Daily Lectionary: Job 8:1-22; John 4:27-45
We should fear and love God so that we do not take our neighbor’s money or possessions. (The Small Catechism: Seventh Commandment Explanation)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. We love it when we talk about God’s giving gifts to us. He gives us gifts that impact us physically and spiritually. One look at the first six commandments will show you just how many gifts our Lord gives to you.
When we get to the Seventh Commandment we see a large stop sign in front of us concerning God and His gifts. The Seventh Commandment suddenly says that you aren’t the only one who receives gifts, but your neighbor does as well. “We should fear, love, and trust in God so that we do not take our neighbor’s money or possessions…but help him to improve and protect his property and business.”
The world around us is full of envy and greed, and the idea of stealing our neighbor’s stuff seems okay because it will supposedly make our lives better. When we steal from our neighbor we are telling God that His gifts are not good enough for us. The devil loves to fool us into thinking, “Did God really say” that He will “daily and richly provide for all your wants of body and soul”?
This is why you need Jesus. Jesus is your Savior, Redeemer, and neighbor, who willingly and openly gave Himself as the greatest gift for you and your salvation. He forgives us when we take for granted all the gifts that He gives. He promises to still give us all that we need, especially the gift of serving our neighbor. In Christ we now see our neighbor’s gifts and we desire to uphold and protect those gifts for our neighbor’s benefit.
This is why St. Paul says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Romans 12:3). In Christ you receive all of Jesus’ gifts of body and soul that strengthen and preserve you until life everlasting. In turn you now become a gift to your neighbor so that they may receive the gifts Christ freely gives through you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. -Rev. Kent Schaaf
The gifts Christ freely gives He gives to you and me To be His Church, His bride, His chosen, saved and free! Saints blest with these rich gifts
Are children who proclaim That they were won by Christ And cling to His strong name. (The Gifts Christ Freely Gives, LSB 602:1)