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, (3) Those that steal from themselves and this week part 3 of the 5-point message: “Those that steal from the church”. I know some of you may be thinking ‘uh oh this is going to be a money sermon’. No, that’s not what I mean. Now, no doubt God was referring to those who rob God [Malachi ch 3:8-10, 1st Corinthians 9:1-14], but finances are a very small part of how we “rob the church”. We steal our PRESENCE! I’m not talking about those who must work on Sunday or those who are suffering infirmities which prevent their attendance. I am talking about those who steal their presence for no other reason than that their love of Christ has waxed cold. They’re like a coal removed from the fire and grown black and cold. Our presence is needed as an example to the little ones, the weak ones. By stealing our presence from the church, we steal our encouragement, our participation in the praise and singing and prayer needs. We don’t help, serve, sing, witness or give a needed smile and a friendly handshake to our church family. We’re like soldiers who’ve gone AWOL. We’re missing in action from our post! Moreover, by not being faithful to church we’re showing our children, our family, our friends and neighbors that God and His house really isn’t all that important in our lives. How shall we convince others of God’s importance in our lives when we don’t even love him enough to be excited about church?  Imagine if you went to McDonalds and they said, “what can we get you?”  You say “well I believe I’d like a sausage biscuit and a cup of coffee”. The worker says “well, we can serve you a cup of coffee and some sausage on a napkin, but the biscuit lady didn’t show up today”. Imagine if you went to the Emergency room with an injury and they said “you’re welcome to sit in a trauma room and eat ice chips, here are some complimentary bandages too but the Doctor went golfing and the nurse didn’t come today”. See? You can’t even run a McDonalds or an ER without faithful people. Now let me be first to admit there was a time when I was robbing the church. I was indifferent to God and apathetic about church. I was giving my wife and children a sorry example of a Christian man. But thanks be to God one day I realized it and admitted it to God and myself. I got on my knees and asked the merciful Father for forgiveness and to ‘renew a right spirit within me and to restore the joy of my salvation’ [Psalm 51:10-12].  I asked him to give me a hunger for the Bible I once loved and to keep me on a short leash since I was so prone to wander off. Praise the kind and gentle King for His great love! Calvary Baptist Church is proud to be a strong old fashioned hymnbook, King James Bible, God fearing, praying, praising, growing church where you can come as you are and be changed into what God intended you to be!  We’re across from Pizza Hut on the loop in Palestine. It’s worth the drive. 903-729-5924