TEACHER:  Ken Hicks

SCRIPTURES: Exodus 20:15

BOTTOM LINE: Teft!  Many of us are Guilty of stealing Time, Good Name/Reputations, a righteous heart, re-payment of debts, and YES … even taking from God at times.

QUESTION:  Is there more to Steal than simply someone’s physical belongings?

 

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Exodus 20:15““You must not Steal.”

I started thinking about this Commandment, and in a sort of personal way, it’s convicting for me!  It’s 1 thing to confess I’m a Thief.  It’s something all together different to identify and confess what it is we’ve been stealing right?

WHY did God share this Commandmentwith us?

  1. To provide stability in Society …
  2. To teach Respect for Private Property …
  3. To promote Honesty, Hard Work, and Thrift …

 

5 Kinds of Thievery

  1. A TIME Thief.
  2. The Gossiping Thief.
  3. The Defrauding Thief.
  4. The Careless Thief!
  5. The God-Robbing Thief!

 

Is there a way out of the Stealing Trap?

And I think the answer is YES … I love what Paul shares w/ the Church in Ephesus:

Ephesian 4:28“He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful w/ his hands, that he may have something to share w/ those in need.”

In other words … here’s a MAP we can at least use to find HOPE of God’s Plan:

  1. HONESTY He who has been stealing, must steal no longer.
  2. INDUSTRYDoing something useful w/ his hands …
  3. CHARITYthat he may have something to share …

 

 

 

APPLICATION:

God has shared w/ us so much in the form of a Long-Term Loan … eventually we’ll give it ALL back to Him … and when we get that … Stealing ANYTHING doesn’t make sense does it?

  1. Time
  2. A Good Name
  3. A Righteous Heart
  4. Not re-paying or honoring our Word or Commitment
  5. And even Giving back to God …

… much less someone’s physical belongings.

For me, to sort of help me think through some of the implications of this Commandment in my life, I’ve got some questions I ask myself sometimes … especially if I find myself in 1 of these Gray Areas of life:

  1. How would I feel if someone treated me this way?
  2. Do I have to do this in Secret?
  3. Would I be ashamed for Jesus to see me doing this?

Many believe the last person Jesus offered personal forgiveness for was a thief on the cross there next to Jesus … and Jesus said to him … today you will be w/ Me in Paradise.

Today … It’s instant … You… It’s Personal …Will Be… it’s certain!  Not maybe … but will be!  With Me… It’s Intimate … we’re w/ Him! In Paradise… it’s Heavenly …

Doesn’t get any better than that does it?  Jesus wasn’t offering that to some really amazing, awesome, Godly man per say, he was offering that to a criminal hanging on the cross beside Him.  When that Criminal came TO Him, instead of trying to run FROM Him, Jesus changed his life.

So YES, I think there’s HOPE for us!   Only Jesus can change our hearts and lives from the Stealer to the Giver.  God’s Grace is sufficient again, whether we’re talking about Physical taking of someone else’s things … or  Stealing something else:

  1. Time
  2. A Good Name
  3. A Righteous Heart
  4. Not re-paying or honoring our Word or Commitment
  5. And even Giving back to God …

And just like that criminal next to Jesus … if we’ll run to Him … God’s Promise is to Forgive us … and Restore Us … and Re-New Us … and we can take the next step of Faith In-Christ!

 

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