Jesus Himself said that unfaithfulness is the only thing that makes it lawful for a marriage to break up. The church is called the Bride of Christ. I don’t think it’s accidental then that Jesus would in another place say He’ll never leave me nor forsake me. In my own unfaithfulness He’ll never leave me. He gives Himself the out, and then doesn’t take it. What an awesome God we serve.
That was last week.
This week we hit Exodus 20:15. Thou shalt not steal.
When you dig deep into the Hebrew. When you exegete the original Hebrew language you see that this phrase really says, “don’t steal”. It’s pretty simple. Straight forward. If you’re like me, you probably would be inclined to check this one off your list and get on with the “no false witness command.” Hang with me though.
Would you consider spending time at your work on Facebook or other personal internet adventures as stealing? If your employer is paying you for your time there and your taking that time and using it for something else, doesn’t that count?
A survey in 2005 by http://www.salary.com found that the average employee confessed to spending 2.09 hours per day on the internet for personal reasons. And that was BEFORE FACEBOOK! The survey tallied up that personal time wasted is costing employers $759 Billion Dollars. That’s the entire amount of the stimulus package.
If you’ve ever taken longer on your lunch break than you’re allowed, or fudged your numbers on your tips when reporting for payroll, or just straight up taken something that isn’t yours it’s all stealing.
Of course, Malachi 3 says that a man robs God himself by with holding his tithes. Yikes.
Paul says in Romans 7 that part of the reason for the law is that it shows me where I’m wrong. It’s not that the law is wrong. It’s me that’s wrong and the law just points it out.
Paul says in Ephesians 4:28 that he who has been stealing should steal no more. He doesn’t leave us hanging. He gives us a game plan.
Paul goes to tell us the way to overcome this by working hard, but also, by giving to those around us who are in need. It makes sense why Zacheus who had given his life to the Lord would respond by giving half of all his possessions away to the poor. He was living out what Paul would later write about.
Conversely, it’s interesting to me that the rich young ruler told Jesus that he had kept the commandments, and specifically named stealing. And yet when Jesus told him to give away his possessions “to the poor” and follow Him that the young man couldn’t do it. He walked away. Perhaps stealing was more a part of his life than he was willing to admit.
Stealing is a way of me saying to God that He is not taking care of me in the way that I think He ought to. It’s taking matters into my own hands. Out of a fear of not having enough I take more.
Living generously is saying to God that I trust that you’re taking care of me and that when I give this away that you’ll provide me with more.
Of course that’s what we’re doing at Conduit. We’re living generously. It’s a great vehicle for you to participate in giving to those that are in need. If you’ve sponsored a child in Haiti already thank you so very much. Some of you have sponsored more than one.
If not, I would ask you to prayerfully consider it. $32 a month will take one of the kids off the waiting list in Jacmel Haiti. It’ll put them in school, clothe them, feed them, and most importantly put them in a constant position of being mentored by Pastor Rodrigue and the brothers and sisters at Restoration Ministries in Jacmel, Haiti.
If the Lord is leading you, go to http://www.conduitmission.org and you’ll find a link there for sponsoring a child.
If you don’t have the resources, remember that just $15 will feed a child for a month.
Make up for that facebook time at the office. Feed a kid in Haiti. (ok technically that was a guilt trip and Paul in 2 Cor 8,9 says you don’t have to give if you’re doing it out of guilt)
Hope to see you tomorrow night at 730pm. Journey Chuch in Building 8 in the Factory in Franklin, TN.
http://www.darrentyler.podomatic.com for the podcasts
ANNOUNCEMENT- Tomorrow night Ben Holeton has asked if he could share a little bit of how his own personal life intersected with what we learned last week. He has felt the Lord leading him to speak openly about his experiences. Due to the sensitive nature of the conversation we won’t be webcasting or recording that portion. Hope you can make it.