Good morning, Welcome to our church. My name is Mike, one of the four pastors here at this church. It’s an honor to be a few. Today. We’re looking at the eighth commandment. You’ve probably heard your mom with the eighth commandment. You remember your mom? She would say in the second book of Mom, chapter 24 verse seven, Thou shalt not try me was your mom? That was that was another woman. Um, okay. But today, seriously, we look at the eighth commandment. Let’s look at it together. The eighth commandment. Exodus. 20 verse 15. It says you shall not steel. Steel. Okay, so imagine a world where there was no stealing. You wouldn’t have to carry these things around. These things are a trophy to our humanity and how we steal from each other, How we still and we don’t trust people, we have to lock up buildings, work cars. Right? These things remember these awkward things in your skinny jeans guys, these awkward things that you have to carry around in your purse that get lost that are weapons in the parking lot in case things go down, right, Keys. Yeah, that’s an idea. You learn things at church. So imagine a world where we didn’t have to steal anything at a college roommate, Shane, who left his keys in his car when we got out of the car. He was giving me a ride. I was bumming rides for years. Um, he’s from small town Nebraska. We got out of the car and like you left your kids, man. He’s like, oh, that’s fine. I did it all growing up. And I’m like, well, this isn’t, this isn’t a small town Nebraska. He’s like, it’s fine. And I’m like, what? They didn’t steal your car in Madison? And he’s like, well, if they did they take it somewhere and bring it back. It’s like, oh, that’s great. I’m like, this is I don’t know how things work in Omaha’s, but in Denver, where I grew up that wouldn’t fly. And so Shane hopefully left his keys not in his car this morning, but stealing. It’s just imagine a world where that was your reality. You didn’t have to have keys to get into your car, You could leave your house unlocked, you can leave the church unlocked, you can leave your work unlocked and people were trustworthy to not take advantage of each other. Imagine that wonderful world that we don’t live in. Amen. Alright, so 86% of adults when surveyed, which are the 10 commandments, They’re confident they kept 86% of adults claim that they keep the eighth commandment, 86% of people probably might have came this morning thinking I’m good on this one. I’m gonna come on church this week, 86% adults think they keep the eighth commandment. So before we jump into the eighth commandment, let’s pray, will you bow your heads with me to close your eyes and try to focus our thoughts and our minds on what God might be doing in your heart this morning. Let’s pray. Thank you for this morning. Thank you for the Bible. Thank you for these 10 commandments we’ve been looking at for Coming up on 10 weeks here. I ask that you would let your work do what your work does, your word do what your word does and you do work in our lives. Let the word of God speak instruct convict. Rebuke correct, encourage our souls today. I pray to be the bible and the scripture that instructs our souls today. Okay, I’ll get out of the way. We’ll get out of the way and we would listen so that we might obey what we hear today. I commit this time to you Lord in jesus name. We pray amen. Alright, so we do steal theft, thieving, stealing is knitted into the fabric of our society as people. It’s what happens as people. So how we steal. There’s many not obvious ways that we are engaged in stealing as a society, as a culture. We still So let’s work through our list. Here. I got for you. Number one is we steal from our employees. We cheat them on pay. We cheat them on benefits. We can be cheap and we can cheat our employees like. Yeah my boss, I get it. I get so we can take advantage of our employees. The other one is we steal from our employer. Should be all of us. We can be lazy, we can steal time. We can do poor work, we can do slack work. We can steal from our employer. Alright, alright, moving along we can gossip and slander. That was that was stealing. You’re stealing their reputation. You’re stealing their reputation with others. And I have a on this topic I have a have a dark thought sometimes and I thought to myself, you know my obituary as a pastor is gonna be written by the most immature christians in the city of Lincoln as they gossip and slander about what a great or horrible pastor I was. You get what I’m saying? I mean I don’t know, not not christians and Lincoln. Not so far it hasn’t happened yet, but I’m sure it will happen someday because I just know who humans are. Christians talk, We gossip and slander about people, leaders, not leaders, friends, family. We gossip and slander. We steal their reputation from them. We steal from the government tax evasion. We steal from the government of tax evasion. We steal with fraud and embezzlement. We find out sense of information. We steal an opportunity that is not belong to us. We still intellectual property. We steal someone’s idea from someone and go behind their back and X. And engage in theft. We still from society. We still from society as a whole by not working and not contributing to society in a productive way. We steal from society as a whole last week we looked at this one, but we still love with adultery with fantasy, adultery with porn. You’re stealing love from someone and relationships and time and commitment that you don’t have with people when you engage in adultery and or porn. And also and finally we steal from God. We christians steal from God from lack of tithing and being generous to God. And the mission of God stealing I proposed was knitted into the it’s just needed into the fabric of our society. This culture of theft of stealing is just part of who we are. You go to monday morning and you think I don’t wanna get taken advantage of. So I’m gonna speed. I don’t want to get taken advantage of in this, you know by this contractor, by this client, by this customer. I don’t be taken advantage of by people around us. We have lack of trust in other people. So we’re always on guard to not be taken advantage of. Does that make sense? You tracking with me, thou shalt not steal. It’s everywhere. It’s part of our culture. As a society, we live in a culture where theft is normalized. I was encouraged by a pastor. He shared this about Martin Luther and I think it’s a gym and it speaks exactly what we’re talking about, Martin Luther says the 8th commandment applies wherever there is taking and giving them money for merchandise. And labor. The 8th commandment applies whenever there is taking and giving of money for merchandise. And labor left feeling free market. Those things go together as part of our society as a fabric. The 8th commandment speaks to the very real world where we live in every day. So how do we steal? Very creative? But we steal in all sorts of ways as people. So why do we steal? Why do we steal? Why do we steal by breaking the moral boundaries to meet your desires and your needs? Why do we steal? I think it’s for it’s driven by a few things. One is driven by a lack of character, your character or someone else’s character. They didn’t have discipline on their end to do the work. They were lazy and their work ethic, they didn’t work wholeheartedly. Like jesus was their boss, like God was their boss who they give an account for their, they were lazy employees, slothful employees. Slugger employees. There was no slackers in that group project who cherry picked all year. Then they showed up the final exam, then they smiled and got there a with the rest of the group. They were there, they were there, there’s character, there’s lack of character dr stealing, lack of character among people. Drive stealing. But it’s also driven by a lack of understanding of God’s character. The theft and stealing is driven by the heart, a lack of understanding of God’s care. So think about this like in kindergarten when you got that note saying do you like me? Yes, no, maybe check a box, remember that you wrote that note or you got that note, Let’s do that same concept with God. Is God good? Yes. No, Or maybe is God good? Do you lack an understanding of God’s character? You do not think God is good? You check that? No box. You check that navy box. So it keeps you, it keeps you from trusting in God. If God is good, can God be trusted? Can you be content and trust, jesus for your current situation? Lack of understanding of God’s character, drives theft. A lack of understanding or lack of trust in God. Can God be trusted? You’re basically saying when you don’t trust God, I don’t trust you. God. I trust myself more, I don’t trust you. God, I trust my significant other more. I don’t trust you. God. I trust my bank account more, I don’t trust you. God. I trust my youth more. I don’t trust you. God. I trust my fancy career more. There’s lack of trust. We demonstrate to God in many areas of our lives, failure to trust God and his provision for you is by stealing is telling God that you do not trust him and that he is a bad provider and doesn’t know what’s best for you for now, sea life has conditioned you to be careful who you trust. If it’s a mechanic, A plumber a concrete guy, a landscaping person, an engineer. The local government mechanics, lack of trust in people is woven into our society, but it might have stemmed from like a primary relationship when you’re a young man, young woman, a parent or authority figure took advantage of that position of authority and they last trust in them. Why do we steal many ways? How we steal? Why do we steal? Lack of character for you? Lack of sam character for God and lack of trust in who God is God’s nature, God’s character. So what does God want? What does God want from you? The 8th Commandment says You shall not steal exodus 20 and it talks about stealing and theft throughout the whole bible. You can read about people that stole in the bible, you can read about people that got away of stuff in the bible and people that didn’t get away with stuff in the bible and how they stole and all throughout proverbs. You see this pattern of this dynamic of stealing is the fabric of, you know, free market. You see it in Jeremiah 17 11. You see in all these different passages in proverbs about like merchants and taking advantage of people, customers, taking advantage of people. You see this throughout, you know, the political law. You see theft and stealing as part of a problem that needs to be addressed by God when you address the top 10 biggest problems, but what does God want? You see that stealing pattern all throughout the old testament into the new testament. I didn’t make this up. Ephesians 428 talks about stealing in the church and Ephesians in the new testament Church, these are christians, y’all christians And this is written to the Christian Church and Ephesians 4 28. Let the thief no longer steal. Talking about a group of christians, let the thief no longer steal. Instead he has to do honest work with his own hands so that he can share. He has something to share with anyone in need, but the thief no longer steal and said he must do honest work with his own hands so that he has something to share with anyone in need. We see stealing and theft throughout the whole bible, I just covered all these different various ways that how we steal, But I’d like to pick one And drill down on one. I’m not picking government fraud, I’m not picking stealing for employees are stealing for your employer. I’ve picked I’ve chosen the passage in maliki which talks about the grand theft of stealing from God. The ultimate con. And there’s this this conversation happened that the prophet Malachi and the people of God as he addressed robbery of God. The Maliki 38 and 10 is where I’m like to pick up with you. Speaking about this heart of what the babble asks of us Malik writes, will a man rob God? You ask the question, Will a man rob God yet. You are robbing me and you ask, how do we rob you By not making the payments of the 10th the tithe and the contributions you are suffering under a curse. Yet you the whole nation are still robbery robbing me. Bring the whole 10th into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this way, test me in this way, says the Lord of armies, see if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure. Malaki says that we should test God in what area and your finances. The opposite of the opposite of stealing is generosity. What all these scholars, I read about this last week wrote about the opposite of you know, stealing is generosity. Have you ever thought I’m going to put God to the test in my finances that thought ever gone through your mind, have ever put God I’m gonna put out of the test of my finances. I heard a quote from Mark Patterson and his gold and so I’m gonna share it every time I talk about money. The rest of my life, he says he’s an author. Pastor Written some really encouraging books for my soul. He wrote this one Passages. One quote. He said, God can do more with 90% of your income, then you can do it. 100% of your income. God could do more than 90% of your income than you can do 100% of your income. So get this. When you give to God, when you test God in your finances, he God is required to meet your needs to meet your needs. Not meet your once but meet your needs. I’m going to illustrate this with all these. Let’s pretend you’re going to all these because you want to stretch a buck like a good christian and you’re at all these and you’re checking out and you look in front of you like oh my goodness, Jeff Bezos and Elon musk are buying food for SpaceX and blue Origin like that’s amazing wow! And then after that you realize that none of them, they aren’t taking anyone’s Bitcoin and no one has a wallet and you’re like ah very haven’t bought, they can’t buy their groceries. What would you do? Would you buy them their groceries or would you stand by and watch them stuff? What would you do? Somebody like you would you should buy them their groceries. Some of the richest people on the planet at all. These cannot buy groceries and you’re behind them and you can squat them grocery, you should buy them groceries, right? You want to be in debt to Elon musk and Jeff, you want them to owe you a solid right? Of course you would buy them groceries. People listen to this verse. But when my dad shared this growing up in colorado, I’m like I don’t believe that’s in the bible and does like it is. And he showed me and I’m like, oh, that is a good verse. And it’s in psalms 37 verse 25. It says this. I have been young and now I’m old yet. I have not seen the righteous abandoned or his Children begging for bread. I’m like, dad, that’s a huge claim. That’s a big claim. But think about it. We have a big God. We sing songs too. We pray, we worship. We read about a big God, an omnipresent God, an omniscient God and all knowing God and Almighty God, that’s a big God. He has a better understanding of your financial household than you do is a better extent of your future financial challenges than you will have. It’s the God of the universe who are looking to omniscient, almighty, all knowing God, that’s a big God. He’s liable for your needs. When you’re generous to God. It’s on this, this culture of generosity. Talking about generosity, I’m very proud of our church. I’m very proud of what God has been doing in your lives. We’ve been around with us for a while. We’ve done several campaigns, we’ve had a lot of cool stories of generosity that happened in our life as a church. I like to talk through our church for a second. I’m I’m very proud of the leaders. God has given us it is wild, all of our pastors are wildly generous givers to this church. They’re all in have ownership and financial, buy in their time, their talent and their treasure. There’s some very generous Givers in our church in the 10% club. I’m just making up there in the 10% club and beyond an extra. Does that make sense? I’m incredibly proud of what God has been doing in all the pastor’s lives that I’m a part of. I’m just trying to keep up with those guys, they’re great men and they’re very generous and they’re very good at giving and generosity, but it it bleeds beyond just the pastor’s. I’m incredibly proud of what God has been doing, humbled and sober, what God has been doing for our community leaders, All those different community leaders that we have scattered throughout this church of all different. They’re all generous givers, they’re in the 10% club and they grandly give to jesus and his mission. I think that’s amazing. I’m very proud of what God is doing in the lives in the hearts of the group leaders, some of them are in the 10% world, some are working on it. I mean, our whole church is working on it. I think our church is at 6% giving right now, collectively that we’re giving to missions and church plans a couple years ago, we’re at 0% giving to missions and church plans. We’re gonna jump to 9% this next year, get to that magical 10% number and then beyond our hope and our heart is to give grandly to jesus and his mission for world evangelism around the globe and across the state. Think about it, we’re in a church, we’re in a church and the archaeologists of this church, it’s dreary, so the windows open, but you can see the Jerusalem cross, I think it’s like four, four crosses intertwined. You see it, it’s up there, You see it, it’s called the Jerusalem Cross. It’s inspired by Matthew 20 of taking the gospel to the whole known world, taking the gospel of jesus christ to make disciples of all ethnic group, every nation around the entire globe. We wanna grandly give greater and greater year after year to missionaries and church plants around the globe, there’s some great partnerships. So we, I come up here and I show you a video once a month and this is what we’re paying for this, we’re giving to and I go back and do membership each month, we’re growing that as a church, were growing in generosity journey as a collective church, which is exciting in my mind, But I’m proud of what God’s doing. Those young community leaders as they’re growing up in this whole discipline, the spiritual way of worshiping God through giving and I’m proud of our members of this church, they account for 98% of our income as a church comes from members, we’re on this generosity journey of growing and it’s thrilling and exciting journey and we know that God is good and God can be trusted and he can be trusted more of our finances than we can like mike. You’re boasting Your left hand, right hand, you shouldn’t talk about money Mike. I’m like, well, yeah, but the Bible says that Matthew, I mean, first chronicles 29 David when they’re getting money built up to build the temple of God so that people could come and worship God David grandly gave and he had all the leaders and political leaders and influential clan tribe leaders of Israel give first and then report that cumulative number to the whole nation of Israel and then the whole nation of Israel gave to build the temple where the whole people of God will come and worship God. But God, the nation of Israel should have, could have would have been a light to the nations, to the gentile nations around this globe. The leaders saw the generosity, The people saw the generosity of the leaders and they were encouraged by the ownership, by the unification, by the humility, by the shared vision of their leaders and they rallied and ran behind their leaders. Financial ownership among your leaders is uniting and powerful and healthy thing. We want to hold to. There’s some obvious questions which feels like a straw man questions, but try not to do, but do you want to be in a church, but they don’t care about if anyone gives or I could stand here in front of you and not have a penny in this thing. Does that make sense? Do you want to be in a church where there’s no accountability for pastors or for leaders of the church and like having ownership and buying on the vision and mission and values of the church. You want to be in a church where people don’t have financial skin in the game, where they aren’t united and they’re giving the same shared vision. I mean, I would say if there’s extremes of, you know, leaders in Christianity have abused and used people in this topic of generosity of talking too much about money and making it about money and all about money. I would say we’re on the other extreme rarely do we ever speak about money as a church? You could be floating in and out of here for months and never hear the M word money, get what I’m saying, We were more be more critical of us not speaking about, but see the opposite of stealing is generosity and generosity is one of the big three valleys we have on the wall, as you walked in. Did you notice that there’s a science as gospel community and generosity? We talked about the group’s weekly, we try to do gospel presentations and christ centered messages and we try to gospel centered ministry throughout our church or people we wanna keep the main thing, the main thing and the main thing is coming to a saving knowledge of jesus christ, we never talk about generosity hardly like most churches have a part where they pass a plate and you you add money or gifts to the plate, or they have you stand up and come to the front and like do a box, fill a box and you go and you sit back down. It’s like a closing worship song. It’s part of the rhythms of that church family. If you think of that, we don’t hardly do anything except a capital campaign. And then we took three years of that and we took a year off, they did a one year campaign. And then we’ve been quiet about money for the most part, I think I’m more critical of us is not talking about the motivation, the heart and the reason why I want to, because I worship God, because I’m generous, because I believe in the mission, I believe in lives changed for the Gospel. I believe in more people have an opportunity to hear about christ. That’s why I give I give us an act of obedience to give it an act of devotion. I give it as an act of worship. I give us an act of, you know, spiritual discipline. I give to change and impact lives. There’s so many rich passages in the bible, it talks about the heart behind the y not dutifully drudgery giving, but giving us a celebratory part of your life. The stealing is the opposite of generosity. That’s why Mike’s talking about generosity value. And we’re talking about the 8th commandment, which is about stealing. A generous believer thinks how can I leverage what God has given me to not just meet my needs, but also to meet the needs of others. There’s many of you that are wired this way. We always love being on the receiving end of grand generosity. We’ve always experienced that as a church. So I’ll be brief. But we were able to buy this building because of the grand generosity of another church in town. That was consolidating three churches to one location. And they sold us this building, that was worth 1.2 million for $700,000. And then our 90 some people the church grandly gave and raised $400,000 to buy this property. And we have this building now because of someone’s grand generosity. Remember there’s an organ there, you don’t remember there’s an organ there, but there’s an organ here and we were able to sell that and make $50,000 off of that, which is a wild God’s story. So we can fix our roof on that side where the science and the nursery is if you fast forward, we had some amazing campaigns to renovate the inside of the building. Um, and then we had an opportunity with, you know, Shane’s work and labor of working with that real estate development company to be able to buy that house over there. That house we we love that’s boarded up. That’s interesting looking um and that’s been an interesting fun story uh that we’re doing non pastoral work spain and I and others trying to help get that thing done. You could be praying for thursday thursday uh group of us I think will be presenting to uh a variety of host of local government to get our plans blessed to be able to remove that house and expand our parking lot. So more people could come and hear about jesus not parking the rocks or park in the street. So we just have hospitality outside, you go to walmart, you don’t have to park up the street and walk you know parking and rock lot, you park on something. And so our hope is to be more of a blessing in the neighborhood. And the neighbors, I got signature. I got emails from most of the neighbors around. They love our plan of what we’ve been doing but but that house price went for like I think like 1 25 to 1 35 is what it was worth. They sold us for $90,000 which is amazing story of generosity and then this last week Tuesday and Wednesday, a friend of ours from Omaha who’s we’ve known since college, he was an intern for me at a college group I was running for years. Um He married Hannah, my cousin. Um and he’s a dear, generous godly man, his father’s and his sons, you know the glass company, they spent several days putting in all new windows in our building. It’s like not only like 989 years ago, he and I are on scaffolding, took all these windows out and fixed them also to quit leaking but then they installed all new windows on our science school and nursery wing of our church. You should look up at the building when you walk back to your car, there’s there’s over $80,000 and new windows installed this last week and he sold to us for $20,000. That amazing. I feel like we’re robbing you aunt rob got he grandly because he loves the Lord, he loves the mission, he loves church, he loves Christianity. It is sobering to be on the grand generosity receiving in as a church. I mean those windows like 25,000 square feet of Augusta wind would hit one side of our building. The other side would pop open because the 25,000 square feet is a lot of space. We’d like zip tie windows shut and put rubber bands on windows and screw windows shut because they kept opening up. We’re like helping global warming. You know with all the heat we let on the winter in this space, there were old windows and like water would hit this side hard Driving rain from this direction, you’d have you know, sheets of water on the outside the windows and sheets of water on the inside of the windows. It was interesting windows we had to our kids area and so utilities, we spent $12,000 a year in utilities. And that adds up and windows that you can feel a good breeze strong, you can see daylight through like rotted pieces of glass around wood is not smart or good stewards and thank God for grand generosity. Amen. So what does God require of you dan encouraged us pastors when it goes through this passage to look to some catechism because it really helped frame the question in a helpful way. So what does God require of you in the 8th commandment? That’s the question. And the answer is that I do whatever I can for my neighbors good and that I treat others as I would like them to treat me, that I work faithfully so that I might share with those in need. What does God want from us in this generous life. God wants us to grow and trust because we’re confident in him. God wants us to grow and trust because we’re confident in him. That’s one of our distinct three values. Our three values is generosity, culture is one of them and the value we rarely discuss. And it’s not just because we’re not in the richest neighborhood. And it’s a practical way. No, it’s not the real reason the heart behind why we we lift this up of being generous with your time. Your talent and your treasure is because if God can get a hold of your heart and your generosity of your time, your talent and your treasure, God can get ahold of all of you. I’ve been in the membership class and people say mike, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna serve, just let me write a check. And it’s like, okay brother, you can stand the parking lot, you can hand out some donuts, you can do something hand out donuts or sugary donuts to little kids. And it’s not that hard. It’s good for you to serve with your time. And there’s other people like you know, you know, they’re incredibly talented men and women and God’s bringing us amazingly talented men and women. It’s like, well the world pays you well for your talent, Christianity doesn’t pay well for your talent. But God grandly rewards. And if like corporate America is taking all your talent, you need to save and give some of your talent and your gifts to the church to build up the church to full spiritual maturity and the other area of your time, I send money, right time talent, money, you know, serving of your time. We require our members to serve their church crazy if they don’t want to serve this church as you go to church where they do what I serve that church crazy. I know, but it makes it not very, it doesn’t make people lost in science school nursery for decades. You know, it makes like you have a rotation that’s, I think every two months. That’s pretty nice. Those parents have kids and stuff. I mean like we require you to serve your church time talent. If God gets a hold of that generosity of your time, your talent treasure, God gets a hold of all areas of your life, it’s the high bar you should aim at when you’re desiring to make disciples of jesus christ. So what are we gonna do as a group and what are you gonna do? So starting next week, we are going to add a slow drip into our weekly services. This is pretty normal, especially for like growing healthy churches, communicating the heart and the why behind they give, why they give, it’s like we could do a capital campaign again just to educate everyone for two months or something and then not talk about money that often. But it’s like, well we should do, we could and should do a simple 23 minute commercial about the heart of why, you know hell, where when you know, but why we give looking at different bible passages. The theology of generosity is rich and it’s amazing to look at And that our team has been writing up some really short good little devotionals. We have like John Piper’s tool, 50 reasons just came to die, which helps you till we utilize in our communion thoughts. So there’s some variety and we understand the different depth and meaning of what happened on the cross when I take communion. So our understanding the gospel grows with time and there are those that teams running up like 50. Some reasons why jesus 50 some reasons why we should be generous and it talks to the heart and the motivation behind the why, why we do what we do as people or worship or devotion for obedience, for celebration, for sacrifice, for faith, growing your faith. I mean, there’s amazing reasons in the bible why we wanna look at the passage and look at the principle about why we should be growing in generosity as a church. I know it’s a loaded topic, but I know the bible is loaded with generosity. So we’re gonna look at it amen. And I’m excited to look at the motivation of why this matters. So a little short little 23 minute drip into our rhythms as a community, as people. That’s what we’re gonna do. So here’s like, what should you do, what is God calling you to do? And a pastor? Old friend uses this in his church for 30 years and I thought it will work for us. And so he has this as a tool they use. If you’re not giving anything, maybe give something. That’s an idea if you’re not, if you’re getting sporadically or infrequently, maybe make it a regular and frequent part of your life. If you give little maybe increase that percentage. God calls for 10% to be given to his house at this as a starting point. And we need to grow into that. Some of us are churches growing into that field, generosity and grace to, you know, finances are not that simple for some of us. It’s like we’ll be patient if you just were all in progress turning our church is at 6% giving emissions, So we’ll be patient for you. Does that make sense? But if giving 10% consider even greater generosity, like many of us are doing. And if bonus point here, if giving from obligation or duty gives an act of a willing sacrificial worship and love giving is ultimately about our hearts, not our wallet. And that bonus point about the motivation of heart behind why we’re gonna hope to address. And that’s 23 minutes short, concise commercials. So, as I start to conclude this ironically, this sin of stealing is how I became a christian. I place my trust in the goodness and the grace of God. I was a nine, almost 10 year old boy out in Colorado and uh, we, I was at my friend’s house lyle and lyle and I were hanging out and he said mike, I have an idea, let’s go to that mrs winters house into her barn, she has a whole wall of eggs and a chicken coop, let’s steal an egg. And I’m like, that’s wrong. I think I wasn’t a christian yet. My family like hit me in the gospel, my mom and dad multiple times and I was the pagan that wasn’t getting saved. All my other siblings were getting saved and it’s like, what’s with this son of ours? My dad’s a pastor, so it’s like, what are we doing? This boy is almost 10, you know, and he’s needs to become a christian and I’m like, I think this is wrong. I’m kind of a terror in sunday school and I know I think this is wrong. He’s like, come on, come on, you go first. I’m like, I went in there and took one egg, like a legalistic pre christian. I’m like, this is wrong. But I just took one, here’s one egg. I gave it to him like great, he said on the ground, he’s like, I’ll be right back, He crawls over this fence is taller than that tv, he crawls over this horse stallion fence thing. Like I went over into the barn and he came out of a t shirt full of eggs. Like if he he did this and it was, he had those long t shirts because it was back when those were cooler, there was a lot of eggs and he came over that fence without breaking any, which is a miracle in itself, he got to the end of the fence as soon as his feet hit the ground. I heard that screen door smack open. Mrs winter. She was very old. She was her last name. She’s very she she deserved to be cold with us because we were stealing from her just before egg prices went up. But still stealing is stealing. She kicked that window open. I mean that screen door open and she screamed at us like she should you know, she’s like lyle she said his last name. I know you come here right now, are you stealing the eggs again? And he had to dump her eggs into her apron and then she turned and was like and you I know you I’m calling your parents. I’m like I lived two houses away from her in the acreage. Our parents since I went home, I changed my clothes and like they don’t she don’t know me. I got seven siblings. I’m gonna change my clothes and get away with this. Anyway, so then that phone call rang and it was my mom looking at me and she’s like hush and she’s like, what he did. I’m so sorry, I’m so apologetic. Mm And so it was that interaction and we hung up and mom was so mad at me and she’s like, no, no, no, you’re done. We’re talking about this. Your dad gets home. I am dead. My siblings heard that. I knew I was dead. Everyone’s dead. I had like four hours until dad was gonna get home. I’m like, life is over. I went outside. My siblings said goodbye to me. It was it was it was like some of the longest four hours of my life. Because I got caught stealing. I knew it was wrong and I did it anyways, I got caught stealing. And so when I, so when dad came home, he came home, went inside. Mom had us all outside at the time because there’s a lot of us and she’s like, I can’t handle, you know, seven siblings and a lot of kids somewhere in high school. But there was a lot of kids had us outside in the afternoon. It was crazy. Call Child Services on her, that’s fine. But but when dad came like, come on mike. And so we went down to the basement. Me and mom and dad and I tried everything. I tried playing dumb. I tried manipulating them, I tried charming them. I tried uh Spinning it, I tried selling it. I tried, you know, everything I could think of as a nine, almost 10 year old boy I’m done. And then they talked about, they pulled out a little Gospel booklet, which we have a bunch of in the lobby, I think a little gospel book that explains how you can know for certain. And it went through God and God’s character. My God is trustworthy and that God is good. He went through the Gospel To a little 10 year old boy’s head and I’m like I’m out of, I’m at my rope’s end, I’m nothing else I can do. I’m out of options, I’m guilty of this sin is stealing and other things my parents don’t know about, you know, I’m like I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna yield to God Is a 10 year old little kid. This is what got me stealing and getting caught in my thief, my thieving, my my larsen of eggs caught me as a kid, But it’s what caught my whole heart and put my life in a different trajectory is this whole world of breaking the 8th commandment. But God’s grace was there for me because we have a little more time to share another story of God’s grace on stealing again. Later in college, I was leading a small group in our, in our college group and uh I was driving back from some conference and I was in a car with like four guys that I was a small group, leader, community leaders, whatever, bobsled leader and like Hannah’s brother was one of them and we’re driving through a city and we, you know, we saw this street sign and like that’s a cool street sign and our whole dorm had a bunch of street signs on it because that was the issue of my life back in college and I was like yeah, yeah, we need to steal it. And so he stopped and I sent my little small group member out there to steal a street sign and he couldn’t do it. So I had to go out there and show him how to do it. And I helped him rip the street sign off the street thing we threw in the back of the car, drove to church and then one of our pastors, Gary was preaching on something and he went on a tangent on stealing. He had no idea why, but even a tangent, I think it probably applied to the passage somehow. But he talked about stealing. Just preach on it was the night service, saturday night service. Like I just stole a couple of hours ago and for my small group members just saw me steal and I’m a leader at this college group and I’m a bad leader. And so something like you scum I know that, but so I got convicted and I drove back to ogden Iowa Omaha is a couple hour drive and I was speeding at the time. I’m breaking the laws at the time and I’m speeding in a car that’s not painted the right color. I was going to paint it and I realized how much it cost to paint the car I was driving. Um, and I was like, I can’t afford that. And so I didn’t change it when I licensed it cause I was lying, which is next week anyways. Um, and then the officer Elliot went by this way and he pulled me over and he was like, son, young man. I’m like, yes sir. He’s like, listen, I clocked you going. I remember way over um, was Iowa middle of the night was returning the street side. He’s like, give a tail light out. I clocked you at X amount over your car is paying the wrong thing and I see a street light at the back of your car. I’m like, yeah, you got me. I don’t, I’m wrong, this is wrong. It’s all wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, all around wrong. I was at church saturday night service and this pastor was saying stealing, I was returning the sign. He’s like, well you got a lot going on here. And I’m like, yep, I’m like, I’m totally in trouble. And at this time I had multiple spain tickets at my life. And so he, he said his name was Elliot. His last name was like, I listen, listen, listen back. This car came back. I’m like, I don’t have the biggest ticket ever. And he came back, he was like, listen, I meet with the guy at that local county city around midnight or one in the morning is when you have a break to have a cup of coffee and we’re friends. Let me, let me talk to him and I’ll carry the sign the rest of you. I’ll give you a warning the first warning of my life. And so I’m like, that’s crazy. And so I drove back the speed limit felt convicted by the grace officer Elliot gave me and I’ve been attempting not to speed since but that’s not the end of the story which was in and I went to, I went to college and then the girl that we all were kind of hitting on I think probably who had their local high school street sign. She came into our dorm room one day and she started like mike, you guys are in so much trouble and I’m like what? She’s like my mom is a secretary at that school and they had footage of you guys stealing that sign and they had the local police, they’re pressing charges because of your car and then this cop came in because you know, he said, hey, I meant to talk to you last night about this, I didn’t have time to meet coffee with us. Listen like a good kid, here’s a sign back, I clocked him here and this there, you know explained and they decided to let it go there would have been an extra issue coming my way and I’m like, oh my goodness, when you, when you’re a thief and you steal and you experience the grace of God for the first time it haunts you in a good way more than any generosity can haunt you. It’s like I, oh God everything, not just that we grandly get amazing generous windows God Gramley gave his son jesus christ for us pay the ultimate price. We can never pay the debt. We’re fully and deeply and saturated committed sins and it’s private and public life on high def tv and the halls of heaven, everyone in heaven knows we’re guilty. But God came and his son, jesus christ came and said, hey We’re gonna give this one grace. They hope they trust me, they think I’m good, they ask for forgiveness. That’s the gospel and a bad an illustration nutshell. At the end of a sermon. Men and women and our science go upstairs. A teacher was doing science school and one of our kids, they asked about bible reading. One of our kids said I read one chapter a day and another kid said I read two chapters a day And another. One of our kids said I read three chapters a day and then one of your sweet kids said I I obey what I read that hurts anyways, we, as christians want to. It’s not the hard part is not understanding what this passage means, thou shalt not steal. The hard part is obeying what we know. Life has conditioned you to be careful about who you trust for a variety of reasons because we’re broken and falling world of untrustworthy, broken people and institutions that have broken your trust. And they’re not all good God is the only trustworthy thing in this life. God is the only trustworthy relationship in this life, God is the only trustworthy person in this life. So how do you trust? Trust? Isn’t a feeling. It’s not a motion. We conjure up. Trust is the decision of the mind. An act of the will. You decide to trust? Your decision of the mind, not the heart. The mind. The actions and the heart are on a ride and either your feelings are leading your whole actions in your mind or your mind is leading your actions which are leading your feelings. This whole concept of trust and theft and generosity and is God good. And can I trust God? All boils down to a decision of the mind. The actions and the feelings follow you all sat down in a chair and none of you looked at the structural integrity of that chair before you set you just trusted the the chair manufacturers. You trusted us that we would have pulled out a broken chair. You have this. You should trust him. Driving rules. You show trust in your car, You show trust in all sorts of institutions. Is God good. And can that God be trustworthy? That’s right. Thank you for the 8th commandment. I thank you for you challenge us to be generous, not thieves thieves. Lord, I pray. We would all be grandly giving of our life. Our time. Our talent and our treasure to you because you gave more than anything we could ever give God. We love you. We commit our lives student, our debut in jesus name, We pray Amen.