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Summary: A sermon on the prohibition against theft.

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Stop thief!

Exodus 20:15; Ephesians 4:28

INTRODUCTION

AG: A Sunday school teacher was teaching her class about the difference between right and wrong. "All right children, let’s take another example," she said. "If I were to get into a man’s pocket and take his billfold with all his money, what would I be?" Little Johnny raises his hand, and with a confident smile, he blurts out, "You’d be his wife!"

TS: This morning, we are going to deal with the 8th of the 10 commandments – “Thou shalt not steal”.

RS: Again, like most of the other commands, the temptation here is to think that this doesn’t apply to you. The only thing you’ve ever stolen in your life is a piece of candy in your brother’s room. How bad can that be?

But as we deal with this command, I want you to deal with this issue. Do you really believe that God knows better than you do exactly what your real needs are, do you really believe that God will honor His promise to meet those needs, and are you willing to wait for God’s timing on the fulfillment of your needs. God has a plan for how He is going to meet your needs. Let’s take a look at what that plan includes.

1. God’s plan for the provision of our needs does not include stealing.

Is this stealing?

• Accepting incorrect change

• Over-estimating your deductions on your taxes (Matt. 22:21 “Render unto Caesar . . . “)

• Not working to your full potential at your job [Titus 2:9-10] (i.e. getting to work late and leaving work early; only giving minimum wage work for a minimum wage job; only working your hardest when the boss is looking;)

• Not challenging a bill that you know is incorrect in your favor

(most businesses, especially restaurants, will probably leave the bill as is if the error was in

your favor; do you know how powerful a

testimony it is for you to go back to that cashier

and tell them that they under-charged you!?)

• Allowing a friend to use your employee deduction (depends on the wording of the deduction – usually limited to you and your family members; your intent is not to steal – only to help out a friend; result is the same though)

• Claiming someone else’s idea or words as your own

• Not giving someone (i.e. a friend, an employee, God) something that they deserve/need

You may agree or disagree with my assessment of some of these areas.

Some of them are gray areas –

Others are very clear because they go against the laws which our government has enacted.

When we disobeys the laws of government, we are disobeying God b/c government is an installation of God. (Romans 13)

I don’t bring up these gray areas to point a finger at anyone.

I bring them up to cause us to question ourselves and see if maybe we’re not as righteous in our dealings as we think we are.

Before we can ever receive forgiveness, healing and blessing from God, we have to recognize our sin.

Why do people steal? What justifications do people use for stealing?

• “They are charging too much money.

• They’re trying to steal from me.”

Taxes, price of something, etc.

• “I really need that, but I don’t have enough money for it.”


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