January 3, 2008
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10: 10
Not so long ago, at one of my speaking engagements, the silver cross I normally wear was stolen from a supposedly secure room at a public auditorium.
As the cross had been a gift from friends when I was last in Jerusalem, I was very upset.
Almost as upset as the folks in Bal Harbour, Florida, who had their baby Jesus statue stolen from their nativity scene.
That’s right somebody stole a baby Jesus statue, even though it had been bolted down.
Because the people who put up the crèche set were so saddened by the theft, when they replaced the statue they took a few extra precautions. First, they had the scene placed behind a Plexiglas screen. Second, they inserted a global positioning device in the statues of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.
That way if the figures are ever stolen again, the police will be taken directly to the sculptures and, hopefully, the guilty culprits.
Now, I could spend the rest of this devotion ranting at the immorality of people who would steal silver crosses and Jesus statues.
Instead, I would like to offer a warning about those spiritual thieves, the historical enemies of humankind who are dedicated to stealing, killing, and destroying those who are numbered among God’s elect.
Truly, sin, death, and devil are out there, and they have targeted all those who acknowledge Jesus as their Savior and Lord. In this New Year, you can be absolutely certain they will place obstacles in your path and stumbling blocks on the road you will be traveling.
They will try to discourage and depress you, dishearten, and destroy you. But they will fail as long as you look to Jesus. God’s Son, our sinless Savior, has come so all who believe on Him might have life and have it to the full. That was the promise Jesus made 2,000 years ago.
It is a promise He will keep in 2008 and every year until He returns again on Judgment Day. And when that day comes, we will find what He truly meant when He said, in Him we will have life and have it to the full.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, in spite of the world’s thieves, I rejoice that in You I am safe. Keep me in the abundant and victorious life Your sacrifice gives. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries