Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How Much Do You Need? The Danger of Coveting, Part 51 of 60

TEXT: "You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s" (Exodus 20:17).

"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we may boldly say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'" (Hebrews 13:5-6).

IDEA: We can free ourselves from the love of money by recognizing its negative effect in our lives in making us discontent and insecure; we free ourselves by recognizing the presence of God who gives us security.

PURPOSE: To help listeners free themselves from a covetous spirit.

Do you think it is easier to diagnose a disease or to cure it?

When it comes to covetousness, is it easier to diagnose it or to cure it?

I. It can be difficult to diagnose because we see it in other people more easily than we see it in ourselves.

What do you think the symptoms would be to show that we have that disease?

Anxiety about our possessions—the stock market going up or down, or the fear that we might lose our jobs.

A discontent with what we have.

We feel good when we can buy things. "I shop; therefore I am."

We need to take the symptoms seriously or we will never cure the disease.

II. If we recognize the symptoms of covetousness in our lives, what we can do to cure it?

The text says that we are to be content with what we have.

What do you think that means, to be "content" with what you have?

Do you think you have to be a Christian to appreciate the value of that advice?

How can people be content?

Why does the focus on money stand in contrast to that?

III. The Christians can go another step:

They can be content with what they have because they know that a love for money blinds them to what is eternal and binds them to what is temporal. And they were made for the eternities.

They have the promise of God and the presence of God that they can count on. He has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

We never really have to be afraid of what men can do to us because we are linked to the God who is eternal.