This Sunday, July 16th, 2017, Pastor Kris White unpacked an amazing message to continue our Timeless Ten series here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.
Timless Ten: You Shall Not Steal
“You shall not steal.” (Exodus 20:15)
Have you ever had something stolen from you? Did you feel violated, taken advantage, or did you have the desire for justice to prevail? When something is stolen from us, we are thankful for laws and retribution.
But, how would you feel knowing that it’s you that has done the stealing? Your excuse might be that they didn’t need it more than you did, or that you meant to give it back, or maybe you think, “They’ll never miss it.” It’s human nature to take and steal to please ourselves. What about that displeases God?
Think for a minute how the Ten Commandments can resemble the nature of God to us. God doesn’t lie. He doesn’t steal. He is faithful.
Be encouraged in seeing the true nature and goodness of God in the Ten Commandments. It’s not just a list of rules to punish us and make life hard, but rather to bring freedom and peace and help Earth look like Heaven because we look like the Father.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10, NKJ)
By giving us this standard, God is desiring us to look like Him, not like the enemy. Character can be defined as a moral force, or integrity. In other words, who you are when nobody is looking. This is who God sees when He looks at us. The Timeless Ten are beautiful because they make our character look like our Father’s character.
Stealing means to take something that belongs to another person. There are a number of different words used for stealing, including theft, robbery, burglary, shoplifting, defraud, embezzle, seize, poach, pick-pocket, hijack, plagiarize. Basically, there are a lot of ways to break this commandment. Our minds usually go to an image of an armed robbery, but let’s look at a few different aspects of trying to prosper through theft:
- Dishonesty – Don’t cheat people
- “The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are His delight.” (Proverbs 11:1, NIV)
- Defrauding – Pay all that is owed
- “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” (Romans 13:7, ESV).
- “Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.” (Colossians 3: 22-25, Message)
- Defaulting – Don’t fail to meet an obligation
- “The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.” (Psalm 37:21, NLT)
Here are some of the right ways to prosper in this commandment:
- Sowing or Giving
Work is not just a four letter word. In Genesis 2:15, is says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” The dictionary is the only place where you will find success before work. God intends for us to work. That is not necessarily the same as having a job. Many hardworking people don’t get a wage, such as those who are stay-at-home parents. But they work.
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)
The Bible is full of principles of work, saving and investing wisely, sowing/giving, and praying. Here are a few that you can study on your own:
- Proverbs 14:23
- Ephesians 4:28
- Proverbs 21:20
- Proverbs 3:9-10
- Malachi 3:8-10
- 2 Corinthians 8:7-8
- 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
- Matthew 6:11
- Matthew 7:7
One final way to prosper in this commandment can be found in the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector in Luke 19:1-10. Upon meeting Jesus, Zacchaeus made restitution for everything that he had stolen. He made it right and asked forgiveness from the Savior. Guilt is the corrosion of the soul, and it can only be dissolved in the blood of Jesus.
Is there something you have stoled or need to make right with God or with others?
If we flip the script, what has been stolen from you? The Bible says the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. But the gifts and callings God has over your life are irrevocable. They cannot be stolen from you. Your destiny, your joy, you health, your hope, your salvation cannot be stolen by the enemy. While they can’t be stolen against your will, have you been so tired that you’ve given up the fight? Have you surrendered to his attacks? You do not have to sit in defeat. The devil has no authority over you. Choose to stand up and fight.
Watch the full message here: