Friday, July 8, 2016

Ten Commandments: Contentment

Chuckle: Church bulletin on a national Fasting and Prayer Conference: "The cost for attending the Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals."
Quote: "The contented man is never poor; the discontented man is never rich."Source Unknown

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife (or husband), or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor" (Exodus 20:17 NIV).
The term "covet" describes a severe and greedy craving for the possessions or circumstances of others. It can be a powerful force in our lives. "I want what you have, because I feel that is what will satisfy me and make me happy." A father was walking down the street with his two small sons, both of whom were crying loudly. A neighbor passing by inquired, "What's the matter? What's all the fuss?" The father responded, "The trouble with these lads is what's wrong with the world. One has a piece of candy and the other wants it."
The other commands, adultery, murder, stealing and lying dealt with actions toward others. This command goes even deeper into our very thoughts and feelings. All the commands can be divided into three basic categories: actions, speech, and feelings (heart). A basic motivation for stealing is coveting. Once our hearts begin to covet, we are never satisfied -- we never have enough. Contentment with our circumstances and with what we have is replaced with anxiety, frustration, and resentment. God's desire for us to be content and happy is the bottom line of this command.
God knows what can happen to us when we become caught up in uncontrolled envy and covetousness. He intends for us to be content with who we are. . . .content with what we have. . . .content in our relationship with Him. Instead of focusing on satisfying our needs, God wants us to be alert to the needs of others, and how we can meet those needs. God knows exactly what you and I need and when we need it. Psalm 23 tells us He is our Shepherd, that He will lead us and provide for us. Let's look again at a verse I used with the lesson on stealing: "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'" (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
God gave this command because He knows a thing or two about the dangers of coveting. He knows that what we covet has no lasting/eternal value. "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV). Jesus says,"Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (Luke 12:15 NIV).
In Philippians 4:11, Paul writes, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." He is saying, "There was a time when I wasn't content. I had to learn contentment." He is describing a process of leaning to depend on God for his needs and contentment regardless of external circumstances. He learned this contentment from spending time with his Lord.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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