The Bible reveals the deceitfulness of possessions or wealth. The desire for “more” can fill our hearts and smother the flame of our love and zeal for God.
God knows our needs and promises to be our Provider. But His judgment will fall upon those who use Him or the preaching of the Gospel for their own selfish gain.
THE CURE FORE COVETOUSNESS
We can learn from the Apostle Paul how to guard our hearts against the destructive evil of covetousness: “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:11-13).
Paul combated the sinful trap of covetousness with contentment (Phil 4:11-13). The Greek word for “contentment” means sufficient in every situation. Paul knew that he was not sufficient in himself for his needs and ministry. He understood that his true sufficiency came only from God! “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God” (2Cor 3:5).
In Paul’s extreme weakness, through his “thorn in the flesh”, Jesus teaches Him: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2Cor 12:9).
Paul reveals a truth to us that can liberate us to live every day, regardless of circumstances, with joy, peace, faith and hope! Paul did not focus on his needs, his lack or his weakness. He did not trust in this world’s wealth or provision to meet his needs. He did not strive for position or notice. He did not set his heart upon passing, temporary things. He did not selfishly pursue his own lusts or desires.
Instead, Paul set his trust and faith on Christ, Who is sufficient for everything he needed!
Paul put this world’s possessions and goals into proper perspective with eternity’s call. He taught Timothy, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1Tim 6:6-8).
Paul’s life, mind and heart were consumed with a burning desire and passion to fully know Christ Jesus His Lord (Phil 3:10-14), and to make Christ known to every person (Col 1:25-29). Paul trusted in Christ and His sufficiency for meeting all of life’s needs and challenges. Because of this, Paul was able to boldly declare that he could “do all things through Christ”!
Paul knew by revelation that even when he was destitute of this world’s possession, he was still rich beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich [in heaven’s glory], yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2Cor 8:9).