John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Jesus shows a contrast. One comes to take, the other comes to give. One comes to give life, the other to kill and destroy.
Mat 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The thief wants to rob you, destroy you, destroy your finances, your kids, your marriage, your happiness. The word ‘thief’ in Greek is the same as ‘pickpocket.’ The enemy is cunning. He doesn’t do it outright to keep him from being recognized. He is crafty and deceitful. He is the kind who steals and is gone before you even realize something is missing.
Often the devil injects thoughts into a person’s mind. He steals peace and joy and puts doubt in their place. He takes what isn’t his. He impulsively, consistently, neurotically steals. It’s his nature to rob from you.
Jesus tells us the nature of your enemy. The devil needs to be put in prison, under your feet, way under your feet. You have been given the power to do this. No devil understands the law, he only understands enforced law.
1 Pet 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
In this case, the devil wants to take your sacrifice. He doesn’t just want to murder you. He wants to cause you to sacrifice to him, to worship him. He will try to convince you that it’s not worth it. Things will never get better. He will try to cause you to think you should give it up.
He will even try to convince you that you deserve the bad things that have happened and that they should stay that way. Why do you think you deserve to be depressed? Or deserve to be victimized? Or be in guilt or shame? You have sacrificed what God has said to hold precious and dear to you (His love, His peace, His joy, faith and hope in Him).
The devil can even create stressful situations that cause you to sacrifice those things that are dear to you—even your very life (suicide).
The devil will try to ruin all the things that are good in your life.
Prov 24:15 “Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place:”
If you feel you are lacking something, the devil has got one up on you. You are believing a lie. Jesus has promised to fulfill all you need and more. Take back what he has stolen or ruined and give it back to God. Jesus will restore it. Jesus has come to give you Life overflowing.
When you come to Jesus, He gives you life, abundant life, more than enough. He heals, restores, and transforms. God has infinite resources.
One day, the grave will give up all their dead in Christ. God will gather them up and they shall rise up in a moment’s time. Resurrection Day, glorified, given a new life. If He can do that, He can fix your mess.
You may not be able to fix things the way you want to fix them, but God has another way. He will give you an abundant life. He promised He would add unto you, not because of any other reason but because you are seeking the Kingdom.
In the Kingdom, there are decrees that He has set up. It’s the King’s law. His subjects are subject to that law. If you are in the Kingdom of God, you can put your foot on the neck of the thief. Walk in that law.
You have been given power to tread on the serpent (bites with head) and the scorpion (stings with tail). Heads or tails, we win.
So, why is stuff happening? You have to seek the Kingdom. When you start seeking the Kingdom, the devil starts to tremble.
Every day, angels come to God and give an account. We read about it in Job. The enemy of our souls has to present himself too. Of course, God knows all things. God says, ‘Have you seen my servant Job?’ Satan responds, ‘I have tried. You put a hedge around him.’ The only way Satan can break through is God allowing it or you allowing it.
Walking with God will result in stuff being added unto you. God says, ‘The story ends the way I want it to end, added unto you, full restoration.’ You can put your foot on the neck of the enemy and say, ‘I can have the promises of God, my joy, my peace, my love, my hope!’ Seek the Kingdom of God.
Psalm 27:4 “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.”
Stuff happens and trouble comes. Jesus said, ‘I have come that you may have life, super fruitful, superabundant life.’ Life doesn’t just mean alive. It speaks to the quality of life, the fullest potential that the people of God are supposed to receive when they are finished and complete.
Jesus didn’t come to give just eternal life, but superabundant life right now. High-quality life is for you.
The devil doesn’t want you to have it and tries any way he can to keep you from realizing this truth, but if you seek the Kingdom, you will have it. That’s why the devil fights so hard and so often. The devil wants to attack you before you realize the law of the Kingdom.
Jesus wants you to have an abundant life.
We are complete in Him. What do you lack? All you need is Jesus. He will take care of everything if you seek His Kingdom. He gives you things you don’t even realize you need, and so, so much more. It’s the best life. He gives you joy, overflowing.
Don’t buy the devil’s bait. Don’t let him take it from you. He wants to see you defeated, struggling, depressed, discouraged, like a failure, like your dreams are pointless.
Jesus wants to give you a rich life, abundant life, supersized.
Who will you listen to?
Joel 1:4 “That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.”
What losses have you experienced? Innocence? Your marriage? Your relationships? Faith? Jesus said He would give it all back. Do you believe it?
Joel 2:25 “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”
Added unto you.
Just like a shepherd will take out of the mouth of a lion two legs and an ear, God will restore Israel. Now, a lion’s mouth is no place for a shepherd’s hand. He presents this to the owner. The devil is likened to a lion. Some people have been chewed up. People look like they’re having fun and are cool, but they are chewed up and spit out.
There is something about Jesus you need to know. Even if it’s just a fraction of a lamb, as long as those legs and that piece of an ear can walk to the Kingdom, as long as you can get to Jesus, He will restore all. Even if your life is an utter mess, Jesus promises you complete restoration.
Mat 15:30 “And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:”
Lame, having broken body parts, blind, dumb (not able to speak), and maimed (missing body parts).
Mat 18:8 “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.”
You are better off missing a body part and going to heaven than to go to hell with all your parts.
Mat 15:31 “Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.”
Jesus restored it ALL even growing back new body parts!
How do we get there? Seek the Kingdom and have it ‘added unto you.’
Joshua 10:17-27 “And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah. 18And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them: 19And stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the Lord your God hath delivered them into your hand. 20 And it came to pass, when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end of slaying them with a very great slaughter, till they were consumed, that the rest which remained of them entered into fenced cities. 21And all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: none moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel. 22Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave. 23And they did so, and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. 24And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. 25And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the Lord do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. 26 And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. 27And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day.”
They were hung on the trees to deter others from picking a fight with them. God’s desire is to take back what the devil stole from you and restore what has been stolen. You need to do the same thing. Put your foot on the neck of your enemy, kill it and hang it on a tree for a while to remind you that this is what God wants for you. Remember the victories God has given you. Then, see that enemy way below your feet.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- As you reflect on Sunday’s sermon, what one principle or insight stands out as being particularly helpful, insightful, or difficult to grasp? Why?
- What losses have you experienced? What restoration have you seen as you seek Jesus and walk in His Kingdom?
- Read Psalm 27. What troubles does David experience? What faith does David express? How can you apply this example and these truths to your own life?
- In what ways does the enemy of our soul attack you in particular? What do you struggle with? How do the truths in this sermon and in God’s Word help you to overcome and experience the abundant life God has promised?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!