The Ten Commandments: “THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE, NOR HIS FARM, NOR HIS CATTLE, NOR ANYTHING THAT IS HIS!”
The closest to perfection a person comes is when they fill out a job application form. The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. The grass appears greener over the other side of the fence. People live in one of two tents, content and discontent.
However long you take agonizing over the menu to decide which dessert to have when the person next to you arrives, you realize you’ve made the wrong choice.
The average family ambition is to make as much money as they are spending, but our yearnings will always exceed our earnings just when we think we are going to make ends meet. Someone moves the ends, however much we earn.
We are always saying I don’t know where it all goes. The word budget here is a definition for that word, a mathematical confirmation of our suspicions, many people shop, impulsively, I see it, I want it. I’Ve got to have it now.
Many of us cannot resist a sale, look how much money I’m saving. If I don’t buy it now, it will cost more later that cord cost the phobia we buy things we don’t need with money.
We don’t have to impress people, we don’t even like buy now. Pay later 52 easy payments. If the payments were easy, we would have paid for it all in advance.
Nowadays, people can be divided into three groups: the haves that have nots and the have-nots paid for what they have.
We need to treat credit with extreme caution credit. We can manage now very quickly becomes debt, we cannot a wise motto, use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without use it up. Wear it out, make it do or do without, and some of us may even need plastic surgery. We need to cut up our credit cards.
The tenth commandment in Exodus, 20, verse 17 reads: do not covet your neighbor’s house or anything else Your neighbor owns.
The word covet means to desire with the intent to own something that can never rightfully be ours. Today that the word that we use for cover is materialism.
Where would advertisers be if they couldn’t count on our desire to cover it? The problem is, the attitude of more doesn’t give us contentment and materialism can cause all sorts of problems. Materialism can cause worry.
Jesus said, beware, don’t be greedy, for what you don’t have life is not measured by how much we own when we focus on things.
We worry about them, we worry, we don’t have enough or we worry about keeping what we have and the number one concern that people have is finance and most people’s financial problems are very simple: they are short of money, materialism can cause weariness
The Bible says In Proverbs, don’t weary yourself trying to make yourself rich? Why waste your time in the frantic rush to get ahead and just keep up?
We get tired and the Bible says slow down the thing about the rat race of life. Is this even if you win the race you’re, still a rat, we lose our health to make money, and then we lose our money to restore our health.
Materialism can cause gloom, the Bible says some people craving money have pierced themselves with many sorrows. Some people despair when they can’t have what they want.
If you can’t have everything, make the best of everything you have. Now, please do not draw wrong conclusions from what I am saying. The bible does not condemn wealth. The bible does not condemn possessions.
Nowhere in the bible does it say that money is evil. What it does say is: the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. God is not opposed to wealth, God is opposed to the worship of it, and Jesus talked great deal about money.
In fact, 16 of his 38 parables Jesus talked about money and possessions, and Jesus did say it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Coveting is the motive behind breaking the Other nine Commandments, coveting is the mother of all sins.
We will lie, we would cheat, we will commit adultery because we are coveting, because we want more, coveting is like see water, the more you drink, the thirstier you become.
Let me ask you this question: are you content? How can we find contentment? Let me offer you a number of principles.
Principle number one: be grateful for what we already have.
The Bible says. True, religion with contentment is great wealth.
After all, we didn’t bring anything with us when we came into the world and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die.
So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. The best way to have a contented state of mind is to count our blessings, not our cash.
We think when and then, when I get a promotion, then I’ll be happy. When I get a bigger house, then I’ll be happy when and then – and we are never happy, don’t buy into the myth of more thinking that, having more will make us happy, learn to be content while having ambition and goals, a man had no shoes, and he Complained until he met a man who had no feet.
If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, you are richer than 75 percent of the people in the world. If you have money in the bank, you are among the top 8 % of the world’s wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive the week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture and the pangs of starvation, you are more fortunate than 500 million people in the world today.
Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Let’s be grateful for what we already have.
Principle two: recognize the limitations of wealth.
One way to teach children, the value of money is to borrow from them, money talks, but it doesn’t always talk.
Money is a good thing, but it is possible to pay too high a price for it . Do not value money for any more than it’s worth. Wealth cannot deliver all that it promises.
Money can buy medicine, but it cannot buy health, it can buy a house, but it cannot buy a home, it can buy companionship, but it cannot buy friendship, it can buy entertainment, but it cannot buy happiness, it can buy food, but it cannot buy an appetite. It can buy a cross, but it cannot buy a saviour.
The Bible says those who love money will never have enough. How absurd to think that wealth brings true happiness.
Things satisfy for a while, but then they lose their thrill, possessions do not give us permanent happiness and they do not give us permanent security. The Bible says the rich think their wealth as an impregnable defence. They imagine it is a high wall of safety.
If we are going to have security, we have to put it in something that will not be taken away.
We can lose our wealth overnight, and many people have. If money and possessions brought happiness, then the wealthiest people would be the happiest people and we know that isn’t always true, as one philosopher put it Mick Jagger, I can’t get no satisfaction.
True contentment is found not in having everything we want, but in not wanting to have everything recognize the limitations of wealth.
Principle number three: focus on people not possessions.
We can cover it so much that things can become more important than people. Possessions cannot compensate for unhappy relationships, relationships, bring happiness, not things.
The Bible says: a greedy person brings trouble to their family in our strivings for riches. Our marriages can break apart and our children can become distant relatives. The best thing that parents can give their children is time, not treasure. Our children need our presence PRESENCE not PRESENTS.
We love people and we use things. If we love things we’ll end up using people and maturity is saying we have enough.
Are you neglecting your relationships? Are you neglecting your wife or your husband, or your children, or your friends? Focus on people not on possessions.
Principle Number four look beyond what is temporary.
The Bible says we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
We need to live our lives in the light of eternity.
Jesus said: how will it benefit you if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul is anything worth more than your soul?
We need to realize that there is a whole lot more going on than just the here and now. Our life here on earth is a blip on the eternal screen. We are not in the land of the living going to the land of the dying. We are in the land of the dying going to the land of the living.
Look beyond what is temporary
Fifth principle: be a giver.
I think there is often a lack of generosity in our world today. Jesus talked a great deal about giving. Why? Because giving is the antidote coveting Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive.
There is great need in the world today. Is there one thing that you and I can do to live simply so that others can simply live.
Six principle: find our significance and security in Jesus.
We do not find contentment through possessions, pleasure or power.
God made us for a purpose and in Jesus we find that purpose.
Now, that’s the exact opposite of what the world says that our personal value is based on our financial value, and we think that if we own a lot, we must be worth a lot and if we only own a little, we are not worth very much.
That is a lie. We, you and I are valuable to God. We are so valuable that Jesus died on a cross for you and for me to purchase for us forgiveness from the past. New life here today and our hope for the future.
That’s how valuable you and I are to God – I began by saying the grass appears greener over that side of the fence. The grass is not greener over that side of the fence.
The grass is not greener over this side of the fence. The grass is greener when we water it, we may need a financial manager.
We may need someone to advise us and to guide us and to help us with finance, but we all need a life manager, a life coach, and the word in the Bible, for that is: Lord. To live as a Christian and to be a friend of God. It is more valuable than anything else.
Let’s not pretend to be a Christian when we can actually become one, let’s encounter Jesus and put our trust in him.
I did that on the 9th of February 1975, when I was a student in London and my friend, Andy gave me a Bible and taught me and showed me what the Christian faith was about, and then he showed me in the last book of the Bible in Revelation where it has this beautiful picture of Jesus standing outside of a door knocking and if you hear the knock open the door and let him in. And I open that door. And I let Jesus in, to be my Lord,and to be my friend.
If you’ve never opened that door open that door today, pray this prayer
“Jesus, thank you that you are knocking on my door. I open the door of my life now, come into my life. I know I have broken your Commandments and I thank you that you died on the cross for me to purchase. For me Forgiveness, cleanse my life, set me free from the past, fill me with the presence and the peace of your Holy Spirit and help me from this day on to build my life on you, amen.”
A prayer for you for everyone that prayed that prayer. I pray that you will experience Christ’s forgiveness, Christ’s cleansing, Christ’s healing and that you will be filled with his peace, his presence and his power, and we pray for all of us.
Lord help us to build our lives on. You, help us to focus and fix our eyes on You, the author and the perfecter of our faith, help us to live our lives according to your commandments, instructions and principles, and we pray that you will help us to review our lives, our attitudes, our actions, our money, our possessions,. Lord, thank you for the time that you’ve entrusted to us. Thank you for the talents that you’ve given to us and thank you for the treasure that you’ve given to us, help us to be good Guardians and we pray that in Jesus name Amen.
I hope that you have been inspired as we begin this new series on the 10 commandments and we will week by week, journey down from number 10 all the way down to number 1.
If you want to find out more about our ministry and our resources, please visit https://canonjjohn.com/ and follow me on social media.
May God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit bless you. And may you continue to be a blessing to others, amen.
Author: J John