Monday, May 29, 2017

What is Mine is the Lord's

YOU SHALL NOT STEAL. This commandment from Exodus 20 assumes the right to private property. However, the Scripture also reminds us “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Tim. 6:7). God also reminds us, “Every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). So what we call “our own” is really a temporary trust from God for us to manage during this brief lifetime. This a good reason for us not to get upset when people cheat us, steal from us, or otherwise take advantage of us. No wonder our Lord directs His disciples, “If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also” (Matthew 5:4).

Yet God forbids us to take for ourselves what He has entrusted to our fellowman. He prohibits cheating, robbing, patent infringement, or plagiarism. “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands (this could include his brain) what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28). The alternative to stealing is good, honest labor, not just to have more to consume for ourselves, but instead of taking we can be giving to those who have need.

The Christian can think this way because Christ has redeemed Him and provided him a treasure in heaven “where moth does not corrupt nor thieves break through and steal.” Come to Peace Lutheran Church for this treasure. Sunday service time is 9:00 a.m.