A few thoughts from Clayton's message last Sunday: I Am the Gate: Jesus in His Own Words
I'm sitting in the audience listening to my husband preach while praying we all can receive God's word to us individually. In the middle of my prayer I heard the Lord ask, "Why would anyone stay outside the gate when I offer my protection for those inside?" Each of us started outside that gate. I wonder what kept us outside for so long.
The reason many of us stay outside is because we don't think Jesus is a good shepherd. Perhaps we think he was a good man, teacher or had some good ideas, but we don't really believe he has any relevance to our lives. Will he really lay down his life when we are in danger?
As Clayton lay in front of the gate opening Sunday on stage, I realized how vulnerable a position he put himself in for the sake of the sheep. Did he get a wink of sleep worrying and wondering what predator might be lurking, ready to pounce on the sheep? And what if the animal decided he didn't want sheep that evening, but might prefer a little human sustenance? I have a hard time camping out in a tent because my mind won't stop thinking about all the mosquitoes I'll fall victim to overnight. I hear every noise in the woods wondering what wild animal might cause me problems. Perhaps a few insects or even a snake will try to cozy up in my sleeping bag or Eno.
Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then, the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd and my sheep know me-- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father-- and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:11-15
Why would we stay outside the gate when Jesus offers his protection if we trust Him to protect us inside?
There are different kinds of shepherds. The one you're afraid of is the one who runs away. You are afraid you'll decide to go inside the gate, but when a predator comes to feast on you, the shepherd will run away. But running is not within Jesus' character. He is not a hired hand that cares nothing for you and is unable to take care of you.
When Jesus was a man, he could have abandoned his mission to save us from our sins. He could have decided to sin, to set up an earthly kingdom or bowed to Satan. He could have come down from the cross and poured out his wrath on all humanity in an instant. Instead he became our gate. He took on the wrath of death and sin so we wouldn't have to because HE IS A GOOD SHEPHERD. It is in Jesus' nature to be good, protective, and to never give up on us.
So why would a person possibly stay outside the gate, vulnerable to any predator, when Jesus offers us safety inside? If you've been hovering outside, would you be courageous enough to ask yourself why and have a conversation with God about your fears? Jesus doesn't want you to be alone.
If you are ready to enter the gate, you can pray and trust Jesus as your Savior right now. Pray to him: Jesus, I've been outside the gate way too long. I'm tired of being alone and scared. I've been afraid to trust you, but you've given me the faith to give my life to you today, so I ask you to forgive me and save me from my sins. I want to know you and spend eternity with you, so I trust you with my life. Help me to overcome my fear and trust in you completely. Amen.
- If you prayed this prayer, please celebrate your new faith with a friend today.
- If you need more encouragement in this area and you haven't seen my husband's message, click here to watch it today.
- If you need more encouragement in your walk with Jesus, we have multiple messages available at the App store. It only takes a few minutes to download the Clayton King Ministries App!
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