"The Thief Comes"
March 23, 2010
(Jesus said) "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." John 10:10
Yesterday, we talked about how a seven-year-old boy, following his mother's training, probably saved his family by making an emergency phone call to the police.
Sadly, not all stories turn out with such a happy ending.
Consider the tale of a convenience store owner in Montrose, Canada. Leroy Hiltz has operated his store for 22 years. During that time, his shop has been robbed nine different times.
In one of those robberies, his wife, Edna, was held at knifepoint. Two weeks ago Edna died. During the funeral, and the days of mourning that followed, the store was closed.
Knowing the family was in mourning -- make that because the family was in mourning -- thieves took advantage of the situation, kicked in the door of Hiltz's store and leisurely stole cases of cigarettes.
Realizing he was dealing with men who respected nothing, Hiltz said, "I'm going to go out of business against my will, but I can't take any more of it. It's bad enough having to grieve the loss of my wife, let alone having people in our community -- and these were people from our own community -- (breaking) into the store . . ." This was break-in number ten.
Even as I can understand why Hiltz is walking away, I am thankful the Lord doesn't do the same. He easily could. When the Lord looks at the world, He sees Satan continually breaking in and stealing individuals, communities, even nations.
As Jesus said, the devil is the thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
We would be helpless if it weren't for the arrival of the Savior. It is He who takes Satan's abuse; it is He who suffers the indignity, the shame, the torment, the pain, the torture, and the death which have -- because of sin -- been directed against us.
Now, because of what Jesus has done, to those who are blessed with faith in the ever-living Lord, there is given life -- abundant life -- for this world and the next.
So, maybe this story turns out to have a happy ending after all.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks for Your presence and all You have in Your great grace done for me. I rejoice that You have sent Satan packing and have forgiven me of my sins. Now may I make use of this abundant life that You have so freely bestowed. Let my abundant days be filled with abundant witness to Your love. In Your Name, Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries