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Summary: Discusses how to protect ourselves and our families from the Devil's attempts to steal our testimony.

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Recovering Stolen Property

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

INTRODUCTION: The son of God reveals much about the nature of our adversary in this verse. He calls him not simply “a Thief” but “The Thief”. The Greek word is klep'-tace; and it is from this word that we get our term “kleptomania” meaning the urge to steal. Satan is a compulsive liar and thief. Here are some things Satan will try to steal from you:

1. YOUR FRIENDS Ps 55:12-14 (Ahithophel)

Satan will seek to steal your friends through:

A. DECEPTION (False or Foolish Friends)

(1 Tim. 1:18-20 Hymenaeus and Alexander)

2 Cor. 11:2 "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

B. CORRUPTION James 4:1-4 (Filthy Friends)

Demas hath forsaken me having loved this present world…” 2 Tim 4:10

1) Satan has drawn many away hoping to draw others after them. (Pr. 1)

C. CONFUSION: Job 19:19-21 (Fickle Friends) (Prov 17:17)

"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." 1) 1) Job’s friends came to comfort, but stayed to condemn.

2) Job was passing through a confusing set of circumstances that no one understood.

3) God wanted to grow Job and deliver him from the bitterness over his friends treatment. Job 42;10 "And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends:"

2. YOUR FAMILY (Ps. 127)

> Your children who were once prayed for and dedicated to God.

> Your affection for your spouse who you once vowed to love and cherish.

Satan will seek to steal your family through:

A. BUSY-NESS:

1) Preoccupation with personal agendas

2) There are three types of Child training:

a) Child Centered Parenting “Whatever you want”

b) Parent Centered Parenting. “Because I said so”

c) God and Goal Centered Parenting. Pr. 22:6

B. LAZI-NESS: Good relationships are hard work!!!

1) It’s too much work to correct the past mistakes.

C. HAZI-NESS:

1) We fail to recognize the signs of deterioration.

3. YOUR FELLOWSHIP (1 Jn 1) (Or your First Love {Rev 2:1-5})

Satan will seek to steal your fellowship through:

A. FORGET-FULNESS Vs 1-4 “Remember from whence thou art fallen…” Rev. 2:5

1) What We’ve learned. Heb. 12:5 "And ye have forgotten the

exhortation which speaketh unto you "

2) How We’re loved. Jer. 31:3 "I have loved thee with an everlasting love:."

Ps. 103:2 "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:"

3) Who We Loved “Lovest thou me more than these?” Jn 21:15

B. NEGLECT-FULNESS Vs 5,6 “Do thy first works…” Rev. 2:5

Heb. 2:1 "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."

1) Many relationships die a slow death from the poison of neglect.

C. BITTER-NESS Vs 6 “remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” Rev 2:5

1) It is the silent killer of Relationships.

a) The word Bitterness: {pik-ree'-ah} literally means an acid or poison. It comes from a word that means to pitch or fight against.

b) Bitterness is to the soul what Cancer is to the Body. Both are an insatiable poison that cannot help but spread. (Heb. 12:15)

"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;" (Heb 12:15)

(1) The word “Defiled” here (Me-ah’ee-no) means to contaminate.

2) It will affect virtually every other relationship we have, including our walk with God.

"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you" (Eph 4:31)

4. YOUR FAITH (Fulfillment)

> God once moved you to serve him but you got sidetracked.

Satan will seek to steal your faith through:

A. DECEIT 2 Cor 11:1-3

1) Since Faith is mightier that our Foe, He must resort to deception before he can defeat us.

1 John 4:4 "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."

1 John 5:4 "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

B. DEFEAT (2 Cor 4:8,9)

1) Failure isn’t Final

a) Virtually all of God’s people have known disappointing defeats.

b) Satan tries to convince us that our failures are final so we stop fighting.

2) Disappointment or Disaster isn’t necessarily defeat.

a) Defeat: To conquer. Defeatism: At attitude of those who accept defeat as inevitable.

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