Greek is an interesting word. It’s the Greed word “NORDOS.” We get our word “Nordstroms” from it. Just kidding. The principle here is that Greed lies. THINGS don’t last. You may spend a hundred dollars on that cotton shirt at NORDSTROMS but someday it’s going to be a moth’s lunch. And, you may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a car but one day it’s going to be a pile of rust. When we get to heaven no one is going to come up to you and say, “What kind of rust pile do you have? I’ve got a Lexus rust pile.” You’ll never hear someone reply, “Oh-I’ve only got a Hyundai pile of rust.” In Heaven, rust is rust! If you look at things from an eternal mind set you will see that no THING lasts. To break free of GREED we need to ask God to help us look at life through the lense of eternity so that we can see GREED’S promises for the lies they really are! And then the most important thing we must to do DEFEAT greed…
3. …is to learn to TRUST God for our needs.
You see, GREED leads us to believe we can’t trust our Heavenly Father to give us what is best for us. Well, God knows our needs even better than we do-and He promises to take care of us. In Matthew 6 Jesus said, “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-32) In Philippians 4:19 Paul reminds us that, “God will meet all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 6:17 says,”Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, Who richly provides us with everything or our enjoyment.”
Greed leads us to distrust all these promises of God. These days FAITH is out and CREDIT is in.
Breaking free of GREED requires us to embrace a patient trust in the CHARACTER of God. We must realize that in His infinite WISDOM, He knows our needs and our children’s needs. We must realize that in His infinite POWER, He is able to meet our needs…and that His limitless LOVE will prompt Him to give us what we need.
Let us pray.
Father God, Help us control our wants….mold us to “set our affections…our desires….on things above not things of this earth.” Teach us to be content with nothing but Your will…and to trust You for our needs. Help us get to the point where we can pray with the Psalmist, “Earth has nothing I desire besides You…God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25) In Jesus’ name I pray…AMEN