Summary: We are called to live a new way and to not just think of one's self.
• SLIDE #1
• Edward Blaine who had spent 20 years in prison for bank robbery back in 1963 thought he would try again in 2003 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.
• According to The Free-Lance Star of Fredericksburg, Blaine walked up to two tellers at Union Bank & Trust and ordered them to "be cool" and give him all the money in large bills. The culprit had a gun in his pocket, Johnson said, but never pulled it out.
• He received several thousand dollars from two surprised bank cashiers at the Union Bank and Trust in Port Royal, and as he fled he spilled $100 notes in his wake as he attempted to stuff the cash into his pockets and get away.
• When he reached his hired getaway car he realized that he had locked his keys inside. Then Mr. Blaine began beating on the window with a piece of wood. The commotion drew the attention of two civilians, who began chasing him.
• The fleeing felon attempted to pull out his gun but failed, and shot himself in his leg but kept fighting his would be arresters; one of whom shot the suspect in the leg also.
• The local police charged the robber with 8 felonies, including robbery and 2 counts of attempted murder. The suspect was attended to in hospital and recovered.
• When one accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior, our life should start to change.
• For some people the change is fast and dramatic, for others, it is much slower; nonetheless, because of who we now belong to, our life should be different than the life that we lived before we accepted Jesus.
• The passage we are going to dig though today is one that deals with stealing and no longer stealing.
• We are not to steal, and most of us probably think we have either never stolen anything.
• In our time together this morning, we will look at the issue of stealing; however, we are going to focus on the heart behind what drives one to steal versus the type of heart one in Christ should possess.
• SLIDE #2
• Ephesians 4:28 (HCSB) The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need.
• SLIDE #3
I. The old way of life centered on being selfish.
• Paul is writing to the church that is very young and is full of folks who were from the Gentile world.
• Those who came to Jesus as Jews had a stronger base from which to build from; however, those who were Gentiles, for the most part did not have a strong base from which to build their faith.
• So here Paul addresses what would seem to be one of those Captain Obvious moments, THE THIEF MUST NO LONGER STEAL!
• I would hope as we are engaged together this morning, that we do not have to deal with the issue of stealing; however, there are many in our country who struggle with this sin.
• According to the web site Business 2 Community, from statistics from 2015, the amount stolen annually from U.S. businesses by employees stands at $50 billion.
• I do not believe that includes the cost to business for loss prevention.
• Business in the U.S. loses 7% of their annual revenues to theft and fraud by employees.
• At 75% of employees have stolen at least once from their and 37.5% have stolen at LEAST twice.
• 33% of all business bankruptcies are caused by employee theft according to the Statistics on STATISTICBRAIN.com.
• 29% of employees who had ides stolen at work who decided to pilfer from their place of employment is 29%.
• And on average it takes two years from employee fraud to be detected.
• WOW! Some businesses work on such small margins, one can see how losing 7% of their revenue to theft from employees could shut them down.
• Another common crime is shoplifting. According to StatisticBrain’s web site as well as others, businesses lose $13 billion a year to shoplifting.
• Estimates show that there are 27 million shoplifters in the U.S. with 10 million of them getting caught in the last 5 years.
• By the way, the odds of getting caught shoplifting are 1 in 48. 55% of shoplifters state they started as teens.
• Let us recognize that stealing in the broad sense is not unknown among present-day Christians.
• Deans of students in any Christian school can elaborate on this problem at some length.
• Income tax returns, insurance claims, stealing office supplies, and examinations in school are only a few examples of situations where Christians are many times less than honest.