ALL From John Piper
We look at God’s power. We look at his wisdom. We look at his beneficence. And we don’t say, “Thank you,” and we don’t say, “You are great.” We say, “I am going to trade you for something that I really want.” That is why hell exists, because it is an infinite sin. You can’t do anything worse.
The deepest problem that we are dealing with behind money, behind sex, and behind power is that we all know the supreme value of God. We do. Everybody does. Everybody you will ever talk to — atheist, skeptic, agnostic, secularist, new age, whatever religion — everybody knows the truth; namely, God is supremely valuable.
There are two kinds of heart condition in the world: the one that values God over all and the one that values something else over all.
Is God your satisfaction? Is God your delight? Because if he is, money, sex, and power will turn into remarkable potentials in your life. And if he is not, money, sex, and power will become unbelievably destructive in your hands.
The first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
The last commandment: “You shall not covet” (Exodus 20:17).
Paul says in Colossians 3:5, “[Put away all] covetousness, which is idolatry.”
What is interesting is that, in the Old Testament and the New, the Hebrew and the Greek, the word simply means “desire.”
Because desires aren’t bad. You can desire what is good and you can desire what is bad. And so, when does a desire along the way either in intensity or for something, when does it become bad? When does it become the coveting kind of desire?
I would say: Don’t desire anything in a way that would express lack of contentment in God. Covetousness is a desire that is going up because the desire for God is going down for anything: for Bible reading, preaching, writing books. Anything that you desire, and the desire is coming stronger because the desire for God is getting weaker, that is covetousness. That is evil. It doesn’t matter what you are desiring.