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The Ten Commandments 10 - Be Content with God's Gifts

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Reading: 1 Timothy 6:3-10; 17-19  / HC Q&A 113

“You 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.” Exodus 20:17 (NIV)

I.   Don’t Crave what God doesn’t give

     A.  The desire for More gets us in trouble

           1.  The first sin was about wanting more

                 a.  Is the grass greener on the other side?

                 b.  We had it all and wanted more.

                 c.  Buddhism: the root of suffering is desire

           2.  Coveting can break all 10 commandments

                 a.  To covet is to crave, to obsess about

                 b.  We do what our hearts tell us to do

                 c.  We steal, kill, commit adultery because we want something.

           3.  Loving money is the root of all kinds of evil

                 a.  Money isn’t good or bad in itself

                 b.  But craving material wealth is the root of all kinds of evil.

                 c.  Chasing dollar signs is a dead end road

     B.  More is never Enough

           1.  More is never satisfied

                 a.  Whatever you give more, it’s never full

                 b.  We want happiness, but settle for stuff

                 c.  Knowing that, we still go for more.

           2.  We live in a consumer oriented society

                 a.  We use up, throw away, get the next.

                 b.  When we get tired of things or people, we just trade them in.

                 c.  We live as if it’s all just for us to use.

           3.  But our hearts are needy for love

                 a.  We go after stuff, thrills, or someone’s husband/wife, but what we need is love

                 b.  We need God’s unconditional love

                 c.  We need to love and be loved

     C.  What’s Inside counts too

           1.  It’s not just about what you do/don’t do

                 a.  This command focuses on our hearts

                 b.  Just doing good/not bad isn’t enough

                 c.  We have to be content to be God’s people.

           2.  Where your heart is really matters

                 a.  God wants more than just compliance

                 b.  What you want and how much you want it is a spiritual barometer.

           3.  What you treasure is where your heart is

                 a.  What do we treasure?

                 b.  Different treasures pull our hearts apart

II.  Be content with the Basics

     A.  Food and clothing are Sufficient

           1.  Doesn’t this seem just a little lean?

                 a.  Shelter? Health? Friends? Family? Fulfillment? Happiness?

                 b.  But what would be enough? Really?

           2.  It is too lean, unless we already have it all

                 a.  What if we already have everything?

                 b.  What if nothing ultimately important could ever be taken away from us?!

           3.  We have all we need and God’s promises

                 a.  Compared to eternity, our life here is at worst, a temporary inconvenience

                 b.  We have all we need for our life.

                 c.  Besides, God promises to care for us “Seek 1st the Kingdom . . .”

     B.  We don’t Need more than we need

           1.  We live as if we need more than we do

                 a.  We run after what we don’t need, because we want what we don’t have.

                 b.  We prioritize with our calendars and budgets what we don’t in our hearts

                 c.  We spend ourselves to improve our lives, but we buy the wrong things!

           2.  We give up what’s important for what isn’t

                 a.  Leaving behind family, friendship, rest, joy/enjoyment,

                 b.  Story of the Mexican fisherman.

           3.  But we need only what we need

                 a.  The basics are enough.

                 b.  Weigh the sacrifice to get more.

     C.  No thing can make you Happy

           1.  Things aren’t everything

                 a.  Things aren’t bad–they’re nice!

                 b.  Things can add fun, effectiveness, relief, convenience, an amount of freedom

           2.  No human relationship can satisfy

                 a.  Don’t crave your neighbor’s wife!

                 b.  Don’t covet another’s parent(s) or child

                 c.  You’ll never fill your need for love in an illicit relationship! Never. Ever. Amen.

           3.  But God does satisfy.

                 a.  God gives you all you need to be happy

                 b.  God Himself satisfies

                 c.  How God wants us to live, satisfies.

III. Keep the main thing the Main thing

     A.  Love leaves no room for Envy

           1.  We can’t just stop our cravings

                 a.  Stop thinking of elephants!

                 b.  Buddhism’s answer is “stop desiring”

           2.  But we can fill our hearts with love.

                 a.  Fill our hearts with God’s love for us.

                 b.  Let them flow in love for God’s children

                 c.  When love comes in, coveting leaves

           3.  Love doesn’t envy.

                 a.  It can’t envy what others have, it loves it

                 b.  God’s love converts envy to celebration!

                 c.  Loving what God has given to me, means not looking over the fence.

     B.  Trusting God’s love chases away Greed

           1.  When I trust God, I don’t rush after what He hasn’t given me yet.

                 a.  If I don’t have it, I don’t need it.

                 b.  God has a purpose for me not having what I want–and that’s okay with me.

                 c.  I know I will have what I need

           2.  Trust converts me

                 a.  Trust converts get to thankful receiving

                 b.  Trust converts greed to joyful giving

     C.  Loving each other creates Generosity

           1.  Love is about giving.

                 a.  Love isn’t self-seeking, but self-giving.

                 b.  Even self-love gives what’s best

                 c.  There’s more joy in giving than keeping

           2.  Love: the best solvent for the glue of desire

                 a.  Desires for what’s not ours glue us to those things and makes us miserable!

                 b.  But God’s love for us dissolves the glue and frees us from our obsessions.

                 c.  Love frees us to give out of God’s gifts

The Bottom Line:

Be Content with God gifts and Thankful for what He gives to Others.

Hymn: R#513 v.4 God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending


Heidelberg Catechism

Q&A 113

What is God’s will for you in the tenth commandment?

That not even the slightest thought or desire contrary to any one of God’s commandments should ever arise in my heart. Rather, with all my heart I should always hate sin and take pleasure in whatever is right.1

1 Ps. 19:7-14; 139:23-24; Rom. 7:7-8

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