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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

10th Way to Delight in the Lord

As a child, I thought the 10 Commandments were simply a set of rules to follow. Then, I discovered I couldn't keep the rules, leading me to Christ for my righteousness. Then, the 10 Commandments no longer condemn, but show us the character of God. As a believer, I can look to these laws to see how to please the Father. For if Christ never once violated these laws, and my desire is to look more like Him, then these laws help me know Him.

You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Like with most laws, we seek an escape clause to justify ourselves. I've heard many people scoff this command, saying things like, I've never violated this command. It's been a long time since I've coveted my neighbor's donkey, man servant or ox. However, you cannot claim it as archaic when you notice it says: or anything that belongs to your neighbor. So, "plan b" forces us to claim, But who is my neighbor? Unfortunately, Jesus completely closed this loophole for us as well.

We're left with only one conclusion...to never covet anything that anyone else has. Or to put it another way:

I can do all things through Him who stengthens me.

That's right. Check out the context of that familiar verse. Paul speaks that he has learned to be content in whatever circumstances he is in.

At times, I can think I'm honoring god simply by not coveting my neighbor's car. However, I can watch a commercial with one of these, and my mind starts to race. It's not coveting if no one else owns it, right? I tell myself.

Entitlement is a fruit of the fall. Ironically, we sin against God, deserving eternal condemnation, yet our darkened hearts tell us we deserve even more favor than we have received. Every moment of God's gracious favor becomes just an opportunity for the sinner to crave more. Instead of delighting in Him, we shake our fists, wanting more. But joy is found in discovering what we do deserve, yet seeing the God who treats us otherwise. By fleeing coveteousness and pursuing contentment, we grow closer to our gracious God. For Paul said:

For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

[Other commandments: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

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