Disturbing Trends—Materialism Part II

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Dear Young People,

I am sure you remember the story of the silly monkeys but do you remember the story Jesus said about the rich farmer? I hope you also remember the lesson He taught about the birds and the lilies. Read on.

Camel Through the Needle’s Eye (Mk 10:23-27)
False prophets today teach a wrong gospel known as Prosperity gospel. To get money from people, they tempt them with dreams of great wealth and then tell them that God will give them all that if they put a lot of money in the offering box. They have a bag full of lies and made-up stories to con unsuspecting people.

By_____________________ they will exploit you with deceptive words . . . (2 Pet 2:3)

The Bible clearly warns against desiring to be wealthy. Wealth is not sinful in itself. If God gives you wealth, then He expects you to use it responsibly according to His will. Being wealthy is spiritually dangerous. Do you remember what Jesus said about it being easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven? Children of God who are wealthy must constantly wait on the Lord for wisdom to manage their wealth.

Mark 10:23-25 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have _____________ to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in ______________ to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a _____________ man to enter the kingdom of God.”

We have an example of a church member in the first-century church who lost his faith because of materialism. Do you know his name? You can find his name in 2 Tim 4:10. ____________

Vegetable Garden (1 Ki 21:1-16)
Coveteousness is a sin that leads you to commit more sins.
Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to _________(Jam 1:15).

The desire for something that looked tempting and lovely led Eve to fall into Satan’s snare. How did the fruit seem to Eve’s eyes? ______________________ (Gen 3:6)
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the ___________, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world . . . (1 Jn 2:16)

Ahab the king coveted the vineyard of a man called Naboth. The king wanted to grow vegetables in it. Do you know what Ahab finally did to Naboth? He murdered him to get that garden.

Greed causes believers to sin. Coveting material things can lead one to cheat. Above all, it takes our mind away from the things of God. The object of our desire becomes an idol to us.
. . . and covetousness which is ______________ (Col 3:5)

It is not surprising that the last of the Ten Commandments has so much to say about covetousness.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s _______________; you shall not covet your neighbor’s _______________, nor his ____________________, nor his _____________________, nor his _________, nor his _________________, nor ________________that is your neighbor’s (Ex 20:17).

Happy With What We Have (1 Tim 6:6-11)
What must you do when you are attracted by something that belongs to your friend? At first, you may be tempted to covet the item. When the pangs of jealousy and desire attack you, do not yield to it. Remember to say in your minds as our pastor has told us many times—“My Heavenly Father has given my friend this nice thing. He could have given it to me also, but He feels that I do not need it. But He has given it to my friend.” This may sound like the words of the fox in the ‘Sour Grapes’ story. But it is very very different simply because it is true. Our Father does in fact own the cattle on a thousand hills. He created all the gold and wealth in the world. He gives us, His children, all that we need. Let us always be thankful and content.

I Tim 6:6-11 is a delightful passage on this subject.
Now godliness with _________________ is a great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry _____________ out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be _____________. But those who desire to be __________ fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the ____________ of ____________ is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their _____________________, and pierced themselves through many sorrows. But you man of God, ___________ these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

Dear children and young people, before we stop, we would like to leave you with some scripture verses. Read them and treasure them for they are more valuable than gold.

  • 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.” (Luke 12:15)
  • But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” (Luke 6:24)
  • “If I have made gold my hope, or said to fine gold, ‘You are my confidence’; If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because my hand had gained much; . . . This also would be an iniquity worthy of judgement, for I would have denied God is is above.” (Job 31:24,25,28 )
  • He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage. (Prov 11:28 )
  • He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live. (Prov 15:27)
  • How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. (Prov 16:16)

[Concluded]

(Nahomi Dhinakar; Published in Youth Column of Dhyanamlar Apr I 2004) Click here for other Youth Column articles

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