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Summary: Message compares a burglary in Georgia in which the thief took money from a boy selling charity T-shirts from his wheel chair. The point is "does Jesus forgive us just because we say we are sorry?"

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TROUBLE IN COBB COUNTY

A burglary took place in Marietta, Georgia, that still has authorities and local people scratching their heads. What is amazing is not how the theft took place, nor what was stolen, but who the victim happened to be. Newspapers report that a 17 year old high school cheerleader was put in the Cobb County prison after stealing $187 from a wheelchair-bound boy who was selling T-shirts for a charity outside of the local swimming pool. Wow.

I suppose the gaining of money can be compared to playing a never ending board game. And on this board game of life, people role the dice, travel around the board, and attempt to win. On their way they purchase properties, acquire jobs, and may even collect $200 after passing go. Others have a board game more like the young woman listed above who end up in jail, convicted there because of her greed. Who knows how many times she will have to roll doubles to get out of jail?

Greed can make a person do many things. Over the years it has caused many divorces, family disputes, company scandals, and even international wars. And when it comes to money, it is amazing of how many people have let these tiny pieces of green paper own their lives. Matthew 6 talks about the issue of mastering money when the Good Book states, “no one can serve two masters, for either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

For those of us raised in church, we have heard this chapter many, many times. But if we truly believe God’s Word in relationship to acquiring wealth, then we should truly realize that at the ends of our lives, everything physical that we have earned just ends up back in the box. Then the game is over, and put away on the shelf called a graveyard, only to be forgotten by most of the world in merely two generations. Somehow, I don’t like that ending.

What I would want to say to the girl from Sprayberry High School is not that she should KNOW better, but that she should BE better. And better in God’s eyes does not necessarily predicate itself on getting a job and working harder. Instead, BEING better means to seek God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength which would ultimately lead to a much more holy and commandment-following existence.

After being released on a $5,000, the young thief’s attorney stated, “she’d like to express to the children who were involved in this and had to experience it, as well as their parents, that she is extremely sorry….” And for the sake of helping a young teen find the right track, we all hope that she is sorry. But if being sorry for our sin is enough, than why did Christ have to die? I pray that this young woman, and everybody for that matter, will put their hope in the true Master.


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