Why are we in such a mess? Most of the time we blame God. Then there are those who blame the devil. However, we forget that we all have choices that we make; so sometimes we have to look to ourselves to find the answer to our predicaments which result from the choices and decisions that we have made. We will always serve someone or something. Is it going to be Jesus? Or is it going to be the system of this world?
In the Bible in 1 John 2:15-17 it tells us: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abides forever."
The world is growing worse simply because more people are giving into their own lusts. The lust of the flesh (seeking to fulfill their senses in an overindulgent way through drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc.). The lust of the eyes (greed, covetousness, fantasies, etc.). The pride of life (trusting in ourselves more than we trust in God). There is no question that our own lusts are the problem. The Bible says that in the last days men will be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
Looking over this last year we can see that greed almost destroyed us. Greed is defined as a desire to acquire wealth or possessions beyond the needs of an individual. So what is the bottom line, what do you really need? We have many wants but the only things we really need are: food, water, some clothing and a shelter. Everything else is glorified wants. Why do we have this unhealthy drive for more?
One reason is advertising, the average American will be exposed to more than 1,000,000 advertisements in their lifetime that promises happiness and an easier life if you just had: the newest exercise machine, the newest vacuum, the right makeup, the right clothes or the right car. They are all just a click away on our computers. To add to the ease of getting what we want instantly - we have the promotion and availability of instant credit. This is what greed is all about. When we cannot be satisfied with what we have and what we can afford, we just collect more and more at any cost. We are also susceptible to a lack of contentment because our self-esteem is so closely tied to the accumulation of possessions. Today things have gotten out of control that we see television shows of people who are referred to as “hoarders”.
We very easily fall into the trap of thinking and believing that this life is all about us. However, the truth is that life is about others - it is about ministering to others, serving and helping others. This is the message of Jesus throughout the New Testament.
The difficult thing with this sin of greed is that it is completely culturally acceptable. In fact, most people in this country would consider greed a virtue not a vice. Isn’t it ironic that our money has printed on it, In God We Trust when we spend more time counting our assets than we do trusting God. The problem of greed is not that money is evil or that when you have money you are evil. The problem of greed is that it comes from the wrong priorities. Money is not evil but caring more about money than God-that is the problem! We have lost our focus to the point where even churches are veering away from the truth of the Bible and are accepting things that are not scriptural so that they can keep their members and even their money base. The Bible tells us that the Church is to be the Watchman for our society, to sound the alarm. Unfortunately, we have lost our focus.
The Taj Mahal is a good example. It is one of the most beautiful and costly tombs ever built. In 1629, when the favorite wife of Indian ruler Shah Jahan died, he ordered a magnificent tomb be built as a memorial to her. The shah placed his wife’s casket in the middle of a piece of land, and literally began constructing a temple around it. But several years into the venture, the Shah’s grief for his wife gave way to a passion and focus for the project. Records show that one day while he was surveying the sight, he stumbled over a wooden box and he had some workers throw it out. It was months later before he realized that it was his wife’s casket that had been destroyed. The original purpose for the memorial became lost in the details of construction.
It is not difficult to figure out why the number of Americans going to church today is much less than in the past. Americans have switched religions they now worship and attend the Temple of Greed.
As we start this New Year, take a look at your life and be sure that you are not worshiping at the Temple of Greed! If you are, make a change today and start serving the ONE TRUE GOD and worship the way that HE taught us in HIS word.