Downey-Florence Seventh-day Adventist Church

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Have You Been Robbed?
by Linda Bewley
The Latest Word
September 1999

Webster says that “STEAL” means “to take the property of another wrongfully and especially as an habitual or regular practice... to come or go secretly, unobtrusively, gradually or unexpectedly... to accomplish in a concealed or unobserved manner... to seize, gain, or win by trickery, skill or daring ....” Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary.

God says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).

While listening to the radio in my car recently, one of my favorite Christian “oldies” came on. It’s a song called “Find Me,” by Margaret Becker. That song always has a way of reminding me of what’s really important in my Christian life. Just as the song started, my thoughts drifted. I found myself thinking about something I find particularly troublesome. No longer listening to the song, I was worrying about this situation. As I neared my destination, I suddenly realized that I had not even listened to any of the words of the song. I had recognized the introduction, looked forward to listening to the rest of it and then, before I knew it, the song and its potential blessing were snatched away. I felt robbed! What’s worse is that I had allowed the robbery to occur by giving in to worry.

That situation reminded me of the many differences between Satan and God. Satan is, after all, a thief. He’d like to replace our joy with sadness; our peace with worry; our contentment with discontent; even our life with death. Basically, he will steal from us whatever we allow. And sometimes he does a good job.

God, on the other hand, wants to do exactly the opposite. He’d like to replace our sadness with unending joy; our worry and anxiety with peace; and our greed and discontent with contentment. Isaiah brings comfort to God’s people by promising that God wants to heal the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for captives, give gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (See, Isaiah 61:1-3.) And He will do a great job, if we let Him.

The Bible promises that “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him,” (1 Corinthians 2:9). I’d like to remember to dwell on that truth and not allow myself to be robbed again.

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