Summary: The last in the series of messages about the Ten Commandments


The Crisis of Covetousness

Exodus 20:17

* Tonight we end a long journey through the 10 commandments. The “truth about truth” sets a standard and raises the bar about right and wrong.

* This last message, I believe, serves as a reminder of all the 10 commandments. Will you read the first nine with me? TEXT/ PRAYER

* This is one of, if not the most unique of all the commands. Think about it, the rest seem to deal with the external and this one is internal. It speaks of a deeper part of us, our lives, and motivation.

* To break this command does at least 3 things:

o It creates a crisis by harming fellowship and straining relationships.

o It creates an opening for the enemy to get a stronghold in the life of a person.

o It also creates an internal “war” for a believer destroying his peace and joy. Let’s consider several thoughts about this command.


* To define is the word covet is simply to desire. The rub comes from the full meaning that I desire what someone else has. It carries the idea of being envious, lustful, and/or desirous of.

* There are at least 2 Principles which we should know; a) it means I’m not satisfied with what God has given me, and/or b) it means I want, desire, and crave what someone else has.

* Disclaimer: This is not talking about wanting to do and be the best you can be. Hard work and rewards are both Biblical and healthy. The truth of this word is rather about “wanting” what someone else has and wanting it badly.

* This is a common problem. Home Depot has a commercial which illustrates it. There are 2 men having to keep up with each other.


* Why do I say divisive? Because it makes us “double-minded” and James 1:8 tells us that a double minded man is “unstable.” Remember this is someone who talks out of both sides of mouth. Why is he unstable? It is because of the internal struggle. When we become controlled by our desires and wants, we lose control. You see, we can’t fight a battle on two fronts. So we wind up “saying one thing” & “doing something entirely different and the battle between right and wrong rages. It “steals your happiness, joy, peace.

* By the way, covetousness is not confined to “things,” you can become covetous of good and righteous things and the sin is just as great.

* As a preacher, I always admired several men whom I felt possessed the gift of communication and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. For a long time, it was my desire to be like them and I wished I had what they had. But candidly, God made me who I am, with whatever gifts He’s decided to give me, for the places He’s called me to serve, and the truth is that I must be content with His gifts. When I focus on being like someone else, then I’m not focused on the Father and bad things happen.


* Please consider this: the “Depth” this sin can pull you is unimaginable. Once you allow sin to take root, it will not give up nor stop easily.

* Niagara Falls is a beautiful place, but many times a ship get to close and is pulled over. The rushing water is too powerful to overcome.

* Sin will get me on a slippery slope which refuses to let go. James 1:13-15 paints us a picture of this slippery slope. It comes in 3 steps; “Lust (evil desires), Sin, Death (LSD – covetousness (Lust is the grand parent to death).

* You have heard me say many times during this series that “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and make you pay more than you want to pay.”

*At this point, allow me to clear up a modern day misunderstanding about “sin” & “forgiveness.”

*The Enemy tells us this; “Do whatever you want because God forgive all sin” and there is a scripture which confirms this truth. 1 John 1:9. To confess sin is to agree with God that it IS sin.

*However, you cannot agree with God about a sin “IF” you take it lightly, intend to do it again.

* If there is no repentance, there is no forgiveness.

* All across this land people come to church go into a confessional, knee at an altar, shed tears, say prayers, and all claiming to ask forgiveness, yet in their heart they are not really sorry, because they cannot wait to get back to it. They may be sorry they got caught or it became public, but they have no intention of abandoning their sin. Please hear me, this is “misusing the grace of God.”

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