Bible verses to build your life on
Jesus said: “… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” ~ Matthew 7:24
John 10 - Part 3
10The 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.
Words to note: “10The 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.” These are among the most profound words in the Bible. As we look around we see this principle in action. From non-Christian rock music that fuels our angers and drives us to isolate ourselves because ‘no one understands what I’m going through’ (I’ve been through this, so I know what it’s like…) that leads to depression and worse… to the light and fluffy, cotton-candy poison of the fantasy world that draws us into a world that doesn’t exist and is unaware of gravity and ‘spiritual gravity’ – i.e. consequences. Fantasy is so dangerous because it creates a world that doesn’t exist, where good guys and bad guys do things that are wrong, but they don’t get in trouble for everything. And yet in real life, God doesn’t let us get away with sin – there are consequences for every thing we do good or bad. Everything we do that we know is wrong and every thing that we know we should have done because it was right and didn’t do – there are consequences. We can ignore those consequences and not learn from them if we want to, but that sure does make things painful! Life is painful enough without us knowingly fighting for our selfish desires too! And yet, sadly, our culture fills their minds with lies and deceptions that make this real world so confusing. I know this first-hand from having seen it myself (and having to undo things I’ve done), and from having worked with youth groups for 8+ years and counseled youth who had various questions about problems that were caused by a lack of understanding the connection between what we do and the consequences for our actions.
Now, I agree real life isn’t much fun because there is such pain in life. But which is worse: going around in a fantasy world and not understanding why life doesn’t make sense or going to our amazingly-loving Creator (who desires a friendship with us) and asking Him to teach us how the world really works and relying on Him to show us how to get through life and to help us work through problems? That second option doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Better yet - The second option is real! I can tell you from my own experience that I love the second option for sure – so it is very real! But we have to choose it. It means that if we take it seriously to learn from and obey our Creator, we are going to have to make some changes. We are going to have to be more honest with ourselves and God about what is really going on in our life and more honest about our actions. And btw (by the way), I go through all of these things too and the REALLY COOL part is that God not only sees all of it, but He actually has a clear, good solution to every single problem we face in life! NOW THAT’S GOOD NEWS! J
God knows that we can be easily deceived even without putting deception in our heads - that is why He commands us to make sure we are not deceived (1st Corinthians 6:9, 15:33; Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 5:6; 2nd Thessalonians 2:3; James 1:16; 1st John 3:7). That is a phrase that helps us understand God’s perspective. Even Isaiah hints at it: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” There again, God is pointing out that we are very capable of following something that isn’t truth. That is why God complimented various different people for being diligent to study His Word to make sure what they were taking in was the truth of His Word. Example: Acts 17:10-11 - “10Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” Why were they complimented as more fair-minded or reasonable? Because they studied the Scriptures. How often did they study the Scriptures? Key word: Daily! They were faithful to get in God’s Word and His presence DAILY and God blessed them and honored them for it. Also, we should notice, did they read the Bible like a textbook? Did they read the Word of God like a newspaper or a history book? Did they read it like poetry or as a book of good wisdom? What word describes how they studied it? “searched” – that implies careful study. And we have to keep in mind they didn’t have ‘Easton’s Bible Dictionary’ or the ‘John MacArthur Study Bible’ or ‘Strong’s Concordance’ or even ‘Cruden’s Compact Concordance’. (Just in case you were wondering, I appreciate all of those books, and www.blueletterBible.org is a great tool, too!) Yet, even though they didn’t have all of the resources we have today to more effectively study God’s Word, they were diligent and searched God’s Word daily, which meant hard work, to find out if what Paul and Silas were saying matched God’s Word. (God’s Word is always the best interpreter of truth and God’s Word. Funny how that works, yes?) And God had Luke write down that these Bereans were commendable because they were faithful to study His Word daily. Interesting challenge for all of us! A good challenge for us as this new year takes off!
Back to those words: “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy...” In this verse, Jesus also describes Islam. Just weeks ago, we all heard about how a so-called moderate Muslim lady named Benazir Bhutto was murdered in cold-blood because of a murderous religion called Islam. Anyone who watches the news can tell that this very well describes their religion: stealing, killing, destroying… Does anyone remember the Muslim cartoon riots? Case-in-point! But, of course they hide the true face of Islam behind a mask of friendliness as they work on conquering the world. If you are wondering if I have my facts straight, I encourage you to do as I did – study this subject from the experience of one who was one of the top professors on Islamic History for one of the most top Islamic Universities – Mark A. Gabriel. Ph.D. His book entitled: ‘Islam and Terrorism’ is very insightful and includes what he learned and his testimony. Btw, Mark A Gabrielle is his pen name because he became a Christian, came to America and had to change his name for his own personal safety. But as you read his story and his information and explanation, I know you will see as I did that it makes all the confusion about Islam and their real goal - crystal clear. So, this example briefly shows that one of Satan’s tools is false religions. Another one is false teaching: in other words, taking God’s Word out of context, and there are even some who deliberately twist God’s Word out of context. False religions and false teachings both deceive and confuse, and even kill people every day. Only the Truth can rescue them, so let’s look at Jesus’ offer…