by / Saturday, 30 November 2019 / Published in

November 24, 2019 ()

Bible Text: Exodus 20:15; Ephesians 4:28 |

INTRO:  The Bible teaches us that God condemns the taking of anything that does not rightfully belong to us.  This includes taking from others or from Him.  Regardless of the reason, stealing is wrong!  God condemns it and declares it to be a sin.

I.   Stealing From Others

> Stealing destroys the soul; it rots the soul.

- It takes away our sense of self-restraint so that we no longer feel sin is wrong.

- We know the name of the master thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

- We learn his behavior.

- It becomes easy to do things because “everyone is doing it.”

- When we are not caught, we steal bigger and bigger things.

- Stealing becomes habitual.

- 13 billion dollars of goods are stolen each year.

- Shoplifters are usually not arrested even though they are caught on camera.

- They could be self-absorbed, believing they deserve the things they steal.

- Many who steal do not work and don’t want to work.

> When people steal, they are telling God that they don’t trust Him to provide for them.

- God provided the exact amount of manna the Israelites needed for each day (Exodus 16:16).

- If someone took more than they needed, they were stealing someone else’s share.

- The Israelites didn’t believe that God would provide for them.

- How much do we trust God to meet our needs?

> The word “steal” means to take from or to kidnap.

- Anyone guilty of kidnapping was to be put to death to purge the evil (Exodus 21:16; Deuteronomy 24:7).

- Thieves must pay restitution for whatever they steal (Exodus 22:3).

> How does this apply to us today?

- Quit stealing.

- We have all stolen, even if it wasn’t a high-value item.

- We take things that are small and believe it doesn’t matter.

- Maybe we cheat on our taxes.

- Maybe we don’t tell a store clerk when we receive too much change.

- We must stop; it is wrong.

- If you are a thief, stop.  Use your hands to work for the things you need (Ephesians 4:28).

- Honor God with the work of your hands.

- When we do, we will have something to share with those in need (Ephesians 4:28).

- We enjoy the blessings of the ability to work.

- Be a worker; people should see that we have a good work ethic.

- We should arrive early, return from breaks on time, do our job well, and not leave before we are scheduled to leave.

- The Lord blesses work.

> We should make restitution to bring restoration.

- We have guilt and shame when we don’t make things right.

- God gives us an opportunity to get back what the devil has stolen from us – our sense of peace and righteousness.

- God wants to restore our relationship with others and with Him.

II.  Stealing From God

> Stealing is a bold statement to God that you don’t trust Him to provide.

- Ultimately, stealing in all forms is stealing from God; everything comes from Him.

- Be a giver; it is the antithesis of stealing.

- We say, “It’s my money.”  However, everything belongs to God and came from God.

- We need to search our hearts about our attitude.

- The Lord says, as you prosper, give.

- We should work for God’s glory and choose to give from our wages.

- The amount we give is between us and God; but be a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).

- When we learn to give of our time, talents, and money, we begin to enjoy giving.

- We get to give; it’s not that we are required to give.

- We don’t give to get, but we receive the blessing of giving.

- We should never give believing that God is expected to give us something in return.

CONCLUSION:  There are four ways to get things in life:  by gift, by work, by investment, and by stealing.  Stealing will destroy the soul and the communities in which we live.  In the end, the one most hurt by stealing is the one who steals!  "You shall not steal!"

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