Tag Archives: fear

Thou Shalt Not Steal

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stealAnything taken by you that does not belong to you is a firm definition of stealing.  If it belongs to someone else and you take it (accidentally, purposely, or with good intentions), it is stealing.  God knew this would be a problem in all of society and spoke this as one of the 10 Commandments.  In Exodus 20:15, the Bible reads, “Thou shalt not steal.”  Plain and simple!  He doesn’t even give us exceptions to stealing.  If it isn’t yours, you should not EVER take it.

We acquire things through WORK:

Ephesians 4:28 – He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 – For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

Proverbs 14:23 – All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads to poverty.

1 Timothy 5:8 – If anyone who does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

We are commanded to work.  The Bible is clear that if you are physically able to work, you must work.  It is NOT acceptable to sit back and do nothing and expect things to be given to you.  Nobody owes you anything!  If you are freeloading at home while your parents are working, you need to move out and get a job.  If you are floating around from one place to the next mooching off of others, you need to get a job.  If you are the person who is allowing your child to sleep all day and do nothing, you are enabling them and creating an environment for them to sin; they are stealing from you, and worse, they are stealing from the person who could really use your help.  We are commanded to work so that we can not only provide for ourselves but also provide for others who are truly in need.  It is not okay for you to freely acquire things from someone else’s earned resources.

We acquire things through PRAYER:

Matthew 21:22 – If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

James 4:3 – When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

There are things we acquire by working, but there are things God withholds from us that we cannot acquire by working.  The only method we can acquire these things is through prayer.  God knows what we need before we ask Him but asking God for these things draws us closer to Him.  Blessings are available to each person and family and some are only available if we ask.  God will definitely send blessings down on us when we least expect it.  But what Father doesn’t want to give His children extra blessings when we go to Him in prayer?  We do need to be mindful about our prayers though.  God will not drop money in our laps when we intend to gamble, quit our job, or waste it away at nothing.  However, God would LOVE to send you blessings that you will turn around and use in His name.  Blessings given by God to be used for His glory are the most desirable and promising blessings available.

We acquire things through GIVING:

Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

The Lord wants us to give to His kingdom.  He wants us to use our blessings to give to others.  This isn’t just about our finances, but includes our time and energy as well.  If we give a little, we receive a little.  If we give much, we will receive much.  This doesn’t mean that the person who makes more money and gives more will receive more.  It is proportional giving and giving from the heart.  Are we giving of our ‘first  fruits’ as we are called to do?  Are we giving all that we can?  Are we giving until it hurts a little and ultimately makes us lean more on God?   Take a look at you bank statement and your calendar – they tell a story and say a whole lot about our giving.

As humans, we’ve come up with some fairly creative ways to steal.  Sometimes we completely seize items that do not belong to us; we take what we want, when we want it, and completely ignore the owner’s emotions attached to the item.  Sometimes we use deception to steal.  We deceive people into taking what rightfully belongs to them or we deceive ourselves and convince ourselves that because we have given of our time and efforts, we deserve something when it truly doesn’t belong to us.  And then there are times we simply withhold information or items to make ourselves look better or to avoid trouble.

-Have you ever stolen a car or someone else’s bicycle?

-Have you ever stolen a piece of candy or forgotten to pay for your drink at the store?

-Have you ever eaten a banana or grapes at the grocery store before purchasing them?

-Have you spent time on Facebook while on the clock at work? Or reading the most current sports reports when your time should be spent doing the work you are paid to do?

-Have you withheld information on paperwork so that the end result benefits you most?

We steal because we simply don’t trust God to provide everything.  But hasn’t he always provided everything we’ve needed?  So why do we continue to withhold our giving to God and others?  We like to think we are in control of ourselves, our circumstance, our surroundings, our futures, etc.  This may be a little news flash… we are not in control – but God is!

Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

We’ve all taken something that does not belong to us at one time or another in our lives.  And today, we must open our eyes to our deceitful nature and begin to use our time and resources more effectively for His glory and His kingdom.  If we look ahead with heaven in view rather than the world in view we may find it is a little easier to give and give according to how God has called each of us to give.

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Overcoming Envy and Jealousy

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JealousyEnvy means “to bear a grudge toward someone due to coveting what that person has or enjoys.” In a milder sense, it means “the longing for something someone else has without any ill will intended toward that person.”  Envy is the emotion when you want something that someone else has.

Jealousy means “being apprehensive or vengeful out of fear of being replaced by someone else.” It can also mean “watchful, anxiously suspicious, or zealous,” or “expecting complete devotion.” The last is normally applied to God.  Jealousy is the emotion when you fear something or someone might be taken away from you.

Envy, if left unchecked, can easily fuel a fire to jealousy.   Jealousy, if left unchecked, will lead to fear and fear can be absolutely debilitating.  Fear alone is bad enough but when it is heaped with coals of envy and jealousy you will soon see other negative emotions and actions follow.

Negative human emotions often times arise from fear and we are commanded as believers to “fear no evil” many times throughout the Bible.  If we are fearful of another person, we do become hostile towards them, whether in our thoughts or our actions.  Jealousy of another person is the state of believing they have something more and fearing they will become more advantageous.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  The Bible is very clear that we have not been given a spirit of fear.  Fear is a sinful emotion and is not of God.

Because we are all sinners and as humans we are full of emotion, we have all faced fear.  As Christians, we can release that fear to God and focus on scripture and positive thinking.  We must put our focus on the love of Christ and know His uplifting and gentle words that drive out fear and jealousy.  Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sister, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

We must triumph over envy, jealousy, and the many other negative emotions that we face!  God did not promise an easy life, but He did promise to never leave us or forsake us in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.”  Why do we fear and become jealous of others when we only need to be pleasing in the eyes of God?   When we allow negative emotions to control us, we are inadvertently telling God that what He has provided for us, where He has placed us, and what He has planned for us is not enough.  We have told our Creator that He is wrong and I promise you, God is NEVER wrong!  We need to put our focus on satisfying and becoming delightful in the eyes of our Creator, not another person.

How do we overcome these sinful emotions?

Confess your negative thoughts, feelings and fears to God.  It is true, God already knows our feelings but confessing them brings forth your acknowledgment.  God wants to help you; we just need to ask Him!

Be thankful for your blessings and gifts.   God created you in His own image and has blessed you according to His plan.  We must be thankful for all we have and praise Him for everything.

Put your faith into action.  Matthew 8:26 reads, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?”  What do you have to fear?  Carry your shield of faith and be pleasing to God, not man.  Faith will take your from jealousy to contentment, allow God’s words to lift you up.

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing” James 3:16.  You don’t really want disorder and evil to rule your life.  Take your jealousy into your hands and cast them away.  Ask God to replace these with love, His love… for perfect love casts out evil, 1 John 4:8b.

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