Summary: Focuses on how Christians steal from God, withholding glory that is due Him and tithes that are due Him.
Do not Steal
Exodus 20:15 - "You shall not steal.
Why people steal
We steal because we don’t trust God to provide for us
Ways Christians steal
We steal from God by withholding what is due Him
We steal Glory that is due God
We steal Tithes that are due God
Trusting God to Provide
God honors those who humble themselves
God provides for those who Seek Him
When we seek God, we work hard
When we seek God, we give joyfully
Exodus 20:15 reads “You shall not steal.”
This is the 8th commandment that the Lord gave to the Israelites through Moses.
Now most of sitting here this morning know that stealing is wrong.
Even those who are moral relativists, those who think what is wrong for me, may not be wrong for you, would, I believe, have a hard time saying that it is ok to steal if they are the ones from whom something has been stolen.
And if you walk into any society, we will find that people hold to the view that taking something that is someone else’s without permission is wrong.
This is something that kids learn at the earliest stages of life.
So then if it is recognized as wrong by nearly everyone in every society,
Why do people steal?
Often we think about career criminals. They steal as a way of life. They don’t want to work or and they believe stealing provides an easy way to provide what they want.
What about others who steal, who have money?
But what about those who steal who have the money to purchase what they stole.
I think of the people who may shoplift something from a store.
They often have the money on them to purchase what they were stealing.
Or the people like Bernie Madoff who was the head of a billion dollar ponzi scheme where he took people’s money and lived off of that and used the money from future investors to pay existing investors.
He did this to fund his own lifestyle.
Why do people like this steal?
People steal because they don’t trust God to provide for them
Now for many people, they don’t trust God to provide for them because they don’t have a relationship with God. So it is somewhat understandable that they don’t trust Him to provide.
Instead, they have bought the lie that if they are going to have what they want, they are going to have to provide it themselves and stealing it will be the fastest way to do it.
If they are going to enjoy life, then I need more money or stuff.
This is why people who have money shoplift. They want to use the money for something else.
This is why Bernie Madoff stole from people. He did it to fund his lavish lifestyle. He thought living that way was the key to happiness and if he had to steal from others to have it, then so be it.
And while for a while sometimes, it can seem to be true, that more stuff and money will bring happiness. But the lie will always come back to bite us, whether in this life or the next.
Now while we can look at people like criminals and shoplifters and the Bernie Madoffs of the world and be angry at them for how they steal, I think sometimes the place for Christians to start in their judgments is by looking in the mirror and removing the plank from our own eye.
“What? I am not a thief. How have I stolen?”
This morning we are not going to focus on the ways people steal that most of us would recognize as wrong anyway.
Instead, I want to talk to the Christian about ways we steal or are tempted to steal.
Ways Christians Steal
Now, we know that even those who profess to be Christians steal in ways that everyone would admit is wrong. They have stolen from people, from businesses, etc.
However today, we are going to talk about ways we steal from God.
Steal from God?
How can anyone steal from God, the God who knows all, sees all, and is all powerful?
Well, we don’t really sneak up on God and take what is His without Him knowing about it. We steal from God in a very specific way.
Christians Steal from God by withholding what is Due Him
We withhold things that we should be giving to God and thus we steal from Him things that are rightfully His.
What do we steal from God that is due Him?
Well, to start with
We steal Glory that is due Him
This is something that results directly form pride.
All of us face the temptation to be prideful at times. And when we do, we want to be honored and exalted and we can easily take the glory that is due to the Lord and keep it for ourselves.