Which way?

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Have you ever thought about life as a path that we’re all on? John Bunyan wrote a book about it called “Pilgrim’s Progress” which I’m told has sold more copies than any other book in the world with the exception of the Bible.   And on that path, we meet lots of forks – decision points – where we have to make choices based on the information, thoughts, motives, and possible consequences of those choices. Jesus talked about the narrow way that leads to life and the broad way that leads to destruction.  Actually, the broad way is wide enough to include all other ideas and choices other than those of obedience to Christ.  There is Christ’s way, and every other way.  Jesus said no one can serve two masters, “for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).”

While Jesus picked out “money” as one of the other masters, in its broadest context you can’t serve God and anything or anyone else – including yourself.  Each fork in the road of life calls for a choice and a decision about whom we will serve with that decision.  By choosing against Christ, Jesus makes clear that we are choosing to hate Him with that decision.  This is because we are choosing to disobey Him (and we are told that obeying Him is the same as loving Him – John 14:15) and to obey something else that, at that moment, is in opposition to Him.  The ringleader of those choices is the enemy of our souls, Satan. 

John 10:10 shows in stark terms the foolishness of such choices.  Basically, what this is telling us is that every single time we make a choice that is other than what Christ would have for us, we are losing something.  The result is always less than we could have had, and usually much, much less.  There may be momentary gain, but the eventual losses will always be much greater than that gain.  Why would anyone do this, for it makes absolutely no sense?  It is because we are so prone to deception – the heart being deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9). Couple this with the fact that we constantly face temptation from the master deceiver, the one who is called “the deceiver of the whole world (2 Corinthians 11:14).”  He began his work by deceiving Eve in the garden with the result of a fallen world in exchange for Paradise, and he continues with the same false promises and deceptions to the present time.  He even tried it with Jesus in the wilderness.  However, the God-Man fought him with the Word of God, the Truth, for it was the most powerful weapon He had available to Him and the surest way to defeat a lie.  And it is still the most powerful weapon we have today.  It is the truth of God’s Word that enables us to realize the abundant life that Jesus promised to those who obey Him in John 10:10 above. Otherwise, we are certain to suffer loss, for the thief is working constantly with one goal in mind: to rob us.

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