Corruption in big business is a matter we are hearing about in a seriously increasing manner. Why do so many people think they can get off with it and get away with it? They obviously do not know that Almighty God says, Behold your sins will find you out. It is not just just that your sins will be found out. It is much more serious than that. You will be found out!
Thieves can be forgiven - even those who have stolen from God. Aren't you glad?
Some people may not be aware that they can rob God. How is that done? There were those who actually asked God, “How do we rob You?" - and back came the answer, “In tithes and offerings".
Because God's people were not giving a tenth of their income, plus offering offerings they brought the whole nation under a curse.
Giving a tenth of your income was the law at that particular time.
We are no longer under the law. We are free from the law when it comes to being right in the eyes of God, but surely that freedom does not mean we give less. We are now free to give more.
When Zacchaeus met Jesus Christ he realised he was a rogue. As a customs officer he had lined his own pocket. He had been a totally corrupt character, robbing God and robbing God's people.
The transformation in Zacchaeus’ life is astonishing. Knowing he had been a cheat and a swindler, he had to put things right and make restitution. He told Jesus that he was going to give back to the people from whom he had stolen, four times what he had sinfully taken.
God says stealing is wrong.
Funds are misappropriated in various commercial and business undertakings - the United Nations ‘Oil for Food’ programme in Iraq being presently under scrutiny. Even charities occasionally discover people with their fingers in the till, and overseas aid money is mysteriously siphoned off.
There is little ‘love your neighbour’ when man behaves in such an abominable manner.
Corruption occurs because man is corrupt, and Jesus Christ comes to correct that consequence of The Fall.
We witnessed hasty undignified mass burials being broadcast on our news bulletins following the tsunami. Why were they necessary? To prevent the spread of disease.
The spiritual parallel is equally essential. When a man comes to faith in Jesus Christ he is a new creation. The old man should be buried. It is inappropriate, even offensive, to leave an unburied body lying around.
God teaches us that when we are baptised in water the old man is buried and we are then able to rise to live a new life.
New Testament believers regarded baptism as important and urgent, submitting themselves to God at the hands of men, as soon as they came to believe. That prison officer, and those in his home, who came to believe, did not even wait for dawn to break.
All God asks for is obedience. The condition is obedience in small things and great things, for the small things are as great as the great things. God usually presents the small matters before those matters which we might regard as great.
The man who is faithful in small matters is more likely to be found faithful in great matters. Those who are not reliable in little things are likely to be unreliable in big issues.
The size of the work or project is irrelevant. What matters is obedience, and when you obey you no longer evaluate what is trivial or important.
We are not good judges of what is small or big.
Jesus was baptised by John to fulfil all righteousness and He says, “Follow me". It is unwise to overlook what Jesus says.
Don't dismiss some decisions as being unimportant. These might be key moments in God's plan for you.
Sandy Shaw is Pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship, Chaplain at Inverness Prison, and Nairn Academy, and serves on The Children's Panel in Scotland, and has travelled extensively over these past years teaching, speaking, in America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, making 12 visits to Israel conducting Tours and Pilgrimages, and most recently in Uganda and Kenya, ministering at Pastors and Leaders Seminars, in the poor areas surrounding Kampala, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
He broadcasts regularly on WSHO radio out of New Orleans, and writes a weekly commentary at http://www.studylight.org entitled “Word from Scotland" on various biblical themes, as well as a weekly newspaper column.
His M. A. and B. D.degrees are from The University of Edinburgh, and he continues to run and exercise regularly to maintain a level of physical fitness.