I AM the Gate
:: CHALLENGE POINT ::
We find the third of the seven "I am" sayings of Jesus in the gospel of John, "I am the gate/door". First, Jesus said He was the shepherd to whom the gatekeeper opened the gate. Here He said, "I'm not only the shepherd who leads the sheep in and out of the sheepfold, I am the gate itself”. It is through Him that salvation is found. Those who come to Him find access to life. Others prom-ised these things, but they were thieves, intent only on stealing, killing, and destroying. In other words, they wanted to profit from the sheep and then dispose of them. Jesus came not to steal, but to give, and His gift is abundant life. No one goes into the sheepfold except through Him. A top executive of a company gets there by climbing the rungs of the ladder. It doesn’t matter who the people are or where the company is located, it is an opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. Jesus is telling us the body of Christ is totally different. The motivation is not for selfish gain, but for care that leads to life abundant and free. The calling that we have in Christ is to live in the community of faith with other sheep. If you are a corporate-minded person, and a believer at the same time, you will have to be able to prioritize your desire to climb the ladder of the corporate world and living in the community with God's sheep where both are in harmony with each other.
The reason it is so difficult for those who believe in the Lord to remain faithful and consistent in our devotion to God and His church is because we have considered church to be outside of the norm of our "corporate mentality". Unbelievers might struggle with this because the church may not be so forward in their world-centered culture. One way to test this is to hear again what Jesus is trying to tell us. Jesus speaks about the sheep hearing His voice. Too often the voice we listen to is not the voice of the Lord, but the voice of our employer or those who influence us outside of the church. This most often leads to the church becoming further down on the list of our priorities.
Make your own list of priorities. Hopefully, they will follow something like this: God, family, church, profession/occupation. If we struggle with this progression, possibly our commitment to a life in Christ has also been a struggle.