“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17)
The second table of the Ten Commandments sets a high standard for serving the best interests and well-being of a neighbor. God’s people are to respect and protect their neighbor’s life, marriage or protect their neighbor’s life, marriage or home, property, and good name. We are not even to desire anything that belongs to a neighbor.
The core attitude for stealing is coveting. The inner character damage done by coveting is severe. The society God intends for His people is based on love for neighbors, not envy.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, we are to love our neighbors, but respect them and their property, marriage, their family, home property and good name. This is a two-way relationship, as our neighbors are to do no less than we are. Our neighborhoods are sacred homes set aside for our relationship with You Abba, and we must protect them all as we would for our own. Let our worship then flow out of grateful hearts. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“When someone really gets you ‘hot and bothered,’ just turn on your ‘prayer conditioner.’”
“Now a man name Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to your before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.’ When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, ‘Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘that is the price.’ Peter said to her, ‘How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.’ At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young man came in and , finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.” (Acts 5:1-11)
Beloved miracles can judge as well as heal. The greed of Ananias ans Sapphira produced per-meditated deception. This is a high-handed sin against the Holy Spirit. Peter himself did not pronounce judgment against Ananias. Ananias and Sapphira died, and the early church interpreted it as God’s judgment on their deception. They may have died of shock at the embarrassing scene with Peter. This may have been the first death experienced in the church after the resurrection. It shocked the congregation, striking them with holy fear. Exactly how God caused miracles to h append, we do not truly know. He may use natural laws of life and death. He may intervene directly. The important thing is that God’s people have an inspired interpreter who recognizes and interprets God’s actions.
Material good are not the only things we human beings have been known to covet. We may more often personal attention, praise, and prestige. To gain these through unethical means such as lying or telling half truths is sinful and merits only God’s judgment. We must confess our sins truthfully, and with a penitent heart, seek forgiveness for our sins. Sin, lies, and deceit separate us from God, but when we honestly seek His forgiveness with our hearts and minds set on never committing a sin again, we have fully restored our relationship with Him.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—-comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (1st John 2:15-17)
The “world’ does not refer o the physical creation but to all aspects of reality that are opposed to and separated from God. To get carried away by worldly lust is to move further from God and become a part of tat which opposes Him. This environment will take us to that which will remove us further from Him. God’s love motivates Christian ethics. Love of the world and desire for its things and ways stands totally opposed to God’s love. Proper love leads one to do God’s will with the right attitude and strength of body, mind, and spirit.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not covet,’ and whatever other commandments there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does not harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:9-10)
Christian character and ethnics can be briefly summarized. Love people, and be willing to do for them whatever you would do for yourself. Carried out perfectly, such love fulfills all the rest of the law. Love in light of Christ’s return. Do not put off until later any changes needed to be made or any action that need to be taken. Do everything as if it could be seen by every person in broad daylight. Have no actions you want to hide. Seek to please Christ and not self. Live as He would live.