John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Most would say life in the Western world in the past 50 years has been quite good. Post 2nd World War, there has been general abundance in what are usually called the Western Countries. There has been relative peace, the vast majority of people have had plenty to eat, homes to live in, and in fact a large portion of the population is able to afford luxuries such as vacations and spending large amounts of money on entertainment. In this prosperous culture, professional sports has flourished, with many fans willing to pay hundreds of dollars to watch professional sporting events, eat priceless hot dogs and drink severely overpriced beer.
“Life is good”, is what most people would say, and in fact many Christians would agree with that. I, however, don’t see it quite that way. What I’ve seen in only the few decades I have lived is a generation of fat Christians who have let their guards down, who have tried to simultaneously live two lives: the world’s life, and God’s life. And ashamedly, on many occasions I have been one of those.
God is not, however, wanting us a Christians to avoid the world. It is not God’s will for us to live secluded lives in a monastery with other Christians, but rather to live as aliens in the world. Jesus addressed this when He prayed for His disciples: 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. (John 17:15)
You see Jesus knew that there is an enemy in the world who has no greater desire than to destroy all that is lovely, all that is of God. In today’s scripture from John 10 we read that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy”. And the thief is not stupid. He doesn’t enter the front door saying “Yo, I’m here to steal and destroy”. He enters slowly, in fact appearing to be a friend, enticing us with gifts at the door so we welcome him in. We then let him set up camp in our house, and we allow him to push God out the back door. Now he is able to accomplish the calamity he desires for your life.
You may say, “what is he talking about, I would never allow the enemy into my house”. Well let me ask you. If I enter your house or life, what do I hear, what do I see? Do I hear God’s Word coming through your earbuds or on speakers in the form of worship music? Will I find a dusty Bible in the corner, or a well-worn Bible opened to the scripture God used to encourage you or challenge you this morning during your devotional? Are you feeding yourself a steady diet of secular television shows and movies and books, or are you being challenged with writings from mature believers who offer solid food and teachings from God’s Word? I implore you my Christian brothers and sisters, if you have not left room for God in your lives or your homes, invite him back in before it is too late. Let the Good Shepherd be the Lord of your life, rather than the enemy who only wishes to destroy. “35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35).