Thank you for joining us again for the “Thou Shalt Not Steal” series of studies this week. Last week we began our study in Exodus 20:15 looking into (1) Those that steal with their hands. (2). Those that steal by their actions / inactions and now, (3) Those that steal from themselves. Maybe you’re thinking ‘well now how could someone steal from them self?’ I say “easily, and we’ve all done it”. Some of us robbed our self by not making the effort we should have made in school, which robbed us of the chance to do better, to accomplish more, to rise higher. This robbed our wife and children of a better chance, a better home, a better future, college and opportunities which we stole from our children before they were even born.  Some of us, instead of preserving and guarding our chastity and purity, wasted it and sold it for nothing – which took from our own self the wife God intended. Some young ladies throw away their chastity and in so doing disqualify themselves from marrying the husband God had been planning. By which they steal from them self all the precious love and joy and memories that could have been. Oh yes, we can steal from our self and what a crime it is.  Have you not seen the multitudes of elderly ones who suffer lack and crippling poverty? Some who find themselves in want because they stole from themselves in previous years. In Genesis Chapter 42 we see God telling Pharaoh there will be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of terrible lack. God arranged for Joseph to warn Pharaoh to ‘store up in the time of plenty to prepare for the latter years of lack’. Our parents become the voice of Joseph – warning us, do this…don’t do that. They caution us not to steal tomorrow’s sunshine by our foolish choices today.  You have seen with your own eyes what happens when we steal from our self by rebelling against parents, pastor, church, God. There are countless examples and warnings in the Bible of those who refused to obey today the rules that preserve our tomorrows. There are sad examples all around us of those who have had to settle for a mere shadow of what might have been IF ONLY they had not stolen it from their own self. In my own case, by my own foolishness, rebellion and disobedience, I might have been called of God to His service much earlier than I was. I praise His great mercy that He called me at all – but I deeply regret that I withheld His call in my life because I wouldn’t yield to the Holy Spirit’s urgings.  I stole years of precious service from myself and I stole years of service from the Lord.  Oh, trust me dear ones, we can and do steal from our self. We can steal from ourselves the life we could have had! We can steal from ourselves the testimony we could have had! We can steal from ourselves the walk with God we could have had! Ephesians 4:28 says, in part, “Let him that stole steal no more…” Sir, Ma’am, young person – ask God to help you stop stealing from yourself the joy and opportunities he has in store for you tomorrow! Now isn’t it long past time for you to start making friends at Calvary Baptist Church? We’re across from Pizza Hut on the loop in Palestine. It’s worth the drive. 903-729-5924