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Last week at the Wednesday Night Bible discussion we discussed the 8th Commandment listed in Exodus 20, continuing our discussion on what is sin.

1. Exodus 20:15-Thou shalt not steal. God has a very specific outline of what he considers stealing; and it isn’t just taking something that doesn’t belong to you.

2. The Bible includes the buying and selling of human life in the discussion of stealing. Human trafficking is a serious offense to God. In the old testament the punishment for this is death. Exodus 21:16 and Deuteronomy 24:7

3. Leviticus 6:1-7 is very specific in dealing with having something that isn’t yours and the restitution that is required to pay for the sin. Stealing isn’t just taking something that isn’t yours, but also finding something that is lost and not giving it back to the rightful owner. The thief was charged the principle plus one fifth of what they took to repay the debt.

4. The Bible discusses fair business practice in order to keep from stealing on both sides. Just weights or measurements of goods and services and adhering to contracts are listed out in the word. Leviticus 19:35-36, Deuteronomy 25:13-15, and Luke 3:13

5. Stealing isn’t just an act of the body but a result of a heart condition. Matthew 15:19-20 “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”

6. All of the above helps to define the sin of stealing. It isn’t just taking something that isn’t yours, but with holding something that belongs to someone. It can be tangible items, ones life, or reputation, if you deprive someone of what belongs to them, you are guilty of stealing. But there is a remedy. First repentance than restitution, returning or paying back that which is owed. Ephesians 4:28-Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Lately there has been a lot of turmoil in my life. A lot of changes, dreams being put on hold, and future plans accelerated. There has been confusion, grief, and worry all about what will happen in the future.  The business that I worked for went out of business. While this has been happening all over the place, it hit a little harder than just loosing my job, it was a family business. Not only did I lose my job, but 4 of my siblings and my parents all lost income at the same time. At first it was like an earthquake and it seamed that the world was falling around us.

But through the whole ordeal (we aren’t out of it yet) God has been there. Yes in the human there was worry, but in the spirit there was faith in God knowing that he had it all under control. It is so comforting to have someone to lean on in troubling times. It is God that gave peace and reassurance that he has a plan even in this.

During this time I had been reading in Psalms and a couple of scriptures stood out to me. One would assume that in this kind of situation, there would be depression, anger, and great sadness. I am not saying that there isn’t any of that, but there has been a joy and a happiness through it all also. This happiness comes from accepting God’s will for our lives and not holding on to temporal things. Things that we have in this world are on loan to us from God, he provides for our needs and blesses us abundantly. But they are all his, and not that he would want us to suffer, but he could take them at any time for a purpose. If we become so attached to things that our joy escapes us when they are no longer for us to use, our happiness is in the wrong things.

Psalms 144:15 says “Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.” and 146:5 tells us “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God:”

If our happiness is placed in God, no matter what we face we will be able to have a deep joy in our souls that will help carry us through.

We can have happiness even though…

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