Tag Archives: live

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