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Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
We thank the Lord for His goodness and lovingkindness to all of us. He has shown us so much of His grace and favour. We should be thankful for the safety and protection that He has granted us especially from COVID-19 infection. Let us keep on praying with trust and confidence that all these hardships we are going through are part of His great and wonderful plan for us.
Below are selected verses from the Bible that warn God’s people against covetousness and greediness. These two words have the same meaning which is related to our message today. Let us read them prayerfully. Praying for the Lord to speak to our hearts that we may be kept away from these evil passions that should not characterize any truly born-again Christian.
Of Covetousness (by John Calvin)
Luke 12:15, 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.
“Take heed and beware of covetousness. Christ first guards his followers against covetousness, and next, in order to cure their minds entirely of this disease, he declares, that our life consisteth not in abundance. These words point out the inward fountain and source, from which flows the mad eagerness for gain. It is because the general belief is, that a man is happy in proportion as he possesses much, and that the happiness of life is produced by riches. Hence arise those immoderate desires, which, like a fiery furnace, send forth their flames, and yet cease not to burn within. If we were convinced that riches, and any kind of abundance, are evils of the present life, which the Lord bestows upon us with his own hand, and the use of which is accompanied by his blessing, this single consideration would have a powerful influence in restraining all wicked desires; and this is what believers have come to learn from their own experience. For whence comes it, that they moderate their wishes, and depend on God alone, but because they do not look upon their life as necessarily connected with abundance, or dependent upon it, but rely on the providence of God, who alone upholds us by his power, and supplies us with whatever is necessary?”
Hebrews 13:5, 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.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness, etc. While he seeks to correct covetousness, he rightly and wisely bids us at the same time to be content with our present things; for it is the true contempt of money, or at least a true greatness of mind in the right and moderate use of it, when we are content with what the Lord has given us, whether it be much or little; for certainly it rarely happens that anything satisfies an avaricious man; but on the contrary they who are not content with a moderate portion, always seek more even when they enjoy the greatest affluence. It was a doctrine which Paul had declared, that he had learned, so as to know how to abound and how to suffer need. Then he who has set limits to his desire so as to acquiesce resignedly in his lot, has expelled from his heart the love of money.
For he has said, etc. Here he quotes two testimonies; the first is taken, as some think, from the Joshua 1:5 of Joshua, but I am rather of the opinion that it is a sentence drawn from the common doctrine of Scripture, as though he had said, “The Lord everywhere promises that he will never be wanting to us.” He infers from this promise what is found in Psalms 118:6, that we have the power to overcome fear when we feel assured of God’s help.
Here indeed he plucks up the evil by the very roots, as it is necessary when we seek to free from it the minds of men. It is certain that the source of covetousness is mistrust; for whosoever has this fixed in his heart, that he will never be forsaken by the Lord, will not be immoderately solicitous about present things, because he will depend on God's providence. When therefore the Apostle is seeking to cure us of the disease of covetousness, he wisely calls our attention to God's promises, in which he testifies that he will ever be present with us. He hence infers afterwards that as long as we have such a helper there is no cause to fear. For in this way it can be that no depraved desires will importune us; for faith alone is that which can quiet the minds of men, whose disquietude without it is too well known.”
Of Greed from Proverbs (by Matthew Henry)
Proverbs 1:19, So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
“Their greediness of gain hurries them upon those practices which will not suffer them to live out half their days, but will cut off the number of their months in the midst. They have little reason to be proud of their property in that which takes away the life of the owners and then passes to other masters; and what is a man profited, though he gain the world, if he lose his life? For then he can enjoy the world no longer; much less if he lose his soul, and that be drowned in destruction and perdition, as multitudes are by the love of money”
Proverbs 15:27, He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.
“Those that are covetous entail trouble upon their families: He that is greedy of gain, and therefore makes himself a slave to the world, rises up early, sits up late, and eats the bread of carefulness, in pursuit of it—he that hurries, and puts himself and all about him upon the stretch, in business, frets and vexes at every loss and disappointment, and quarrels with every body that stands in the way of his profit—he troubles his own house, is a burden and vexation to his children and servants. He that, in his greediness of gain, takes bribes, and uses unlawful ways of getting money, leaves a curse with what he gets to those that come after him, which sooner or later will bring trouble into the house, Habakkuk 2:9–10. 2. Those that are generous as well as righteous entail a blessing upon their families: He that hates gifts, that shakes his hands from holding the bribes that are thrust into his hand to pervert justice and abhors all sinful indirect ways of getting money—that hates to be paltry and mercenary, and is willing, if there be occasion, to do good gratis—he shall live; he shall have the comfort of life, shall live in prosperity and reputation; his name and family shall live and continue.”
Proverbs 21:25–26, The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
“Here we have, 1. The miseries of the slothful, whose hands refuse to labour in an honest calling, by which they might get an honest livelihood. They are as fit for labour as other men, and business offers itself, to which they might lay their hands and apply their minds, but they will not; herein they fondly think they do well for themselves, see Proverbs 26:16. Soul, take thy ease. But really they are enemies to themselves; for, besides that their slothfulness starves them, depriving them of their necessary supports, their desires at the same time stab them. Though their hands refuse to labour, their hearts cease not to covet riches, and pleasures, and honours, which yet cannot be obtained without labour. Their desires are impetuous and insatiable; they covet greedily all the day long, and cry, Give, give; they expect every body should do for them, though they will do nothing for themselves, much less for any body else. Now these desires kill them; they are a perpetual vexation to them, fret them to death, and perhaps put them upon such dangerous courses for the satisfying of their craving lusts as hasten them to an untimely end. Many that must have money with which to make provision for the flesh, and would not be at the pains to get it honestly, have turned highwaymen, and that has killed them. Those that are slothful in the affairs of their souls, and yet have desires towards that which would be the happiness of their souls, those desires kill them, will aggravate their condemnation and be witnesses against them that were convinced of the worth of spiritual blessings, but refused to be at the pains that were necessary to the obtaining of them. 2. The honours of the honest and diligent. The righteous and industrious have their desires satisfied, and enjoy not only that satisfaction, but the further satisfaction of doing good to others. The slothful are always craving and gaping to receive, but the righteous are always full and contriving to give; and it is more blessed to give than to receive. They give and spare not, give liberally and upbraid not; they give a portion to seven and also to eight, and do not spare for fear of wanting.”
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