“I am the door, and the person who enters through me will be saved and will be able to come in and go out and find pasture.”
This is powerful–its implications can rattle the windows! I sometimes struggle with depression, and sometimes with an assurance of my salvation. Even after 40+ years of walking with God, my mind boggles at my salvation. But I read this and it tells me that Jesus is the door.
I need to understand that Jesus has to be the entrance for every real seeker. We must cross over God’s own threshold to find eternal life.
Philosophy and religion are some of the crowbars that many are using to force open this locked door.
People are doing their best, but the door remains solidly shut. There isn’t any other way in. If the door is closed, no one can open it. Access is restricted to those who will come through the door that is the Lord Jesus.
There is total forgiveness waiting for anyone who enters through this door.
A transformation of the heart is now given to all who come in properly. Once we enter through Jesus, our life opens up and we can live lives of real love and goodness. This is the Gospel, and at last, we understand what life is really all about.
We now know what is real, and what is not.
We have been outrageously blessed! Jesus Christ has the keys, and He has opened the door for us. It was once securely locked, but now we can step right in, it is now unlocked for everyone who will put their trust in Him. We can enter in, and we will find everything we were looking for. Our pasture is waiting. We can step into a place that has been prepared just for us.
“God saw in the cross of His Son the only door by which he could enter to give a blessing to sinners.”
“Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.”
Psalm 13:3, NIV
God is the sole developer of light.
He creates it and then assigns it to whomever He chooses. He is the proprietor and the sole creator of its properties. Without Him actively bestowing light on us we would have no access to its power or its benefits. He holds the exclusive patent.
As Adam’s progeny, we have experienced a light moratorium.
“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
Psalm 119:30, NIV
History shows people to be amazingly compliant and susceptible to dictators and men with power. We seem to follow leaders with sinister and strange purposes and agendas. History shows it over and over. We just can’t grasp what is true and what is real.
Darkened by our sin, we struggle throughout our blinded lives, unable to understand or grasp what is our real purpose. Meaning completely eludes us. However, we are directed by the Psalmist to open our hearts to the gracious gift of light. It illuminates us, giving us a sense of what is real and how life truly unfolds. The word “understanding” from our text is critical. No matter how stupid and pathetic we have become, the Word of God penetrates our fog and gives us a sense of what is true and real.
Let it unfold, let it open up in your understanding.
Like an umbrella on a foggy and rainy day, when it opens it will cover you. Notice that the source of lit-up truth emanates from the “words”. Place yourself in His Word, let it pour over you, and let it bring you to the place of joyful acceptance.
Jesus has come as the “Good Shepherd”.
Those of us who are being led into His Grace and Truth are finding the light. He is revealing to us a definitive understanding of truth. And we need truth desperately. Let Him lead you.
There are certain people who are just stuck in this seemingly endless cycle of sin. Oh, I feel conviction. Oh, I confess and repent and I receive forgiveness. And then the next day it happens all over again, and they are in this seemingly endless cycle. There are two truths that we have to embrace here. They are not mutually exclusive; they are perfectly compatible.
It is a good thing for you to see your sin.
You need to feel the conviction of the Spirit on the one hand, but God doesn’t want you to stay in that mindset. He says “When I awaken your heart to the reality of how you’ve fallen short, come quickly to the throne of grace and look at the many ways in which I have dealt with that sin. I have put it behind my back. I’ve buried it in the depths of the sea. I’ve blotted it out. I’ve trampled it underfoot. I turned my face away from it. I won’t gaze upon it.”
And it’s the power of that truth that will enable us to break out of this cycle in which so many people find themselves. It’s a cycle in which they just live in constant fear and trepidation. Oh, maybe I’ve done it one too many times, and God’s just so fed up with me that I’m going to be cast aside forever.
Live now in the freedom and the joy of knowing that you are forgiven fully and finally.
I’ve actually heard people say, I envisioned myself coming to the Lord once again and him saying, ‘Oh no, not you again. The umpteenth time and are you just expecting me to forgive you over and over and over again?’ And they live in fear that God’s just going to run dry and not have mercy, that he’s going to run out of grace.
And God has said, “Look, it’s good that you recognize the ways you have failed. I don’t want you to live oblivious to the fact that you have disobeyed in an unrepentant and high-handed way. But know this: I have dealt with that sin. The punishment that deserves has been exhausted in Jesus. Live now in the freedom and the joy of knowing that you are forgiven fully and finally, and let that be the power to break the cycle of the constant repetitive falling back into these old ways and these old patterns of the past.”
“Live in the fullness of your freedom in Jesus.”
Sam Storms (PhD, University of Texas at Dallas) has spent more than four decades in ministry as a pastor, professor, and author. He is currently the senior pastor at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and was previously a visiting associate professor of theology at Wheaton College from 2000 to 2004. He is the founder of Enjoying God Ministries and blogs regularly at SamStorms.org.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
Luke 2:11-14, ESV
How very busy things get! Think of it, shepherds are meeting singing angels who are meeting people. It must have been a bit crazy! It’s verse 13 that, a very large group of angels made their entrance that night. Human history is being made now, and the world has now been changed.
These are not quiet or stoic angels, rather they are a multitude of music, and they’re filled with incredible joy. A joy that can’t be contained.
And as happy as this ‘angel crowd’ gets, it doesn’t phase them that God in heaven is now wrapped in human flesh and has been born in a manger. Every angel and almost every person understands– this isn’t the place to have babies!
(Angels being angels, I think they were not thrilled with this grim hospitality being shown to God. They probably said some ‘un-angelical’ things under their breath).
But this doesn’t matter, you see this swarm of angels descend on the stinky stable.
And they are ecstatic, belting out at the top of their lungs songs of worship and praise. The squalid environment isn’t a problem for them. The cow manure, sheep feces, and filthy straw can all be smelled, but that means nothing at this moment.
Friends, I must confess–my heart is very much like this dirty stable.
Everything is so filthy, and the smell makes my eyes water, and the flies are thick and everywhere. It is all so sad, and pathetic. There are many others with clean, white hearts, why should He choose my heart to abide? He must clean me, wash me with His hot red blood. (1 John 1:9)
The choir is singing now, and all of them are in deep, wonderous worship. They belt it out with the enthusiasm of rabid fans at a World Cup soccer game. But I examine my heart I see so many issues, some things that are actually destroying me. I’m glad He’s all powerful and all loving–all the time and forever and ever.
But the angels, well, they just keep singing.
Perhaps (maybe) we need to take the hint?
“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”