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Integrity: Don’t Leave Home Without It | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
November 23, 2020 7:00 am

Integrity: Don’t Leave Home Without It | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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November 23, 2020 7:00 am

Exodus 20:15 reveals the eighth commandment: "You shall not steal." In this message, Adrian Rogers reveals three principles to teach our children about the basic rules of honesty.

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We steal from God more than we realize. Listen to Adrian Rogers. Welcome to Love Worth Finding featuring the Word of God. And you don't have to have a doctorate to understand it. It can't be much plainer. Thou shalt not steal. There ever a verse that is needed, this one is. We're talking about a perfect tin for homes that win, and this is one of God's great laws for living, rules for righteousness, and encouragements to have the kind of homes that will win.

You know, America has just forgotten the basic rules of honesty. I read about a market in California. There was a little boy standing there in front of the fruit stand. There were grapes there. He was putting those grapes, cramming those grapes in his mouth as fast as he could.

There wasn't an adult anywhere. A clerk was standing by, absolutely helpless, not knowing what to do, and this little fella was just cramming the grapes in his mouth. After a while, his mother appeared, and she saw what was happening.

She said, Johnny, not so fast. This is the kind of a situation that we live in, where we seem to have forgotten the basic rules of honesty. Well, I want to be very pertinent in this message and tell you this message tells us that any time we take anything that belongs to someone else or that we keep from someone the thing that we owe to them, we have transgressed this commandment.

Now, it might be time. It might be money. It might be affection.

It might be possessions. It may be courtesy or appreciation or love or anything else. If we defraud somebody else, we have taken that which does not belong to us, and we are guilty of stealing.

There are many synonyms to extort, to burglarize, to defraud, to filch, to cheat, to misappropriate, to rob, to swindle, to swipe, to jip, to embezzle. Now, how do we teach our children what this commandment means? You remember that God gave this commandment to the children of Israel, and then he said that fathers are to teach these things to their sons and to their grandsons. Let me give you a good verse to put in your margin, and it is Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 28. And in my estimation, this one verse is the perfect explanation and amplification of the Old Testament verse that says, Thou shalt not steal. Again, Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 28.

Listen to it. Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor working with his hands the thing which is good that he may have to give to him that needeth. In that verse, there are three things that every parent ought to try to emblazon into the heart of his or her child to etch there into his or her consciousness. Three grand principles. The first one is integrity.

Let him that stole steal no more. The second principle is industry, but rather let him labor working with his hands the thing that is good. And the third is generosity that he may have to give to him that needeth. Now all of these, according to the New Testament, are wrapped up in this commandment that says, Thou shalt not steal. Integrity, industry, and generosity. Those are three characteristics that all of us ought to say, Dear God, help me to teach these things to our children and help me and help us that we might practice these things before our children. Now let's talk a little bit about the demands of integrity, the first of those three items.

You know, there are many ways that you can live without integrity. Of course, there's direct stealing. You know what the kids call shoplifting? A five-finger discount where they just go in and filch that. It is amazing how much is stolen by sheer shoplifting. Curtis Bicknell told me the other day, he said, You know what, Pastor? We had somebody to steal a Bible from our bookstore.

Can you imagine? To steal a Bible from the bookstore, they took the Bible out and set the empty box back on the shelf. Well, it may be not just shoplifting, armed robbery, burglary. Our city is plagued with this. Stealing at the workplace is epidemic. Did you know, according to the research that I did, that the American economy loses $40 billion a year from stealing on the workplace? That's simply embezzlement or pilfering from the workplace. And so that's one kind of stealing, just direct stealing, whether it be shoplifting or whether it be burglary or bank robbery or pilfering on the job or embezzlement.

All of these things will receive the sure judgment of Almighty God. But there's another form of stealing, and that's fraud. What we call white-collar crime. You know, for years, the beech nut people, mothers said, Well, when you think of beech nut, well, that's purity and that's health and all of that. Then one day, the authorities discovered that they had been selling apple juice, and they sold it for ten years, and on the label it said 100% fruit juice.

No sugar added. And when they analyzed it, they found out it was little more than chemicals and dye and water, sort of a chemical cocktail. And so they were told, You can't sell this on the market.

You can't advertise this and let mothers think they're giving their babies apple juice when you're giving them this chemical concoction. So what did they do with it? I'll tell you what they did with it. They loaded up nine tractor trailers with the stuff, and within days it was being sold in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands.

The Bible says, Thou shalt not steal. In Mobile, Alabama, I read about a motel. You walk into that motel. It says the rooms are $80, cash rebate $20.

Now think about that. It doesn't say the rooms are $60. It says the rooms are $80, cash rebate $20. So if you're a salesman, you go in there and they give you a receipt for an $80 room. You turn that into your employer and say, I rented a room for $80.

You put $20 in your pocket. Now this is going on all over the land. It is a form of stealing. Half-hearted work is stealing. You work for an employer and don't give him an honest day's labor. You've stolen from him.

Colossians 3, verse 22, Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye service as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God. Now if you don't fear God enough to give an honest day's work, you have broken the commandment that says, Thou shalt not steal. I heard about a man who applied for a job and he asked the prospective employer, he said, What will you pay me? He said, Well, I'll pay you what you're worth.

He said, Oh, no, no, no, nothing doing. He said, I just quit a job making more than that. And there are a lot of people who are being paid more than their worth. And if you're an employer and you don't pay a man what he's worth, you have stolen from that man. Listen to these scriptures, those of you who have businesses.

Colossians 4, verse 1, Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye also have a master in heaven. That also speaks to the domestic work in your house, that maid or those people who work in your yard. Do you pay them what is just and equal?

I mean, if you were in their place, would you expect to be paid more than you pay those people? James chapter 5 and verse 4 says, Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth, and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. That means that God sees when you don't pay what you ought to pay. And God sees when you don't earn what you get paid for.

Some who are sitting in this building today have no idea that you've broken the commandment that says, Thou shalt not steal. You just think of yourself as a shrewd businessman. Now, tax avoidance is one thing. Tax evasion is something else. Having insurance is one thing. Insurance manipulation is something else. High finance and sharp dealing. Jesus warned about Pharisees which devoured widows' houses.

They saw an opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting widows whose husbands had died and the woman did not know how to protect herself. Do you know one of the greatest forms of thievery? It's the entire gambling industry. Did you know that? Let me tell you something, friend. Gambling is morally wrong. Now, why is it morally wrong? Nobody can win at gambling without somebody else losing.

Again, you don't have to have a PhD to understand that. True legitimate business is win-win. I make a widget, I sell it for a dollar, I get the dollar, you get the widget.

I win and you win. In gambling, for every winner, there must be a loser. Gambling is profit and pleasure at somebody else's pain and loss. Gambling is an attempt to get what belongs to someone else into your possession without giving him anything for it. Now, if two people meet in a back alley and one puts a gun on the other person and takes what belongs to him, they call it thievery. But if two people meet in a casino and one takes what belongs to the other, they call it gambling.

Oh, they don't call it gambling, they call it gaming. Well, you say, but Pastor, there's a difference. In the back alley, one person may be willing, but one is not willing. The fact that both are willing doesn't make it any better. A duel is murder by mutual consent.

When people decide they're going to shoot each other, that doesn't make it legal just because one is willing to take the other's life and the other is willing to take the other's life. That doesn't make it right. You see, when somebody gambles and wins, he has the spirit of thievery.

When he gambles and loses, he's been very foolish. Now, the Bible says in Habakkuk 2, verse 6, Woe unto him that increaseth that which is not his. Withholding love and devotion breaks this commandment. Did you know the Bible commands husbands and wives not to defraud the other in the matter of sexual love? That if you withhold from your husband or from your wife a physical, sexual love and endearment, do you defraud them? Why, if you withhold from your neighbor love, you defraud your neighbor. The Bible says in Romans, chapter 13, verse 8, Owe no man anything but to love one another.

We owe that love. Some have defrauded their parents of honor. Some parents have defrauded their children of guidance and love and instruction. God's word says, thou shall not steal. Well, the worst thievery is to steal from God. And so many are stealing from God. You say, how am I stealing from God?

Well, I want to ask you a question. Have you given him your life? You belong to him, you know. I mean, you're not your own. You are bought with a price.

Isn't that what the Bible says? You're his by creation. He made you. You're his by redemption. He died for you. You're not your own.

You're bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. And when you live your life for self and self alone, as if Jesus Christ never lived and Jesus Christ never died, you, my friend, are a thief.

A thief. You have taken from God that which belongs to God. You walk God's green earth. You breathe God's air.

You live with the life that God has given you. And you don't pour your life back out to God. 1 Corinthians 6 verses 19 and 20, Do you know why we tithe? The tithe is an emblem and a symbol that everything belongs to him. Don't get the idea that 10% of what you have belongs to God. All that you have belongs to God because the one who owns the sheep owns the wool. And you happen to belong to him and all that you have belongs to him, and the tithe is only an emblem and a symbol. Malachi 3 verse 8, Now, when we steal from others, whether it be armed robbery or a dishonest day's work or where we hold back the wages from those who work for us or whether we try to swindle somebody with a shrewd deal or whether we try by gambling to get what belongs to somebody else into our possession or whether we fail to give love or whether we fail to honor God as we ought, do you know who we really steal from the most?

Ourselves. You see, when you fail in these other ways, do you know the person who is robbed? It is you. The Bible says in Jeremiah chapter 5 verse 25, Your sins have withholding good things from you. It pays to serve Jesus. It pays every day. It pays every step of the way.

You have defrauded yourself in seeking to get. You're the one who loses. Now, we need to teach this to our children. We need to teach our children integrity, line upon line, precept upon precept. But here's the second thing we need to teach them.

Not only do we need to teach them integrity, we need to teach them industry. Now, remember what our verse said, Let him that stole steal no more, but rather, rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good. Work is not bad. Work is good. Work is not a curse.

Work is a blessing. Do you know what is wrong with this generation? Our young people do not know by and large the duties of honest work and labor. And the old rabbis used to say this, He who does not teach his son a trade teaches him to steal.

We have boys and girls who are going to college today and graduate with college and still don't know how to make a living. The rabbis again saw work as a gift from God and the prophets did also. Ecclesiastes chapter 5 verses 18 and 19.

Listen to it. Behold that which I've seen. It is good and comely for one to eat and to drink and to enjoy the good of all his labor that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him for it is his portion.

What? That God gives him work and then the fruit of his work. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth and hath given him power to eat thereof and to take his portion and to rejoice in his labor. This is the gift of God. Labor is the gift of God. Work is not a curse.

Six days shalt thou labor. Now today everybody wants to get in a position where they're going to win the sweepstakes so they won't have to work anymore. That'd be pathetic.

Be pathetic. I don't care how much money you have. But we have a generation today that doesn't want to work. And we have a great number of people in America, very frankly, who are not working.

I want to say a word. It may sound political, but it's not political. It's moral and biblical. You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it. You don't multiply wealth by dividing it. And government cannot give to anybody anything that it doesn't first take from somebody else. And when somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving it. We have to understand that. And the worst thing that can happen in a nation is for half the people to get the idea, they don't have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea does no good to work because they don't get to keep what they work for.

The Bible teaches that if a man would not work, neither should he eat. In the 60s, we were talking about the hippies and the flower children, and they were going around smoking dope and saying, peace, brother, and talking about free love and dope was hope and sex was salvation. And they were saying, make love and not war and all of that.

And we said, well, aren't they kind of silly? But underneath all of that was a philosophy that simply said, turn on, tune in, and drop out. And the only dirty four-letter word was W-O-R-K. That was the biggest cultural revolution. Well, we had a generation that did not understand the work ethic that was taught by our fathers. And those who are working are not working for the pleasure and the joy of cooperating with Almighty God in running this world that He's made for us, but they're only working to get enough money so they can stop working.

The Bible says, let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor working with his hands that which is good. It's good to work. Work is not bad. Work is good. Do you know what's wrong in America today? We have created a society where some people think it is better not to work. We need to teach our boys and girls how to work, but it is time for us to wake up and find another plan because the old one of no work doesn't work. How long will this nation go on? Those of you who want to retire, you're getting the idea that pretty soon you're going to retire so you can do nothing. God, have mercy upon your pitiful soul. You'll never retire from serving God, and if you are well enough off so that you don't have to go report in at 8 o'clock to the office, that just gives you more time to serve God with all of your heart, with all of your soul. You see, the opposite of work is idleness.

Idleness, just simply not doing anything. We need to teach our children. Not only do we need to teach them integrity, but we need to teach them industry. Industry, let them labor working with their hands. Start early with these boys and girls. Let me give you a good verse to put in your margin.

Lamentations 3, verse 27. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. And nothing wrong with work. And we need to teach our children integrity.

Let him that stole steal no more. And we need to teach them industry. And sometimes, folks, it's easier to do it yourself than to get them to do it, amen? A four-year-old is old enough to gather up all the trash and carry out and empty the trash, but you have to go help him to do it and pick it up and go with him and guide him and do it. A six- or seven-year-old, they can help with the dishes.

Ten, 12, they can work in the yard. And remember that when you're teaching them industry, when they go to school, that's a part of their work. Their activities, their paper routes, their babysitting, the music lesson, the practice time, that's work to them, just like your work is work to you. Now, you say, Pastor Rogers, don't you want to let them play? Of course you let them play. A lot of kids will be saying, there's nothing to do, they'll be bored. Around my house, I was afraid to act bored because my dad finds something for me to do.

Let them, let them work when they work, and when they play, the play will be a whole lot sweeter. What a great way to end part one of this insightful message. We'll hear the second half tomorrow, but maybe you have questions right now about who Jesus is, what he means to you, how to surrender your life and have him come in and transform you from the inside out. Go to our Discover Jesus page at lwf.org slash radio. You'll find resources and materials and a video from Pastor Rogers that can answer questions you might have about your faith. Again, go to lwf.org slash radio and click Discover Jesus at the top of the page. Now, if you'd like a copy of today's message, you can order one by calling us at 1-877-LOVEGOD. Mention the title Integrity, Don't Leave Home Without It. This lesson's also part of a powerful series, a perfect 10 for homes that win. For that complete collection, all 10 insightful messages, call the number 877-LOVEGOD or go online to lwf.org slash radio.

Or you can write us to order at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. Well, thanks for joining us for our study in God's Word today. Remember these powerful words from Adrian Rogers, it pays to serve Jesus. It pays every day. It pays every step of the way.

You have defrauded yourself. In seeking to get, you're the one who loses. Now make sure you join us tomorrow for the conclusion of Integrity, Don't Leave Home Without It, right here on Love Worth Finding. We love it when listeners reach out and tell us what the ministry of Love Worth Finding means to them. I want you to listen to this. Adrian Rogers' ministry has impacted my life since I began listening to him on a Baptist radio station in Western Uganda.

I look up to his commitment to serve Jesus. Well, it's our joy to share these timeless messages in your community and around the world as we equip listeners with the truth of the gospel. This month, if you help us continue and give a gift of any amount, we want to send you our 2020 Christmas cards featuring an original painting by local artist Lacey Hancock. This holiday season, share the only love worth finding through a beautiful painting and a thoughtful word of encouragement with your friends. Request a pack of 10 when you call with a gift at 1-877-LOVEGOD or give online at lwf.org slash radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-25 18:39:38 / 2024-01-25 18:49:31 / 10

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