Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Subtle Thief by Martin Wiles

He was famous…but not for honorable reasons.

Jesse James and his brother Frank are famous for robbing banks, stagecoaches, and trains. They were likely involved in the first daylight bank robbery during peacetime in United States history at the Clay County Savings Association in Liberty, Missouri. But it was their bank robbery at Daviess County Savings Association in Gallatin, Missouri, on December 7, 1869, that tossed Jesse into the limelight with the label “outlaw.” The James’ brothers and their cousins later formed the James-Younger gang and stole from Iowa to Texas and from Kansas to West Virginia.


Losing possessions to thieves is disconcerting, but there’s a subtle thief who absconds even more critical items. David encountered him when he committed adultery with another man’s wife. His blunder eventually led to the conceived child’s death, the people he ruled losing confidence in him, family upheaval, and his being run out of town. When he came to his senses, he pleaded with God: Give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice (Psalm 51:8 NLT).

Sin-with its instigator Satan, is the subtle thief. Sin steals my joy as it did David’s. I won’t enjoy my relationship with Christ when I’m disobeying his commands. Sin steals my peace. I can’t live at peace with my Lord when I allow things in my life that are peace disrupting-sin among them. Sin also steals answers to my prayers. David once said the Lord would not hear him if he regarded sin in his heart (Psalm 66:18). And sin steals my testimony. When my actions don’t match my words, people will ignore me when I attempt to share what Christ means to me.

Is the subtle sin thief stealing from you? Obedience always handcuffs him.

Prayer: Merciful Lord, we confess those sins that are causing us to lose the elements of our relationship with You that we should cherish. We ask You to return to us what the enemy has stolen.

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