The thief has a three-fold purpose. He never comes to pay you a visit. He comes with a specific goal in mind. He wants to steal what you have, destroy what you have, and to kill.
We lived that last Sunday afternoon. Right after I had admonished all of us to stand in the valley and praise God in the face of a strong enemy, the enemy broke into our house--literally.
I went off to participate in ministry in one of our hundreds of shantytowns all over our city. I left at three Sunday afternoon. I returned at seven (after dark here) to find our home as the latest target of the thieves that often "visit" the wealthy neighborhoods. Now I never considered myself to be wealthy, mind you. But compared to many, we are living like kings.
The thieves stole what we had; we lost all our files for our work--everything. They even got our backup files. We lost many personal possessions; some of those are irreplaceable. We lost ministry items. And we have lost countless hours of time, trying to put things back in order.
They destroyed our property--the entrance doors were jimmied and the locks were obliterated. For a few hours--perhaps more--they destroyed our peace of mind. The first night every bump I heard brought me to a sitting postion. It was not a good night's rest.
And they killed the joy of the day's ministry. Now they have been known to kill dogs and people who get in their way; but no one was home, thankfully.
Now all this was bad. You have no idea, unless you have lived it.
But that is not as bad as The Thief. He is one whose singular goal is to take you to hell. His goal is to destroy your ministry. His is to wreak havoc in your daily life. You must know that his heart is filled with hatred, even for those actively serve him. He hates you. He hates us all.
Don't be fooled by the thief. He may pay you a visit and be so friendly. But he is only looking around to see how he can destroy your life. He will come back in the night and destroy what he can.
Jesus, on the other hand, will give you an abundance as you have never seen. It may not be in material terms; but it will be treasures in your heart and spirit. It's a far better payoff.