The Ninth Commandment
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
The Tenth Commandment
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, workers, animals, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
What do you dream about? When you are falling asleep at night what dreams of your future entertain your mind? Do you dream about your children someday being as kind and empathetic as your friend’s children? Do you wish that you could get that promotion so that you could have as nice of a house and car as that buddy from college? Do you muse on the handsome, caring, faithful, and loving husband of your neighbor next door wishing your husband could be more like him?
It is an easy thing to do… coveting that is. Read the rest of this entry
Devotion Text: Romans 9:6b-16
We’re a nation of “keeping up with the Joneses.”
Parents will work overtime to provide gizmos their children will never need and only want because “so-and-so” already has two. The grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence, because we’ll spend a small fortune to make sure ours is the greenest in the neighborhood. If the neighbor installs a pool, we’ll put a lanai over ours. If a co-worker pulls alongside in his new car, our first instinct is covetous and not congratulatory.
Have you ever considered that keeping up with the Joneses isn’t up to you?
Our devotion text begins with a clarification on who we are. We are Israel, grafted to God by more than regional boarders or nationality. We are descendants of Abraham, heirs through faith in a new testament bought by Jesus’ blood. The promise to bless Abraham’s descendants didn’t end with Issac or Jacob. It extends to you as well!
Just as God, in his infinite wisdom, chose to bless Jacob over Esau. He blesses you and me according to his good will. He knows what you need and knows how best to bless you. Why worry about his blessings to your neighbor when he has so richly blessed you?
So, Paul concludes, the blessings we possess are based only on God’s mercy and not on our desire or effort.
In his loving kindness, our heavenly Father has given us innumerably more than we deserve. Even more, he has promised us an even richer and fuller inheritance in heaven. Fix your eyes on that promise and that blessing, finding joy in the blessings God provides for you and the blessings he provides for others.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for all you provide for me. I know that I deserve nothing from you and still, day after day, you shower me with blessing after blessing. Bless my neighbor and grant me an extra measure of faith to rejoice in my neighbors’ blessings as well my own. Most of all, take both me and my neighbor to be with you in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.