Lord's Day Liturgy

More Than Not Smoking with the ER Doctors

There are some sins the Bible says to fight, there are some that the Bible says to flee. The will of God is to “avoid” sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3); I might abstain from smoking with the doctors outside the ER doors at a hospital, but I avoid pits of snakes. “Flee from sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18); delete the app as fast as Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife.

Another sin that God’s Word urges us to flee is greed.

“Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

Jesus taught about the seed of the gospel sown among thorns, when the “cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word” (Matthew 13:22).

Taking the illustration a different direction, don’t plant a greed seed, pluck up even a micro-sprout of material grabbiness. This instruction is especially applicable to shepherds: “But as for you, O man of God, flee these things” (1 Timothy 6:11).

This does not mean that money is bad, or that the rich are unrighteous. Riches and honor come from God (1 Chronicles 29:12). The LORD gives power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). He makes poor and makes rich (1 Samuel 2:7). “The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22).

So should you want wealth or not? Well, you should covet God’s blessings and run from the bitter burdens of covetousness. You should be rich in good works, and not set your hopes on the uncertainty of riches (1 Timothy 6:17-18).