Summary: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – The Heart of the Matter The tenth commandment is the "inside-out" commandment. Seven steps from coveteousness to contentment.

Exodus 20:3-17 (NIV)

[3] You shall have no other gods before me.

[4] You shall not make for yourself an idol. . .

[7] You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. . .

[8] Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. . .

[12] Honor your father and your mother. . .

[13] You shall not murder.

[14] You shall not commit adultery.

[15] You shall not steal.

[16] You shall not give false testimony . . .

[17] You shall not covet.


All of us are probably familiar with America’s favorite five year old, “Dennis the Menace.” You can learn a lot about yourself from watching kids, and Dennis is no exception. On one particular day Dennis is found looking at the new department store catalog that had just arrived at the Mitchell house. Dennis looks up from the catalog at his mom and dad and says, “Wow! This catalog has lots of toys and things I never even knew I wanted!”

One more chuckle: A pastor arrived at the local ministerial meeting early. The pastor of the church where the meeting was being held was out front changing the message on the church sign. The sign read: “God saved the best for last—You shall not covet.” The first pastor said to the other, “I sure wish we had a message board like that at our church.”

God really has saved the best for last. This morning we conclude our series on the Ten Commandments as we look at THE HEART OF THE MATTER; “you shall not covet.”

I. The 10th commandment gets to the heart of the matter. It is the inside out commandment.

1. The other nine commandments deal primarily with how we live. They focus on what we say and do on the outside; that is on what people can see and hear.

a) The first commandment says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Will we live our lives to acknowledge God’s presence and His authority in our daily lives, or will we deny Him as God in what we say and do? Whenever we deny God we make something else less than God to be our god in his place.

b) The second commandment says, “You shall not make for yourself and idol.” Will we worship god in spirit and in truth or will we be careless in how we worship? Have we established a priority of worship in all that we say and do? Have we taken the worship that belongs rightfully to God and given it to other gods that are no gods at all?

c) The third commandment says, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord.” What comes out of our mouths—blessing or curses? Are we careless with the name of Jesus as to blaspheme His name and make it common or worse a curse word? Do we pray frivolous and repetitions prayers with little or no thought to Whom we are speaking?

d) The fourth commandment says, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Will we live our lives just like everybody else always on the go and caught up in the rat race of life, or will we set aside a day to honor God? Do we find our rest in Jesus, or do we try to escape the pressure of life through entertainment, sports or other activities? Jesus has promised to be with us and can never leave us, but some of us barely give god that time of day throughout our busy week, and come to church tired and weary. It’s just part of our routine and nothing more.

e) The fifth commandment says, “Honor your father and your mother.” As parents will we live our lives with integrity worthy of the honor of our children? As children will we honor our parents through obedience as well as in the words that we speak about them and to them?

f) The sixth commandment says, “You shall not murder.” Will we be careful to and not speak with uncontrolled anger bitterness and resentment towards our family and neighbors? Or will we be guilty of murder with our tongue through the words we say?

g) The seventh commandment says, “You shall not commit adultery.” Will we choose to follow god’s plan for our marriages and families, or will we play by our own rules? Will we give into our passions and desires or will we live self controlled and holy lives not only by what we do but also in what we think?

h) The eighth commandment says, “You shall not steal.” Are we guilty of taking what does not belong to us? Do we rob from our employers?

i) The ninth commandment says, “You shall not bear false witness.” Will we tell blatant lies? Will we exaggerate? Will we speak with slander and libel as we lie and put down and destroy the character of others?

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