Summary: The final sermon on the 10 Commandments. This command seems silly. I don’t hurt anyone by merely wanting, do I? How to Overcome Coveting... *HANDOUT INCLUDED*

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Today, we conclude this series on the 10 Commandments. . . (was that a sigh of relief I heard?!)


Remember, we’ve been talking about the 10 Commandments as fences. . . fences to keep you from pain!

We said that there is some pain that is inevitable. . . it will come into your life just because you’re living on this broken planet.

Some pain is caused by others doing wrong. . . it’s not God’s doing. Whether it’s hijackers, drunk drivers, murderers – if someone else sins, sometimes it causes us pain.

Some pain is necessary in our lives to make us like Jesus. Sometimes, God wants to teach us not to complain. . . maybe he wants to teach us to trust Him. . . maybe He wants to teach us to change our attitude. . . sometimes, God knows to make us like Jesus, we might have to hurt like Jesus hurt while he was here on this earth.

But the 4th kind of pain is different. It’s pain that we bring on ourselves by breaking down God’s fences. It’s pain that is caused by our own actions, when we live outside of God’s laws – it’s caused by our own mistakes and sin. I call this “unnecessary pain, because you just know God is sitting in heaven, sighing and saying, “They could have prevented that! If only they had listened!”

THAT’S the kind of pain that we’re wanting to prevent in this series. And we’ve been through 9 principles to help us do that:

But now we get to the final commandment. As God wraps up this list of his “Big 10". . . what does he want to conclude with?

"You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s."

Exodus 20:17 (NKJV)

To “Covet” is to strongly desire something that belongs to someone else.

What a great commandment for the last few weeks before Christmas!! Have you ever seen kids REALLY covet?

Gracie has learned to share – sort of. But she’s also learned to use that word to her advantage. I took something from her a few days ago that she wasn’t allowed to play with. . . and she told me to “Share!” Friday, she was playing with a little girl at the store, and the little girl wanted to play with the toy Gracie had been playing with for 5 minutes. I told her we needed to share, and gave the little girl the toy. After about 30 seconds, she was reaching for the toy saying, “Share!”

Stan and Jan Berenstain (authors of the Berentain Bears kids books) wrote one called “The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmees”. I used to read it when I was a kid. The bear cubs, Brother Bear and Sister Bear, can’t walk by

Oh, but we’re ADULTS. . . we don’t have that problem. DO WE? Oh, we don’t throw ourselves on the ground and scream when we pass the candy aisle. . . but we have our own forms of this!

A few years ago, there was a commercial on the radio. . . It said, “I want this car. I need this car. I want to smell the new car smell and know it’s MY new car smell. I want to kick the tires in the showroom. I want to roll all my electric windows up and down, just because I can. I want this car. I need this car.”

Guess how much money was spent on marketing – commercials, catalogs, etc. in 2005 in the US? $1.074 trillion. That’s because they know that they can make people want it. They can make it look like everyone else has it and THEY are happy! So, you need it too! SO they can make you pawn something else. . . go into debt for something you can’t afford.

Covetousness has even invaded the church. A current false doctrine is that God will just grant you whatever you believe for – that what God is interested in is making you successful and rich and healthy. One contemporary songwriter puts it like this:

Name it and claim it, that’s what faith’s about!

You can have what you want if you just have no doubt.

So make out your “wish list” and keep on believin’

And you will find yourself perpetually receivin’ [ John G. Stackhouse, Jr., “The Gospel Song” [an unpublished parody], quoted by Kent & Barbara Hughes, Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1987), 48]..

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