Kiwi Maranatha Charitable Trust

Coveting

Coveting

We have this verse from Deuteronomy 5:21 MSG “No coveting your neighbor’s wife. And no lusting for his house, field, servant, maid, ox, or donkey either—absolutely nothing that belongs to your neighbor!”  Or to put this another way; Warning; “Do not covet more than what God has already given you.”

Philippians 4:11-14 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” 

Hebrews 3:5 “[Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say, The Lord [is] my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

1 Corinthians 12:14-31 MSG “I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so? If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? If the body was all eye, how could it hear? If all ear, how could it smell? As it is, we see that God has carefully placed each part of the body right where he wanted it.

19-24 But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, would you prefer good digestion or full-bodied hair?

25-26 The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

27-31 You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. You’re familiar with some of the parts that God has formed in his church, which is his “body”:

But it’s obvious by now, isn’t it, that Christ’s church is a complete Body and not a gigantic, unidimensional Part? It’s not all Apostle, not all Prophet, not all Miracle Worker, not all Healer, not all Prayer in Tongues, not all Interpreter of Tongues. And yet some of you keep competing for so-called “important” parts.  But now I want to lay out a far better way for you.”  Now read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13.

1 Corinthians 12:31a “But covet earnestly the best gifts:” So “Coveting” is not wrong, but if it is sinfully desiring, then it is actually “Coveting that which you have no rights to at all.”  If it was for your best interest and to “God’s Glory” to be used for him, already promised to you or even gifted to you, then you can claim it, and you would have had it gifted to you already.  Warning; “Do not covet more than God has already given you.”

2 Samuel 12:7-12 MSG ““You’re the man!” said Nathan. “And here’s what God, the God of Israel, has to say to you: I made you king over Israel. I freed you from the fist of Saul. I gave you your master’s daughter and other wives to have and to hold. I gave you both Israel and Judah. And if that hadn’t been enough, I’d have gladly thrown in much more. So why have you treated the word of God with brazen contempt, doing this great evil? You murdered Uriah the Hittite, then took his wife as your wife. Worse, you killed him with an Ammonite sword! And now, because you treated God with such contempt and took Uriah the Hittite’s wife as your wife, killing and murder will continually plague your family. This is God speaking, remember!”  Or as the New Testament put it this way; “What you Sow you Grow.”

This is right after the David and Bathsheba, David Coveted a neighbor’s wife, actually one of his best Generals wife, and Nathan the Prophet’s Parable told us that King David had lots of wives to choose from, Uriah had just one and she was very dear and special to him, so if King David wanted more things, then ask and it shall be given you.  Warning; “Do not covet more than God has already given you.”

When we go outside of God’s scope for us, “Coveting more than what we already have,” we are embarking on a dreadful course, no harmony and greatness abounds out there.  So let us be content with what we have, link our talents and gifts with those around us and together achieve things productive.  Coveting and then stealing them only breaks down and destroys, so let us always be mindful and; “Do not covet more than God has already given you.”  God tells us this, “If you really want to Covet, then Covet Purity and Godliness.”  Everything is so much better “Inside God’s Will” and inside his guidance or protection.  Outside of God things are fleeting and live is tough and fleeting, so Covet the good life “In Christ.”

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