Today I'm almost confused by Ephesians 4:28. It's surrounded by verse that are clear in their meaning of turning from our old lives of sin and being renewed and transformed by our new lives in Christ. But verse 28 is so specific. "Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." Why so specific to the thief? And if you think about Robin Hood, he should have done honest work with his own hands if he wanted to share with those in need.
There is something important here that I do gain. We are to work. And work hard. I've never been known in any job as a lazy or bad worker. In fact, the out pouring of praise from deputies and CO's I was working with at the jail, who all told me how much they would miss having me there because I did work so hard, has been great. And the fact that I was quickly given my job back at US Bank, because I had a reputation for hard work, was a blessing. We are to work. And we are to provide for those in need. Oh shoot. The second part becomes the convicting part. I live in a house that is too big and expensive for my current salary. I have a new car. I am well fed and comfortable in my life style. But I don't give to any one in need. I don't even have a home church right now where I give offerings. I am tight on money but God has provided for my needs and some wants. I need to remember that we are told to help those in need.
And maybe those in need are not in financial need. Maybe there are people in our lives that are in spiritual need. Instead of monetary giving, I can help people in need of a Savior. By being the best example at work I can, not only working hard but working with a proper heart and attitude, non-believers may see the light of Christ in my life. My example at work can lead people to wonder about God's grace and how they too can be filled with the joy of hope. Instead of stealing their opportunity to see Christ in me, I can work hard to show them God's truth.
I am a thief of their ability to witness God's grace in my life when I'm not working hard on my spiritual life. When I fail at living to glorify God, I steal from the non-believers, an opportunity to be changed by the power of God. I steal something more valuable than anything on earth. I am called to glorify God with my life. I need to work hard every day on that "job". It is my duty to live a life that please God and brings glory to Him. I need to work hard at this. I need to study God's word so I am equipped to work harder and longer and better in my duties as a believer. No more should I steal from the non-believers by my lazy Christian life. No longer should I be a thief. I need to provide my knowledge of God's great grace to their desperate need for it. God's grace is the only true provision for the needs of all.
Praise God for His Perfect Provision.