Tuesday, July 25, 2017

My Life As a Sheep

Therefore Jesus said again, ‘I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep…whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture…I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’” John 10:7-11.

In my Bible study this morning there was an interesting list of sheep characteristics. ‘Sheep are defenseless animals; sheep are prone to wander off; sheep have poor eyesight; sheep tend to follow other sheep without thinking; sheep are stubborn.’ Finding I Am, Lysa TerKeurst, p. 70. These characteristics also describe each one of us as we do our best to walk out our journey. Satan uses these same characteristics to guide us away from Truth. Life provides challenging circumstances that make us more vulnerable at times. We become like defenseless sheep when we are lonely or tired. We are prone to wander away from time with God when we feel less than satisfied or bitter with our lives. We become blind to God’s purposes and choose poor decisions as we are presented with situations. We are quick to allow our hearts to follow the ways of the world, measuring ourselves against the rest of the pack. Lastly, we have stubborn hearts and really are not motivated to make hard transforming decisions.

But Jesus tells us (again) that life begins and ends with Him. In the times of Jesus, the sheep would be led inside a circular rock wall with thorns at the top of the wall to keep the wolves out. The entrance to the enclosure was an opening with no door. The shepherd would lay across the opening while the sheep slept to protect them. Jesus tells us that He is the gate for His sheep…each one of us. He laid down once for us and because of Him it was enough. He became the Gate…that beautiful entrance to a life of salvation, freedom and contentment. If we are to freely move in the ebb and flow of life, we must stay in the boundaries of our fields. Since we are defenseless, we must linger around the Defender. Since we are prone to wander off, we must stay close to Compass. Since we are blind to many things, we must see things through the Word. Since we tend to measure and balance ourselves against others, we must make Christ our Scales.

We have everything we need to live a full and protected life in Jesus. But we are like sheep and we do have stubborn hearts at times. The great news is that when we wander off, blindly act or pursue the pleasures of the world He will come and gather us up in His arms.

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