Good afternoon everyone, I am a day late this week.Before we get into our topic today, I want to give you all a heads up regarding 2016. I know this is not for 2-3 months from now but time goes so fast.
We (Healing Hearts) will be rolling out a year-long Curriculum of continued studies that will start on January 4th at Emmanuel Fellowship on Monday mornings from 9:30-11:30 weekly. We are in process of putting together a brochure that will list those studies, topics, and information for the year. These studies will run consecutively through- out the year. There will be no sign-ups for these studies but there will be a small cost for each to cover the cost of materials, etc. more to come later in the year. This will also be posted on our website later. www.reachingthebroken.org
Now for out topic…”I Am The Gate”. What do you think is the purpose of a gate, is it to keep something out or keep something in? We put baby gates up to keep little people in the place where we want them to stay. We lock gates and put signs on them saying 'Beware of the dog' in the hope that this will deter those who desire to do harm.
So what are we really talking about here? Safety, protection and security! Without the gate the child may wander into the kitchen and upturn a pan of scalding water. Without the gate the postman might enter into a one-sided argument with the Rottweiler. Without the gate, many churches have seen precious items stolen, graffiti scribbled and altars desecrated.
'I am the gate for the sheep' says Jesus. Whoever enters through this gate, through Jesus will be saved. We're talking of a gate that offers safety. From what? From the ravages of wolves and the undesirable attention of thieves and robbers, says Jesus.
But does that mean that as soon as we enter, Jesus slams the door closed to keep us safe within his sheepfold, safe from harm and from all who might tempt us back outside into the big old horrible world out there. Is it a case of once we're through that door we can cry 'Yes’… Made it! Breathe a sigh of relief and settle down to a life of nibbling pasture?
Not Really! This is not a gate that is continually slamming shut behind us. It's not a gate that has a warning about the perils and dangers of entering pinned to it. In fact Jesus says that those who enter through Him are free to come and go as they please 'He will come in and go out, and find pasture'.
What sort of protection is that? A sheepfold where the sheep are free to wander in and out of? What happens when the wild animals start gathering? Surely it would make more sense to get out the barbed wire or the electric fence? After all, the whole idea of this sheepfold is surely to keep the sheep from being attacked. How can you do that if the sheep are free to come and go at will? Where's the sense in that?
Here it is! True believers are at home in Christ; when they go out, they are not shut out as strangers, but are free to come in again; when they come in, they are not shut in as trespassers, but are free to go out.
They go out to the field in the morning, they come into the fold at night; and in both the Shepherd leads and cares for them, and they find pasture in both: grass in the field, fodder in the fold. Their needs are catered for. This is the freedom available to all of us within the Kingdom of God. Within the fellowship of the Kingdom of God we are fed and watered by the Spirit, but our spiritual life and fellowship is not confined to the four walls of a Church, it goes out with us as we leave surrounded and protected by his loving arms.
We are a non-profit ministry that operates on the donations/gifts of others. If you would like to help us as we reach out to the hurting and broken please send to:
Healing Hearts Ministry; P.O. Box 390003; Omaha, NE 68139-0003
Website Address: www.reachingthebroken.org
Dee's email address: firstname.lastname@example.org