Posts Tagged ‘stealing’



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

During the holiday season, an atheistic organization put a sign alongside the community Christmas display in Madison, Wisconsin. It blatantly declared: “In this season of the winter solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our material world. Religion is but a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

On the back of that sign was the warning: THOU SHALT NOT STEAL. Where do you suppose such a statement as that came from? If there is no God, why are they quoting Him? Either there is a God who establishes order out of chaos, or we should let nature take its natural course, which is always chaos. I choose to believe in God but wouldn’t trust the atheists with my sign!

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I love collecting sermon illustrations, as you have noticed reading this blog. My all time favorite is a true story told by heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay. In his own words:

“When I was a kid in Louisville, my parents gave me a brand-new bicycle. Proud and happy, I parked it outside a gym one day. Then somebody stole it, and it just about broke my heart. Someone told me there was a policeman in the basement, and when I found him, I told him that I’d find the guy who’d stolen my bike and beat him up. When he discovered that I didn’t know how to fight, he offered to teach me. That’s how I got into boxing. To this day I never found the thief. But every time I got into the ring, I looked across at the other fighter and told myself, “Hey, that’s the guy who stole my bicycle!”

Getting good and mad can be a real motivator. Popeye used to get pushed around by Brutus until he finally announced, “That’s all I can stand. I can’t stands no more!” When pushed to the brink he ate his spinach and took action.

In our spiritual development, there must be a time when we say, “That’s all I can stand. I can’t stands no more,” and get mad enough to take action to change the situation. What are you waiting for? Get good and mad and do something about it.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Several years ago we had a young couple come into the office to request assistance from the church. While the wife was filling out the necessary paperwork, the husband asked to use the restroom. On his way, he noticed the maintenance room door was standing open because our maintenance man was working on a project. This guy helped himself to a power drill in that room, and walked it out to his truck.

I was in my office and noticed out my window that he put something in his truck, but didn’t observe what it was. About that time the maintenance man came in the office trying to find out what happened to his power drill. We put two and two together and figured out what it was he placed in his truck. We knew we could not verify that the drill in his truck was actually the church’s, so we chose not to take action against the man.

But guess who received no help from the church. Here was a submissive wife filling out paperwork in hopes of receiving help from God’s people, and her irresponsible husband undermined all her attempts. We placed the family’s name on our do not assist list.

I’ve learned over years that when someone has their finances is disarray, there are usually other values in disarray, as well. The missing power drill was God’s warning as to the character issue. But, how sad for the wife and children of that scoundrel.

How would you have suggested we handled this couple?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

In Galveston, Texas, a hotel on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico put this notice in each room: No Fishing From the Balcony. Yet each day, hotel guests threw in their lines to the waters below. Then the management decided to take down the signs – and the fishing stopped.

In his book Confessions, Augustine (354-430), the well-known theologian, reflected on this attraction to the forbidden. He wrote, “There was a pear tree near our vineyard, laden with fruit. One stormy night we rascally youths set out to rob it…We took off a huge load of pears – not to feast upon ourselves, but to throw them to the pigs, though we ate just enough to have the pleasure of the forbidden fruit. They were nice pears, but it was not the pears that my wretched soul coveted, for I had plenty better at home. I picked them simply to become a thief…The desire to steal was awakened simply by the prohibition of stealing.”

Romans 7 teaches us that human nature is inherently rebellious. Give us a law and we will see it as a challenge to break it.

Do you have a similar story of being caught up breaking the law?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

A newspaper article reported that a thief in Lodi, New Jersey, stole $7,000 in jewelry, old coins, and cash from a widow. The items taken were all she had left from her husband’s estate.

While going through his loot, the robber came across several offering envelopes containing money the woman intended to give to the Lord. Leaving the contents inside, he put them in another envelope, addressed it to the woman’s church, and then dropped it in the mail.

When the pastor discovered what had happened, he commented, “It’s characteristic of the moral confusion of our times that someone would consider stealing from a widow and her children, yet think it reprehensible to steal from the church.”

Here’s an important truth: A sin against our neighbor is a sin against God (Leviticus 6:4). Who really owns that stuff anyway?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Dwight L. Moody also told this interesting story:

“I heard of a boy who stole a cannon-ball from a navy-yard. He watched his opportunity, sneaked into the yard, and secured it. But when he had it, he hardly knew what to do with it. It was heavy, and too large to conceal in his pocket, so he had to put it under his hat. When he got home with it, he dared not show it to his parents, because it would have led at once to his detection. He said in later years it was the last thing he ever stole.”

When I was a boy, some friends of mine talked me into joining them in breaking into a house. We obtained a hammer, screwdriver and crowbar and walked across the street and around behind the house, trying to gain access through a back window. The house was empty, so there was nothing to steal. It was broad daylight and my friend’s father saw us going across the street, so he followed us.

He grounded his son and sent our other friend and I home. I was the oldest of the three, so he assumed I was the instigator. I was forbidden to play with my friend or visit in his home. Although that was years ago and I have since officiated at both of my friend’s parents’ funerals, to this very day I carry a shame for being identified in that act.

Tell us about your experience with stealing or with guilt.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

A little boy was standing in an old-fashioned country store by the candy counter. The storekeeper had watched him for some time, and finally the clerk came down the aisle and said to him, “Trying to steal some candy, eh?”

To this question the little boy answered, “No, I’m trying not to steal it.”

Have we noticed that the longer we examine temptation, the more powerful it becomes in our life, and the more guilty we appear. There is an old saying that goes, “Look, but don’t touch.” The problem is, how do you look, and look again, and not touch the temptation you’re looking at. Its like a man looking at internet pornography but not lusting in his heart. It cannot be done.

The longer I allow temptation to be dangled in front of my eyes, the more powerful the urge to succumb. The obvious answer for the little boy is to run away fast.

Paul wrote to Timothy: “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and goodness” (1 Timothy 6:11).

Tell us how you learned about the power of temptation and how you overcame.

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