John 10:10 - (Jesus said) "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
I'm listening to a commercial today about a new alarm system. They say it works better than any other. They say it is easy to install, easy to use, easy to have monitored, so that your home can be safe when you are gone, safe when you are asleep -- safe all the way around. If that could only be true. It seems that thieves are always one step ahead of our best inventions and our best intentions.
That's what Jesus is getting at today. There are more ominous thieves than those who can break in and steal things that are precious to you. There are thieves that can steal what is more precious than gold, more precious than silver; they are the thieves that steal your heart and your soul away from the living God.
Jesus actually talks about that when he says, "Don't fear the ones who can kill the body but not the soul, fear the one who can destroy both your body and soul in hell" (Matthew 10:28).
Wow! I wonder if anyone thinks about that at all today. I wonder if anyone takes that Word of Jesus to heart today.
Said another way, don't let anyone steal the abundant life that Jesus wants you to have in Him.
So many are hell-bent on protecting their treasures of material wealth, but we are leaving the doors of our souls unlocked or, worse, wide open.
When you seek to live life merely for personal pleasures, personal gains, your soul is wide open to the tempter. And by the time you realize that, it may be too late to reclaim anything of value. When you work yourselves to death as if you can build a treasure trove of security for retirement, that soul is often wide open to neglecting your spirit life all along. The tragedy of that is that you don't have control today or in retirement. Life has too many ups and downs beyond our control. But even if you have control today -- at least in your mind -- that's merely a sedative that dulls you to the end of all human sinful life: death. Death is this sinful world's constant; it's the last enemy; it's the final bargain we all lose when it comes to living life on our own, the greatest temptation of all.
Jesus talks straight today. He says that in the face of death, there is a way, there is the truth, there is the life waiting for all who come to Him in repentance and faith. It's not a bargain; it's not sleight of hand. Jesus earned the right to say this to you and me when He died our death to give us His life. Don't let anyone tell you that there is anything in heaven and earth greater than this offer of life and salvation in Him. Thieves ... robbers ... or Jesus Christ? When it comes to your soul, He alone is not only abundant protection, He's abundant blessing.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, give me the eyes of faith to see the difference of the life that You have for me by faith so that I might never be tempted to relinquish it to the false promises of another. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries