John Tilton

"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." (John 10:10)
Who is this thief that Jesus refers to in the scripture? For most of us, based on the use of the world "thief" in our culture, we perhaps picture a guy in black breaking into our home at night to take our valuables and possibly harm us. I then think, it is a scary thought of someone coming into my home to steal from me or possibly harm my family, or myself and how it would be blatant and obvious. However, I think Jesus is warning us that this "thief" will come without us even knowing until we realize that havoc has been wreaked in our life, dragging us into the pit. We basically would be blindsided, like some one "false-cracking" us with a punch that never saw coming. The assault usually begins to take away or tarnish what we value, killing our heart and destroying relationships.

Thankfully, Jesus word is heart saving that He will give us life, restoring value and value abundantly. How do we then enable Jesus rescue to take place?
This scripture is so relative to me right now. Just as it seemed that family, ministry and work was going well, accomplishments were taking place and things falling in place, I've been blindsided by the enemy by situations that I did not cause or had part in occurring. However, the enemy has attacked my family and caused concerning situations in ministry. It feels like I've been blindsided and false-cracked, as I didn't see these situations coming. What is concerning is that these situations have the potential of affecting my family and I in a negative way long term. They are potentially life-changing situations.

So now when I read the second part of the scripture, Jesus says that He will give and restore our life in times like these, but how much faith do I have in these critical situations? The word is so peace giving when we hear it, but where is my faith when it actually happens? You want to fix it, but sometimes you can't. You seem to just have to see what God will allow to take place.

The key then is how do I respond? I can't turn the clock back. I can't undo what has transpired. The answer is taking the situations as lessons that I can learn and grow from. Yes, it may be painful and life changing, but perhaps I will become a better or more understanding and compassionate person. Perhaps I will understand the enemy and self absorbed or character-flawed people better, focusing on what God would have me take from this season in my life?
This is where I say to myself, "Lord, you know my heart, you see the situation and I know you love and care about me. Please walk my family and I through this sparing us a much as possible from pain and destruction. Though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, Lord please lead me and console my heart giving me the peace that surpasses understanding holding on to your promises. Lord, I put my trust in you."

Devotions for August 08

Jeremiah 1,2
John 10

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