I Am the Gate: John 10

The challenge for all Christians is to live a constant life in Christ. When we fail to live in Christ, we fail to live an abundant life. Our pastor challenged us Sunday to “funnel our lives through Christ.” What are some practical ways we can do this?

Pastor Bart spoke on John 10:7-10. In this passage Jesus says that He is the Gate for the sheep. Those who go through the gate are saved. It is important to see that Jesus emphasizes that the sheep go in and out through the gate – that salvation is a constant life of going through Christ and not a one time entrance and then everything is copacetic. Those who don’t go through the gate are the bad guys.

His three main points of the sermon were:

  1. Be aware of how to enter through the Gate – it is through Christ and Christ alone
  2. Be aware of those who don’t enter through the Gate – they try to get to the sheep to kill, steal, and destroy. Jesus most likely was referring to those would attempt to lead the sheep without going through Himself.
  3. Be sure to always enter through the Gate – it is only through continually going through Christ that we can experience life to the full.

Be sure to listen to his entire sermon by listening to it on Flatland Church’s website or subscribe via iTunes.

Quite frankly, my response to pastor’s sermon in part is to try to apply many things he said in the sermon itself or in previous sermons to my life. The first two areas are to continue reading the Bible on a daily basis and to pray continually – Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield.

I get distracted easily, not a very good multi-tasker – more of cooperative multi-tasker – and my Bible reading is often disjointed or distracted away from by other things around me.  This is a big challenge to me, to not only focus on my Scripture reading but to then pray the Scripture – Praise God for His Word, Repent for not following the truth He has revealed in it, Ask for strength to follow the Word, and Yield to God’s leading in the Scripture.  It is sometimes easy to just read the words and not allow time for them to affect me.

But I truly believe that by immersing ourselves in God’s Word, it will help us maintain the “funnel through Christ” life we desire. If I would spend as much time in reading God’s word and praying as I do reading technology websites – well, that is my challenge to myself.

What do you spend a lot of time doing to pass time? Are you willing to spend as much time reading God’s Word? Are you willing to spend as much time spending time with God in prayer? Watch TV for 3 hours a night? Are you willing to turn the TV off for an hour and turn to the Word and Prayer? Spend hours playing on your computer? Will you turn off the computer and open the Book that is our true source of information? It is a challenge for us all to do.

Our church has a tool called the C-H-R-I-S-T Assessment which helps us evaluate our strengths and weaknesses and find areas whereby our lives can be transformed by Christ. I recently took it, not an easy thing. When one is brutally honest with oneself, it can really hurt. It stands for Character, Home, Relationships, Industry, Society, and Talents.

One of the areas that I see as a serious weakness is my lack of relationships within the Body of Christ – I have isolated myself over the past 10 years so that I have very few friends. This is very dangerous for a Christian. Without the checks and balances of fellow Christians in our day to day lives we drift away from Christ. I have made a concerted effort to become more friendly within the church, get involved in small groups, and be open to areas of ministry.  I can’t keep hiding behind my computer keyboard, being a faceless person out there on the Internet.

You may not have the same type of assessment tool available to you but you can still ask the question, “What are my strengths and weaknesses in my character, my home, my relationships, my job, society, and my talents.” Ask God to lead you. What are your strengths and gifts that God has given you and how would He have you share them with fellow Christians?

What are your weaknesses? Ask God how he would have you address them? Who within the Body of Christ can help you with them? If the weakness is one that is an impediment to serving God, seek out a mentor, someone you trust and can work with, to help you overcome that weakness, either by becoming strong or to eliminate the impediment.

But remember, when it comes to weaknesses, Paul tells us in 2 Cor 12:9 that God says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (NLT) That area you feel inadequate in, may just be the area that God will want to display His power in, either by overcoming the weakness or maybe by doing wonderful things through you despite that weakness. For example, you feel that you can’t speak well. Maybe you even stutter. God can do wonderful things through you despite that “weakness” if you will just trust God. He might even call you to speak publicly although He could call you to become a great communicator through other means as well.

Funnel your life through Christ. As Pastor Bart said Sunday, “You can only get to where you need to go by going through Christ. He knows how to get you to where you need to be.”

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