Tag Archives: life

Find Your Purpose and Calling in Life

Do you not know the purpose for your life?

Written by GodLife

Tags: CallingLifePurpose



Do you know your purpose in life? Have you discovered what God wants you to do in His plan for this world? If not, send us a message by clicking on the button below to learn about God's purpose for your life.

Watch the video :  https://youtu.be/Y-UzJ4ta2n8

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Overcome Anxiety

Facing our fear and anxiety.

Written by Gary Fleetwood on 02/04/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: AnxietyFear


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

We are creatures of habit; and more often than not, it is difficult to get us to change our habits. We love our routine. We like schedules and disciplines and can find great spiritual value in them. In fact, for most people, it would be very difficult to survive without them.

The problem with our busy lives, however, is that it can also become a habit to worry and fret about things over which we have no control. Worry never solves problems, but only makes them worse and creates problems that God never intended for us to have.

So, how does someone actually overcome this anxiety?

Overcoming anxiety means allowing the Holy Spirit to overtake your life in a very practical way. That is easy to say, but not easy to do. Having the patience and the personal resolve to order our life this way is something that requires a kind of spiritual sensitivity to God, to His Word, and to His purposes that can become easily lost in the normal routine of our lives.

What is interesting is that Paul clearly provides a spiritual remedy for worry. He says it is to “let your requests be made known to God”, through “prayer and supplication”. The man or woman who has learned to pray, and not just during the difficult times, but as a lifestyle, will not be prone to being overly anxious. Why? Because they have a very high view of God and believe there is no problem that is too great for him to handle. That is why they pray to Him as a normal part of their life.

What happens when someone ignores God in prayer?

Not praying to God as a way of life is always an indication that the individual is not living by faith. The Christian life must be lived out by trusting God, by believing in God’s promises, and by demonstrating that trust by coming to Him in prayer. What happens to the person who experiences anxious moments but is not accustomed to seeking God in prayer is that they very quickly forget how great their God really is. It is very difficult to trust God in the very trying and anxious moments if the person has never learned to trust Him in the less stressful moments of their life. Faith in God is not something that a person can just have at will. It has to be learned by maintaining a very meaningful fellowship with God. To ignore Him when things are easy means that a person will not be trained to go to Him when things get hard. These difficult moments are unavoidable, so it is critical to learn how to walk with God before they become a reality.

What does Paul mean when he uses the word “thanksgiving”?

The greater the discipline of faithful prayer that is developed in the believer’s life, the greater their ability to respond to the problems that life brings with “thanksgiving”. Thanksgiving is simply giving thanks to the person who has given you something. For the person who has developed this discipline of prayer and making their requests known to God, they will actually give God thanks for their trials. 

Why? Because they know God’s character and they understand the greater purposes that He wants to achieve in their life through their trials. In fact, the mature believer will be grateful for their trials. They understand that God is overseeing their life and they do not question His wisdom as He works deeper spiritual qualities into their life. This is a great place to be spiritually, but it still requires a certain level of focus and willpower to choose a life of meaningful prayer. It is the cure for anxiety and fear and should be developed in every believer’s life.


Pray this week:

Father, would you please help me to see the importance of making it a way of life to constantly be coming to you in meaningful prayer? I need your help to be focused on what is spiritually important as You develop the character of Christ in my life.


How important is it to you to maintain a journal of prayers with your requests for God and then record how He answers those requests?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Forest Fires of Anger

Uncover the source of your anger

Written by June Hunt on 17/04/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Anger, Fear, Hurt, Injustice, Frustration
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24
A rim fire ravaged a magnificent California National Park in 2013. This destructive fire seemed to be caused by a hunter who started an illegal fire that spread out of control. Imagine … this small fire that the hunter considered manageable burned over 250,000 acres!

Just a single flame in the wrong place and at the wrong time can quickly become a blazing inferno. Anger, hidden deep in the heart, can happen the same way. When hurt, injustice, fear or frustration smolder followed by the dry, hot winds of agitation, an angry inferno can quickly develop. If you find yourself losing your cool frequently, examine your heart to see if a deeper wound exists that gives rise to your anger. Fires of anger arise from four causes.

1. Hurt: Your heart is wounded.
Everyone has a God-given inner need for unconditional love. When you experience rejection or emotional pain of any kind, anger can become a protective wall keeping people, pain and hurt away. A biblical example of this is the sons of Jacob. Joseph was the father’s favorite – even making Joseph the famous “coat of many colors.” Feeling hurt and rejected by their father, the 10 older sons became angry and vindictive toward their younger brother. …  “But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.” (Genesis 37:4).  

2. Injustice: Your right is violated.
Everyone has a knowledge of right and wrong, fair and unfair, just and unjust. When you realize that an injustice has occurred to you or to others (especially to those you love), you may feel angry. If you hold on to the offense, unresolved anger can begin to take root in your heart. A biblical example of this is King Saul’s unjust treatment of David evoking Jonathan’s anger. Jonathan, son of Saul, overheard his own father pronounce a death sentence on his dear friend David. …  “Jonathan answered Saul his father, ‘Why should he be put to death? What has he done?’ But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. And Jonathan rose from the table in fierce anger …” (1 Samuel 20:32-34). 

3. Fear: Your future is threatened.
Everyone is created with a God-given inner need for security. When you begin to worry, feel threatened or get angry because of a change in circumstances, you may be responding to fear. A fearful heart reveals a lack of trust in God’s perfect plan for your life. A biblical example of this is, again, King Saul. He became angry because of David’s many successes on the battlefield. (Read 1 Samuel 18:5-15, 28-29.) He was threatened by David’s popularity and feared he would lose his kingdom. …  “Saul was very angry … ‘They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands’ … Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul.” (1 Samuel 18:8, 12).  

4. Frustration: Your performance is not accepted.
Everyone has a God-given inner need for significance. When your efforts are thwarted or do not meet your own personal expectations, you sense of significance can be threatened. Frustration over unmet expectations for yourself or for others is a major source of anger. A biblical example of this Cain. Both Cain and Abel brought offerings to God, but Cain’s offering was unacceptable. Cain had chosen to offer what he himself wanted to give rather than what God said was right and acceptable. When Cain’s self-effort was rejected, his frustration led to anger, and his anger led to the murder of his own brother. … “In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. … Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him” (Genesis 4:3-5, 8).

Probing into buried feelings from your past can be painful. Sometimes it might even feel easier to stay angry than to uncover the cause, turn loose of your “rights” and grow in maturity. Like a forest fire ignited by one small “controlled” hunter’s fire, a minor, unexpected disappointment or strain may flare an angry reaction that could devastate your life. Make every effort to discover the source of your anger and deal with it by releasing it to God in prayer with His grace and His help.

Pray this week:
Lord, thank You for loving me. Since You know everything, You know the strong sense of (hurt, injustice, fear, and frustration) I have felt about (name or situation). Right now, I release all of my anger to You. I trust You with my future and with me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Which of the four sources of anger resonates most with you and your experience of anger? How so?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Jesus Can Heal Addiction

You can be free from addiction.

Written by Lois on 24/05/2016

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: AddictionForgivenessFreedomGraceSin


The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

We all have wrong desires and are tempted, but God has given us an Advocate who will help us resist sin if we are willing. Are you tired of being addicted to alcohol, sex, drugs, pornography or greed? Jesus has made a way for you to be free. This is how you can resist temptation and allow Jesus to heal your addiction.

There are countless people who are enjoying an addiction because they have not faced consequences yet. Galatians 6:8 tells us if a person “sows to please his own wrong desires, he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death; but if he plants the good things of the Spirit, he will reap the everlasting life that the Holy Spirit gives him.” There is no peace or freedom found in loving an addiction or sin. If you want to be healed, you have to turn away and renounce the addiction or sin.

Resist the Temptation

2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

  • Temptation happens to everyone; no one is being singled out
  • Learn to recognize the people, things and situations that overtake you
  • After recognizing the tempter, resist him
  • It’s your choice, so choose to do what pleases God
  • Pray for Jesus to help you
  • Seek friends who love God, have resisted temptation and can help you

There is Healing

Jesus is able to heal every kind of addiction, even those we willfully sought out. Jesus is able to "restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten" (Joel 2:25), even if suffering is His chastisement to a person for sinful behavior. God's purpose is never to tempt us to sinful despair but to make us holy and useful. (James 1:13Hebrews 12:11-13) David, who knew something about God's chastisement, said, "Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice." (Ps. 51:8) Ask Jesus to heal physical or emotional pain from an abusive parent, the brokenness of losing a child, the loneliness of the death of a spouse, or being orphaned.

An addiction is not going to heal you. Letting a sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting God’s Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Romans 8:6


Pray this week:

Father, this sin is wrecking my life. Will you help me? In Jesus’ name, amen.


Are you addicted to something and need healing from Jesus?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Seven Ways You Can Find Peace

No matter what shakes our world, you can find peace.

Written by Janet Perez Eckles on 22/01/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: HelpPeaceWisdom


Blessed is the man… his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2

“I can’t’ believe you do that. That’s crazy!” a friend said when I told her I travel abroad by myself.

That’s crazy!

She might be right. Being blind, my traveling alone could be dangerous.  Without eyesight, I risk many mishaps—getting lost, losing my luggage, falling, running into objects or into people. Or even ending up in the wrong destination.

But the worry is gone because when I leave for a trip from my hometown of Orlando and head to South America, for example, I have a plan. In one hand I hold my white cane, and in my heart, I carry God’s Word. They’re verses from the Bible I memorized and silently repeat them in my mind throughout the day.

Good thing I developed that habit because not long ago when I visited Ecuador for the first time to address women’s conferences in various cities, God’s Word saved me from panic.

“Wake up, Janet!”

My friend whispered as she stood beside my bed “Don’t be afraid, but we had another earthquake last night.”

This was my first time in Ecuador, the surroundings were unfamiliar and the tremors that would soon follow added to the uneasiness of the moment.

My friend left as she had to attend to some urgent matters. I was alone. The only thing that accompanied me was my white cane and the fear I’d be unable to navigate to find the exit. My fate was that I would be crushed or trapped.

I tried to wipe away thoughts of the possible tragic ending. But, before I did, the furniture began to shake, the windows rattled and my heart beat fast.

I forced myself to take a deep breath. I needed supernatural help. But I had no one to read Bible passages to me. No cell connection to listen to God’s Word or even a radio to listen to Christian teachings. The only thing I had, stored deep in my heart and tucked in the crevices of my mind was God’s Word. I had written them with the pen of commitment ever since I met Jesus and began a sweet relationship with Him.

In the midst of the tremors, He whispered to me:

  • “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
  • “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
  • “fear not, for I am with you…” Isaiah 41:10
  • “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
  • “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
  • “The Lord is my light and my salvation;  whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1

The threatening terror turned to triumphant peace. I wasn’t alone, God was with me. The tremors stopped in my heart and in the room as well. Fresh reassurance, powerful confidence and profound calmness erased all fear.

No matter what shakes our world, God’s Word is available and through the Holy Spirit, it’s ready to leap from the page into our mind and heart. Here are seven steps to store them deep within:

  1. Ask God to speak to you through His Word
  2. Ask God to grant you spiritual wisdom to understand His message
  3. Choose a Bible verse
  4. Keep the verse short
  5. Ponder on its meaning
  6. Repeat it over and over again in your mind
  7. When going to bed, commit it to memory and repeat it the first thing in the morning

Once this verse flows easily in your mind and from your lips, choose another one and follow the same steps.

Storing Bible verses in the heart is like collecting gems. They will shine to dispel the darkness. They will enrich a heart that’s empty. They will grow in value. And they will add worth to our life.

Although we all face earthquakes that shake our life, God’s Word is the steady foundation that remains solid. His Word, learned and stored within, is the weapon that defeats the enemy, turns fear to faith, panic to peace and soothes the aching heart.


Pray this week:

Heavenly Father, you see the tremors that often shake my own life, I ask for Your wisdom to understand Your Word, for Your grace to keep me focused on You, and for diligence to store Your Word deep within me. Amen.


How has God’s Word stored in your heart helped you?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Who Is On the Throne of Your Heart?

God owns our life, not us.

Written by Susan on 08/01/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ThroneLordObedienceLoveGod


My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me.

John 10:27

Did you realize that God owns all life? He also holds us accountable for what we do with ours. (Romans 14:12)

If I, a child of God, believe this, then I will believe God is sovereign. He is high and lifted up on the throne of my life. He is Lord. However, If I own my life, then I am on the throne, instead of bowing before God. If I am on the throne, then I am my own God.

We are his sheep

Jesus said He is the Good Shepherd. We, the redeemed, are the beloved sheep of His pasture. In love He makes himself responsible for us to feed and clothe us, to protect our heart, to grow our faith, and to lead us, watching over us all of the time. We are to be totally dependent upon the Shepherd for everything.

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep.”(John 10:14-15)

In order to make us His sheep, we were purchased by Him in love and agony with a high, high price. Because of this, we are no longer our own.

Your will, not mine

In coming to Jesus, we sheep have bowed our heart, asking Him to be our Savior and Lord – our Shepherd. This surrender places Him on throne of our life. We give up our rights, learning to live as He lived – not our will, but Yours be done.

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, If the Lord wills, we will live and will do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

We will be tempted to strike out in our own will, forgetting our Shepherd and His loving, wise will for us. We will be tempted to sin, to forget prayer, obedience, and asking for guidance. We will be in danger of forgetting to thank our Lord for all He provides to us, or to even worship Him in the giving of tithes. If we fall into these temptations, we are usurping the throne, beginning to live by our will again.

What must I do?

So what must you do? Return to Christ. Repent and confess in truth. He loves you and has come calling for you. He will forgive a truly repentant heart. Run home little lamb. Only in the Shepherd is safety for your soul.

Draw a faith line in the sand and refuse to cross back over it! Cling to Jesus with all your strength to obey and trust Him. Run after Jesus instead of running away down the road of life as if it is your own. Follow the one who owns your life. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:9-11)

In love we choose to do what pleases Jesus, accepting His Lordship. He, in return, gives to us joy in pleasing Him as well as the power to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:13). In love, cooperation, and gratitude, we put our will under His will. We look to Jesus waiting upon Him and his will for us in faith that He loves us and is with us. This is our love for Him.


Pray this week:

Lord, you own my life. I do not. I want to be the sheep of your pasture and I will hear your voice. I need you and your forgiveness. Please be my Lord and Shepherd. I will follow you. Amen.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

One Man’s Death Every Man’s Guarantee

Hope for a "new world" must rest in God, not man

Tags: Death, Easter, Hope, Life, Power, Resurrection
We all keep hoping for peace. World War I was "the war to end all wars." Then we found ourselves in the midst of World War II-again sending out sons, husbands, and fathers who may not return.

The wars kept coming. Korea. Vietnam. Iraq. Each one pouring out death and destruction to an extent the world hadn’t witnessed previously. If only military victory carried a lifetime guarantee of no more death, no more failure, no more fear. Or better yet, an eternal guarantee.

But only one man’s death carries that guarantee.

No human effort to build a better world can guarantee lasting peace in the Persian Gulf, or Somalia, or anywhere else for that matter. The freedom that costs the blood of our precious young men and women isn’t permanent. It lasts only until another aggressive power comes along, unjustly claiming supremacy over others. Then the bloodshed starts all over again.

Hope for a "new world" must rest in God, not man. Death is man’s legacy; life is God’s. The Lord Jesus Christ said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John 11:25-26).

Good Friday, when we remember the cruel death of Jesus Christ on the cross, is a day that man made because of sin. But Resurrection Sunday is God’s Day. He made it. Only the power of God could have raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Man’s deepest yearnings for life, power, and hope find fulfillment in the meaning of Easter.

Life
Resurrection speaks of life. Jesus Christ is alive today! Here in the northern hemisphere, Resurrection Sunday comes in the spring. After a long, cold winter, nature comes alive. In the spring, one is prompted to think of resurrection. It’s a new beginning.

Death is our enemy. But life is ours in Jesus Christ. Death brings fear. The Resurrection gives peace. Thoughts about death often lead to depression. The reality of the Resurrection leads to hope. Death speaks of separation, but the Resurrection speaks of a life that is indestructible, in union forever with the risen Jesus Christ.

The Bible says, "When you were dead in your sins…God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins" (Colossians 2:13). We are alive to God because the risen life of Christ is our life. All of us who have Jesus Christ in our hearts know that He’s alive. That’s why we love to sing, "You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart." The Lord affirmed, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10). That speaks of His life in us!

When Jesus came out of the grave, having finished the work on the cross, having shed His blood, having taken the punishment for our sins on His own body, He was able to give us life, because He was alive, risen from the dead.

Do you have this life? Have you experienced what it is to come alive in Jesus Christ? Have you experienced what the Bible calls a "new birth"?

To be born again means that Jesus Christ actually comes into your life. Instead of being dead to God, dead to the things of God, not understanding what God is like, you come alive. You become a new person who can understand the things of God.

The Resurrection speaks of life; not only the life of Christ, alive from the tomb, but also an abundant inner life for us, here and now, daily.

Jesus Christ also opened a way into heaven. We no longer have to fear death, because we are united with Christ. A Christian has been resurrected with Jesus Christ. Christ’s victory is our victory both now and in the future. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus Christ destroyed him "who holds the power of death-that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14).

Power
Resurrection also speaks of power. Before the Lord was raised from the dead, the apostles were quite a miserable lot. What was wrong? What was it that they lacked? They lacked power!

Until the Lord Jesus was resurrected, was raised up into heaven and the Holy Spirit came down on the Day of Pentecost, the apostles were still afraid and in hiding.

But on the Day of Pentecost, Peter, who had earlier been afraid of the accusations of a servant girl, stood up in front of several thousand people and said, very boldly, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). What brought on this boldness?

Peter now was filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit! He had the risen life of Jesus Christ in him. The power that brought Christ out of the grave is for us now. God’s power is not something that we work up ourselves. It comes only from the indwelling Holy Spirit.

If you lack power in your life, power to overcome temptation, power to witness for Jesus Christ, then you need to allow God’s Spirit to fill you. You need to acknowledge His life in you and let Him live through you.

The life of Christ dwells in every one who by faith receives Him. Your life can be filled with the power of the living Lord Jesus Christ. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, and love and of self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7).

Hope
Hope? Yes, resurrection also speaks of a secure hope. My father’s body is buried in a little cemetery in Argentina. But my father has been with Jesus Christ all these 48 years since his physical death. One day his body is going to be resurrected, just as the body of Jesus was resurrected.

For those who know the Lord Jesus, that fact is very real. The Lord is coming back! The Bible says that one of these days, we shall be changed "in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:52). What a marvelous reality!

When my father died, we sang a hymn at his funeral:

Face to face, O blissful moment.

Face to face, to see and know.

Face to face with my Redeemer,

Jesus Christ who loved me so.

Face to face I shall behold Him,

Far beyond the starry sky.

Face to face in all His glory,

I shall see Him by and by.

This is the hope that the Resurrection gives you. We know we shall see the Lord Jesus face to face in all His glory. Do you have that hope? Do you have that assurance? Do you know for sure that you’ll see Him?

If the resurrected Christ does not live in your heart and you die today, what hope would you have? There is no "reincarnation," no "second chance." But if Christ lives in you, then there is the secure hope of eternal life with the Lord Jesus, forever. "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish," He has said (John 10:28).

A minister’s son, 28 years old, married with two children, had cancer. Each of the several specialists who examined him said the cancer would take his life. I was the guest speaker at the minister’s church on the Sunday that his son died, early that morning. This pastor, who had suffered so much for two years seeing his son slowly dying, was at perfect peace. He described the last few hours he spent with him. His son had said, "Dad, tonight I’m going to be with Jesus."

"Aren’t you lucky to get there before me, David," his father said. "To think that tonight you will actually see Moses in person, and Peter, Paul, and John the Baptist!"

Then his father said, "But son, best of all, you’re going to see the Lord Jesus. And when you see Him, David, will you tell him that your father loves Him very much?"

The reason this man had such tremendous peace when I spoke with him a few hours after his son’s death was because his son was with the Lord Jesus. That’s what knowing Jesus Christ will do for you.

If the Lord Jesus returned today, would He welcome you into His presence? Have you opened your life to Jesus Christ?

You can receive the Lord Jesus by a simple prayer of faith. Believe in Him, invite Him into your heart, and become a child of God. Make sure that you will be part of that resurrection day when the Lord Jesus comes back for His own.

Make this prayer your own, quietly now, as you finish this article:

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You that because of Easter, You’ve made it possible for me to have a new beginning. Thank You for Your death on the cross, paying the penalty for my sins. Thank You for Your resurrection three days later. You’re alive and now You offer me new life, power and hope here and now and for all eternity. Please forgive my sins and make me part of Your family. I gladly receive You and put my trust in You. Amen.

What is your favorite part of the Easter season? Which Easter truth gives you the most hope and peace? Did you pray the prayer at the end of the article for the first time? If so, talk to a caring Christian about it and be encouraged!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Covetousness Be Content with what You Have

Be Content with what You Have

Written by Dan Lee on 04/07/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Contentment, Covetousness, Greed, Envy, Satisfaction
But godliness with contentment is great gain.

1 Timothy 6:6
If they are asked to name some of the Ten Commandments, many people will say, “You shall not steal; you shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery.” But few will mention number ten, which is, in its shortest version, is “You shall not covet” (Exodus 20:17). Here are four reasons to watch out for covetousness:

It’s as bad as any other sin
When the Apostle Paul describes the relationship between sin and the law in his great epistle to the Romans, does he mention sexual sin or murder? No, he mentions covetousness!

“. . . for I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead” (Romans 7:7-8).

Covetousness is so significant that Paul uses it here as representative of ALL sin.

Covetousness is Idolatry
Would you build an altar in your home so you could worship a statue? Of course not! So why would you habitually practice covetousness, which amounts to the same thing? “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5-6).

God sees our heart
Why are the commandments about stealing, killing, and adultery so well-known, but covetousness is not? Perhaps because the others are outward and visible, while covetousness is an inward sin, an attitude rather than an action.

But God is as concerned with our heart – our inner being – as our outward behavior. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”

Jesus’ harshest words were reserved for the religious leaders, who maintained the appearance of holiness, but were sinful in their hearts: “And the Lord said to him, ‘Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed (a form of covetousness) and wickedness’” (Luke 11:39).

Covetousness leads to other sins
We may try to appear good, but eventually, what’s in our hearts always shows up in our outward actions. Luke 6:45 puts it this way: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

The inward sin of covetousness often leads to the outward sins of stealing, killing and adultery – and more. John Piper, in his book, Future Grace, puts it this way: “Covetousness is a breeding ground for a thousand other sins.”

Fighting covetousness
What’s the opposite of covetousness? Contentment. If covetousness means wanting things we don’t have, contentment means being satisfied with what we DO have. We do this by reminding ourselves that the Lord has promised to meet ALL our needs: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).

Remember that NEEDS and WANTS are not the same. You will always see people who have more than you. If not your neighbors, then people on TV – celebrities with sports cars, big houses and servants, beautiful clothing and dazzling jewelry, and all the latest technology gadgets.

As Jesus spent His earthly days in humble circumstances, we can learn to be content if we have a home to live in and food to eat. In the same letter to the Philippians, Paul said, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

As we grow in contentment, trusting God to meet our needs, we will find ourselves desiring the things of this world less and less. The Holy Spirit will free us from the idolatry of covetousness, and we will find our ultimate satisfaction in our Lord Jesus, bringing much glory to God.

Pray this week:
Lord, I confess I am often guilty of covetousness — wanting things that others have. I admit that this is idolatry. By Your Holy Spirit’s power in me, I ask You to fill my heart with godly contentment. Help me to fix my eyes on invisible, eternal things rather than visible, temporary things. Help me to learn that my ultimate satisfaction is found in You alone. Amen.

Do you struggle with covetousness? Do you have a hard time being satisfied with the basic needs of life?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How to Follow God’s Commands

Jonah’s story shows us what happens when we disobey God’s commands

Written by GodLife on 20/03/2018
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Grace, Mercy, Obedience, Commands, God
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

Jonah 1:1-3
When I started college, I felt God commanding me to fully commit to a church family so that He could work through fellow believers to shape me more like Jesus.

How did I respond? I disobeyed and my life hit a sorrowful low as I continued to ignore the commands of Jesus. It was only by God’s grace and mercy that He received me back and I began to take his commands seriously again.

Have you ever tried to avoid a direct command from the Lord?

A story in the Bible of a prophet named Jonah shows us more clearly what can happen when a believer of God directly disobeys His commands – and it also reveals a lot about God’s true character.

Listening to God’s commands
We should first answer a question that many people have: “Why should we listen to God’s commands? How can we be sure God has our best interests at heart?” The Apostle Paul gives us an answer that provides a lot of hope.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)

The Bible also makes it clear that following God’s commands proves our love for Jesus and appreciation for the sacrifice He made for us on the cross.

“And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.” (2 John 1:6)

So how do we know what to follow? Well, God made it pretty easy by laying out many specific commands for us in the Scriptures, including well-known ones like ‘do not kill,’ ‘do not covet’ and others in the Ten Commandments. But he also speaks to us on a personal level – as He did in my story above – and guides us which way we should go throughout our daily lives.The Lord wants us to grow into a deeper communion with Him. We can't do that if we disregard His commands, like Jonah did. Embracing His will for us is the best way to get to know Him better.

What happens when we disobey
As seen in Jonah’s story, things go completely sideways when Jonah ignores God’s commands.

The Lord called Jonah to go to Nineveh and call it out of its sin (Jonah 1:1-3). Jonah didn’t want to do this because he felt the Ninevites, an enemy of the Jewish people, didn’t deserve the grace of God, so he ran from God.

Following his disobedience, Jonah was caught in a heavy storm while on a ship and was thrown overboard where he is then swallowed by a large fish (Jonah 1:11-15).

God was making it clear to Jonah that he saw his disobedience and was not happy with it. As a result of Jonah’s disobedience, his life was thrown into chaos and he was not experiencing what God intended him to. But God also orchestrated these events in Jonah’s life so that he had no choice but to obey Him. God may not always act so obviously in our lives when we disobey Him, but this story shows how serious God is about his followers truly following Him. 

After some grumbling, Jonah ended up in Nineveh and reluctantly followed God’s command to call Nineveh out of its sin (Jonah 3:1-5). And a funny thing happened: they repented immediately (Jonah 3:6-9)! 

God’s character revealed
This is what God wanted all along, in order to show that His great grace and mercy is available to everyone, even to people that were once enemies of Him and His people. In fact, we were all once like the Ninevites – enemies of God because of our sin – but the grace and love of God is greater than any sin we can imagine.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).

This opportunity for repentance was only available because Jonah eventually obeyed God’s commands. What could God do through us if we are serious about obeying His commands?

Pray this week:
“God, help me trust Your will for my life and teach me to listen to your commands. I trust that your plan for my life is the best for me. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Amen.”

How have you disobeyed God this week and how can you make steps to obey Him in the week ahead?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member