The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10
Today’s Devotional was written by: Celeste Smith
Live life. If you have visited our home you might notice we have these words prominently displayed in our kitchen. These two words serve as a reminder to think about the words Jesus spoke in John 10:10. It would be impossible for me to speak on all the ways John 10:10 has meaning to our family; so I will share just what is on my heart today. The contrast in this passage is blaring. The thief does one thing and God does something entirely different. We can always expect He will. As life increases, death decreases. Have you noticed this? Perhaps even more inspiring is that we have been called to live a life that decreases death around us. We have been given the power, through Christ, to offer redemption where it once seemed impossible. We do this through our mercy, compassion, patience, love, faithfulness, and understanding.
These words are so special to me because I can remember so many times where the thief has come in my own life. He has sought to kill, steal, and destroy so much. I have seen him leave cherished friends feeling ravaged and hopeless. I have watched the thief walk away with more than seems fair. Often I hear of a situation and I can’t even see past what has been stolen, killed and destroyed. I’m glad the story doesn’t end there. We, as Christians, are living proof that God can breathe new life into the deadest of places. Forgiveness can heal immeasurable hurt. Love can heal unfathomable hate. Understanding can heal insurmountable division. Faith can cure unconquerable doubt.
Live life. In doing this, we will take part in the redemption of this world.
Read this verse in context: John 10
1 I assure you that whoever doesn’t enter into the sheep pen through the gate but climbs over the wall is a thief and an outlaw. 2 The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The guard at the gate opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 Whenever he has gathered all of his sheep, he goes before them and they follow him, because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger but will run away because they don’t know the stranger’s voice.” 6 Those who heard Jesus use this analogy didn’t understand what he was saying.
I am the gate
7 So Jesus spoke again, “I assure you that I am the gate of the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and outlaws, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.
I am the good shepherd
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 When the hired hand sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away. That’s because he isn’t the shepherd; the sheep aren’t really his. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13 He’s only a hired hand and the sheep don’t matter to him.
14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep and they know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. I give up my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that don’t belong to this sheep pen. I must lead them too. They will listen to my voice and there will be one flock, with one shepherd.
17 “This is why the Father loves me: I give up my life so that I can take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I give it up because I want to. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it up again. I received this commandment from my Father.”
19 There was another division among the Jews because of Jesus’ words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon and has lost his mind. Why listen to him?” 21 Others said, “These aren’t the words of someone who has a demon. Can a demon heal the eyes of people who are blind?”
Jesus at the Festival of Dedication
22 The time came for the Festival of Dedication[a] in Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple, walking in the covered porch named for Solomon. 24 The Jewish opposition circled around him and asked, “How long will you test our patience? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I have told you, but you don’t believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you don’t believe because you don’t belong to my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life. They will never die, and no one will snatch them from my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them from my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 Again the Jewish opposition picked up stones in order to stone him. 32 Jesus responded, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of those works do you stone me?”
33 The Jewish opposition answered, “We don’t stone you for a good work but for insulting God. You are human, yet you make yourself out to be God.”
34 Jesus replied, “Isn’t it written in your Law, I have said, you are gods?[b] 35 Scripture calls those to whom God’s word came gods, and scripture can’t be abolished. 36 So how can you say that the one whom the Father has made holy and sent into the world insults God because he said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 If I don’t do the works of my Father, don’t believe me. 38 But if I do them, and you don’t believe me, believe the works so that you can know and recognize that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again, they wanted to arrest him, but he escaped from them.
Jesus at the Jordan
40 Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had baptized at first, and he stayed there. 41 Many people came to him. “John didn’t do any miraculous signs,” they said, “but everything John said about this man was true.” 42 Many believed in Jesus there.
Common English Bible (CEB)
Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible