Read John 10
Focus on verse 10
As I look around at the state of our world, it is easy to become overwhelmed and even depressed. In the Middle East the country of Syria is all but destroyed by war. The nation of Israel is threatened with destruction from many of the nations that surround her. The country of Venezuela is practically in anarchy as people are without food and daily necessities. Our own nation of America is deeply divided on nearly every level, and several nations in Europe and Asia are rattling their sabers and making threats of war. How does one look at this and find peace and security for any kind of future? No politician or world leader seems to have sufficient influence to restore peace to any of these situations.
What is it that causes humanity to repeatedly choose a path of destruction and violence over a path of peace?
In today’s reading Jesus speaks of a thief whose agenda is to steal, kill and destroy, in contrast what Jesus came to bring us.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (v. 10)
Jesus presents us with a clear choice. We can choose to follow Him and live a full and abundant life, or we can choose to face the thief on our own – the one whose ambition it is to destroy us. Interestingly, when we choose to follow Jesus, the thief still comes after us, but if we are following as we ought, the thief ends up facing Jesus instead of us, and that battle was settled over 2000 years ago when Jesus defeated the thief by rising from the tomb.
Satan does still have limited power, and he is desperately trying to get as much destruction in before God ultimately shuts him down. He will destroy as many of us as he is able to deceive into following him in the process. Only those who opt to follow Jesus instead will be spared that destruction. I know that sounds exclusive and politically incorrect, but I didn’t write the Bible – I just read it. I didn’t make the rules of life and how it all works, I just try my best to follow them, and to convince as many as will listen to follow them with me.
There is an abundant life available in the midst of all this mayhem going on in the world, but it is only found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. When we understand the world as God made it, and operate our lives according to the principles He designed for us to experience life, we can experience life as it should be, and it can be fantastic! The alternative is to reject God’s best intentions for us, and try to live life as we think is best which leaves us vulnerable to that thief who has it in mind to destroy us both in this life and the next.