Are there “thieves” in your life? Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake exposes the elements of our lives which rob us of our full potential in Christ Jesus.
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion – Luke 10:30-33(NKJV)
In this day and age, so many are moving fast, but in reality they are really going nowhere.
The man in our story had a goal; he was on a journey, he had a destination. Yes, goals are essential to progress, but good goals must not keep us from the best goals. To prosper; to reach high levels of renown and popularity: “good” can be the enemy of “the best.”
You’ve heard many times the story of the good Samaritan. The story was prompted by a question asked of Jesus, probably of a lawyer, who asked, who is my neighbor?” Today I want to focus on the man who was wounded and on the thieves who wounded him.
In this scripture, thieves came upon a man who was on a journey. The thieves beat him and wounded him; they left him naked and half dead. A wounded person cannot function normally until they have recuperated. Nakedness is a sign of disgrace; it’s a sign of poverty. And to be half dead means that you are only half alive: he was destined to die without help.
- The man who was devastated and wounded represents us – he represents every person in this room.
- The priest would represent the rites and the sacraments of organized religion – which, in themselves, cannot save us.
- The Levite would represent man’s moral and ethical efforts – which, by themselves, cannot save us.
- The thieves represent those things that potentially strip us and wound us and leave us half dead.
Men who were once exploding with potential are lying beside the road naked and dying. What happened to them? Thieves happened.
6 THIEVES WHICH CAN STEAL YOUR LIFE
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death – James 1:14-15 (NKJV)
The bible teaches us that sin is a thief. It’s a thief that destroys life and happiness on this earth, and also in the world to come. The evil forces that would destroy you use various enticements, but the goal is to wound you, to strip you, and to leave you half dead.
God despises sin because of what it does to His children. Romans 6 says that “the wages of sin is death”; that which is opposed to the will of God will kill you. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 tells us that:
- Fornication and adultery: those are thieves…they spread diseases which cause sickness and death. They rob boys and girls of their childhood; making them parents while they are still children. They are the greatest factors in the abortion epidemic. They break up marriages and destroy families.
- Idolatry is a thief, causing men to serve the wrong God. Anything that separates you from God is an idol and is a sin.
- Homosexuality is a thief because it contradicts God’s image of what a family should be. It deprives society of needed mothers and fathers, and they sometimes recruit and draw children into that lifestyle.
- Covetousness is a thief. Excessive desire for material things places higher value on money and things than it does on people.
- Extortion is nothing but a high-class thief.
- Drunkenness is a thief – and it doesn’t matter how you got drunk. Whether by alcohol or by drugs, jails and mental institutions are filled with victims of substance abuse.
But verse 11 of 1 Corinthians 6 says, “and such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
That means, the better we become, the better our lives become.
JESUS IS THE WAY
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly – John 10:10
It’s time for me to reveal who the good Samaritan is: the good Samaritan represents Jesus. If we really want to live, it’s time for us to fall down before God and repent for our sins. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin.”
The man in our story was on a mission: he had a goal. But even a good objective can become a bad objective when it precludes God and shuts God out. He was on a journey, but he made a mistake: he should not have traveled alone. Have you been stripped? Have you been disgraced? Are you going through a time of trouble and distress? I’ve just come to tell you that you don’t have to travel by yourself. Raise your hand and say:
“Lord, Thank you Lord for turning my life around. Thank you for giving me your power. Thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus Christ; thank you for stepping in just when I need you most. I need the power of the Holy Ghost!”
Child of God, if you’ve got Jesus Christ with you on the road of life, God will be with you! You’ve got the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!
Stand up and say, “Power!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Luke 10:30-37, Psalms 95:6, 101,147:4; Isaiah 43:7, Philippians 3:7, Acts 17:28, John 3:16, 6:68, 10:7-10; Matthew 6:33, James 1:14-15, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 6.
Adapted from the sermon, “Thieves”, by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. Watch the entire service below:
Illustration by Kyle Reed, c/o Creation Swap.