Summary: Jesus said He came to destroy the works of the devil, and to bring us abundant life. However, we still have an enemy who is a thief, murderer and destroyer, and we must be vigilant if we want to experience that abundant life, joy and peace.
A little girl once went to visit her grandmother in the country. Things were fine until Sunday. This lady went to a very old fashioned church that kept the Sabbath by forbidding all work, fun, playing. The little girl woke up Sunday and started right off playing and laughing, as little girls do. Her grandmother immediately rebuked her for breaking the Sabbath. The little girl quieted down, went to church and later went for a walk out by the barn. She went over to an old mule, a droopy eyed, sad faced, long-eared mule. She looked at the mule for a while, and said, “Mr. Mule, you look like you go to my grandmother’s Church!”
“The 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 – to the full.” (John 10:10).
• The dictionary defines the word “full” as “complete, perfect, the highest degree, the maximum.” Abundantly = “well supplied, abounding, overflowing.”
• Does that describe YOUR life? It’s fun being saved!
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8).
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8).
• Yes, it’s true that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil: sin, sickness, poverty!
• However, we don’t automatically experience that abundant life – we must fight!
THE BIG IDEA: Jesus said He came to destroy the works of the devil, and to bring us abundant life. However, we still have an enemy who is a thief, murderer and destroyer, and we must be vigilant if we want to experience that abundant life, joy and peace.
STORY: As a pastor, I have met with people whose lives have been destroyed by the devil!
THE DEVIL DESCRIBED:
The devil… is the gnawing of cancer, the dollar bill in the pocket of the abortion doctor, the blank stare in the face of the homeless. He is the cold ache of arthritis, the limp of one crippled, the despair of poverty… He is the author of fear and the father of lies. He is the panic of sirens, the source of arguing, insanity, slander, lying, cheating, stealing, heresy and sedition. He is the reality and the necessity of an eternal hell. He is the driving impulse of every sexual perversion, of homosexuality and lesbianism, and of all drug and alcohol addiction. He is the blackness of midnight… and the despair of funerals. He is behind every rape, every incest. He is suicide, teen pregnancy, the occult, demonic possession, New Age deceit. He is the backbiting of friends, the jagged edge of a tattered relationship… He is everything cruel, painful, fierce. He is the source of every plague, curse, and blight known to the human family. He is the original instigator of separation between the Creator and His creation, yet we try to act and live like he is not even in our world!” (Rod Parsley, Serious Survival Strategies).
• Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil!
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.” (Deut. 30:19-20).
• God tells us that we choose life or death – and gives us a hint: Choose life!
• God offers life, blessing, joy, health, and prosperity..
• Satan offers death, cursing, depression, sickness, and poverty.
• How do we choose abundant life? Love God, obey His voice, and cling to Him.
• How do we choose death? When we sin. “But the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 3:23).
• When God tells us not to do something, it’s because it leads to death!
• God’s commandments are for our GOOD! (Deut. 10:13).
• Note: Not every bad thing is a direct attack from the enemy – sometimes the natural consequences of our sin, or just living in a sin-cursed earth.
KEEPING GOD’S COMMANDMENTS:
• But how can we keep from sinning if we don’t know all the commandments?
“Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him, "’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40).