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A Thief at Any Time
• READ: JOHN 10:10-18
In college, I shared an apartment with a buddy. We lived in complete poverty: we owned a couch, a desk, a chair, and an old TV. Late one afternoon, I fell asleep on the floor. I heard some noise and assumed it was my roommate rummaging around. It wasn’t.
A guy had broken in by slicing a hole through our bedroom screen. Even though I heard him, I pretended to sleep, which is a good thing since he carried a knife. I can’t imagine a more disappointed thief as he wandered through our sparse apartment, ultimately leaving empty-handed.
Jesus describes a different thief—followed by a stark contrast—in John 10:10, saying, “A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Those are powerful words. Stealing. Killing. Destroying. The thief cares not about you or me. A thief will take what isn’t theirs and may harm others in the process. Satan, the greatest thief of all, wants your joy, peace, and even your very life. He hates God and the people He has created.
But here’s the contrast, found later in verse 10. Jesus the Good Shepherd is willing to lay down His life to protect the sheep. The sheep are His people—those who have put their trust in Him. He not only protects the sheep but has “come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” Sheep are very vulnerable to predators, but the Good Shepherd provides both safety and abundant life, safeguarding them from thieves who want their death.
Jesus accomplished all this by laying down His life for His sheep, providing the ultimate sacrifice at the cross. He gave His life so the thief would not take ours. A hired hand might run, but a real shepherd will safeguard his sheep, even to the point of death. If our trust is in Christ alone, we can rest: the promise of the Good Shepherd is that He will not lose a single sheep (John 6:39). • Mike Hurley
• Why do you think Jesus uses the image of sheep and shepherd as a metaphor for people and God?
• Jesus offers us life and peace through His death and resurrection—while sin and Satan only offer us death. To learn more about how Jesus saves us from sin and death, check out our "Know Jesus" page.
A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. John 10:10 (CSB)
** Unlocked은 Keys for kids Ministries에서 지원받은 프로그램입니다. 원본으로 듣고 싶으신 분들은 홈페이지 Unlocked.org로 들어가시면 <May 6, 2020>에서 다시 들으실 수 있습니다.**
Rules, Rules, Rules
• READ: ACTS 15:5-11
Do you ever feel like life is all about rules? Rules at school, different rules at home, and maybe even more rules at church.
Can following rules save you from sin and death? Can doing good things make you perfect? Do you have to follow certain rules if you want to go to heaven—to live with Jesus and His people forever? Those are all good questions—ones that might fill your head and keep you up at night.
The Bible is filled with people who thought they had to follow certain rules in order for God to be pleased with them. In today’s Scripture reading, even after Jesus had died and risen from the grave, some people still held on to lists and lists of rules they felt everyone must follow in order to be close to God.
Jesus, who is God, came to bring grace to the world (Titus 2:11-14). He came to release those who were following dozens and dozens of rules each day in an attempt to save themselves. While some people in Jesus’ time felt they needed to add to the rules God had given them, Jesus came to bring freedom (2 Corinthians 3). He came to bring a life that is not as much about rules as it is about love and about faith—about restoring relationship between Himself and humans, by destroying the sin that caused the brokenness in the first place.
The rules we follow and the works we do will not save us. Because rules can never change our sinful hearts. We can only be changed when we are united by faith to Jesus, the One who died for our sins and rose again to give us freedom from the chains of sin and death. • Emily Acker
• Check out Micah 6:8, Matthew 22:34-39, Romans 13, and Ephesians 2:8-10. If you know Jesus, what is your relationship with rules? Do rules or doing good things save you? What is the purpose of doing good in God’s kingdom?
Truly I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life. John 5:24 (CSB)