Sunday, November 23, 2014

Keeping Up With The Joneses

Why is it so bad to Covet?


We have been mentioning Covetousness quite a bit in the last few Messages. It just keeps popping up. It is one of those things, that is actually part of Human Nature, and one of those things that can seem harmless. Problem is, it is far from harmless. As a matter of fact, it is so dangerous and Evil, that God named it as the Tenth Commandment..

{Exodus 20:17}
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."
In Psalms, we talked about this as well...
{Psalm 119:33-40}
"Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. Establish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear. Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness."
"Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness."So what does it even mean? Why is it bad? Do we not all want to "Keep up with the Joneses?" Look what you think they have. Perfect Marriage. Prefect kids. A ton of Money. They never worry about paying their bills. They are out there Vacationing all the time. Buying new Cars and Stuff in General. I was a the Bakery the other day and I saw Mr. Jones pull out a Wad of Cash, peel off a Hundred, and he told the Girl "Keep the change." Man, that would be nice to be able to do. Where is my Wad of Cash? Think of all the good I could do with that much money.. So on, so forth.

Human nature. Right? Nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself. Right? Nothing wrong with wanting more. Right? To get ahead? To be like the Joneses? Right? Wrong.. Jesus tells us..

{Luke 12:15}
"Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."
The Word tells us...

{1 Timothy 6:6-11}
"Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs."
Why? Why is it wrong to desire more? To want better for yourself and or your Family? It doesn't make sense. It's not fair. Why should Mr. Jones, who is not even a Child of God, have all this Money, and I have to struggle to pay my Electric Bill. Why? I want what he has. I will actually do something positive with all that Cash. It's not fair.

Are you sure? Jesus warned us...
{Matthew 6:24}
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
This is why He told us this..

{Matthew 6:31-34}
"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
We are to be content with what God gives us. He tells us that Life is not just about the Toys. It is not about how big your house is. Nor is it about how big your bank account is. Jesus told us the Parable of the Rich Man and his Barns in Luke 12. How he was very Rich. So Rich he was having some difficulty storing up all his Riches. Then he died. Jesus asks, "Who gets all your stuff?" Why? Again, "we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world."

So am I saying God wants all His Children to be Poor? Of course not. First, as a Side note, do you even know what poverty is? Look around the world. You will see the Poor. Dying of Starvation. Disease, Naked and unsure where their next meal is coming from. People living on less than a Dollars a Month, if that. Now look at the "Poor" in this Country. Roof over our heads. Heat and AC. Cloths on our back. Food in abundance. TVs, Cell Phones, Car, Internet. Seriously? They do not work, they die. We do not work, the Government gives us more, than some people actually working get. Poor?

The point is, we should not even worry about these things. Our Daddy, God, knows we need these things. If we trust in Him and Seek out the Kingdom first, put God first, He will meet all our needs. We may not have that brand new shiny red Sports Car, but we will have transportation to and from where we need to go. We may not live in a Mansion, yet, but we have a Roof over our heads.

Still do not see why Covetousness is wrong? OK. Lets look at a perfect example. King David. Yup. That same David that sleighed the Giant. That same David that God made King, and blessed mightily. He Coveted. This caused him to not only commit Adultery, but it caused him to commit Murder. Yes. That same King David.

{2 Samuel 11}
"And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman."
So here is David, who out of happenstance, saw this beautiful naked Woman bathing herself. If he left it at that, all would have been fine. But he didn't. He Coveted her. Or greedily desired her. He became, in essence, obsessed. So, he inquired who she was..
"And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"
So now he knows who she is. She is a Married Woman of one of his most faithful Servants. Again, if he had stopped there, knowing that she was Married and not available to him, all would still be OK. But he just couldn't resist. He gave in..
"And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child."
David allowed himself to Covet. This lead to Adultery. She became pregnant with David's Child. Now David, who is a good man. A Man of God. A Man chosen by God. David now has to figure out how to cover this up. To shorten this up a bit for time restrictions, I encourage you to read the whole story, David sends for Uriah. His plan is to have Uriah go to his house, have sex with his Wife. Then, when it is discovered she is pregnant, it will be thought to be Uriah's Child.

This didn't work. Uriah said..
"The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing."
You see, Uriah was a God fearing Man, and faithful Servant to David and Country. There was no way he was going to go home and be comfortable and sleep with his Wife, when those more important, at least in his mind, are not allotted the same opportunity.

So David attempts to get him drunk and then he would surely go down to his house. However, like the first attempt, this one failed as well. This left David with no choice. He had to get rid of Uriah. He comes up with this plan. I will send him to the front lines, in the hottest battle. He will surely be killed. He will become a Hero, I will take his Widow, as was a custom, and then it will all be fine when she has my Son. This is what he did.

Uriah was killed, David took Bathsheba to be his Wife. No one knew any the wiser. Well, no one but God. The Story continues in 2 Samuel 12, and we find that the cost of this, was the life of David and Bathsheba's Son. David repented his Sin and God forgave him, and blessed him and Bathsheba with another Son, his name is Solomon. Yup. That Solomon.

The point of the story is this. A Godly Man. One who God Himself chose. As God said to David..

{2 Samuel 12:7-8}
"God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things."
David wanted more. Like Adam and Eve, whom the Lord gave the entire World to, wanted more, and took that of which was not theirs to take, David took his desire. He Coveted and it lead to Adultery, Lying, and ultimately, Murder. The King, who was blessed, and could have had even more, chose the one thing he could not have.

To Covet, may be Human Nature, but it is not something we should fall into. It can lead to all kinds of Sin and badness. You can even die because of it. Learn to be content with what you have. Trust in the Lord. Understand that compared to the rest of the world, you are really not that poor. Not to mention, the Righteous DO have a Mansion waiting for them. You are a Child of God. Trust in Him.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

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