Friday, December 11, 2009

A devotion from Today... Covetousness in the Latter Days

Days of Praise
Covetousness in the Latter Days
December 12, 2009

"And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15)

The sin of covetousness perhaps has been the most besetting sin of the human race since Eve, and God finally wrote it into the Decalog itself: "Thou shalt not covet" (Exodus 20:17). The apostle Paul even made the sweeping statement: "The love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). "For . . . no . . . covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" (Ephesians 5:5).

In view of such warnings, the Christian should indeed greatly beware of covetousness. Nevertheless, one of the distressing characteristics predicted for the "last days" is a great increase of covetousness, even among professing Christians. "In the last days . . . men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous. . . . Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

It is sad to see so many modern "Christian" movements promoting what might be called a "prosperity cult," teaching that "gain is godliness." Stressing "positive mental attitude," "self-help," "creative visualization," and various other supposed spiritual psychotherapies, these modern false teachers and their affluent lifestyles have deluded multitudes of coveting Christians into thinking they have some sort of divine right to material prosperity.

The Greek word for "covetous," describing men of the last days (2 Timothy 3:2), is the same as that for "love of money" (1 Timothy 6:10), an undue attention to material things. It is also used (in negative form) in Hebrews 13:5, and this is the true Christian standard. "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." HMM

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