This devotion series is brought to you by Pastor Ricky Jacob, serving the Winnebago people at Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool. (Need to go back to week 1, click here.)
You can read the devotion below, or listen to it here.
Throughout this series, I have been addressing those who are the head of the family and their God-given calling and responsibility to instruct their household in spiritual matters. The basis for our reflection today is on one or two of the commands that Creator God inscribed in stone and first gave to Moses.
Today we will focus on these words: "You shall not covet your neighbors house, nor his wife or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
First, a definition of coveting is in order: Coveting is the sinful desire in our hearts to acquire for ourselves anything that belongs to our neighbor. It is also the desire to draw away from our neighbor for our own benefit anyone who is important to our neighbor.
A songwriter once put this command to music, here are the words:
"You shall not crave your neighbor's house nor covet money, goods, or spouse.
Pray God He would your neighbor bless As you yourself wish success."
Have mercy, Lord!
[LSB #581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands ML]
The opposite of coveting is being content. Are you content with the gifts that God has given you? or do you want more? When you have one desire fulfilled do you immediately set your heart on something else? The millionaire or billionaire is seldom content, he or she either craves more and more, bigger and better, or he or she lives in fear that others are out to get what they have.
Dr. Martin Luther taught his flock this simple explanation of this command of God:
We should fear and love God so that we do not scheme to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, or get it in a way which only appears right, but help and be of service to him in keeping it. Nor should we entice or force away our neighbor’s wife, workers, or animals, or turn them against him, but urge them to stay and do their duty.
Being content with the blessings of what one has is a gift from God. When Job lost most of his vast earthly possessions he declared: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord!" In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught that we should pray for our daily bread, not our daily lottery or power ball winnings! The believer in Christ is more than content through faith in Jesus as Savior and the hope of life everlasting!
This has been Pastor Ricky Jacob of Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and preschool, of Winnebago. I close with the words of God: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." [1st John 4:16b-18 NIV]