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The Other Man’s Grass (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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November 29, 2021 3:00 am

The Other Man’s Grass (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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November 29, 2021 3:00 am

Our materialistic culture constantly suggests that we need more or better—but the tenth commandment warns against coveting. Learn how to recognize when healthy admiration becomes sinful covetousness. Join us on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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If were honest any of us are driven by a desire for everywhere we turn were enticed to want the new and improved are the latest version of the 10 commandment warns us against coveting and today on Truth for Life and learn how to recognize when healthy admiration becomes sinful covetousness hears Alastair back with part one of a message titled the other man's grass, but I pray now that you will take online and free us from all distraction and help us to think clearly through them you will take my words and help me to speak wisely and effectively with you, will take our hearts and open them up to your truth and set them on fire with love for Christ, in whose name we pray on.

If you would take your Bible and turn to Exodus chapter 20 in the 17th verse you find yourself at the 10th amendment and number of people have written to say that they wish there were more commandments so that we can keep going. I personally I'm having a bad enough time with the 10 that I'm glad there are no more commandments.

Certainly, we recognize the appreciation for the word of God.

It's liveliness in his active nest and we rejoice in that all of us do they tend commandment in verse 17 of Exodus 20 reads as follows. 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's wife couldn't make very much of this individual. He had come home and he was obviously in a really bad mood he did not want to eat his dinner and went immediately to his bed, his wife clearly understood that the problem was not with her, nor was it with any other member of the family. The gentleman had been involved in a business negotiation which had gone bad on he had wanted to secure a piece of property adjacent to his own, and although he himself had plenty of property. The other man's grass was looking on awful lot more greener than his, and he determined that he would seek to gain control over this piece of his neighbors property. The man who owned the property would accept neither cash nor barter for it, and consequently the individual found himself at home and in his bed and he was disgusted and he was annoying. His problem was that he had a covetous heart. Now his wife might've been a help to him if she had endeavored to talk him out of it but instead our sin compounded his. She told him not to worry she would make a way for him to get that property and she arranged that a special function for this individual to be confronted by slander and by infamy. So much so that he lost not only the title to the property but lost.

Also, his life story is so common that we might anticipate it coming from our newspaper as of the last couple of days. But in actual fighting comes from the 21st chapter of first Kings and it is the account of Ahab and Naboth and the reaction of one to the splendor of the other persons within the armed. Just as there is a clear distinction between a healthy appetite and gluttony. So there is all the difference in the world between appreciating what somebody else has what belongs to another person and coveting those belongings and the 10 commandment conferences with a problem which, if we are very honest all of us need to admit is something with which we wrestle. The 10th amendment forbids wrong attitudes towards the possessions and position which other people hold the 10 commandment teaches us to be content with what God has given us then Westminster shorter catechism summarizes the instruction of the 10 commandment as follows. The 10 commandment required with full contentment with our own condition with our right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbor and all that is his, and forbid with all discontentment with our own estate, envying, or believing at the good of our neighbor and all inordinate motions and defections to anything that is his, and we gone through what we've referred to as these guidelines for freedom.

We been confronted by the amazing and direct applicability of each one to our lives and nowhere, perhaps more so than in this whole issue of genuine satisfaction or the nature of true contentment for whatever else may be said about our contemporary culture. We surely none of us would want to stand up and proclaim that one of the hallmarks is contentment. Indeed, an absence of contentment is so pervasive in our culture as to be almost palpable in playing golf with three men none of whom attended to do with our church family here. All of them were essentially strangers to me. I was sitting at lunch waiting for the arrival of the fourth member of our foursome turned out, the two men with whom I was sitting were stockbrokers and were in charge of some fairly healthy sums of money for some fairly significant clients in the course of conversation which I found intriguing. I would brave enough to ask this question. How many of your clients are contented. I said was met by a deafening silence. I followed it up by this question. How many of you are contented with an even greater silence as they looked at one another and in all honesty, this is what they said as he looked around one another, each one said I cannot think of a single client who is contented and the one prepared to be just as honest about themselves and so I said, you know, one of the one of the most wonderful statements I've ever found in relationship to this goes like this godliness with contentment is great gain host said one of them. That sounds really good sisters premise is good, doesn't the fence and yes is it where did you get back what I said I got a guy citizen a book that led to all conversation which followed, but I told him his first Timothy 66 godliness with contentment is great gain.

It sounded like a revolutionary statement because that is exactly what it wants. The last two commandments with which we dealt mainly stealing and lying had to do with actions.

This one gets even deeper into our souls because the 10th amendment deals with attitude. The 10 commandment tackles is not so much of the realm in the realm of our deeds as it does in the matter of our desires. Most of us presumably would never actually think of stealing somebody else's possessions by the fire that we would not actually take that coat or jacket off the person's body or steal it from the ranks that are out here right now presumably does not prevent us from carrying in our hearts a bit of jealousy because we do not magnify good they have it and we don't.

It's the sin the problem of coveting it transcends cultures, barriers of race and creed, financial gain or the absence of it. Age distinctions all bow to covetousness. Watch your children as they take a vanilla ice cream cones are perfectly contented with it until he walked by somebody who got the works and suddenly a perfectly good vanilla ice cream doesn't look as good doesn't taste as good but there was no transactional chemical change in the ice cream. The change was all in the mind of the little character who decided that this looks so much better than gave an outline and you are going to eat it. No, I'm not that we have a great ice cream fiasco. The degree to which we are able to score victories at the level of the ice cream determines what is going to happen to the kid in his teenage years his college years and the kind of husband he will be to his wife. That's why when we talk about baby dedications and bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord were not just using a bunch of phrases were actually talking about something that is intrinsically important in the rearing and developing of character into we raise greedy kids.

We will walk our greedy daughters down the aisle and place them on the hands of some greedy men in the two greedy individuals will spend their life's living consumed by covetousness possible to stop it when she started without major surgery as we see that would be bad enough if everybody recognize that this was a problem but the trouble is, we don't and indeed our society is so driven by materialism that it cashes in on the very defect and it portrays so many things for us in such a way as to create within our hearts, a longing which we may begin to believe is a necessary longing to have something just because somebody else is God you want to enjoy a bath and materialism watch the skins game now. Don't for a moment think that this is on the TV because you and I like watching golf don't be stupid. This is not a golf game. This is an advertising extravaganza. All gargantuan proportions and in order to keep us watching the commercials they throw in a little bit of golf every so often time it and you see that I'm telling the truth. It is a huge materialistic vortex feeling a measure of discomfort with it. They have little cutaways to impoverish people enter talk about the fact that a certain percentage of these phenomenal sums of money will be devoted to charities why do they do this in years past. They never cared. Now they're getting a little more sensitive the public population getting a little more thoughtful and saw they don't want to come across as completely crass materialists so will mention the fact that charity is going to benefit from this little extravaganza in which we are 90, the evidence of coveting is clear, the verse identifies it for as it outlines a number of ways in which we will see the evidence of coveting coveting focuses on a number of things it may focus on money. Certainly the Bible is replete with references to those who were consumed by a concern for money. Some of us are tired with that brush. We want close reading Joshua chapter 7 the story of vacant and how in the conquest they are able to pull together this vast amount of plunder and the word of God to the people of God is don't touch any of that stuff Aiken determines he knows better. He takes it and he buries it on the servant of God comes to him and says he can one of you done anything since his lesson when I saw that beautiful road from Babylonia. When I saw the 200 shekels of silver.

When I saw that gold bar. I said I must have met stuff while now there is a strange feeling is you been to the mall recently you had any of those feelings when I saw that beautiful role when I saw that wonderful stuff I said to myself I must have.

And guess what, they gave me a car to take the waiting. I would've one thing to grease the slopes of my covetous heart he allow me to have it now and pay forever.

They call it later. I call it forever coveting money coveting clause coveting people here.

I have my wife from my youth. She grows she developed. She bears my children. She nurtures me she guides me she counsels me in society. Buffets meet with visual images of the kind of wife that you should have. She looks different.

She asked different she is different and it sucks out of the mind of a man the desire to discard this and go for this and every day across our nation.

It happens again and again and again, it stems from a covetous heart. You see it.

Covetousness always appeals to that which is based within the heart of man, that is covetousness in a wrongful sense the right or the writer John puts it very clearly I think, but I'm going to have to check first John chapter 2 and verse yes good do not love the world. Verse 15 or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him for everything in the world. And then he describes the world the cosmos apart from God. What is it the cravings of sinful men, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does comes not from the father but from the world so everything that my sinful heart begins to go for the cravings of my heart, the lust of my eyes. The ability to boast about my possessions and who I am in my prestige of what I'm able to do doesn't have its source in God and he says the tragedy on that is that the world and its desires pass away by the man who does the will of God lives forever very clear choice to Joyce between the broad road in the narrow road is the choice between time and eternity is the choice between God's way and man's way and every day we live our lives, we are confronted by those kinds of choices.

Think about the fact that covetousness draws itself around our throats when we think of seeking after positions that other people have. If only I was wondering for the wrong up this corporate ladder.

I would be a happy guy. I don't like it here. I don't like this office.

I don't like the many windows it as I'm only to find that is no Windows if I get one boy had be good and you know what that Joker one floor up for me.

He shouldn't be there. Everybody knows that.

Especially me.

I resent him I was in this car. I resent his income under resent the fact that he's in my office ever felt like that until covetous or coveting other people's prestige so that people will be able to see is being done well with bringing our kids up with that is the American dream.

Whatever happened to the American dream. Let me ask you another question.

Whatever happened to biblical content. What ever happened to satisfaction in the awareness of the fact that God has not pledged himself to baptize our materialistic urgencies into orthodox Christianity. There is nowhere in the whole Bible that assumes that we are going to be healthy, wealthy and wise.

As a result of our commitment to Jesus Christ and to teach that way is an absolute violation of the Bible, and yet we hear it all the time and day out. I put Jesus first in my life I have scored more touchdowns now than I ever did. I put Jesus first in my life and you want to come and drive in my car. I put Jesus first in my life and my company is gone through the roof and his profit message messages. Jesus is a guru on the way to materialistic happiness doesn't sound like the words of Jesus doesn't. If anyone would like to follow me. Let them take up his cross every day die to himself, me if any man would be my disciple.

Let them burn the bridges and go let him pull his boats up on the shore and follow me leave everything behind loved ones. We got it so I'd say down and living with it for so long that when somebody turns the Scriptures the right side out for a starts to sound like heresy to when the privilege of preaching at those meetings in Hong Kong in them in the morning post in Hong Kong. There's this unbelievable piece of work. It says you too can own one for only 9.5 million. I can read it to you. I don't have the time I'll give you little flavor of that everyone wants to be number one.

Okay there's is this writing it straight up. That's a real problem is how many captains are there going to be in your soccer team one you listening want, so that means that 10 other boys are presumably are going to have to live with a horrible feelings of resentment because they were not picked as the captain is absolute rubbish that everybody has to be number one and everybody wants to be number one. Okay, everyone wants to be number one but being number two does not come cheap. As a tycoon proved yesterday with a flamboyant bed which landed in with the most expensive car number plate in the world. This is a number plate is not a car in an ostentatious spending spree, even by Hong Kong standards Mr. Wong being home for about a record $9.5 million for the number two license plate that formally grace the limousine of financial Sec. Mr. Hamish MacLeod's license plate is worth more than all of his car's laxatives. BMW the whole shooting match. When he takes office, Cardinals, and together they don't even come close to being worth what the number two is on the front of his car. Now his friends were really ticked off. For example, there was Mr. Chow who ticked off got ticked off and left as a beaten man.

While the bidding student entomologist 7.6 million somebody in the bidding started at half a million, and Mr. Ming here but into is somewhere around 7 million. He said, I'm happy with hitting the market. 9.5 million. The price is reasonable. I expected to get it over 10 million said a cheery Mr. long afterwards okay. Is Hong Kong Mr. Wong in Hong Kong I came here in October and August 3, 1983 I started trying get intelligently the Wall Street Journal Wall Street Journal Wednesday, October 12, 1983. This headline and inside full-page advertisement in the Wall Street is headed demoralized. My neighbor okay this is an Aston Martin. For those of you who are car aficionados is one thing to trundle Brian a Bentley Jagger Mercedes or the like. Everyone in your neighborhood has one of those.

It's quite another thing to come in for a landing in your logon. The logon day is an Aston Martin, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And if you get an Aston Martin. Then all the poor clowns in your neighborhood that only dry Jaguar Mercedes and BMW. You gonna make them go to bed feeling really sold by appeal to everything that is good, sensible people think they stop the Bible relevant to our sin is awfully applicable to our day gets to the heart of the issue.

It is part of the human condition any time in any culture. The covetous heart can never be truly content listing to Truth for Life with Alastair Bragg.

It's easier for us to resist the lure of materialism when we spend time daily meditating on God's word and by now you've probably heard me mention our current book recommendation.

It's Truth for Life 365 daily devotions.

This is a biblically-based devotional from Alastair. It's a great way to begin or end each day with Scripture on your own with your family were only to be offering this devotional with your donation for a couple more days. So request the book when you give simply tap the book image in the mobile app or visit us online at when you request the Truth for Life devotional.

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These are large hardcover picture books that teach young children about Jesus about God about God's people.

The books are a great way to share the gospel with your kids where they make a great Christmas gift for young family were delighted to make this three book bundle available to you for just $10. And when you order today when at 1/4 children's book as a bonus, all the details are available or you can give us a call at 888-588-7884 and please when you place an order today.

Consider adding a generous giving is what makes the proclamation of the gospel through Truth for Life possible, I'm Bob Lapine. We are not a welcome part of anyone's guard. They don't coexist with other plants.

They take over and destroy. That's why it's important for us to ruthlessly root them out coveting could do the exact same thing in our hearts that will destroy relationships and terrorist join us tomorrow as we learn how to cut off coveting the source, the Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life wording is

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