The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Jesus is the good shepherd for he has laid down his
life for the sheep. He earnestly wants each of us to be in the sheepfold where we can enjoy the heavenly peace and joy that the world cannot give. In order to be in the sheepfold, we must enter the door through Jesus. Jesus has given us the way, but are we willing to take the step? This is the gate of grace that Jesus calls us to enter today. This door will lead us into the promised life that God designs for each one of us . 2018, God calls us to enter this gate from which we shall find our way toward His glory. There might be stones that halt us from entering this great calling, so let us remove our blocking stones. Let this year be a year of obedience that allows us to realize more of God’s will upon entering the gate of grace.
There are there kinds of people at the door. First kind is those who always stand afar from the
door, for they know that entering the door means to give up what they have outside the door. They have
too much to lose. They place too much weight in what they own from the world. This stumbling block
comes from our sinful greed. We have too much pride and confidence in our own strength that turns us
away from our heavenly father. James 1:5,6 says “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven an tossed by the wind.” The word of God urges us to seek wisdom with faith, for God would give all we ever wanted through this wisdom. Faithfully seeking the truth that comes from the scripture should once again be our primary goal in this year, for it will remove our pride that halts us from coming closer to God. Prioritizing God’s word will lead us closer to Jesus that is all we need in each and every day.
The second kind is those who stand at the door but wander and hesitate. They might be waiting
for other companions to enter. They might be waiting for the right timing to take action. Many children
might come to know Christianity through their parents, but to make the faith their own, children would
have to do that themselves. Thus, entering the door is not a decision that our parents can make for us even though they might have guided us to this door and kept us in proximity to it. We need to take
responsibility for living a true Christian life. Those who are waiting for the timing to enter simply put the
Christian faith in the back of their mind. They are lukewarm Christians who are just churchgoers rather
than true worshipers. Such faith represents the wavering faith that James describes— easily driven and
tossed by external forces. Those who wander are usually people who have grown up in church and those who think they are Christians. God tells us that this is not enough. Such a Christian resembles those who hold a fake ID that says they are Christians but in actual life they ignore their faith and lead a life undistinguishable from nonbelievers. If this is us, God wants us to come before the Lord and repent.
Repent for holding back our faith as we have been tempted to betray our heavenly father. This stone is
hard to be removed, but once we have it pushed far away, we will find ourselves rejoicing inside the gate
with our spiritual family.
The third kind is those who enter upon listening to the calling and continue to lead a life inside
the gate. We can make this a reality as we continue to pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Mathew 3:11 says that Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire. This will leave us an eternal mark that enables us to enter the glorious gate in the end of days promised in Revelation. Because Jesus lives, we shall fearlessly declare our identity and hold the authority of resurrection in our lives. Such an authority signifies that we shall not fear the attack from the enemies, for God is with us and no one can ever be against us. Welcome Jesus to visit us, and also be prepared for the transformation that comes thereafter. We are different in 2018, for we will lead a life inside the door. For those who are already inside, we must continue to thrive and and rejoice in the presence of the Lord. This is a year of obedience that shall lead us toward our promised land.
Sermon Reflection 2018/1/7