Do Not Steal (8 of 10) by Ike Reighard

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Do Not Steal (8 of 10)
Series: The Demand of Command
Ike Reighard
Exodus 20; II Chronicles 7:14
March 6, 1994


When I was five years old, we lived in Atlanta on a street called Tilden in a rental house on a small hill. Next door lived a family named the "Sangleys," and they became special friends of our family. Mrs. Sangley took a lot of interest in me and let me help her plant a special garden. In the garden site, she planted strawberries, which were and are still my favorite fruit. Mrs. Sangley told me that in a few weeks we would have strawberries, and she was right!

There was one strawberry in particular that had my name on it according to Mrs. Sangley. She told me that I could not pick it until she gave permission when it was ripe. That strawberry became my first vivid memory of a temptation to steal. During the day, that strawberry looked at me with a smile. At night, moonbeams illuminated it, and everyday I could hear it whisper my name.

You know the outcome, of course. I stole the strawberry. I ate the strawberry. All of the evidence of a crime had been eradicated. What I did not know then, I have come to know now. Somebody is always watching. For me, it was Mrs. Sangley at her kitchen window who watched my preschool heist job. For all of us God watches from the portals of heaven and we do not get away with ill-gotten gains, even if it is only our conscience that finds us out.

Why did God tell us not to steal and in what ways do we steal?

I. We can steal from our fellowman.
(Story on man and his wallet left in a New York hotel room.)

A. Viewpoints about material provisions.
1. Communists or Marxists believe that goods belong to the state.
2. Capitalism believes that goods belong to the individual.
3. Christianity believes that goods belong to God.

**When we steal property from someone else, we really steal from God.

Naboth's vineyard.
1 Kings 21

B. Violation of the Master Principle.
Y ...

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