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 [show]ERROR: The IP key is no longer sup­port­ed. Please use your access key, the test­ing key ‘TEST
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
. 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 [show]ERROR: The IP key is no longer sup­port­ed. Please use your access key, the test­ing key ‘TEST
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
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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