trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Dealing with Covetousness

February 26, 2011

Dealing with Covetousness--In Psalm 73 Asaph gives us a concise formula for dealing with covetousness and all temptation.

The tenth commandment

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 is your neighbor’s.”

Deuteronomy 5.21

“‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’”

Luke 12.13-21; Ephesians 5.5; Colossians 3.5; 1 Timothy 6.6-8

In Psalm 73 Asaph gives us a concise formula for dealing with covetousness and all temptation.

First, we must recognize that it is at work within us. We must realize that covetousness is seeking to divert our focus, destroy our peace, and lead us to greater sins (vv. 1-15).

Next, we must remember our duty to our neighbors, to love them purely and without self-interest (v. 15). At the same time, by thinking through the consequences of our falling to temptation, we may become sufficiently embittered in our souls against it to forestall coveting growing any further (vv. 18-21).

Then, seeking the Lord in prayer and in His Word, we must renew our focus on Him and our love for Him as the supreme Object of our desire (vv. 23-26). We will not be able to know fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore in the presence of God (Ps. 16.11) if we prefer to allow covetousness to have its way in our souls.

Let us keep a close watch, then, on all our desires, so that we may see and overcome covetousness before it captures and overthrows us.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Book Store.



Coveting and Other Sin

February 25, 2011

Coveting and Other Sin--Coveting will issue in other sins.

The tenth commandment

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 is your neighbor’s.”

Deuteronomy 5.21

“‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’”

Luke 12.13-21; Ephesians 5.5; Colossians 3.5; 1 Timothy 6.6-8

Coveting will issue in other sins. It’s just a matter of time. James explains how coveting leads to strife, quarreling, and worse (Jms. 4.2, 3). In Scripture we see many examples of this. Cain coveted Abel’s blessing, leading to murder. Abraham coveted safety above trust in the Lord, and nearly compromised his wife’s purity. Achan coveted the spoil of Jericho, and stole from the Lord, to the harm of his neighbors. David coveted Bathsheba, leading to conspiracy and murder. Judas coveted silver, and he betrayed the Lord.

Thus it is crucial to a growing walk with the Lord that believers learn to recognize covetousness and to take it before the Lord in prayer, seeking grace to help in our time of need.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Book Store.



Controlling Desire

February 24, 2011

Controlling Desire--How, then, can we control our desires?

The tenth commandment

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 is your neighbor’s.”

Deuteronomy 5.21

“‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’”

Luke 12.13-21; Ephesians 5.5; Colossians 3.5; 1 Timothy 6.6-8

How, then, can we control our desires? First, we must be alert to when desire is operating, and what its object is in any action we may be contemplating. When our thoughts linger on something, to the point that our imaginations begin to treat that as our own, to see us in possession of it, whatever it may be – then desire is at work. But this may not necessarily be covetousness.

Desire makes the affections resonate with the possession of what we imagine ourselves having, so that excitement, happiness, anticipate, hope, and many other affections begin to rally to the imagination’s support. Before these combine to become a passion or obsession (cf. Jms. 4.2, 3), we must evaluate our desire, and the object of it, in order to determine whether this yearning is from God or the law of sin. The Spirit of God is able to convict us of sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn. 16.8-11); thus, we must continually refer our desires to Him, submitting our thinking to the Word of God and considering the nature, focus, and likely outcomes of what we are imagining.

By such prayerful and thoughtful means we may hope to identify the early stages of coveting and nip it before it bears fruit in other sin.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Book Store.



A Trap for the Heart

February 23, 2011

A Trap for the Heart--So the tenth commandment links the Law back to the first commandment, challenging us to cultivate love for God as the commanding affection of our hearts (Matt. 22.34-40).

The tenth commandment

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 is your neighbor’s.”

Deuteronomy 5.21

“‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’”

Luke 12.13-21; Ephesians 5.5; Colossians 3.5; 1 Timothy 6.6-8

So the tenth commandment links the Law back to the first commandment, challenging us to cultivate love for God as the commanding affection of our hearts (Matt. 22.34-40).

“Peter, do you love me more than these?” Over and over Jesus challenged Peter to examine his heart. What did he really love? And how much did he love it. God calls us to submit to the searching of His Spirit with respect to what is in our hearts (Ps. 139.23, 24), for we are not always as guarded as we should be with respect to our affections.

“Guard your heart with all vigilance!” was Solomon’s instruction to his son. But Rehoboam did not. He loved the idea of being king and wielding power more than of loving God and serving God’s people. Rehoboam’s covetous heart tore the nation of Israel in two and set the people of God on a downward spiral of rebellion, dissolution, and destruction.

Covetousness is not just a harmless peccadillo, a silly act of self-indulgence. It is a trap for the heart which springs up to snare not only us, but the people we should be loving as well.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Book Store.



A Matter of the Heart

February 22, 2011

A Matter of the Heart--Note also that coveting is a matter of affections; it gets at what we most desire.

The tenth commandment

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 is your neighbor’s.”

Deuteronomy 5.21

“‘And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’”

Luke 12.13-21; Ephesians 5.5; Colossians 3.5; 1 Timothy 6.6-8

Note also that coveting is a matter of affections; it gets at what we most desire. From the heart flow the issues of life, as Solomon reminds us (Prov. 4.23). In the work of making disciples we don’t give much attention to affections. Mostly we concentrate on transmitting the right information, so that our students will be able to think as they should about the life of faith.

Of course, it is important that we do this. But no amount of clear thinking will suffice to keep us from sin if our hearts are not disciplined to fear and love God first and foremost. The weeds of coveting arise where we are not sufficiently trained in loving God. Undisciplined in this most important focus, our desires can become easily enthralled with all manner of lesser things.

We are beginning to covet when we desire anything more than we desire God. And we can know when this is beginning to happen by considering where our thoughts linger, how we use our time (quantitatively and qualitatively), what we become excited about, and talk about, and so forth.

That which we find we are beginning to desire more than the Lord may not even be manifestly evil. We may find that we think about our work most of the time, or some particular avocation, or even a loved one. But when these become the supreme objects of our desire, they detract from the love of God. Soon enough, the failure to love God first, foremost, and always will corrupt even the love we have for these good gifts of God (cf. 2 Sam. 13.1-13).

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to www.ailbe.org and click on our Book Store.



The Unseen Sin

February 21, 2011

The Unseen Sin--The Ten Commandments end in a rather strange way, by proscribing covetousness.

Mere Watering

February 19, 2011

Things that pertain to salvation (4)

Always Prepared?

February 18, 2011

Personal Mission Field/Conversation

"[God] has a son who is coeternal with him and of like nature. The Son is not younger than the Father nor the Father than the Son; and the Holy Spirit breathes in them. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not separate. Truly, now, since you are daughters of an earthly king, I wish that you will believe and I wish to wed you to the king of heaven."

  -Tirechan, Account of Patrick's Journey (Irish, 7th century)

...but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is within you; yet do it with gentleness and respect...

  - 1 Peter 3.15, 16

Tirechan's anecdote about Patrick witnessing to two daughters of a local king is probably fictional. But it serves a purpose nonetheless.

We note in Patrick's speech great care - on Tirechan's part - to portray the orthodoxy of the beloved evangelist. His witness sounds like a zip version of the Nicene Creed and the Formula of Chalcedon. Patrick, we are to believe, laid down a solid foundation of orthodox Christian faith through his witness.

That certainly is true enough. But we also notice a couple of other things about this brief witness for Christ. First, it makes the same demand that Psalm 45 makes of those who would become the Bride of Christ: they must "forget your people and your father's house" so that the heavenly king "will desire your beauty" (vv. 10, 11). In other words, repentance and a complete change of direction in life are part of the requirement of saving faith.

Moreover, being "wed" to Christ suggests the kind of intimacy that ought to characterize the relationship of all true believers with their Savior and King. Becoming a Christian means that we (a) believe the orthodox confession of Christ; (b) turn away from our previous commitments and lifestyle; and (c) cling to Christ and love Him supremely.

How does that compare with the witness you are always prepared to give for the Lord Jesus? What's that? You don't have a word of witness prepared? Well, what if the unthinkable happens, and someone - someone today, perhaps - asks a reason for the hope that is within you? How will you be able, with gentleness and respect, to explain that Jesus, the Son of God, is Lord and King in your heart and life, and that you are devoted to following this One Who saves all who truly repent and believe in Him? How will you bear witness to Jesus if you aren't always ready to do so?

But then, perhaps you are more ready than you know. Why not try it and see? Right now, ask God to give you an opportunity to explain the Good News of the Kingdom of God and its King to someone today. Go on - right now...

And then do the same tomorrow, and the next day, and every day.

You might be surprised to discover that God really does answer prayers.

Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe

They're protesting in the streets! People are angry! Shaking their fists! Threatening retribution! Invading public spaces! And we're not talking about the Middle East, we're talking about Madison, WI! The Cheese State has become Athens! ReVision explains.

It's almost March, and St. Patrick's Day is March 17. What will you give your loved ones to celebrate this great saint? How about a copy of The Legacy of Patrick? Not only will they learn about Patrick, but they'll learn why The Fellowship of Ailbe cares so much about him and his contribution to the progress of Christ's Kingdom. Oh yes, get yourself a copy, too.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Is there a door of opportunity here for churches?

Feeling Good...Enough

February 17, 2011

Things that pertain to salvation (3)

Concern for Others

February 17, 2011

No wonder the Gospel caught like wildfire.

Blinking at Sin?

February 16, 2011

Would you just stand by while someone trashed your yard?

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.