The Contentment Commandment 652


Download 24.24 Kb.
Date conversion22.06.2018
Size24.24 Kb.
The Contentment Commandment 652

Intro. 1) Ex 20:17You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

2) “covet” in Hebrew -- to desire in such a way as to take pleasure in; or to “delight in”; to greatly desire

a) Imagine the scene - looking over the fence at the neighbor’s:

house - “Oh boy ... just take a look at that house ...

one day I will take that house from my neighbor”.

wife - “Oh boy ... just take a look at that woman ...

one day I will take that woman from my neighbor.”

b) The mentality of a covetous person has a major philosophical flaw ... it assumes that “Having” will make me happy.

(1) Jesus said it wouldn’t:

(2) Luke 12:15 “... keep yourselves from covetousness: for a man's life does not consist not in the abundance of things which he possesses.”

I. Material Things Do Not Bring Lasting Happiness

A. A Sunday School teacher told her students the story of

Lazarus and the Rich Man

1. Then she asked: “Now ... which would you rather be?”

2. One boy thought a while ... then said:

I’d want to be the rich man while I’m living and Lazarus when I die.”

B. Didn’t he say a mouthful?

1. The general public thinks the same way.

2. If it come to a choice between living a . . .

luxurious life OR

committed life . . .

most would choose to be like the rich man now ...

then ... like Lazarus later.

3. Can a person have BOTH???

a. Sure ... IF – as the rich man – you care for the poor man

b. It takes a special kind of person to do that.

C. Personally ... I don’t think “wishing for” or “planning for” is wrong.

1. The problem is that “wishing” could become “craving”.

2. Then “craving” could become “I can’t live without”.

3. Then some priority gets misplaced

4. And then something sinful is done to make it all happen.

D. Material possessions (like what my neighbor has) are not sinful in and of themselves.

1. Job had great wealth - and he was a good man

2. Abraham had great wealth - and he was a good man

3. It’s ok to have and to use material things.

4. The problem comes when our fondness for them escalates to a level beyond fondness

a. It can become a source of “Pride”.

b. It can become a matter of “Love” for those things.

5. I Jn 2:15-17Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

E. “Covetousness” is the root beneath the last four commandments:

murder - adultery - stealing - bearing false witness

1. And ... Jesus knew it . . .

Mt 5:28 “... whoever looks on a woman to lust ...”

2. James knew it too . . .

Jms 4:1-4
II. Envy Results in Unhappy Consequences

A. Gal 5:26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

B. Where does envy come from? What provokes it?

1. Is it not discontentment we sometimes feel . . .

a. when we pass a beautiful house? (discontented now with my own)

b. or see a new car or truck? (discontented now with my own)

c. or hear that so-and-so is taking a great trip? (my life stinks)

d. or find that somebody won the sweepstakes? (I'm so poor)

2. Phil 4:11-13

3. Rom 12: 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”

C. Comparisons:

1. That’s the root beneath envy.

2. Why must we compare their blessings with our own?

a. Truthfully ... there’s nothing really wrong with our own good blessings from God.

b. Envy destroys our own self esteem.

1) As though I’m nothing because they have something

2) As though I must have it all before I can rank with the rest of the world.

3. Envy is the ugly emotion of being upset with “less”.

a. As long as we want to compare ourselves with others -

. . . we’ll always find someone with more.

b. . . . we’ll always find a reason to be unhappy.

4. Paul had some advice for people who play comparison games

II Cor 10:12when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise”.

a. This practice leads us to covet our neighbor’s

wife – possessions – good fortune.

b. This makes us unhappy.

c. God wants us to be happy

d. So ... he says ... “Rejoice with those that rejoice.”

D. Don’t we think “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence”?

1. Someone once said, “If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence - you can bet his water bill is higher.”

a. There’s always a price to pay for what he has.

b. Do you really want what he has? – you have to pay that price too

c. If you don’t want to pay the price . . .

it’s probably because you really like the life you have

2. I once saw a cartoon that summed it up pretty well:

a. Several pastures divided by barbed wire fences.

b. From left to right – the grass got gradually greener.

c. Mule in each pasture – head through fence to the right

d. Far right mule sat with a “bored” look on his face.


E. Do you remember some “Discontented” people in the Bible?

1. Cain – coveted his brother’s relationship with God.

a. The father had rejected Cain’s offering of vegetables

b. Gen 4:6-7

1) Cain knew what was right

2) He just didn’t want to pay the price for it.

c. Gen 4:8-9 Am I my brother’s keeper? YES

But “covetousness” makes us our brother’s killer

d. James 4:2

2. Why did the chief priests want Jesus dead?

a. Because He showed that their sacrifices were worthless

b. Mark 15: 10Pilate knew that the chief priests had delivered Him up because of envy.”

c. They coveted Jesus’ “God-given” position of authority

1) Some of the things we covet in others was given to them by God

2) Do we want it? Then ASK.

If He says NO - then be content.

III. Security is not found in “Things”.

A. Phil 4:19And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

B. In John Bunyan’s famous allegory - The Pilgrim’s Progress -

the incident is told of how “Christian” decides to leave the Main Highway and travel on another Path

that looks easier.

1. It turns out to be a big mistake.

a. It leads him into the territory of “Giant Despair”

b. “Giant Despair” owns “Doubting Castle”.

2. “Christian” is captured by “Giant Despair” - thrown into the dungeon of “Doubting Castle”

(could this explain why so many today are suffering with “Depression”?)

3. “Christian” is advised to commit suicide.

a. “Giant Despair” tells him his stupid “journey” is a waste of time.

b. Just in the nick of time - “Christians” traveling companion - “Hope” -

reminds him of previous victories.

c. So ... he holds onto “Hope” and begins to pray.

4. Dawn is the inspiration “Christian” needs.

(Don’t things usually look “better” - “clearer” the next day?)

a. As if a ray of sunshine has inspired his soul -

he says, “What a fool am I thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well be at liberty.”

(Why should I wallow in “Doubt” & “Despair” when a whole new day lies before me.

I can do something about my circumstances)

b. He said, “I have a Key in my bosom called “Promise” that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in “Doubting Castle”.

1) “Hope” calls back – “That’s good news. Good brother - pluck it out of thy bosom and try.”

2) Immediately the prison gates fly wide open.

C. Dear Friends – God’s promises are the “Key” to our contentment.

1. Look back at Exodus 20 -- at the Ten Commandments

2. We can have a good life without the need:

1 to find another god (vs 3)

2 to observe the religious rituals of our neighbors (vs 4)

3 to misuse the name of God (vs 7)

4 to work ourselves into the ground (vs 8)

5 to forsake our parents in their old age (vs 12)

6 to take another’s life (vs 13)

7 to take another’s wife (vs 14)

8 to take another’s possessions (vs 15)

9 to take another’s reputation (vs 16)

10 to covet all these things (vs 17)

3. Why? Because “I am Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (vs 2)

4. This is the God we serve – and His promises are the

Key to our Contentment.

D. Do you remember Elijah? I Kings 17:2-6

God fed him with bread and meat. Do you have bread and meat?

E. Do you remember Elisha? II Kings 6:16

Those with us are more than … How can we fail to be content?

Concl 1) The message of the Ten Commandments is this:

be loyal to God

worship Him in His Way

control your heart and you’ll control your tongue

take time to smell some roses

take care of your family

keep a cool head

cherish the bride of your youth

don’t take what belongs to someone else

tell the truth

be happy with the gifts that God has given you

2) May God bless us to live in this way.


The database is protected by copyright © 2017
send message

    Main page