Some thieves are opportunistic amateurs. Some are methodical and calculating. Some are so well organized they leave no trace of their presence and in some cases, it can be days or months before their crime is even discovered. But be they ‘white collar’ thieves stealing investments, or complex thieves stealing viatical payments; be they art thieves stealing paintings and antiquities or be they common thugs with knives, a theft is a theft and a thief is a thief. God told us about a good man in Luke 10 who “…went down from Jerusalem to Jericho”. Along the way a group of ruffians jumped him and robbed him. Luke 10:30 says he “fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead” [Luke 10:30]. You know the type. Intellectual potato heads who hide and ambush the innocent. They robbed him even of his clothes, beat him half to death and left him for time and exposure to deliver the ‘coup de grace’. I have no doubt that those intellectual superstars all arrived dead, screaming and on fire in hell unless they reconciled with God. But that is not important herein – no, what IS important is that I tell you there are some far more skilled, more malevolent, more horrific thieves in this life. I am referring to 1. Vanity & Pride: Pride steals relationships. Vanity steals sincerity. 2. Doubt: It can rob us of our joy and confidence in our salvation. 3. Work & Money: These two thieves steal parents from children, husbands from wives and time from all! Sir, Ma’am your family needs your provision but they need your presence just as much. 4. Lust: This particular thief is a very successful tool of the devil. It separates families. It can rob us like no other. 5. Laziness: Seen this thief in your own life? Of course. He steals time, time that cannot be gotten back. Many will recognize this one, with all the regret that followed those thefts. 6. Drugs & Booze: These thieves have wrecked many homes, leaving broken marriages and children without parents. They also rob children from parents. 7. Sin: Can not all the thieves listed fit this category? Sin in any form you label it is a thief. It steals happiness from homes. It robs us of our time and service. It takes our witness and our relationship and our prayer life. How many souls have been led into hell by the appeal of sin? Sir, Ma’am have you fallen among thieves? Has your witness, walk, your faith and song been stolen by this sin sick world? Sometimes you can get things back! You could get your Christian walk back! You could get your PRAYER LIFE back! Want to know how? First, acknowledge the sin, the thief that has and will continue to rob you. 1 John 1:8-9 tells us “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If you sense these thieves in your life, take an honest look, be willing to admit it. Only you can rid your life of these thieves, through repentance. And then, “Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1Peter 5:8. Come visit us at Calvary Baptist Church across from Pizza Hut on the loop. 903-729-5924.