How to Overcome Temptation, Part 33 (Onward Christian Soldiers #156)
Welcome to the Onward Christian Soldiers Discipleship Class. I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society and pastor of Gospel Light House of Prayer International. The purpose of this time together is to teach young believers everything they need to know about their faith in Jesus Christ and provide them with the knowledge they need to live victorious Christian lives.
Our key Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
— PRAYER —
Our lesson today is titled “How to Overcome Temptation, Part 33”
In this section of our Onward Christian Soldiers discipleship class, we are going to continue looking at specific temptations that are, as the Bible says, “common to man.” We are reviewing what the Bible says about these sins so we can be aware of its dangers and so that we can hide Scripture in our hearts to use when we are tempted.
The sin that we are going to continue looking at today is the sin of “covetousness”. This is the second sin in a list of 12 temptations that comes from two sources — one ancient and one modern. The first source is a list that was developed by monks in the early church called “the seven deadly sins” or the “cardinal sins.” The second source is a Barna survey from 2011 which tracked the top temptations Americans admitted to struggling with.
We have already looked at five passages on this topic. Today, we are looking at another one. (Remember, the text of this lesson is made available online after each class, so you can go to our website GLHOPI.com, click the “Onward Christian Soldiers” banner on the home page, and begin to learn these verses by heart throughout the week.)
For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth.
In the movie “Wall Street”, Gordon Gekko played by Michael Douglas utters these words in defense of the tactics he used to save a company: “Greed — for lack of a better word — is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms — greed for life, for money, for love, for knowledge — has marked the upward surge of mankind.”
Matthew Henry said about Psalm 10:3, “The sinner proudly glories in his power and success. He boasts of his heart’s desire, boasts that he can do what he pleases (as if God himself could not control him) and that he has all he wished for and has carried his point. He proudly contradicts the judgment of God, which, we are sure, is according to truth; for he blesses the covetous, whom the Lord abhors. See how God and men differ in their sentiments of persons: God abhors covetous worldlings, who make money their God and idolize it; he looks upon them as his enemies, and will have no communion with them. The friendship of the world is enmity to God. But proud persecutors bless them, and approve their sayings. They applaud those as wise whom God pronounces foolish; they justify those as innocent whom God condemns as deeply guilty before him; and they admire those as happy, in having their portion in this life, whom God declares, upon that account, truly miserable.”
If you are greedy or covetous, would you willingly and proudly admit to it as Gordon Gekko did? Probably not. But the verse that we are learning from today describes Gekko and those like him. They have grown so greedy that they have no problems admitting that they are greedy. They count it as a badge of honor.
According to the Cambridge Bible Commentary, the phrase, “boasteth of his heart’s desire,” means that such a person “makes shameless boast of his selfish greed without any pretence at concealment. He boasts that he obtains all that he desires without troubling himself about God. This clause may also be rendered: ‘The wicked singeth praise over his own soul’s lust.'”
It is a sad state when, not only does one take pride in his wealth and material possession, but he takes pride in the desire for wealth and material possessions, when he goes so far as to say, “Greed is good.”
Such a person may be praised by the world or looked on as enterprising and ambitious, but the Bible says such a person is one “whom the Lord abhorreth.” The Hebrew word translated as “abhor” means to spurn, to hold in contempt, or to despise. Man may say, “Greed is good,” but God does not. He condemns this spirit in man, and especially in the lives of those in His church who sometimes act as though they are following Gordon Gekko’s philosophy rather than the philosophy of the Bible when it comes to wealth. The question comes down to what we love more: Do we love wealth and the potential to get wealth more than we love the approval and blessings of God himself?
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If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Until next time, May the Lord Bless You!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.