Sermon Notes: The Eighth Commandment – What’s mine is God’s

11 03 2016

“You shall not steal.”

We live in a corrupt world. Corruption is responsible for about 5% of the global GDP.
We pay the price in insurance, tax, higher prices in shops to cover losses from shop lifting..

Tax avoidance is a huge issue for respectable companies – fraud is theft!

Some forms of theft have almost become normal or even acceptable. Dream holidays that are building sites, taking office stationary, even wasting work time.

A lot of the ten commandments tie together. Theft (8) often stems from coveting (10), can hardly be done without lying (9) and often ties in with idolatry (2).

Consumerism is a religion, shopping centres are the new cathedrals.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” – Luke 16 v 13

The desire to acquire, to keep up with others, is a danger of consumerism.

“Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendour,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honour come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” – 1 Chronicles 29 vv 11-12, 14

People have their wealth and possessions, but we’re stewards, not owners. Stealing is therefore an offence against God – it implies the robber is not trusting God for all he needs.

A steward is someone who cares for someone else’s property and manages it to their intentions, not being wasteful or letting it get into disrepair.

Good stewardship means working hard – “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” – Ephesians 4 v 28

Good stewardship involves giving away to those in need

Three attitudes to possessions:

  • What’s yours is mine – Thief
  • What’s mine is mine – Most common attitude
  • What’s mine is God’s – Correct

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6 vv 19-21

Our gifts and talents are from God and are to be used for His glory. When we waste time and fail to use gifts we’re robbing God.

Breaking other commandments robs God of his glory, and so in breaking them, we often break this one.

When we steal, we are saying that what God has given us is not enough.

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