Having been primarily focused on outreach ministry with teenagers for a number of years, I have become very comfortable quoting John 10:10: “…I came that you may have life and have it to the fullest.”
Did you know that is not John 10:10? Ok, it’s part of the verse, but only the good part. Jesus gave a warning in the same breath that he offered hope. “The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy; I came that you may have life…” Wow! It was only a few years ago that I gave the first half of this verse any consideration. I was more than happy to communicate the hope of real life to high school kids and others, but I missed the reality of the thief. What I have come to realize is that Satan is a real force seeking to steal our joy, kill our spirit and destroy our lives. But I thought Satan was defeated through the Cross???
Does the first half of John 10:10 still apply? If Jesus’ statement isn’t a valid warning, then why the words from Peter after the Cross? “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil, He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. .” (1 Pet 5:8) Maybe the warning is because the thief is still permitted to carry out his work in some capacity. As I look at the world I see one main focus of the evil one, to keep men and women from being in a real and growing relationship with the Father. Maybe Jesus’ caution in the first half of John 10:10 still applies today.