28 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.
There’s a few things I’d like to say about this verse:
- This is a picture of actually doing what we are told to do before this (put off our old self and put on our new self). It essentially spoon feeds us the proper response to reading the Word… changing our life. We read, then we make a change.
- We are called to stop sinning to get what we DESIRE and labor towards, actually putting in the effort to achieve what we NEED. Yet God’s heart goes a step further. We are to labor now with the mindset that at any given time we will give away our things to those in need… and then have to work to replace it for ourselves. Yet again, God calls us to live radically different from the world. We strive so that we can share, the world strives so that they can have more.
- This is a call to radical change in someone’s life… all of these verses are calls to make a radical change… Imagine that! God doesn’t want us to remain in sin. The Bible is filled with commands to radically change our thoughts, actions, and methods. Will we listen? Are we listening?!
- It’s interesting… I noticed this says that Yahweh Yireh (God our provider) isn’t just going to give us stuff?! We actually have to work for things still… I hate to break it to you but the effect of sin in this world and our curse, yeah that’s still there. Let’s be real, life is still difficult. We aren’t handing out easy buttons for life… we are telling people God can satisfy a sin debt we all have, and we can partner with Him to minister to others – not that life is perfect. So we should be honest about it all. God can fix things for us, but He also calls us to still experience the same experience the world does. Work, toiling with the ground, it’s a part of the curse.
Spend 1-2 minutes thanking God that you have the ability to push past things you have have struggled with before. Then spend 2-3 minutes asking God to help you walk in the truth of this verse. Ask Him to help you work for the sake of giving. Sacrificial living is difficult.
Look around at your neighborhood or people at work. Does anyone need anything that you have? What if you prayed about giving someone something, knowing you would have to then work and purchase a replacement. Even better, what if you purchased something for someone in need?