(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
We live in an age of specialization.
There are all kinds of medical specialists, engineering specialists, academic specialists and, can you believe it -- ministerial specialists? Every good specialist spends considerable time learning and then perfecting his craft.
That being said, we shouldn't be surprised to find the criminal world also has its specialists.
One such specialist was Denise Gunderson who applied her expertise to the cities of California. Concentrating on the communities from Riverside to San Diego, Gunderson did her thing -- a thing which managed to cause a good many tears and create a lot of heartbreak.
Oh, I forgot to mention Gunderson's special area of expertise. She was a thief who loved to rip off weddings. Uninvited, she would show up at a wedding reception, mingle with the guests, have a few drinks, do a little dancing, and then, after a few hours, slip away.
Of course, all the eating and drinking and dancing and mingling did not stop Gunderson from occasionally disappearing. While gone she would rifle through unattended purses and rummage through rooms where gifts were stored. After a few hours she usually had a fine collection of stolen wallets, credit cards, and cash.
Then, armed with her booty, Gunderson went to Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, and other stores to buy all manner of nice things. Investigators even noted she used stolen credit cards while the wedding party from which they had been taken was still going full force.
Well, Gunderson was recently arrested at a church when she was caught stealing someone's wallet.
The courts have said Gunderson will spend seven years in prison. Of course, no court can force her to return all she has stolen or repair the wedding days she messed up.
Now even though you may never have met Denise Gunderson, that doesn't mean you have escaped being hurt like those California brides and grooms. The truth is, in your life, the devil loves to play the role of Denise Gunderson. You -- like the California couples -- try to put together a good life, a happy life, a God-pleasing life, and just when things are falling into place, the devil crashes in and messes things up.
It would be pretty depressing if it weren't for one wonderful fact: Jesus Christ also is in your life. Unlike the devil, Jesus has come so you might have life and have it abundantly. So that the devil wouldn't have the last word, Jesus was born, lived, died and rose. Now the victorious, risen Redeemer has come into our lives to give us hope and to assure us He will counter and conquer the devil's influences.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, in this sinful world the devil will do his best to cause heartbreak and heartache. May I realize and believe that in You we are given forgiveness, peace and joy. In Your Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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