February 13

Exodus 20:17 (NIV) 17"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."

The first five commandments deal with our relationship with God. The last five deal with our relationship with mankind. They are very clear outward actions like not murdering, not stealing, and not lying. Every one is an indication of a problem with the heart. This last one, however, deals directly with the desires of the heart. The Law is a schoolteacher that brings us to Christ. When we consider this last one, we realize that something in us must change. It is not an action that we do but our very desires that must change.

We can want to change our desires, but new desires only come out of a new heart. A new heart can only be given to us by the indwelling life of the Son of God. He's the only One that can fix our 'wanter'. The old heart is always thinking a little more will satisfy it, but no matter how much more we get, it never does. When Jesus' life indwells us in an unhindered way, we find the problem, we call "keeping up with the Joneses", is gone. In its place is a desire for the heavenly. We are glad for the prosperity of the Jones' family, but we desire things above. "Set your affections on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1)

When we sense ourselves breaking this tenth commandment, we are being warned that we are stepping out of the new life of the Lord in us and back into the old self that is motivated by greed, which is idolatry. Then we should yield again to the new life and move back into a walk in the Spirit. Is your 'wanter' fixed?

Consider: Are you hearing the schoolteacher as He points you to the life of the Son of God in you?

February 13

Matthew 7:24-26 (NIV) 24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

Jesus ended the Sermon on the Mount with this defining simile. If you hear His sayings, not just with your ears, but deep in your heart, and take action to live by what you have heard, then you will be like a wise man who built his house on a rock. If you have been reading the previous evening devotions, you have seen that the Sermon on the Mount corrected the common thought patterns of man. It pointed to reality and away from man's erroneous assumptions. It shifts your perspective from the earth to heaven, and that transforms the way you act on the earth.

In this simile, the house you are building is your life. The foundation of your life is either the rock solid truth of the reality of kingdom thinking, or the shifty sand of the world's temporal and clouded perspectives. Jesus is making it clear that He is not just entertaining them with a demonstration of wisdom. He is giving them truths to build their life on. Upon what is your life built? What is its foundation?

Storms are going to come. Storms are a part of every life. Even the most guarded life faces death in the end. Most lives are filled with storms. This is really a blessing in disguise, for storms help us examine what foundation we have built upon. If our house comes crashing down, we know it has been built on sand. If somehow it amazingly stands through it all, we realize that we have built it upon the rock, the eternal truths of the kingdom. How did you do in your last storm? Is your footing on the unshakeable rock of Jesus' words? The psalmist wrote, "I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:8 (NIV)

Consider: Have His truths become your foundation? If not, what will you do about it?