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The Ten Commandments 08 - Work and Be Generous

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Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15  / HC Q&A 110-111 p.54

You shall not steal. Exodus 20:15 (NIV)

I.   Respect the Property of others

     A.  Don’t Take what God hasn’t given you

           1.  There are many ways to steal

                 a.  Robbery, shoplifting, “borrowing permanently”

                 b.  Fraud, cheating on taxes, overcharging

                 c.  Padding work hours, taking

           2.  There are many things to steal

                 a.  Money, personal belongings, property

                 b.  Time, Trust,

                 c.  Reputation, Job,

           3.  There are many justifications for stealing

                 a.  I needed it more than s/he/they

                 b.  It all belongs to God, who gives us all things(!)

                 c.  It’s not a big deal

     B.  Be Content with God’s provision

           1.  We take what isn’t ours when we want more than we have.

                 a.  People steal for two reasons: to get what they don’t have; for the trill.

                 b.  We can get “thrills” in legitimate ways

           2.  Be satisfied with what you have, rather than focusing on what you don’t.

                 a.  God gives all you need to do His will

                 b.  “Wealth isn’t having everything you want but wanting everything you have.”

     C.  Practice good Stewardship

           1.  Take good care of what you borrow.

                 a.  If it’s not ours, it’s like stealing to break it or wear it out needlessly.

                 b.  If we borrow money we must manage our money well so we can pay it back

           2.  All we have belongs to God

                 a.  The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.

                 b.  All we own we have on loan.

           3.  Don’t squander or waste God’s things

                 a.  They are God’s treat them with care

                 b.  God gives only good things.

                 c.  God wants them used for his purposes

II.  Work to Provide for yourself

     A.  Work is Good

           1.  Before sin entered creation, we had work

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Gen. 2:15

                 a.  Without something to do we feel lost

                 b.  Work isn’t punishment!

           2.  Everyone has a calling

                 a.  Homemaker, Builder, Farmer, Laborer, Teacher, Businessman, Salesman, Artist, Volunteer, Prayer Warrior, Friend

                 b.  God put us all here for a reason

                 c.  What is your calling?

           3.  God provides through work

                 a.  He gives you a job, your abilities, etc.

                 b.  God provides for you by providing work

     B.  We don’t have a Right to others’ generosity

           1.  We may/should receive the generosity of others with thanks

                 a.  There’s nothing wrong with helping someone receive the blessing of giving!

                 b.  Don’t be too proud to receive help.

           2.  We don’t have the right to demand it

                 a.  There are those who expect others to take care of them when they’re idle.

                 b.  The world owes them a living.

           3.  Don’t take, don’t pressure/manipulate

                 a.  Don’t demand that others give to you

                 b.  Others are responsible to God, not you, for their generosity.

     C.  Be faithful with your Abilities

           1.  God gives you abilities to provide for you

                 a.  God provides for you through your work

                 b.  Use your gifts/abilities wisely

           2.  Don’t squander or waste those abilities

                 a.  To waste the abilities God gives is a kind of stealing from God.

                 b.  To squander your abilities on things that dishonor God is a kind of stealing too.

           3.  Develop them.

                 a.  Get better! Practice! Train!

                 b.  Learn from mistakes.

                 c.  Get better to honor God better.

III. Be Generous stewards of God’s gifts

     A.  God’s provisions aren’t to be Hoarded

           1.  Property rights is not excuse for greed.

                 a.  It’s under my authority–but it’s God’s

                 b.  You mayn’t take it–but I must give

                 c.  I may save for the future, but I must also care for people in the present.

           2.  We are not to be tight-fisted misers

                 a.  Be generous as God is generous

                 b.  Love doesn’t withhold what folks need

           3.  God’s gifts to us aren’t just for us.

                 a.  God doesn’t give just so you can have

                 b.  God gives so you can do what he asks

     B.  Give out of Love, not out of guilt

           1.  Live the law of love with our belongings

                 a.  We are to love others as ourselves

                 b.  Not just in our minds/hearts, but actions

                 c.  Not just with our self, but with our stuff

           2.  A love gift is motivated to help, not enable

                 a.  Love gives when it doesn’t have to

                 b.  Love doesn’t want to enable self-destructive or foolish behavior.

                 c.  Sometimes the way to help is not to

           3.  Give what helps/ not always what’s asked

                 a.  Love gives what helps, even when it isn’t asked, or something else is asked.

                 b.  If someone is angry that we didn’t give what they want, that’s their problem.

     C.  God gives To you and Through you

           1.  God gives to us as members of His people

                 a.  God doesn’t give to us as if we are completely independent–we aren’t

                 b.  We receive as part of God’s family

           2.  God gives to you for your happiness

                 a.  God wants us to be happy!

                 b.  Enjoy God’s gifts without feeling guilt!

           3.  God gives to you, so you can have the blessing of giving.

                 a.  Enjoy the blessing of giving too!

                 b.  Love and joy get bigger when shared.

The Bottom Line:

Show your Love for God and your neighbor in your Work and with your Belongings.

Hymn: God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending R#513 v.2


Heidelberg Catechism

Q&A 110

What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?

He forbids not only outright theft and robbery, punishable by law.1

But in God’s sight theft also includes cheating and swindling our neighbor by schemes made to appear legitimate,2 such as: inaccurate measurements of weight, size, or volume; fraudulent merchandising; counterfeit money; excessive interest; or any other means forbidden by God.3

In addition he forbids all greed4 and pointless squandering of his gifts.5

1 Ex. 22:1; 1Cor. 5:9-10; 6:9-10

2 Mic. 6:9-11; Luke 3:14; James 5:1-6

3 Deut. 25:13-16; Ps. 15:5; Prov. 11:1; 12:22; Ezek. 45:9-12; Luke 6:35

4 Luke 12:15; Eph. 5:5

5 Prov. 21:20; 23:20-21; Luke 16:10-13

Q&A 111

What does God require of you in this commandment?

That I do whatever I can for my neighbor’s good, that I treat others as I would like them to treat me, and that I work faithfully so that I may share with those in need. 1

1 Isa. 58:5-10; Matt. 7:12; Gal. 6:9-10; Eph. 4:28


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