[Exodus 20: 17]
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 11th session on the Ten Commandments, and I will talk to you about the tenth commandment telling us, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s possessions.”
Here the word ‘neighbor’ does not only refer to brothers in faith but also unbelieving relatives and other neighbors. It has the meaning of ‘anybody’.
Also, by telling us, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s possessions,” God does not only mean that we should covet just other people’s possessions, but also we should cast off greed for all the fleshly things in this world. There is no limit to men’s greed.
Even if they are wealthy, they are never satisfied with what they have. They only keep on trying to gain more, but even after they get more, their thirst for wealth can never be quenched.
Though the rivers’ waters flow unceasingly into the sea, they cannot fill the ocean. In the same way, men’s hearts also seek more and better and things.
God tells us to seek not earthly and perishing things, but only things above.
When we seek eternal life and fill our hearts with hope for the heavenly kingdom, only then can we have true satisfaction and joy.
So, in Luke 12:15, Jesus said, “Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”
Therefore, I pray in the name of the Lord that that you will not love the world or covet the things of the world but seek only heavenly glory that is eternal and never perishing, and take it as yours.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, suppose you visited a neighbor’s house, and he is a very rich man.
His house is so wonderful, and there are so many beautiful and precious things in the house. So, you can’t help but exclaim, “Oh how wonderful, and how beautiful!”
But when many people see something like that and they go beyond the level of just thinking, “It’s wonderful.” They may also think, “I just must have this kind of house, too. I just have to have this kind of wealth like he has.”
Of course, if you are a believer in God, you wouldn’t want to steal the possession of somebody else, but through the thought that you want to have it, the greed for it is formed in your heart.
As long as you have this greed in your heart, you can commit a sin any time.
James 1:15 says, “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
Not only the greed for material things, but also the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life all share the same root with greed. It is the desire of the heart to love and take the things of the world.
Because of this greed, people tell lies, steal, commit adultery, swindle others, rob others, embezzle money, murder another person, and commit all other kinds of sins.
Because of greed, enmity (hostility) is sometimes formed between parents and children, husbands and wives, and even between brothers.
Because of greed, they cannot rejoice with the truth, but are jealous of those who have more than they do.
1 Timothy 6:10 says, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
As said, even among believers in God, there are many people who commit sins when they are deceived by their own greed.
Even in the Bible we can find such people. For example, at the time of conquering Canaan a person named Achan stole some gold and silver and a coat from the spoils of war that people had gained from the battle in the city of Ai, and he hid them.
He knew they had to give all the spoils to God, but when he saw the beautiful things, he was motivated by greed, and he stole them and hid them.
But because of this, not only Achan but also all his family members and even his cattle were destroyed.
In 2 Kings chapter 5, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, also coveted silver and clothes. He cheated Naaman and told a lie to Elisha, a man of God, and finally, he became a leper.
Also, Ananias and Sapphira decided to sell their land and give it to God, but as soon as they had the money in their hands, their greed was moved.
So, they hid some of it and took the rest, and they told a lie to Peter that it was everything.
Because of this lie they told with their greed, they cheated the Holy Spirit, and they were cursed. They fell down and gave up the ghost, which means they were dead without salvation.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, even if a man can enjoy so many things, and even if he gets the whole world, what is the use if he loses his life?
On the other hand, even if you do not enjoy all the splendor of this world, if you believe in the Lord and have the true life, you are truly a rich person.
In Luke chapter 16, we see the parable of one rich man and a beggar. The rich man always put on splendid and soft clothes and lived extravagantly everyday, but the beggar Lazarus was begging at the rich man’s house and lived a pitiful life.
His life was so miserable; even dogs came and licked his sores.
If somebody were to ask people which of these two kinds of lives they would want to take, most people would choose the life of the rich man, for his life is more blessed.
But because the rich man did not believe in God, nor did he have hope for heavenly kingdom, worldly pleasure was everything for him.
He didn’t know how to give to others or how to store up things in the heavenly kingdom. He only lived to fulfill his own greed and enjoyed his life.
On the other hand, the beggar Lazarus lived a life of poverty. But, he feared God in his heart, and he put his hope in the kingdom of heaven.
After their lives were over, the end came to both the rich man and the beggar Lazarus. Death came to them in the same way, but the result was completely different.
The beggar Lazarus was taken by the hands of angels and was at the side of Abraham, but the rich man went down to grave and had to suffer forever.
In such great heat, he wanted a single drop of water to cool his tongue down, but he couldn’t even get it.
If this rich man is given another chance to choose what kind of life he would live, would he choose the life as a rich man or the life of the beggar Lazarus?
Obviously, wouldn’t he choose the way of salvation?
When you realize this, if you truly have faith and can see things in the spiritual view, even though you are in a very difficult situation now, you will not lose the thanks and joy of receiving salvation.
Of course, even if you are living like a beggar, if you fear God and live in the light, you can receive the blessings of wealth.
Since Jesus is the owner of all things and the rich man who redeemed us from poverty, we can receive blessings of wealth according to our faith.
But the point here is that even if we don’t receive blessings in this life, eternal life is more important. If you have true faith, you will not really care even if you have to live a miserable life on this earth.
Sometimes, you may have some doubts thinking, “That person is really leading an enthusiastic Christian life, so why doesn’t he receive blessings?” But you don’t even have to say such a thing or be concerned about that situation.
If you truly lead a good Christian life with faith, obviously you will receive blessings because God always answers with the best things to those children who ask with faith. But when He gives blessings, there are different steps.
3 John 1:2 says, “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” As said, you first have to receive the blessing of your soul’s prosperity.
Only if you cast of sins and evil from your heart to be worthy of being children of God then your soul is prosperous, you will enjoy glory not only in the kingdom of heaven but also on this earth and everything will go well. These are the rules of spiritual realm.
If a person, whose soul is not prosperous, receives great wealth, it is not really a blessing. But rather, because of the wealth, greed is conceived and it gives birth to sin. He may even leave God completely.
When they were in difficult situations, they relied on God, loved Him, and tried their best in their Christian life with genuine hearts. But, as they have become financially blessed now, their hearts may be turned and attracted by worldly lust, and they may depart from God saying they are now too busy.
They want to gain more things and they concentrate their effort on worldly things more, so the amount of time they spend at church decreases and they also quit praying.
When they had little income, they gave tithes with thanks, but as the amount of their tithe increases by God’s blessings, they now feel it is wasteful to give so much.
Because their hearts are changed like this, they drift away from God’s word more and more, and they finally become just like unbelievers.
Those whose souls are prosperous will not covet the things of the world. Even when they receive blessings and gain wealth and fame, they do not indulge themselves in worldly lust.
They don’t complain that they do not gain any of good things of this world, but rather, they can give up all their possessions and even their lives for God.
The apostle Paul suffered from so many persecutions, hunger, coldness, and many other difficulties being faithful to God’s kingdom, but he never said it was difficult because of those things.
Philippians 4:11-13, says, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Because he was filled with joy of receiving salvation and the love of God, he was satisfied in any kind of situation and served God with thanks.
Only if you have this kind of heart, you can also receive blessings on this earth, too.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I just said that the blessing of your spirit and soul is much more important and must come before the blessings on this earth.
But does this mean that you cannot receive any answers to your personal desires and that you have to suffer from poverty until you go into spirit?
If you are diligently seeking righteousness according to the measure of your faith, when you ask something you need in faith, God fulfills your needs each time.
Of course, there is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven, so we may pray to get something immediately, but God knows the best time and makes us wait for that time and then He answer us with even greater blessing.
Even at these times of waiting, if you really pray with true faith, you will continuously pray for it until you receive the answer.
But if you are asking as a result of your greed, or going beyond the measure of your faith, you are not able to gain or have the spiritual faith necessary to receive the answer, and thus, you cannot receive the answer.
James 4:2-3 says, “You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
As said, if you ask with lust, God cannot give it to you.
It is just like between parents and children, if the children ask money to spend for some bad purpose that is inappropriate for a student aged child, the parents cannot give that money.
Therefore, when you ask something, you should not just pray with human thoughts, but pray according to the will of God and in the Holy Spirit.
Jude 1:20 tells us to pray in the Holy Spirit, and Ephesians 6:18 says, “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit.”
Because the Holy Spirit knows the heart of God and the deep things of God, if you pray according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it will please God for it agrees with God’s will.
When you pray in the Holy Spirit like this, you will quickly receive the answer to that prayer, so your soul will prosper and you will receive the desires of your heart quickly.
The most important thing in praying in the Holy Spirit is to pray with all our heart. We should offer up to God earnest and truthful prayer each moment.
When we pray with all our heart, we first have to earnestly ask for strength. Strength is not only strength to heal a disease, but we have to ask for strength to overcome this world with heavenly hope and the strength of faith to confront and win the battle against the enemy devil.
Also, we should ask for the strength to pray fervently, strength to love even our enemies, strength to live in the word of God, and the strength to cast off fleshly thoughts and have spiritual thoughts.
When we pray with all our heart asking for spiritual strengths, even though we may first have to pray in human thoughts, thinking of what to pray for on our own, we will gradually receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Usually some people who pray say they just catch the line of prayer, that is a line of prayer or a prayer thought just comes to them. You will eventually be able to pray for many things naturally, and even the contents for prayer that you never thought about, flow out like springs of water.
If you pray like this, even though you cry out for a long time, you don’t get tired, but rather you gain new strength.
When you pray in Daniel prayer meeting, I hope you can pray in this way.
If you only try to fill up the time trying to think of the things to pray about, you will feel that it is difficult to pray. But if you cry out with all your heart and receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, you wouldn’t want to stop praying.
You will soon see the answer to whatever you ask for, and just by the fact that you prayed in the Holy Spirit, your heart would be filled with fullness of Spirit and joy. Another important thing in praying in the Holy Spirit is to arm yourself with the word of God.
Only when you have the word of God in you, when the Holy Spirit moves your heart to pray for a certain thing, you can receive the inspiration clearly and in detail.
If you keep in your heart the messages you hear every week and pray about them with all your heart everyday, one year’s time is enough to become sanctified, and the three hours of Daniel prayer is enough to receive answers.
If you accumulate three hours of fervent prayer everyday, the greed and all kinds of sins and evil in your will be cast off, and you will gain the faith to receive any answer.
I hope you will cast off all greed for this world, hope for the kingdom of heaven being content in whatever circumstances, so that you will always be filled with thanks and joy.
Also, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will pray fervently in the Holy Spirit to become quickly sanctified and ask for the things that are appropriate in God’s heart, so that you will receive answers in all things.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are completing the sermon series on the Ten Commandments today.
God gives us these commandments not to lay a burden on us, but to give us perfect blessings in both spirit and body.
Without the commandments, we cannot understand how we can resemble God and how we can receive blessings.
But because God gave us these commandments, we can understand how to please God and how to receive answers and blessings.
Also, we came to understand how to get into the most glorious positions in the eternal kingdom of heaven.
1 John 3:21-22 says, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.”
I hope you will realize the love of God so that you will keep His commandments, not by force, but with joy and thanksgiving. I also hope you receive all the blessings that God has promised us completely.
By doing and obeying in this way, I pray in the name of the Lord that, you will be lifted up high above all nations and always give glory to God, and finally enter into the most glorious kingdom of heaven.