(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
So, what do you think of the Cadillac Escalade?
For those of you, who are not acquainted with the Escalade, let me share that it is a very big, very stylish, very expensive sports utility vehicle.
Now it is quite possible that you, in an age of high gasoline prices don't like, or have any need for a very big, very stylish, very expensive sports utility vehicle. You are entitled to your opinion. There are those who disagree with you. In fact, there are those who believe there is no vehicle more desirable than the Cadillac Escalade.
And who might these people be?
These people be the thieves of America. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, America's car-nappers have shown to all they consider the Escalade to be very, very desirable. That's why the institute can report the Escalade is six times more likely to be stolen than a regular vehicle, and the average claim for a stolen Escalade is $10,555 more than most.
In short, the Escalade is at the top of a thief's most desirable vehicle to steal.
When the Lord Jesus was with us, He spoke about thieves -- more specifically -- one thief. That thief is Satan, and he comes to steal and destroy souls. And although Jesus doesn't say so in the John 10 passage, Satan also has a list of souls that are most desirable for pilfering.
Would you like to know more about that list? I can tell you the old, evil foe doesn't spend a moment worrying about the unbelievers; he's got them already. He doesn't spend any time trying to rip off the agnostic and the atheist; they're in his shop right now. He doesn't even work on folks who, without Jesus, are faithful, loyal followers of other faiths. They may be moral individuals but, without Jesus, their feet aren't on the path to paradise.
When it comes to souls the most desirable for stealing is, well, it's yours. It's the soul of any Christian. I imagine just as there is rejoicing in heaven over a sinner who repents, there is laughter in hell when a Christian is stolen away from the Savior.
That is why, my friends, we need to stay strong in the faith. It is why we as individuals and congregations need to watch out for each other. We need, in the Name of the crucified and risen Savior, to encourage and support each other.
Why? Jesus said the devil was out to steal souls. Peter said the devil was a lion out to devour God's people. Either way the prospect is unpleasant and to be avoided.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, keep me in the faith, and whenever possible use me to help others to resist the devil. This I pray in my Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries