Devotional

Flesh & Blood: The Incarnation of Enculturation

CommunionI have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." (Luke 22:15) Jesus words echo through the cosmos of space and time as the church lifts bread and cup in the liturgy of communion again and again. Jesus embraced both the communion of Jewish culture in the Passover with the embodied call of the missio Dei in suffering and the cross. Both place and time found transcendence in everliving Christ and the Word of God. As a boy I remember growing up in the Anglican Church. I practically knew the liturgy by heart and could walk through the alter boy routine with a blindfold. By my early teens though, it had lost its meaning. What was the spiritual significance, the enfleshing truth to reciting such words from a book? It would be years later that in a Church of Christ, communion would become a significance of faith and relevant again through the practice of shared meditation!

I told you this brief story as a reflection for you to see the significance of recognizing the transcendent realities of the missio Dei finding a communion of sorts to the culture and inculturation of contextualized space and time. As Bevans and Schroeder share in articulation to their sixth constant, "culture, for eyes of faith, becomes a way of deepening in a fully human and contextual way, human knowledge of and relation with the Mystery that is ineffable and yet closer to us then we are to ourselves." (Pg. #303)

As I have journeyed through the history of the church in the last few months, I have come to recognize the ever deepening significance of the Word becoming flesh and blood through the communion of the missio Dei and the culture of the people it finds rest in. We cannot be afraid of the creativity in which the gospel finds expression in the everyday lives of its followers. Authority only finds root in what we give authority too and in giving all that authority to Christ in faith, culture ceases to rule and instead becomes a tool under Kingdom authority to express a story greater then itself.

The incarnation of the gospel is a marriage in which all find significance and meaning in the communion which brings strength to our cultures, the enriching of our diversity, and the eternal guidance of our mission as His church. As Francis Bacon said, “It’s not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.”[1]

[1] Cole, Neil. Organic Leadership: Leading Naturally Right Where You Are. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2009) Pg. #113.

The Defeat of Self Doubt and Planting of New Seeds with My Neighbours

Planting SeedsAh, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” - Jeremiah 1:6 Jeremiah was a young man and it seems he felt boxed in by the the pressures of his society's and cultural expectations for qualification and vocational purpose. It was in his own thoughts and mind that the people around him and the fellow Jewish countrymen would find him lacking. He was too young, lacked in education, failed in pedigree, and generally had no authority for speaking on behalf of God or truth.

It seems like things have not changed much since those days. So often we fall into the patterns of society's expectation of boxed in rules, perimeters, and requirements for the right to be considered qualified to speak or enact visions for change or mission. Success is even margined by the cultural expectations of independence, self sufficiency, and quality being judged through numbers or profit. It seems authority and power always comes back to that which the individual presents over that of others.

These social and cultural expectations scream at us, "You are not good enough!" "You cannot achieve or act because your not gifted enough, educated enough, wealthy enough, old or young enough, in the right titled or position of authority!" "You lack the abilities to succeed!" It is a worldly noise that fills our minds with the distractions of self doubt to the point that we just simply give up. We don't even bother to try, and why should we? The world knows we will fail and we know we will fail.

It was here, in this mind set of self doubt, that God spoke to Jeremiah and like him, unless we are willing to quieten our own self defeat, we will miss hearing and listening to our creators voice and calling.

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” - Jeremiah 1:6-8

Jeremiah would not find his authority in the world's expectations but rather would only find it in his relationship with the Lord. He was not to look to his society's or cultures expectations of character and abilities but rather that of God's character and abilities entering into his life and personhood.

God has placed you and I in a very special community and neighbourhood! When we look at our neighbours we are not under their judgements but rather sent to them by God's presence in our lives to speak with his words, love and act with his understandings, and deliver a Spirit of freedom from the worlds expectations of success, power and authority. We live not within the boxed categories of the worlds view but that of our creators view of abilities, talents, and gifts which with him in our lives is endless!

"Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms," - Jeremiah 1:9-10

My neighbour is from Toronto and is a huge Maple Leaf fan. Try as I might, I can't convince him that the Calgary Flames are a far better team! I must admit, I know I'm dreaming here a bit but, the hope of another 2004 Stanley Cup run just can't leave my heart. Why am I sharing this story?

Despite the political differences my neighbours and I might have, the reality is God has placed all of us over this separation or relational gap. My neighbour and I can cross over the thresholds of our sports, political, ethical, and religious boundaries and embrace a conversation to which God can speak through and to both of us. We don't have to have all things in common to relate as it is God's presence that bridges the words and worlds between us.

"to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

Listening to the voice of God in the relationship I have with my neighbours begins to break down the barriers of communal self defeat. No longer are they strangers, they are friends and they impact the person I am today. As we share in life together we begin to find parts of our worlds coming together which shape the meanings to authority that we have and our relationships with God.

It is in these relationships that I can plant seeds of thought through my actions and words which can bring God's presence just a little closer to my neighbours and friends lives, whether they know him or not. In some sense, I see them doing the same with me. Together we are building community which in relationship with God, becomes a building of the Kingdom.

To Hunger and Thirst...

My Heavenly Father, DesertThe past few weeks have been a blur to me and yet I have anguished over the news reports of the death to a young boy in our city back in May 2013 (Click Here). It is incomprehensible to think of the strife and pain he went through as his parents starved him to death! Why would a mother and father do this to their own son? Why did they not seek help from others?

I'm under no delusions either and I recognize sin has a communal role also. So where were the neighbours to this young boy? Where were the doctors who could check on his health? Did no one notice anything? Or did they turn and look the other way, unwilling to be involved, unwilling to care? Where were you God when this boy slowly weakened to the point that he submitted to the powers of death?

Jesus, your words echo in my heart as I contemplate the complexity of sitting on the side of the Mount of Olives; "Blessed are you who hunger..." (Matt. 5:6). To hunger, it is a state of lacking that transcends the simple need of food and substance. We hunger for purpose, for meaning and significance, for the awareness that you and those around us see us and receive us in communion. That in the breaking of bread we find not just the physical nourishment of food for the body, but a healing and communal fare that speaks into our thoughts and our souls.

Martin Luther King said that, “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” The hunger that this boy experienced was not just one of his physical symptoms but of the hunger his parents spiritually and mentally lacked. It was a hunger the community and neighbourhood had lost sight of in the love for those who live so close.

I too live in one of these neighbourhoods Lord. I too struggle with the pains of hunger, the deeper desire for who I am in you; nourished and sustained in the calling of your sacrificial love and the reflection of your eternal presence here in my home, my block, my city. I lament my apathy for communal neighbourhood practice Father. I repent and ask for your leading to the bridges of the full sustenance of community and brotherly love. It is in this "thirst for righteousness..." that I submit.

Righteousness... where do we find this Father? Where is the justice and hope for this boy? The Jews called it shalom, a place where things are as they should be in peace. In some sense it is in the keeping of saying, "In peace I come. My peace I give to you." Culturally, when a relationship is made, one would not leave the other until that peace is experienced; be it in giving of service, food, hospitality, or wisdom.

My knee jerk reaction in the desire for justice for this boy is to say an eye for and eye, "Let the parents starve!" Yet, is this a place of shalom Lord? Should I find justice in the vengeance of death?  I realize in reality that the answer is no. We must also seek righteousness, seek shalom with these parents who lay in starvation for the proper calling you have placed upon them. They are broken, wounded to the spiritual and mental purposes you created them for. In seeking your shalom with these parents we must sit with them, speak with them, nurture them to your presence in the hope of repentance and healing.

Hope... yes, I see you Father, sitting at the side of this boy as he anguishes in his room. I realize that understanding comes at the bigger picture of the whole which is solely in your thoughts. Yet, here you are. Bringing shalom in the hope of your eternal presence amidst all this hunger. Here is a place of submission that justice will be in your receiving and embrace of this boy's eternal life. This is a hope I can be "... satisfied."

Satisfied... A place of contentment where your eternal presence and love supersedes with authority over all places and times of strife, anguish, hunger, and suffering. Richard Rohr brings the words of, “We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.” It is to this spirit Lord that I live into the satisfaction of knowing, amidst the brokenness of my city, my community, my being,  that you are present, you are righteous, and you are hungry to be with me. - Amen

Our Lord's Prayer

lords-prayer.jpg

I cannot say "Our" if my religion has no room for others and their needs. I cannot say "Father" if I do not demonstrate this relationship in my daily life.

I cannot say "Who Art In Heaven" if all my interests and pursuits are in earthly things.

I cannot say "Hallowed Be Thy Name" if I, who am called by his name, am not holy.

I cannot say "Thy Kingdom Come" if I am unwilling to give up my own sovereignty and accept the righteous reign of God.

I cannot say "Thy Will Be Done" if I am unwilling or resentful of having it in my life.

I cannot say "On Earth As It Is In Heaven" unless I am truly ready to give myself to his service here and now.

I cannot say "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread" without expending honest effort for it or by ignoring the genuine needs of my fellowmen.

I cannot say "Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us" if I continue to harbor a grudge against anyone.

I cannot say "Lead Us Not Into Temptation" if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I am likely to be tempted.

I cannot say "Deliver Us From Evil" if I am not prepared to fight in the spiritual realm with the weapon of prayer.

I cannot say "Thine Is The Kingdom" if I do not give the King the disciplined obedience of a loyal subject.

I cannot say "Thine Is The Power" if I fear what my neighbors and friends may say or do.

I cannot say "Thine Is The Glory" if I am seeking my own glory first.

I cannot say "Forever" if I am too anxious about each day's affairs.

I cannot say "Amen" unless I honestly say, "cost what it may, this is my prayer".

As found on The Minds Retreat.

A Season for Rejoicing!

Read this first: Ecclesiastes 4

15"I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that youth who was to stand in the king’s place. 16There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him." - Ecc. 4:15-16

Most of us have heard the story of ‘A Christmas Carol' and know the character of Scrooge. It seems like the spirit of scrooge is still alive and well if we look around at some of the people we encounter amidst the business of our Christmas holidays. A few years ago I think I had the most ironic and oppressive encounter with such a character while working in a Greyhound parcel depot here in Calgary.

To be honest I took the job thinking it would be fun and I would be a deliverer of blessings and joy to many over the Christmas season. It was anything but and possibly one of the hardest jobs I have ever done. There I was sitting in the back room with no windows and just a fold out table in front of me stacked with piles upon piles of parcel delivery slips and just a small space for me to put a phone on. I would phone hundreds of people a day, trying desperately to pronounce their names right as I advised them of their parcel waiting for them to pick up.

By the third day I was beginning to feel like I had lost all meaning to Christmas and the Spirit of joy had slipped away. So in an effort to rekindle the fires if you will, I decided to bring in a music box and play some Christmas music in the background. Things were going smoothly until the mid day when I heard some shouting out in the front of the depot.

I came out from the back room that I was in through the double doors to the front and found close to fifty people all lined up at the front desk and winding slowly back towards the outer doors with the snowy cold blowing through them as more people came in. Robin, a coworker and friend, was at the desk trying to help a gentleman with finding the parcels he expected to receive once he arrived at the depot which unfortunately were no where to be found and he was extremely angry that we did not have his expected parcels.

"What do you mean you do not have my &%*#@ parcels!" He would shout at the top of his lungs as he tore strips off of Robin. "Listen to me you little #$%^&; I want my parcels now!"

Now picture this as I sat there watching what was going on while listening to this:

[audio=http://justwondering.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/12-what-i-want-for-christmas.mp3]

 My heart wanted to just explode while the lyrics of the song rolled around in my head! Where was the love of Jesus? Where was the Christmas joy everyone was supposed to be celebrating? I was asking, "For whom is this guy toiling and depriving himself of pleasure?" (Ecc. 4:8)

I suppose it could be so easy to get wrapped up in the business of the season and forget the real reason we are celebrating. Christmas is more then presents, gifts, food, and the "Ooo's" and "Ahh's" of what did you give to so and so or what did I get.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus! Christmas is the season to rejoice in our King and Lord  who has no end to those he leads and all who follow (Ecc. 4:16). Christmas is the joy of knowing we received the gift of Immanuel (God with us) and it is through his blessing that we can stand in his place (Ecc. 4:15) and be given the glory of being in the Kingdom of God as his children.

All that to say I wish you All a Merry Christmas and a Season for Rejoicing!

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” - Matthew 1:23

For Such A Time As This... I Have Arrived

TimeCheck it out for yourself: Ecclesiastes 3

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." - Ecclesiastes 3:11

Time. It is a perplexity of life and something which we seem to never escape. In honesty, I had thought of many things I might want to share with regards to my thoughts of time and the way in which we treat it. Ways which seem to treat time as though we poses it and have the right to use it as we see fit to our own desires. I think often of the statement "Don't waste my time!"

Likewise, we never seem to exist in the moment of time which we are currently in. When we are at church we are thinking about what we will do when we get home. When we are at home we are thinking about what we will do when we are at work. When we are at work we are thinking about what it will be like to be on vacation. The dichotomy we create between what our bodies are doing and what our minds are doing develops such a rift that I wonder if we ever really truly arrive in the moment to which we are presently in.

It was when I was in this thought pattern that a friend of Bonnie's and mine wrote an email to us that just seemed to strike right at this thought of time and our inability to see the whole picture to which God was present and aware of. We met Katie about five years ago as she lived in a group home here in the SE side of Calgary while adjusting to living with MS. She has since become a good friend of ours and in many ways an inspiration to following Jesus. A part of the Center Street Church community, Katie is greatly involved with social activism and fights for many of the rights for the disabled community here in Calgary and Alberta. She also is a very talented creative arts painter and promotes her work on her website www.oralart.ca/.

In any sense I felt moved by the timing of her email and wanted to share it with you as part of my devotional to Ecclesiastes 3 and For Such A Time As This... I Have Arrived.

When do you know that you have arrived? Have you arrived when you get married and move into the house of your dreams? Have you arrived when you have your first child? Have you arrived when you get the perfect career and have assured your security? When you have grown old and actualized all of your goals?

I started taking my trip on a bright red, reliable and strong bicycle to get to the ends of the earth and find adventure. I soon came across a Village of Fatigue and crossed over a bridge of Uncertainty. I came upon a dirt road that led to many scary turns and frightening hills. I had to get off my bicycle and I had to stop in a worrisome and unpredictable city called Exacerbation.

My tires started to go flat and I had to lay my bicycle down since my kickstand broke off while navigating around a rock of Depression. While momentarily stationary, I found a place to live, found some work, got a cat, and found love but I never found rest or a sense of direction.

Overnight, my bicycle was stolen, my house burned down, the business went into receivership, my cat died and my boyfriend left me. In desperation, I caught a bus that ended up on the road that was muddied and impassable. It eventually crashed in Suicide Gulch and I became broken. I was lost.

While in the hospital, I was introduced to a wonderful Man [Jesus] who tried to comfort me and heal my wounds. He became my new Map Reader. The road continued to be long and hard and my pain continued. We were unable to find a place to convalesce. There was an Apartment of Despair, a Townhouse of Inequity, and finally a House of Horrors.

We continued to reach dead ends but I think that my misplaced self-reliance kept grabbing the map out of the Man's hands. I needed to follow. His acute navigational skills found me in a House of Care with a backyard that stretched out for miles. The old house still needs some major renovations but I was safe. In the backyard, I was planted in enriched soil, grew strong roots, and was sheltered from unpredictable storms. My many gardeners fed, watered and pruned me and soon I was able to learn some gardening skills of my own.

I was able to plant bright, sweet smelling flowers of fun, excitement, confidence, perseverance and gratitude. I spread grass seeds of hope that grows lush and green every year, provides comfort when I lie down and its fragrance reassures me. At times though, I still feel sad and grievous when some of the blooms fail to open but I am optimistic some will thrive in the next season.

I grew trees that scattered pollen of awareness that attached themselves to anyone who was willing to listen. I started to paint fences of isolation, with my art, to inspire and motivate those who were weary.

With a convicted spirit, I took the harvest of my garden and shared it with others who were able to change the landscape, pave roads that were once unsafe, to find those lost on their journey and to relieve them of their heavy loads.

I have a new bicycle now. It sits in a sturdy bike rack called trust and I take side trips to build my character. It's a bicycle built for two because my Map Reader needs a comfortable place to sit. My journey is over and I am now on a mission. I have finally found a new Place -- in my heart -- called Joy and Contentment. I have arrived.

Vanity of Vanities and the Pursuit of Wind: Let's Take a Deep Breath!

Check it out for yourself: Ecclesiastes 1-2

"For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind." - Ecclesiastes 2:26

As a teenager I dreamed of being a pilot. For years I would stick my hand out the window of my parents moving car and day dream of being in a British Aerospace Sea Harrier with the wings carving through the air as my hand drifted this way and that through the wind. I was no Top Gun but I loved the sense of freedom and adventure it brought. There was nothing I couldn't make that plane do high up in the sky. At least nothing my imagination couldn't do.

Pilot SeatI was thirteen years old when I took my first flight as a copilot in a single prop Cessna 150. It was my thirteenth birthday and my best friend and I were both given the flight at Springbank Airfield as a gift from a family friend. There wasn't really enough room in the plane for the three of us to fit so I just stood in awe of the other planes on the tarmac while my friend went up first. After a couple of hours it was my turn and we circled the plane a few times on foot before climbing in to do the take off check list.

Being that it was my first flight; the pilot did most of the take off procedures. After being in the air a few minutes he looked over at me and said, "OK, well why don't you take over the wheel for a little while." It was then that it struck me. The unrelenting reality of independent responsibility. The rules and gravitational laws which dictated the possibility of human flight. It was an over whelming sense of fear and self doubt. I remember looking over at him and thinking, "Who Me?!"

Cessna 150I gripped the wheel with slow hesitation; scared to push, pull, or turn the wheel the wrong way or too much. I looked at the pilot and said, "Where do I go?" He smiled and answered, "Any where you like!" In that moment my mind and body was paralyzed; transfixed solely on the destination which to me was to land safely back on the ground without crashing. The pilot looked at me again; "Just enjoy the flight."

The memories of my first flight seemed to resonate with me as I looked at the characterizations Solomon struggled with in the first two chapters of Ecclesiastes. Solomon finds this internal struggle where part of him is striving for the complexities of truth, wisdom, and the legal realities or reason for life. He desperately wants to get it right and arrive safely at the destiny or destination to which his creator so desires for him. On the opposite side he finds himself freeing his imagination in the pursuit of creative desire, passion, and the fulfillment of enjoying his life’s ambitions.

Locked between them he is paralyzed with the thought,

"What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun?... For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind." (Ecc. 2:22;26)

For Solomon it seems that all things both between the legalities of wisdom and the creative pursuits of pleasure; everything comes to the reality of striving after the wind. But why the wind? What does he mean by wind and where do we find this wind so to speak within our own sails?

In English the word wind commonly means "a natural movement of air of any velocity; especially: the earth’s air or the gas surrounding a planet in natural motion horizontally"; but Solomon wasn't really talking about the earth's wind. The Hebrew word he used was ruah which in a more liberal sense means spirit. So in a sense what Solomon was trying to say was that all things pertaining to an individual's life, whether done for wisdom or for pleasure, become an expressionism to their pursuit of spirituality. A spirituality which for all comes to a head when faced by the presence of God.

Jesus had a common saying throughout the gospels. He would often recite that, "the Kingdom of God is near." (Luke 21:31; Mark 1:15; Luke 17:21) His revelation to the Kingdoms presence though was never meant to place us in a state of fear so as to focus solely on our destination and save as many souls as possible before we go to heaven. The nearness of God's kingdom was meant to free us with the awareness that ruah is not only in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit but also in our own individual strivings for creative passionate dreams and ambitions.

In essence Jesus is our pilot and is now turning to you saying, "Why don't you take the wheel for awhile?" Where will you go? How will you express your spirit? What does your imagination tell you that you can do?" However way you choose to express your spirituality and strive for ruah remember... enjoy the flight!

"All the way to heaven is heaven." - Catherine of Siena

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhi6nNYNOxQ]

A Christmas Prayer

BabyFather, I draw close to your Spirit today. My heart reflects back into the depths of history as I picture the birth of Jesus in a stable of animals. A baby lying amongst a bed of straw, set within a manger. I look deeper still into your face Jesus with your brown reflecting eyes looking right through to my soul and I am filled with your incredible presence…. Jesus…. Emmanuel…. God with us. Jesus, you begin to open your eyes and I ask for that sight. The sight of wisdom to be brought to the masses. That our leaders, seen and unseen, would have the veil of human ideologies and concepts lifted from their minds and hearts. That instead it would be replaced by the visions and dreams of your Kingdom, an ever lasting Kingdom of true justice, freedom, and equity for all despite race, nation, religion, or political affiliation.

Middle Eastern LeaderYour heart beats with a cadence for peace and good will for all. Let mine and all others fall into the rhythm of beating within that same Holy Spirit. Let your passion for peace fill the Middle East so that freedom can be brought to the imprisoned on all sides. Let your stillness of heart and the tranquility of your actions loosen the grips we have on weapons which do harm to one another so that we can take up open hands for the purpose of rebuilding that which was lost not only in the physical sense but in the community, social, spiritual, and relational sense.

I pray Jesus that here in the West we would break the confines of self seeking agendas so that we can begin to see the acts of good will to all being that of a holistic embrace of our neighbors in all parts of the earth. There is no rich, no poor, no enemy or infidel; only my brother, my sister, my friend and my neighbor. Teach us Jesus in testimony and deed the greatest power of loving our neighbor as ourselves!

CreationI pray Lord that we would take greater notice of what it means to have dominion on the earth. That we would recognize that dominion does not mean dominance or the right to do what ever we choose too but, that it is the right to do what we should do. Give us courage Jesus in the face of environmental degradation to make the right choices and to change our lives so that we take better care of the beauty of your creation. I pray more specifically that I can and will make the changes needed to my own life so that I might be a witness to the transformations you can bring to our community.

Let your Joy fill the air. Let the richness of life, a life to the fullest bring health and happiness to all people. May healing be found by those who seek it. May I offer comfort to those who need it. Let laughter and cheer pierce the deepest and darkest states of mine and all others physical, emotional, and spiritual imprisonments. Let all things in my heart, mind, and soul be shaped by righteousness, goodness, and truth!

Hand in HandI confess you Jesus as my Lord, my Savior, my end all and be all, my life and my very being! This shapes my hope in present and in future. May that hope, that faith, that love, that first and eternal Christmas of God with us continue to flow into every heart from now into Eternity! Amen.

[audio=http://justwondering.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/10-i-heard-the-bells.mp3]

"My soul magnifies the Lord,  and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.   For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me,   and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him   from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm;   he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones   and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things,   and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel,   in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers,   to Abraham and to his offspring forever."

Luke 1:46-56

Morning & Evening Devotion: The Door By Which All Will Pass

"I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture."

John 10:9

Bonnie and I just finished our daily devotional and I felt God really stirring in my heart so, I thought I would share it with the rest of you!

Jesus, the great I AM, is the entrance into the true church, and the way of access to God himself. He gives to the man who comes to God by him four choice privileges.

1. He shall be saved. The fugitive manslayer passed the gate of the city of refuge, and was safe. Noah entered the door of the ark, and was secure. None can be lost who take Jesus as the door of faith to their souls. Entrance through Jesus into peace is the guarantee of entrance by the same door into heaven. Jesus is the only door, an open door, a wide door, a safe door; and blessed is he who rests all his hope of admission to glory upon the crucified Redeemer.

2. He shall go in. He shall be privileged to go in among the divine family, sharing the children’s bread, and participating in all their honours and enjoyments. He shall go in to the chambers of communion, to the banquets of love, to the treasures of the covenant, to the storehouses of the promises. He shall go in unto the King of kings in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the secret of the Lord shall be with him.

3. He shall go out. This blessing is much forgotten. We go out into the world to labour and suffer, but what a mercy to go in the name and power of Jesus! We are called to bear witness to the truth, to cheer the disconsolate, to warn the careless, to win souls, and to glorify God; and as the angel said to Gideon, “Go in this thy might,” even thus the Lord would have us proceed as his messengers in his name and strength.

4. He shall find pasture. He who knows Jesus shall never want. Going in and out shall be alike helpful to him: in fellowship with God he shall grow, and in watering others he shall be watered. Having made Jesus his all, he shall find all in Jesus. His soul shall be as a watered garden, and as a well of water whose waters fail not.