There is a real enemy with a primary mission to destroy us. At the same time Jesus came to give us life “more abundantly” according to his own words. Because we fail to appreciate what Jesus meant by the abundant life he came to give us we mostly choose to live with far less than his best.
At the same time we can look at something and see if it comes from God or not based on whether it add life or brings destruction.
assignment Full Transcript(Scroll for more)
Heya! In the last episode we mentioned John 10:10. Today I’d like to look at that verse a little closer.
The New King James Version gives us this for John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
This is Jesus speaking. He’s contrasting two people. On the one hand we have “The Thief.” Jesus says the thief has a mission. The thief comes with one purpose: to steal, kill and destroy.
Just so there’s no confusion here, Jesus is talking about the enemy of our souls, the devil himself. That’s Satan’s sole purpose on this earth: to steal kill and destroy. Us. All mankind.
Satan genuinely takes pleasure, if such a thing is even possible for him, when human beings die. He goes out of his way wherever he can to destroy people. The devil has a special hatred for women and for children. He especially tries to see kids killed.
At the fall God cursed Satan. Here is part of what he said in Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed;”
That word enmity means hatred. There is a special hatred in Satan’s heart for both women and children, and especially the children of women. OK, let me do the math here… That’s pretty much every person on Earth, right?
So the devil’s main objective on this earth is to steal anything we value from us. To kill us. And to destroy us, those we care about, and anything we value.
Yet look at the contrast. Jesus said his job is to give us life and give it to us more abundantly.
That word that is translated “more abundantly” is a Greek word that is rich in meaning. And much of that meaning doesn’t make it across the translation into English. Listen to what kind of life Jesus said he came to give us when he said he came to give us life more abundantly.
More abundantly means:
- superabundant (in quantity) or superior (in quality); by implication, excessive.
- exceeding some number or measure or rank or need
- over and above, more than is necessary, superadded
- exceeding abundantly, supremely
- something further, more, much more than all, more plainly
- superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon
- pre-eminence, superiority, advantage, more eminent, more remarkable, more excellent
Let all that sink in for a moment. That’s the kind of life we followers of Jesus are supposed to have.
Notice that it’s a binary thing. In this verse Jesus is saying that bad stuff comes from the enemy and good stuff comes from God, plain and simple.
You can look at something and tell where it came from. Does it add life? That’s from God. Does it steal, kill or destroy? If it tears down, then it is not from God but rather from the thief, the enemy of our souls.
The devil’s specialty is criticizing, condemning and tearing things down. To build things up, make them better and create anew – that takes a spark of the Divine because that’s God’s territory.
Think about that the next time you are tempted to gossip about someone, criticize their actions or rip into them. If you’re tearing that person down or destroying their character you are aligning yourself with the devil and not siding with God.
At the same time you should keep that in mind as you go through life. When something comes at you, run it through the filter of John 10:10 to get a good idea which side of things it comes from.
Disease? Cancer is something that steals our vitality. It can destroy our finances and ultimately kill us. Cancer is not from God but from the enemy.
The tornado that rips through a city destroying everything in its path? That’s the devil’s work. It’s not God’s “judgment” on the city.
We’ll talk more about that next time.