This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is called “You Have the Words of Life”.
You can listen to the study by clicking here
John 10:7-10 (NIV)
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10 (NIV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Jesus has come to give us life, and the enemy wants to steal it away. The battle is played out in the choices we make. Do the next right thing, or do our own thing. One leads to real life, the other to a counterfeit life.
1. The thief comes
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)
8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
The thief is looking for someone to devour. He wants to steal your life away. But he is only like a roaring lion, at the cross he was defeated and left with only lies and deceptions to try and keep people from life. He uses a variety of tricks. Guilt, shame, fear, worry. Anything he can to keep you from knowing Jesus and knowing life. Anything he can to get you doing things your way instead of trusting in God and doing things God’s way. The enemy wants to distract you from the truth and tempt you to live a lie. The Apostle Peter tells us that we need to resist him. The Apostle Paul adds this
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Part of being a follower of Christ is that we are engaged in a very real spiritual battle. We also live in a broken world on a fallen planet. We can get frustrated and give in to our selfish desires and quick fixes, or we can realize that this is a battle. But we are not alone in this battle. We have Jesus, the One who came to give us full and abundant life.
I have found a very powerful tool when I find myself being attacked by the enemy as he tries to steal life from me. It is a prayer I have taught you before but one that I think you sometimes forget. The temptation prayer – Help! It is a powerful tool because…
2. Jesus wants to help you
Hebrews 2:14-18 (NIV)
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil– 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Jesus wants to help you. You need to let that sink in. Some people get this all backward. They think that in order to have a relationship with God, they need to get themselves fixed up in their own strength. You can’t do it in your own strength. What you can do in your own strength will almost always lead you to self-righteousness, arrogance, and pride which are of no use in the Kingdom of God. Jesus wants to help you. You come to Him in your brokenness and He will help you. He does that because…
3. Jesus understands you
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
He lived this life. He knows what it is like to be us. He experienced temptation, only he never gave into it. But, He gets us. He gets us and He loves us and rather than point a finger at us and tell us how bad we are and that we need to get it together, He gives us grace and mercy to help us in our time of need.
4. Live it His way
Matthew 11:29-30 (NIV)
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I like that verse. You know what a yoke is? The yoke was a frame that fit like a collar on the neck and shoulders of two animals. When the two animals were yoked together, the tasks were easier to perform. And, if one of the animals was younger, it could learn from the older, wiser, more experienced animal.
Jesus is saying that we are to be yoked to Him. Teamed up with Him as we go through life. As we do, we can learn from Him. Because He is who He is, He will take the fullest share of all our burdens. Linked to Him, our burdens are truly made light. This doesn’t mean we never have to go through difficulties in our life. I have said often times that in this fallen world and broken planet we will have hard things to deal with. It means that we can experience rest and peace in the midst of difficulties because He is gentle and humble and He is with us and for us. He has come that we might have life and have it to the full now and forever.