Putting envy to death

Does Envy lurk around in your life?  Then you need to immediately expel the envy that desires to bind you up. (Matthew 20:15) The word immediately means it could not have taken place sooner. Responding to the protest, the landowner asks two rhetorical questions. First, he asks in Matthew 20: 15~Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious (ὀφθαλμός ophthalmos πονηρός ponēros) because I am generous? (ESV) What he pays the late-comers is of no concern to the other workers. 

The question is do we begrudge what God does for other people? Do you give the evil eye, the stank eye? (ὀφθαλμός ophthalmos πονηρός ponēros) it means envious. When the Lord begins to bless others, what is your response? Do you fly the green flag of jealousy? The farmer is doing a great favor by giving them a job and paying a fair wage. Still, envy causes them to lose all appreciation for their blessings. Proverbs 14:30~A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (NIV) 

Modern medicine is just beginning to discover the truth of that verse. Envy removes joy out of our lives and prevents us from enjoying our blessings. It will also ruin our health. The envious could only focus on what they did not receive. Instead of rejoicing that they got a job and could feed their families, moreover, they were not elated at the good fortune of their coworkers. Instead, they are envious, angry, and bitter. Jesus isn’t teaching business ethics. He is talking about how things work in the kingdom of heaven. Now the vineyard is the kingdom of heaven, the vineyard owner is God, and the foreman is the Lord Jesus. 

Sometimes God allows life to appear to be unfair just so we can see what is really in our hearts. How we react to the blessings of others is a true test of our hearts. Because envy is such a horrible sin. Listen to how God groups them. Galatians 5:19-20a~The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; Galatians 5:20b-21~hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NIV) 

Did you hear them cluster like fruit? These are the fleshly fruit. Over the next 2 verses, God shares the fruit of the Spirit. So, not only does envy destroy happiness and health, but it is also one of the most harshly condemned sins in the Bible. Therefore, at the first sign of envy in our hearts, expel it immediately by repenting of this horrible sin. Say, God, I need your help. I simply cannot do this on my own. As you pray that prayer you will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit begin to lead you. Just follow Him and He will bring fresh change into your life.

7…David —Confessions of a King — Steadfast Integrity — 2 Samuel 2-5…Handout

How do we know if we’re a person of integrity? Integrity is doing what is right when no one is looking. Integrity requires our ethics and morals _____. Ethics—knowing right and wrong. Morals—living by the principles of right and wrong. So, does God change: Yes / No? (Malachi 3:6) Steadfast Integrity: Wait, Withhold, Work, Watch.

1)_____ on God (2 Samuel 2:1-4) 2 Samuel 2:1~In the course of time, David ______ of the Lord. Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah? he asked. The Lord said, Go up. David asked, Where shall I go? To Hebron, the Lord answered. (ESV) The Lord sends David to Hebron, about_____ miles south of Jerusalem. Jesus’ base of operation is_________, about 105 miles to the north. In 2 Samuel 2:4, David is anointed for the _______ time as king and he decides to rule as a man of integrity. Psalm 25:21~May integrity and uprightness protect me, for my hope, LORD, is in you. (NIV) Where is your hope?_____

2) Withhold________(2:4b-7) Criticism by definition is the expression of disapproval based on _________ faults or mistakes. Scripture teaches ___ interlocking principles; Build-up (1 Thessalonians 5:11) & Restore (Galatians 6:1). Remember being corrected is hard enough, thus, we must have the ________ attitude. 2 Samuel 2:5-6~. 2 Samuel 2:45~David sent messengers…May you be blessed by the Lord, because you showed this loyalty to Saul…may the Lord show steadfast love and_________ People without integrity are always anxious to criticize _ others, especially a predecessor. As David knows well, _________ always divides people and he wants to unite all of Israel. Psalm 133:1~How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in _____! (NIV)

3) Work For Peaceful Resolution (2:8-4:12) David grows stronger. 2 Samuel 3:1~There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew ________ and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker. (ESV) 2 Samuel 3:6~While there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul. (ESV) This reveals a lack of integrity. Proverbs 16:7~When a man’s ways_______the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (NIV) David unaware of Abner’s treachery throws him a banquet for the peaceful settlement. Which infuriates Joab who kills Abner in retaliation for his brother. To punish and humiliate Joab, David orders him and his men to _______ over Abner. David himself weeps aloud at Abner’s tomb, for he had been a_____ warrior and ________ general to Saul. 

4) Watch Out In Success (5:1-25) Here we witness David, for a _____ time is anointed, king. Oftentimes when ________ unity we need a buy-in. David’s first act as king is brilliant because he provides a way to unite, Israel in a singular cause. What is the cause?________ _____________ We have just witnessed ___of the most important events in world history. #1_____becomes king  and #2 ________becomes the capital. 2 Samuel 5:10~ And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, was with him. (ESV) Take-A-Step:_____________________________________

Unexplainable Joy

Did you know God is sovereign? If we desire to live a life full of joy, then we must learn how to humbly embrace God’s sovereignty (Matthew 20:8-14) I want us to notice that the laborers all go to work, by doing so at 5 different times, 6, 9, 12, 3, and 5 o’clock. When evening comes, at 6 o’clock, the landowner tells his foreman, to pay their wages. Matthew 20:9-12~The workers who were hired about five…each received a denarius…when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more…they began to grumble …hired last worked only one hour…and you made them equal…(ESV) When they receive their pay, they protest, saying this is not fair. 

Their objection is to the owner who has been generous, yeah he gave a job and paid a wage but the workload was not equal. To which the landowner replies Friends, instead of a derogatory name I would have chosen. Matthew 20:13~But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? (ESV) I gotta ask, does friend mean something different in your neighborhood? This farmer sets a calm, civil tone to open up a dialogue. Is that how you handle the riots in your home? Jesus is surely doing some teaching here. The landowner has just been accused of injustice, but he doesn’t take offense. He is practicing Proverbs 19:11~A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. (NIV)

After calling the laborer friend, the vintner says he is not being unfair because the worker agreed to work all day for a wage. In other words, I lived up to my agreement, and you want to complain about what? Getting what you were supposed to. Have you ever complained over getting exactly what you were promised? I mean this is, well you know, I just thought…I don’t know! The landowner is trying to get them to focus on their original agreement, not on the other workers. If you want to make a case, this is not a problem of injustice; it is a lack of compassion. They couldn’t care less that the families of the late workers might have to go hungry if they were paid less. Matthew 20:14~Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. (ESV) 

What he pays the latecomers is his choice. Also, he has not cheated those he hired earlier. It is his choice if he wants to pay the latecomers more than they had earned. Jesus’ twelve disciples can be compared to the workers hired at the beginning of the day. So, Jesus is answering Peter’s question about what the Twelve from Matthew 19:27~Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” (ESV) Which implies they should receive a greater reward. This parable teaches that they will get a just reward, but God has the right to give the same reward to those who didn’t follow Jesus as long. God is sovereign, compassionate, and just. 

If you are in need of joy today then like every other believer, we must learn to embrace God’s Unexplainable Joy as we humbly embrace God’s sovereignty. Is there something that affects your joy more than anything else? If so, then what you must do is begin to let God have it. This is a process that requires us to let go, and let God. Today, say, Lord, this is my issue and I need your help relinquishing it to you. Do this again and again as often as you need to, until it becomes something that you can freely let go of, knowing God is in control.