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Friday: Further Thought ~ Beware of Covetousness — 15 Comments

  1. Bird watching is one of those areas where coveteousness can easily take control. You can spend enormous amounts of money on binoculars, cameras, and lenses. I have a friend who has gear worth about five times the value of my equipment. Would I like his gear? Of course! I have another friend who has an 8-year-old camera, with a lens held together with duct tape. Sometimes the lens does not work properly, and he has to take the lens off and put it back on the camera to get it to go. Interestingly, when these two friends get together, they don't discuss the relative merits of their gear, or how much it costs. Their consuming passion is bird photography and they show one another their recent photographs and tell stories about the ones they missed. Both of them are superb photographers.

    Some of my birding friends as soon as they meet start discussing camera specifications and the latest models. They are more interested in showing off their cameras than taking bird photos.

    We have long theological discussions about the sinfulness of coveteousness but it's not the theory that counts really. If you let coveteousness rule in your life you could well be missing out on some of the real blessings that God wants us to have and enjoy.

    And today, for a special Sabbath treat for you this week, click on this link to see the bird photographs I took in January this year.

    January 2023 Birds

    Amen!(42)
  2. Beautiful Bird Pics. You really see a lot of birds in one month. How exciting is that! God has so many different and interesting combinations.Thank you for sharing!!

    Amen!(3)
  3. Studying about “Beware of Covetousness” has led me to contemplate about how much we are entangled with every day life issues, maybe even coveting it more than God's gift of true Life.
    I am expanding my thoughts and wonder if 'beware of covetousness' should include one’s ‘be-wareness’ of the lures covetousness uses during the end times. We read that many will be deceived by false prophets to go along with a ‘gospel’ that, in the end, proves fatal to one’s relationship with our Creator. 2 Peter 2:1-3; Matt.24:24.

    What if we covet ‘security through/based on belonging’ to a group of fellow ‘believers’, or making our earthly gain the basis for our security? To be overtaken by covetousness is possibly for the saved as well as the unsaved. What can we do to remain strong in our faith? What if the false prophet has a message that ‘sounds great’ and goes right along with one’s own understanding of fairness, equity, and justice for all, would we know that it is the spirit of antichrist speaking? Matt.7:15.

    What stands between the believer's Light of Truth and Life and the lie - can it be covetousness to be part of this world? What protects us from falling prey to the deceptions engaged in by the unholy trinity – Satan, the beast/antichrist, and the false prophet?

    If we still covet ‘security’ through our earthly status or possessions, can we be free enough to detect deceptions by the false prophet who wants to assure the world that when following him that no one will be hungry anymore, or go without the minimum of material goods and assures one's safe living? Rev.13:14-18.

    Daniel 7:21-22 tells about the dangers we face when investing our life in this world – are covetous – about the things this world has to offer. It was given to us to understand/believe that it is the ‘Ancient of Days’ who comes to bring an end to the war against evil.
    By faith we live and have our being, and through faith in God's Word we deepen and strengthen our relationship with our Savior as He carries us through to the end.

    Amen!(2)
  4. What to say about pride?

    Desire has moved the planet to its current downfall, since Cain! Desire is the theme of several top hits songs around the world. Desire is a crave that can never be satisfied. It is even institutionalized by several gurus of money-making preaching. "To desire is to have power" has been said! "We all need desire to grow!".

    Thank God He is able to transform our minds and hearts! And may our desire today be completely controlled by God, so we can be satisfied with the true and eternal power of LOVE.

    Amen!(4)
  5. Did you see the foundational 'dynamic' playing out in the recorded experiences of each of the people mentioned in this week's lesson? Each person embraced self-seeking over self-renouncing as the deepest desire of their heart. This was not a one-off 'slip-up'. Rather, it was their 'true colours' being revealed.

    While we each have complete freedom to attempt to live how we want - self-seeking or self-renouncing - only one option actually aligns us with what is necessary for abundant (true) life. Consequently, the problem with covetousness (which is an expression of self-seeking) is that it puts us out of harmony with the core of what is necessary for true life. This is how and why all who embrace self-seeking over self-renouncing unfortunately perish.

    As Galatians 6:7-8 affirms, those who exercise their freedom to "sow to the flesh" (i.e. indulge self-seeking) will consequently reap (self-)destruction from doing so - again because self-seeking puts us out of harmony with what is actually necessary for life (i.e. self-renouncing, other-seeking). While Satan would have us believe that God merely makes up rules and imposes them upon us (e.g. Gen 3:4-5), the truth is that God is only trying to help us know, understand and choose the reality principles that lead to true life (as per Deuteronomy 30:15-20).

    Amen!(5)
    • I do see that dynamic playing out in the lives of these people, but I see something more. It's no wonder that people should be found living in that self-serving way, subsequent to the fall of man recorded in Genesis 3. Human beings are fundamentally flawed; this nonsensical, self-destructive (and evil -- harmful to others) way of life comes quite naturally to any of us. So, when we witness people behaving in these ways, how do we look at them? Do we cluck our tongues and wonder how anyone could be so depraved and foolish, or do we think about how much they (and we) need Jesus?

      In each of the cases in this lesson, it is apparent that the people involved had pursued a course of sin to the point where their eternal death had become unavoidable.

      "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it." 1 John 5:16 KJV

      Clearly, although the blood Jesus, and everything heaven can offer along with it, had made a way of escape for these individuals, they had stubbornly clung to their self-serving way of "living" instead. Again, do we marvel that anyone could be so obstinate, or does it open our eyes to the power of sin to deceive and destroy? Do we look down on such lost souls as somehow inferior to ourselves, at least when it comes to making choices? Or do we humbly acknowledge the truth about ourselves?

      "There, but for the grace of God, go I!" -- John Bradford, paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 15:8–10

      Amen!(6)
      • I have no doubt that, as Saul was wreaking havoc as an unwitting agent of the adversary, God’s people were praying fervently for deliverance from the evil one. And God answered their prayers through his Son Jesus in a way both amazing and beyond their conception. This is a powerful lesson for the church in any time of trouble. God’s deliverance can be in the most unexpected ways and by the most unexpected persons.

        Amen!(3)
  6. Studying about “Beware of Covetousness” has led me to contemplate about how much we are entangled with every-day-life issues; being in danger to be absorbed by it more than focusing on God's gift of true Life.

    I am expanded my thoughts and ponder if 'beware of covetousness' should also include one’s ‘be-wareness’ of the lures covetousness uses during the end times. We read that many will be deceived by false prophets to go along with a ‘gospel’ that, in the end, proves fatal to one’s relationship with our Creator. 2 Peter 2:1-3; Matt.24:24.

    If we still covet ‘security’ through our earthly status or possessions, can we be free enough to detect deceptions by the false prophet who wants to assure the world that when following him that no one will be hungry anymore, or go without the minimum of material goods and assures one's safe living? Rev.13:14-18.

    Daniel 7:21-22 tells about the dangers we face when investing our life in this world – are covetous – about the things this world has to offer. By faith we live and have our being, and through faith in God's Word we covet to deepen and strengthen our relationship with our Savior as it is He who carries us through the tribulations until the end.

    Amen!(1)
    • See my response to your more recent comment. Covetousness is a practical issue and needs a practical response. There is a danger in trying to think through all the theories. The big deception is that we need to understand the lot when all we need to apply the principle of thinking of others first. I don't understand my wife, but I know that if I put her first, I am in a much better place.

      Amen!(1)
      • Yes, Maurice - though there is nothing wrong with desiring to apply 'wisdom' in one's decissions when living surrounded by wickedness. By the Grace of God, we are given the Holy Spirit to provide a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all we do and the impact our actions have on the whole of our life and those we come in contact with.

        Amen!(0)

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