HAVE COURAGE TO LIVE
WITH AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE
IDEA: Christians should
look at life from a different perspective because we are part of a
different kingdom. TEXT: "You shall not covet your neighbor’s house;
you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor
his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is
your neighbor’s" (Exodus 20:17).
PURPOSE: To help
listeners recognize that the solution for covetousness rests in the
presence and promise of God.
Have you ever lived for
an extended period of time in another country as a citizen of the
United States? What difference does that make in the way you think
and the way you act?
I. The Bible
pictures Christians as being citizens of another kingdom.
"Therefore, since we
are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace,
by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
For our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:28-29).
The writer in the
context has talked about a kingdom which cannot be shaken, in
contrast to the kingdom of earth that can be shaken.
When the text says,
"God is a consuming fire," what do you think that refers to? It goes
back to verses 26 and 27, where it states that the kingdoms we see
now will be shaken and removed.
What is more eternal,
people or civilizations? Which do we tend to think is more lasting?
We see evidence of this
shaking of the earth in that many of the armies, the kingdoms, the
buildings, the theories of the past are now in the dust. To give
yourself to this is to give yourself to what is passing and to what
God will ultimately consume.
II. The writer goes
on to tell us how we are to serve God acceptably with reverence and
We are to give
ourselves to what is eternal.
We are to give
ourselves to relationships because love is eternal (Hebrews 13:1-4).
It is not part of the passing. "Let brotherly love continue. Do not
forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly
entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with
them--and those who are mistreated--since you yourselves are in the
body also. Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled;
but fornicators and adulterers God will judge."
We are to conduct
ourselves without covetousness and be content with such things as we
have. "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with
such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never
leave you nor forsake you.' So we may boldly say, 'The Lord is my
helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?' " (vv 5-6).
Covetousness is a
magnetic attraction to money, and money is the center of the kingdom
in which we live. When Jesus contrasted following Him to not
following Him, He said, "You cannot serve God and money." The
picture is like someone eagerly collecting Confederate money at the
end of the Civil War.
This is simply not a
warning about giving yourself to what is passing, but an
encouragement to trust the King of the new realm to provide what you
need. He has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Could that be said of
It says, "So we may
boldly say 'The Lord is my helper; and I’ll not fear. What man can
do to me?' " Is it possible for men or women to take your money away
and leave you penniless? Is it possible for you to lose the presence
of the eternal God?
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