Summary: Joy Stealers are the tools Satan uses to rob us of our joy in serving the cause of Christ.To help us defeat the joy stealers of this life, Paul wrote the book of Philippians. Paul knew there would be times we could not be happy, but in Christ, we could al
Introduction: This past weekend, our family celebrated Kathy’s parents 50th wedding anniversary. We spent all day Friday decorating the church in preparation for the big night. Kathy had planned the celebration to be a big surprise, and sure enough, her parents were surprised as 75 of their friends and family greeted them that night, in short, the night was a big hit.
While Kathy’s parents were surprised Friday night, I got a big surprise, Friday afternoon. I went down to a McDonald’s Restaurant, for a few hamburgers. If you have been to McD’s you know the drill stand in line, place your order, wait for your food, and that is just what I did, I stood in line, then placed my order and then a strange thing happened. While I was waiting for my food a man walked into McD’s, picked the food up off a tray and walked out – that is when a man behind me spoke up and said, that man stole his food. – SURE ENOUGH, THAT MAN HAD WALKED OFF THE STREET AND STOLE A BAG OF HAMBURGERS
I stood there thinking what kind of person would steal hamburgers. After all, they are only a couple of dollars each.
It seems we will steal anything these days, a recent CNBC poll asked employees, if they had ever stolen office supplies from their place of employment? 60% said, yes they had pilfered office supplies. The follow up question explained the people’s actions; 25% said, they took the supplies because they viewed it as a company benefit, while 75% said the taking of office supplies is no big deal.
When it comes to hamburgers and office supplies, it seems the 8th commandment, prohibiting stealing does not apply.
Fortunately, hamburgers and office supplies are replaceable, as much as we hate the loss and inconvenience, we can continue with our lives.
In the spiritual realm, there is a stealing that is more serious. Satan is in the business of ripping off things more important than hamburgers and office supplies. Jesus, speaking on Satan’s activity said, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. John 10:10
Satan does not want our hamburgers, our offices supplies or any of our material possessions. Satan is solely interested in stealing spiritual treasures – things that have value to God, things of eternal significance.
NOTICE THE PROGRESSION OF SATAN’S WORK
The Thief comes to…
Steal, first Satan is involved in larceny – he wants to take what is not his. Once he manages this feat he moves on to…
Killing, He does not steal to keep something, no the work of Satan is to steal, so he can kill what he has stolen. But it is not enough to simply kill, note his final act…
Destroy, the word destroy means to damage an item is such a way that it is unrecognizable.
This has always been the work of Satan
Consider the subject of marriage – You begin with such high hopes. Soon conflict comes in and if not handled correctly Satan gets a foot hold in your marriage at that point he begins to steal some of the joy and excitement in a marriage. Soon there is more conflict; the excitement of marriage begins to wear thin, you begin to wonder if this person is to be your life partner, Satan begins the process of killing your marriage. Finally you seldom talk, you no longer recognize your mate. Divorce is on the horizon and you ask yourself what did you see in this person in the first place. Satan launches his final blow and another marriage is destroyed.
Consider children who grow up in the church – at one time, they stood in the church and quoted scriptures attended camps and conference, always involved in youth meetings, but now they seldom come to church. What happened to that vibrant faith? The thief began to do his work, remember the words of Jesus, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy
QUESTION – Has the thief invaded your spiritual life today? Have you lost your first love for Jesus? Has your devotion for the cause of Christ slipped a little? Have you become cavalier about gathering with God’s people on a weekly basis? Are you in the habit of being more critical of the church, than you are being creative in helping out in a ministry? Have you become more of a spectator in church (watching what is going on) rather than a participant (being more involved in the cause of Christ) in God’s kingdom?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you must be aware the master thief is at work, for Satan loves to steal the joy of loving Christ and loving His church.
If we are not careful, the prince of this world will rip us off – stealing our joy, killing our relationship with God and destroying our faith.