Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Ten on Ten Life

UV 574/10,000 John 10 v 10 The Ten on Ten Life John 10 v 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly Jesus is the Good Shepherd while Lucifer is the thief. Lucifer is the wolf who comes in sheep skin in order to deceive, cheat, steal, kill and destroy our souls. He attempts to take that which does not belong to him, namely, the glory of God and our souls. No normal or ordinary shepherd would give his life in order to save the sheep but would rather think that he could always get more sheep but cannot get his own life back. He is always thinking how he could profit from the wool or the meat of the sheep. Similarly, in today’s world, many teachers are focused on what they can gain or profit from their fold. In contrast to the thief and the ordinary shepherd, the Good Shepherd Jesus was not only willing to do so but actually gave His life for the sake of us. He gave His life that we might have life eternal. This is what is meant by the first part of the uni-verse, “ they might have life”. We will not taste the second death or eternal dying. The second part of the uni-verse: “ they might have it more abundantly” is the promise of abundance in the present life. Life does not consist in an abundance of things. Hence, the abundant life that Jesus promises us is not a life of abundance of the material dimension of life. Rather, it is an abundance of grace or the favour of God. Grace is divine enablement. The initiative lies with us. The Lord promises the follow through to enable us to continue with our efforts. We need to set goals for ourselves and make a beginning. He will enable us to keep at it, overcome obstacles and complete our mission in life. The excellency of God’s power will be revealed in all its abundance in our lives. The Lord wants us to lead a ten on ten life or a life that manifests the abundant grace of God in the physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social, professional, familial, filial, financial and philanthropic aspects of our lives. Oneness with God through Christ in each of these areas ensures the abundance of love, peace, joy and wholeness that is our birthright. Satan wants to disturb that oneness and create a sense of inadequacy, disconnect, meaninglessness, confusion and dissatisfaction in each of these areas. We must take steps to prevent and detect the thief. We must arrest satan or stop him in his tracks,build firewalls and set up spiritual burglar alarms that warn us of any subtle attacks when our guard is down. Satan steals our peace, kills our joy, destroys our homes, robs us of our opportunities. In the area of the physical, he will induce in us the fear of premature physical death so that we do not get time to think of the second death- eternal dying. He will induce in us the fear of diseases, so that our minds are always tense. In the area of the intellectual, he will induce in us false beliefs and assumptions so that our decision making is flawed. In the area of our emotions, he will induce in us anxiety, anger and hatred. In the area of the spiritual, he will induce in us the spirit of doubt and compromise. He will disguise lies and half-truths as eternal verities. In the area of the social, he will fan the flames of conflict and mutual distrust. In the area of the financial, he will create a lust for more and a constant sense of insecurity. In the area of the professional, he will create a widening gap between expectation and performance so that we get frustrated and ineffective. In the area of the familial and filial, he will create a spirit of disorder, rebellion and a lack of love. How does one distinguish in each area: which came from satan and which from the Lord Jesus? Jesus said, “ The Good Shepherd enters through the door, the thief climbs in through some other way.” As a police officer, I know that the thief climbs in by scaling the wall, breaking in through a window or breaking a lock or drilling a hole or stealing the key of a house. If we have consciously and willingly accepted a particular belief, principle or practice based on the Word, then it is from the Shepherd. If we have learnt it from our study of the Word or the revelation of the Holy Spirit, it is from the Shepherd. If we have accepted it unconsciously or unwillingly from others or the world or due to our past conditioning or through force of circumstance or habit or the subtle influence of someone in our inner circle or due to the prevailing culture, then it is from satan. Another touchstone test is if a particular belief, principle or practice robs God of His glory or robs us of our peace or health or joy over the long term then it is the modus operandi of the thief. Prateep V Philip

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