Hi, Jason Pankau here with another video devotional to help you walk in the Lord today. We’re in this series, continuing through the Ten Commandments, these amazing laws that lead to life. We are in the 7th Commandment which very simply states, “You shall not steal.” I am going to give you Dr. Martin Luther’s version of this, “What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not take our neighbors money or possessions or get them in any dishonest way, but help him to improve and protect his possessions and income.” What a wonderful paradigm shift on money and stuff. Rather than follow the worldly training which would tell us to get all the stuff we can and that it’s ours, God frees us up and helps us remember that it all belongs to Him anyway.
Why would you ever not just be content to steward what God has put in your lot in life? I love that phrase that comes out of Ecclesiastes, “what is your lot in life?” One definition of contentment is ‘wanting what you have, not having what you want.’ Can you embrace the fact that if God wanted you to be billionaire He would make it happen? He owns it all. I can tell you, I know some very wealthy people and they’re just not that happy. They don’t have relationships that are life-giving. They don’t know who to trust. It’s a very not-loving, relational dynamic that they live in. The American world view says more is better. Not from God’s perspective, unless you’re going to steward it from His perspective and allow Him to teach you how to use it in a way that honors His name and brings growth to His kingdom.
I like the little caveat that Martin Luther put on this, “do not take your neighbors money or possessions or get them in any dishonest way.” Sometimes this Commandment gets violated when we just want to cut the corner a little bit. Don’t cut corners, it’s like stealing. Instead, live as a good steward, “and help your neighbors to improve and protect their possessions.” Be someone that they want to entrust with the stewardship of their stuff. If they go on vacation, do they trust you enough to watch over the property that God assigned to them and to take care of for His Kingdom’s sake? That’s the kind of community God wants to build – where we can trust one another to help each other grow God’s stuff for His glory. I pray that God would radically continue to shape our perspective on greed, money and possessions to see that it is all God’s. We have been generously provided for. More than we could ever possibly deserve. We deserve death, so it’s all a bonus. So I want you to live as a grateful steward today. “Thou shall not steal.”
Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, for the ways that we might have cut corners or stolen from people in the past, we ask for Your forgiveness. We ask that You would refresh us and give us a sharp conscience to know the right and wrong. Give us discernment, that we might live upright lives before You and with one another as it relates to money and stuff and possessions. Father, help us to live that picture of community where we’re truly stewarding Your resources for Your glory, for others’ benefit. Help us to look out for others’ stuff, not to be looking to steal it. Father, transform our hearts. It’s only in and through You that this kind of life is possible. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
God bless you as you walk in the Lord.