December 14, 2017

This Week…I AM the Door (John 10:1-10)

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Recorded in the Gospel of John, our Lord made seven statements referring to Himself as I AM

I AM The Light of the World
I AM The Bread of Life
I AM The Door

I AM The Good Shepherd
I AM The True Vine

I AM The Way, The Truth, and The Life
I AM The Resurrection and The Life

Each week during this season of Lent, here on the Seeking Him blog, we will be focusing our devotionals on a different aspect of Jesus’ revelation of Himself as I AM.  The aim of Lent should be to prepare our hearts for the remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice—His trial and torture, the Crucifixion and His death…and above all, the celebration of His Resurrection from the dead.  We pray that this will be a great encouragement to each of you who read them.  And that all of us will consider the significance of Jesus’ words and, through them, be helped as we remember and are thankful for all Jesus went through during the last few weeks of His life on this earth.

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So Jesus said again, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you,
that I Myself am the Door for the sheep.
All others who came [as such] before Me are thieves and robbers,

but the [true] sheep did not listen to and obey them.
I AM the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live).
He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy.

I came that they may have and enjoy life,
and have it in abundance (to the full, till itoverflows).

John 10:7-10 AMP

Another incredible promise that Jesus gave…how grateful and thankful are we?!!?   This past week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, our sisters have shared some insight on these words spoken by our Lord.  Here are a few highlights from the devotionals that Tina, Laura, Cynda, Ann, and Ahmee wrote to encourage us.

In The Door Is Our Protection, Cynda shared a bit of the enlightenment she received…

“…as I was studying commentaries on this passage, I came across a statement that made me pause.  Had I perhaps missed an additional meaning in this Scripture?  Had I stopped short without completely understanding the depth of this Scripture?

“In a ‘field’ sheepfold, the shepherd actually laid his body across the entrance, to keep the sheep in and to keep out the wolves.” – David Guzik

I totally get the symbolism that Christ laid down His life for our salvation.  But I missed the part about Him being our protection. Christ is there to protect us from the evil one.”

In The Gate for the Sheep, Ahmee helped us to see the value of each of our differing journeys to salvation.  

“Our stories are so different.  True, but there is something in common with all our stories—we all said ‘yes!’ to Jesus.  There is no other way.  So, before the yes, our stories are very different. After the yes, our stories are very different. It is even possible that during the yes, our stories are very different.

The point is, Jesus said that He is the Gate for the sheep.  Well, sisters (and brothers) we all walked through that same Gate!  Saying this makes me want to high-five each and every one of you.  We are ‘in’ because of our Savior.  Yay for us! What an awesome feeling it is to have walked through the Gate.  Why not bring someone along?”

In The Door To a New Life, Tina also wrote about salvation….

“As verse 9 states, Jesus wants to give us salvation. All we have to do is ask.  Then believe we are forgiven of all of our sins.  Change our lives and begin living for God.  This changes everything.  Believing and developing a trust in God will empower you in every area of your life. You will believe you can speak before a crowd to share your testimony with others.  You will be able to tell your story with such conviction and self confidence.  You will be proud. ”

In Re-Entering The Door, Laura encouraged us to recognize that  the Door—Jesus—rescues us from distractions of this world.

“However, we can easily reenter that Door when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Christ opened the door to redemption when He died on the Cross for our sins.  He reconciled us to God, so we may have eternal life. A s the children of God, we should pay attention to Jesus and being faithful to Him.  We should not listen to a world that has turned away from God.  If we turn away from God then we will die a certain death when Judgment Day arrives.  All we have to do is see Jesus’ open Door, give up the worldly distractions, and accept Jesus as our Savior.  When we cross over the threshold of that Door, we are no longer of this world. ”

In The Door Gives Access, Ann reminded us of the abundant life available to those who accept Jesus as Lord. (Check out the list of Scriptures she provided for us!)

“Jesus said, ‘I AM The Door’ …what does this imply?  He is giving us access to use Him because those who enter through Jesus will be saved—they will have abundant life (verse 10); they will have all they need to be delivered from sin, guilt, condemnation. He is the ONLY Door; none other exists.   [These}…verses help us to understand what this Door can do and how it is going to help us.  Let us therefore choose deliberately to use this Door which will take us to the highest places. ”

Have you had the opportunity to read through these blogposts this week?  If not, I would encourage you to do so!  Our bloggers have made these as well as some other wonderful points to direct us towards Jesus, Who IS The Door to salvation and eternal life.

CHRISTLife — ThirtyOne: Accepted

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How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
and that is what we are!
1 John 3:1

We ARE!  This is one of my oh-so-very-favorite verses in all 66 books of the Bible!  What comfort…what encouragement…what enablement is communicated in this one sentence!  And, as His children, He has accepted us through the accomplishments of Jesus Christ!

According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Ephesians 1:4-6 KJV

Now THIS, my friends, THIS should definitely be one of the ‘images’ in your inner identity album.  “I am ACCEPTED ‘cause God says I am!”  It truly is as simple as that, y’know.  There is nothing—nada, not one tiny thing, not anything at all—that you (or I) can do to be accepted or make yourself any more accepted by God.  He has done it all…in Christ.  There aren’t too many words which communicate God’s love to us than these; they always cause tears to well up in my eyes (if not flow out of)!  Words which tell of His great love for us: chosen…without blame… adoption… His Will…to the praise of the glory of His grace…accepted in the beloved!   Amazing, yes…and TRUE!

Webster’s definition says that to ACCEPT means to ‘receive willingly, to regard with approval, to value, to esteem, to take pleasure in or to receive with favor.’ Take that and think of yourself, child of God, insert your name—“I, _______, am willingly received by God;  God regards me, _______, with approval;  God values me, esteems me, takes pleasure in me, and receives me with favor!”

C.H. Spurgeon wrote, “Are there grander words in any language than these four ‘…accepted in the beloved’?  There seems to be a sacred poem in these words.  To my heart, there is more heavenly music in those four words than in any oratorio I ever heard.”

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Psalms 139:1-6

We—every single human being who ever has been born and who ever will be born—are known by God.  Truly “such knowledge…it is high; I cannot attain it!”  But it is the truth!  And God’s desire—His love—for all is to be saved through His Son, Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
John 3:16 and 17

When we are saved and brought into a relationship with Almighty God as His children, we receive access to Him.  He has completely accepted us and made us part of His family, His household.  Again, nothing we can do or could have done to accomplish this—it is all His gift of love, His doing through Jesus!

For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,
but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Ephesians 2:18 and 19

This was according to the eternal purpose that He has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him.
Ephesians 3:11 and 12

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Might I encourage you to take a little bit of time right now and seek your Father’s presence.  Put everything else aside and thank Him…praise Him…exalt Him…love Him.  Tell Him how thankful you are to be His child and to be accepted—because you are!   ♥