The Thief

There is an old fable about a man who found a small snake in the cold and because of compassion, he brought it into his house, warmed it, and nurtured it. After a while, the snake grew and eventually bit the man. He looked at the snake and said, “Why did you bite me? After everything that I have done for you, why did you bite me?” The snake looked back and said, “I’m a snake. You knew I was a snake, and that’s what snakes do.”

Likewise, a thief steals. Why does he steal? Because he is a thief and that’s what a thief does.

A few years ago, a man entered our ministry and church offices and told the receptionist a story about how he was moving into the area and wanted to walk around and look at the church that he had heard so much about. As he ran from the building, a staff member noticed that he had stolen the children’s church funds from the auditorium.

We had a five-gallon water bottle sitting at the edge of the stage marked “Children’s Church” where people dropped in their loose change. Obviously, the money was to be used for our children. It had been sitting there for several months and was only about half full of coins and bills. But now it was gone. The thief took it. That’s what a thief does.

Of course, the office called the authorities, and they were on the alert for a thief with a five gallon water jug full of coins and bills. In the natural, it appeared that the thief would have vending machine money for the rest of his life.

I have spent my life teaching the Word of God, and as a believer, I do not live my life based upon how things appear. I walk by faith and not by sight.

This brings us to the question of, “How do we respond when the thief steals?” First of all, we must understand that God’s kingdom has limitless resources and stealing from God is like taking a drop of water out of the ocean. His power and resources are not diminished any at all. Next, we must remember that God is fully capable and able to protect and restore anything stolen from His children.

Along with His limitless resources, He has limitless power. In reality, the thief didn’t steal from us, he stole from God. Remember in Acts chapter five, when Ananias and Sapphira told Peter a lie concerning money, Peter told them that they were not lying to him, but they were lying to the Holy Spirit.

Although nationally the church has received a lot of “bad press” over the years because some people have misappropriated funds, the reality is this. God takes money very seriously.

It’s hard to imagine that someone would have the courage or nerve to steal God’s money from the house of God. Just ask Ananias and Sapphira how stealing from God worked out for them!

Thirdly, we must know that there are battles that God fights for us. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we don’t call the police and operate in due diligence. And yes, we increased our security and have implemented new security measures for our buildings. However, the greatest security we have is the Word of God. Remember God told King Jehoshaphat to stand and see the victory because this battle was not his, but God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15).

And last, but not least, do not worry. The Bible says, “Do not fret because of evil doers, nor be envious of the wicked” (Proverbs 24:19). Worry is a byproduct of fear and fear involves torment. Perfect love casts out fear and although we hate thievery, we still pray for the salvation of the person who stole from God’s house. So, here’s the conclusion.

The chief thief, Satan, is a thief and will always be a thief. In John 10:10 Jesus said the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Also Jesus said in Luke chapter twelve that the thief tries to come when you least expect him so that you will not be prepared. But once again, as Christians, we must understand that the thief looks for every opportunity to steal from you, kill your visions and dreams, and destroy your life.

But the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God. We have the Word of God, the blood of Jesus, and the authority to use the name above all names to which every knee must bow. We have been given authority over all the power of the enemy and no weapon formed against us will prosper. If we stand in faith and walk in love, the enemy will look foolish in his attack. What he thinks is victory is actually his destruction and his attack upon us will develop into our blessing. The One living inside of us is greater than the one in the world.

And through all this, we worship and praise the living God. We do not worry. We do not fret. We do not cry but rejoice in the victory that is before us.

Scripture References:

If a man delivers to his neighbor money or articles to keep, and it is stolen out of the man’s house, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. (Exodus 22:7)

And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’” (2 Chronicles 20:15)

People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold; He may have to give up all the substance of his house. (Proverbs 6:30-31)

Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing. (Proverbs 29:24)

Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, “In what way have we robbed You?” In tithes and offerings. (Malachi 3:8)

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)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things. (Acts 5:9-11)

Devotion 0557

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