Summary: The devil will make a bunch of "dumb crooks" out of us all if we aren’t careful of his lies and deceitful ways.
Revised by Pastor Jim May
(This sermon was adapted and quoted in part from a sermon I read on the internet. I have modified it greatly as well. I cannot give credit to the original source because I have been unable to find it again. If anyone knows the original writer, please inform me.)
The devil loves to make fools out of men. He uses every trick in the book to deceive us and make us believe that we can get away with sin. In the end, he just makes us all seem like a bunch of dumb crooks if we fall for his lies.
I read a few stories of some really dumb crooks. Here are a few of them.
A pair of Michigan robbers entered a record shop nervously waving revolvers. The first one shouted, "Nobody move!" When his partner moved, the scared and nervous first bandit shot him.
A police officer in Georgia pulled over a drunk driver. After this guy failed all of the sobriety tests, he was told to stand by his car for minute. Instead of doing this, he kept saying he was not drunk, opened the car door and got in the car. He then rolled down the window and called the officer over and said, "Officer, I would like to report a crime... Someone stole my steering wheel". The officer told the drunk that nobody stole his steering wheel because they do not have steering wheels in the back seat. The confused drunk then took a ride to jail in the back seat of the officer’s car.
One really dumb crook attempted to rob a bank but he kind of went about it in the wrong manner. After putting on his mask, he walked around the lobby, checking out the cameras, the guard and just "casing the joint." Several people noticed his mask and so they called the police. He could clearly be seen in security cameras, walking around with his mask on. He was arrested a short time later with the mask and the holdup note in his possession. All the while he declared, "it wasn’t me, it wasn’t me."
While the foolishness of these crooks is apparent to us, I wonder how foolish all of our sins are to God. He tells us not to give in to temptation. He commands that we put off certain evil things and put on the character and nature of Jesus Christ.
Paul says in Ephesians 4:22-28, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."
That brings me to the main point of the message this morning. I want to talk to you about stealing.
I find it strange that God would bring this message to me today, for I know of no one in this congregation who is guilty of stealing, but I have learned long ago, not to question where God leads me and the message He gives. I don’t know everything and never will, but God does.
Since we are entering into the Holiday Season, and then the tax season after that, perhaps God just wants to remind us that we are to be honest and have integrity in all of our ways.
Paul, of course, wasn’t the only source of teaching against stealing in the Word of God.
Jesus, in Matthew 19:18, said to the Rich Young Ruler, who came searching for the way to eternal life, “Thou Shalt Not Steal”.
And remember that The 8th Commandment declares: “Thou shalt not steal”.
There are many things that we can “steal” and maybe we don’t think of some of these things as stealing but they are nonetheless.
The Book of Romans warns against stealing the glory that is God’s and giving it to man.
Other verses warn against stealing someone’s reputation or good name by way of slander.
The 7th Commandment prohibits stealing the affection of someone else’s spouse. Adultery is one of the most widespread sins in the world today, even in the church.
We are not to steal from a store – that’s called shoplifting.
We are not to steal an undeserved grade at school – that’s called cheating.