Dear John

Dear John

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

So the first sentence, yea that part pretty much sucks. I know, and it is part of our every day battle. Remember when you gave your life over to Christ, and there was the promise of it not being easy but always being worth it? The devil is chasing after us. He wants us, he wants to win us over, back on his side. He will do whatever it takes to bring back believers from the arms of Jesus. An empty soul is worthless to the devil, but a soul full of joy and love for the Lord, that is a prize to him, that is why he fights so hard.

What is being stolen from you today?

What do you feel like is killing you today?

What is destroying you today?

 

I’ll let you in on what steals, kills, and destroys in my life…

 

Gossip. None of us are strangers to it. Often times it is hard NOT to participate. It makes us feel included, no matter who it makes excluded or who it could hurt. It wasn’t until I overheard a conversation about a friend that was very hurtful, and through all of the laughter of the gossipers I left in tears. I knew it was God telling me it was time to change. Now don’t let me fool you, I’m still working on it! I’m still guilty! But I know every single time I get immersed in a place of gossip I don’t belong it steals, kills, and destroys my heart.

Negativity. Is it easy to wear a smile 24/7? I’m not really sure, I do sleep 8 hours. But really, talk about something that will STEAL from me. Being around people who are negative can distort a believer’s vision of the world. We are taught to love and be like Jesus. This is very hard to do when the person next to you is satan. Humor me 🙂 Not really satan, but his best effort to derail us. I’m not immune to negative thoughts! Don’t get me wrong on this one either. Often times I find myself having to give the situation over to the Lord to find peace. Giving into someone else’s negativity will drain you, and for me it steals, kills, and destroys my joy.

Pain or illness. Thats a no brainer. I suffer with chronic migraine. Right off the bat, it can be a stealer of hours, days, vision, and quality of life. I’m sure many times “my head is killing me” has come out of mouth. Is it going to shorten my life, likely not. God knows the number on my days, and I’m doubtful it has anything to do with the pain in my head. Or in my dad’s case, I see how his quadriplegia was sent to be a stealer, killer, and destroyer of his life. Although my father is still in some valleys and climbing some mountains, he is still with us, such an inspiration, and changing so many lives along the way. Often times we give pain or illness the power to do those 3 things the devil desires but God is our great healer! Placed in His hands, we can truly heal or even through suffering we can see His glory revealed.

Being in this world but not of this world is going to bring us troubles, struggles, and pressures not everyone is going to understand. We will NEVER be persecuted like Jesus  was or His disciples. We likely won’t face a day where we will have to choose death or following Christ and praise Him for that!

I’ve seen a few movies and this scene in those has always drawn me in. I have my own versions that play out in my head when I read over it. I wept when I read over these verses today before I started writing. Something about The Good Shepherd & His Sheep moves my heart. I don’t know about you but I will be refusing to give into “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy”. AND I will stand on the promise of “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life”.

John 10:1-21

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him. Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?” Others said, “This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Pray with me…
Thank you Lord for Jesus, my Good Shepherd. The one who sacrificed His life, so I could live forever with You. He has opened my eyes to the truth and I will always be grateful! I will NEVER have to worry about the devil’s desires to steal, kill, or destroy my life because I have life through Your Son and the blood He shed on the cross. No matter what comes my way, I follow You! The praise is to You only!
In Jesus’ Name.
With Love,
Michelle

3 thoughts on “Dear John

  1. Thank you for this teaching. I recently gave gossiping over to the Lord and I literally lost ALL of my friends because of it. I was not comfortable talking about people or their situation so the dark principalities that lived through my “friends” were not comfortable with me. Nonetheless, in my workplace it is extremely hard to stay positive when there is a constant fight, spiritually. People with deadly tongues speaking death over each other or spewing negativity. It is extremely difficult, but I know the battle is not mine, its the Lord’s.
    A sin that I am currently battling (that is sent to destroy me) is gluttony. The Lord is working on my behalf but it involves me pushing the plate away and fasting. I was doing good in the beginning and then I fell short because I got tired of waiting.

    Please be in agreement and prayer, Sister in Christ.
    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Frances, I will be praying for you and with you! Sister you certainly are not alone! Gluttony is another battle I can attest to being an uphill climb. I struggle everyday myself! I’ve been strong, given it to the Lord, then I’ll fall and give into the temptations of overindulgence, especially when it comes to sweets. Again, my sweet sister, we are in this together and our dear Lord has us in the palm of His hands. Blessings to you and over your life!

      Liked by 1 person

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