Friday, August 11, 2023

To Kill and Destroy and Steal

To Kill and Destroy and Steal 
by David Brenneman 

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10.

"On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’  Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”" Luke 10:35-37.

I this life we are given, which it's only by the grace of God that it's ours to live, we're are either on the Lord's side or we aren't. 

We are either after our own protection at times or we are after the will of God regardless of the consequences.  Dr. Charles Stanley once said that we are to obey God and leave the consequences to Him.   

What's that to do with John 10:10?  Well either we are going to live for Christ and what He came for, or we live for self and the desires of the enemy of Christ are fulfilled in us.  Satan is a liar, he's the thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy.  His aim is to destroy all that Jesus holds dear.  To ruin lives that the Spirit is working on and in.  To pit even Believers against Believers.  Whatever it takes to malign the name of Jesus Christ.  Thing is too many people do not see that this is what they are being manipulated by Satan into doing.  Aiding and abetting the enemy of the cross of Jesus Christ.  

Satan wants to steal our joy.  He will do whatever he's permitted and will press for more.  

We are repeatedly told to be on the alert because he roams about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.  He is the destroyer of all that God holds dear. 

He separates families, friends, lives. 

There's going to be a lot of shame expressed in Heaven amongst Believers when they arrive and the truths about the choices they made in life are finally understood by them.  

Grace and mercy are given to us with the intent by God to extend that to others, not to keep it to ourselves.  Not to choose who deserves it and who does not.  Jesus showed no partiality in who He extended it to, whether they accepted it or rejected it is a different matter. 

Who are we to put self above our neighbor?  Who are we to be the Pharisee or the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan?  Truth is you ARE one of those 3. 

You are either putting aside your wants, desires and wishes in favor of the will of God or you are serving yourself.  

We, like Peter said, must obey God rather than men.  Which must include ourselves.  

The very people we disdain, that we cast off as this or you not realize Jesus died for every single one of them?

As long as a person has the breath of life in them there is hope.  Nobody is worthless in the eyes of God. Everyone is worthless in the eyes of Satan.  Everyone is extended grace and mercy from God as long as they are alive.  

What does it really say about the state of our own heart if we're choosing to fight God in what work He's doing in the lives of others?  Why wouldn't we join Him in that work?  As it's been preached, there's no better place to be than in the center of God's will.  

We do much harm in the lives of ourselves and others when we decide what's acceptable and what isn't.  We help Satan's cause rather than the cause of Christ Jesus.  Our being in this world isn't about success or about personal happiness.  If Jesus was about personal happiness He wouldn't have left Heaven.  

So many people who are Believers quit on those who are Prodigal's.  They think it's too much, that they are too far gone.  The Spirit testifies that Christ died for them too and they are worth it.  We do not know what all the power of Christ is in the life of a Believer who is fully devoted to obeying Christ is capable of doing in helping another find their way home again to the arms of forgiveness in Christ. 

The father in that parable never gave up hope.  Read it yourself.  He watched the horizon every single day.  

The will of God for you and I in Christ Jesus is to become conformed to the image of His Son.  Not to protect our own image of ourselves.  Jesus gave His all to the will of the Father.  Our character must do no less.  

We are granted the unmerited favor of our Savior.  We deserve the wrath of God, we don't receive it because of Jesus Christ.  We shouldn't be embracing the idea of giving up on others in Christ.  The only treasure in Heaven that we are to store up is people.  

"Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the King?
Who will be His helpers, other lives to bring?
Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for Him will go?
By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!"

The Church is to be Christ to a fallen world.  The Church was to show the power of the resurrected Christ to sinners. To seek and save the lost as Jesus began to do and in the Great Commission told future generations to pursue.  The Church was to snatch people from the very gates of Hell by prayer and the power of Christ.

The fervent prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much...this is only true if we are fully on the Lord's side. If we are living in obedience to Jesus and are obeying Him in all that we do.  Regardless of its reasonable or not. Regardless of if we think someone deserves it or not. 

Are you helping the enemy of God or are you on the Lord's side?  You cannot serve in both armies.  There are no neutral parties in Spiritual war.  

Jesus came to give us life.  Not just life but life more abundant.  When we look out for self first we are not showing the character of Christ.  

Are we going to get hurt in the process? Probably. In the eyes of God it's worth it. 
Regardless of the present sufferings we are to endure, it will pale in comparison to the joy to be revealed as Jesus tells us "Well done".  

Personally, I am pursuing that "Well done" rather than the question from Him of "What were you thinking?".  People are going to be offended by the cross of Jesus Christ. People don't want to be told that self must be cast aside. To take up our own cross is to die to self.  

Pour out the love of Christ to everyone. 
Pour out that love so that your own life will be richer for it.
Don't aide the enemy of Christ Jesus anymore.  

Timothy was taught to preach the word, in season and out of season.  When people want to hear it and when they don't.  Timothy was told to say and live what God wants of him regardless of what people think or how they receive it...because everyone will give an account of their own life before Jesus.

What will your life show before Jesus?
The love of Christ your Savior or the life of you. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation 

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