Lord, your will is for us to know you more and to have life more abundantly. May we learn how to trust you more, love you more and live for you more by loving others and by being a light for the lost every day.
Read: John 10:10, NIV
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.”
This week we have been talking about our mission to lead people to Jesus. During his three-year ministry here on earth, we don’t find Jesus focusing on the upcoming temple dinner or leisurely taking in nearby sporting events. At least that’s not how the disciples have retold the stories of his life. His ministry was focused on seeking to save the lost…plain and simple. When you have a goal in mind, you do everything you can to train, prepare and engage to reach it. You also avoid distractions that might keep you from attaining your goal. As much as the focus of the Church should be to introduce people to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, the focus of the devil is to destroy all humanity. Why is that? Because his destiny is set. He will burn forever in hell when the end has come. In the meantime, his mission is to have as many others with him as possible.
Considering that the devil’s fate is sealed, and his goal is counter to our goal as Christians, what would be the enemy’s best strategy? I submit to you that it would be to assail Christ’s Church with every attack and every difficulty he could. So, the Church should be on guard for these attacks. I Peter 5:8 (NIV) says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” When you attack an adversary, you are going to get their attention and trials may come your way. Remember, Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost…humanity. If we, as His followers, work to spread the gospel and lead people into relationships with Him, we may encounter difficult times. James 1:2-4 (NIV) says, “Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
The next time you get incensed because you didn’t get asked to be on a certain church committee, or if you get irritated because your home team forgot to invite you to lunch, don’t get angry at them. Get angry at the enemy of your soul and all souls. The devil. Remind him that you are a follower of Jesus Christ and that you will be focused on the goal and the prize, as Paul admonished us: Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV), “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s scheme’s. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Lord, let me be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, as admonished in Proverbs. Let me walk in love through abiding in you and walking in your Holy Spirit each and every day. Refine me, shape me, mold me more into your image with every situation that comes my way. Help me to lead people who want to see Jesus into the saving knowledge of you. Thank you, Lord, for loving, leading, and using me for your purposes.