This week's blog is not as controversial as last week's entry about the secularization of the church, but I feel it is a meaningful part of life that Christians should consider.
My wife and I have been visiting my brother's home church and we are very seriously considering joining. It is a small church that seats about 100 people, but there is liberty and the Spirit has been welcome in every service I have been in there. A couple of weeks ago the pastor, brother Todd Collins, brought a message about "Gates". The basis of this segment is patterned thereof.
The pastor began his message by explaining his day. Todd started his day by closing the gate at his home. Later, while at work, he was made to take his work vehicle through several gates having to drive to the gate, park the truck (parking brake does not work so he had to shut it off every time), open the gate, start the truck back, drive through the gate, park the truck, shut it off again, lock the gate and then finally drive to the next gate repeating the procedure for about 5 different gates. When he arrived at the other end of all the gates, he then did his job and had to turn around and do all of this in reverse.
Opening and closing all of these gates made Todd think about the gates mentioned in the Bible and how they apply to our everyday lives. There are many to choose from. Some of these gates we go through every day. Some gates we may only go through every once in a while. Some gates we only go through once. Some gates we go through and leave them open. Some gates are important to shut. Some of them we can choose to go through, others choose us. Some of them are wide, others are narrow, some short, some tall you get the picture. So with the preliminaries out of the way, let's take a look at some gates shall we?
“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Matthew 7:14 KJV
Jesus said these words speaking about a gate that every Christian must pass through. If you haven't passed through the straight gate, in effect having a personal relationship with Jesus, and are not walking on the narrow way, that is to say that you are patterning your life to look like Jesus' example then you are not alone. There are few that truly find and walk in that pathway. It's not a pleasant thing to hear, but these are not my words or the words of a scholar, they are the words of Jesus. He realized that many will fall into the influence of the world and the influence of their friends or family. News flash; Those around you are not always right. It's best to seek Jesus and His will for your life. Only then will you be bale to walk through this gate in perfect peace and happiness as God intended.
“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.”
Luke 16:19-21 KJV
How many of us have felt like a Lazarus? I can say that I have never went to bed hungry. Well, if I did it was by choice. I can't speak from experience on the extreme of being a beggar or homeless in any way. God has always provided and my family has always been blessed. This parable is much deeper than being poor physically. It speaks of someone who is poor spiritually. We as Christians are persecuted, and scorned in our walk of life. We are not always given the easiest road or the clearest access to what we need or want. We suffer things that others don't, but one day our suffering will be over when we pass through that final gate. When we pass through that gate, those scoffers, the mockers and the ones who ridiculed us in our Christian walk of life will be as the rich man; begging for a drop of water.
“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.”
Revelation 21:21 KJV
“Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?”
Job 38:17 KJV
That gate that is made of pearl is much more attainable than the gate of the rich man's home. It is a gate that all Christians will pass through one day. Many fear that gate because they fear what they conceive as the unknown, but for a true child of God that gate is a gate that is not to be feared. It is a gate we will only pass through once and on the other side of this gate will be no parting, no sorrow and no pain. Most of all Jesus waits for us on the other side of this gate. It is a gate that you don't want to miss.
Now... There are many gates I haven't mentioned here. There are many gates we will pass through as Christians. Consider every trial in your life, every burden and every care. All of those are gates as well. Some of those gates are gates that you will pass through again and will need to leave open. On the other hand, some of those you should shut and keep them shut. Unfortunately sometimes there are relationship gates that should remain shut. Then there are those that we should have left open. There are some times that we make decisions to close those gates in haste, sometimes out of fear, sometimes out of anger. It is best to seek God's guidance when approaching these and any other gate. I am sad to say that I have had to close some of those relationship gates behind me and lock them tight. Even though it grieves us to have to do that, sometimes it is necessary. Sometimes, other people make us make the decision to close those gates as a friend of mine recently told me when dealing with a difficult relationship gate. When this happens we have no other choice but to close the gate and lock it tight.
Consider the gates in your life. Think about points in your life when you have passed through a gate. Did you close it behind you? Should you have? Sometimes we make the wrong decision when approaching a gate, but sometimes we make the wrong decision when leaving a gate. Every gate you approach is an opportunity for you to grow as a Christian. Remember; These gates have been placed in your life by God for a reason. Some gates are a challenge, some are a trial, some are a burden and some are triumphs. Use each gate in your life to the glory of God and for His purpose because He sent them to you for a reason, He knew you needed that gate for one reason or another. Use every gate He places before as an opportunity to grow.
There have been gates in my life that I wish I didn't go through, but there have been others that I am proud to have been through. Some gates God put there to see if I would pass through or go around. Some He meant for me to go through, others He meant for me to go around. Some He meant for me to go through and lock, some He meant to leave open. You too pass through gates in your life. Trust God for wisdom in passing through each one. Remember; The gates He sends you through are for a reason. Every reason He has in your life is for the up building of His kingdom and everything works together for the good to those who love the Lord.
God bless you.
Meadow Lane Ministries
What gates have you passed through in life? I welcome your comments below.