John 10:1-9 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. “But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them. So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
A ‘sheepfold’ is a walled enclosure where the sheep are put at night for protection. It was not uncommon for many shepherds to share a sheepfold. By doing this, their sheep would get mixed with other shepherds’ sheep. In the morning, the shepherd would walk through the only door of the sheepfold to call his sheep. Sheep knows their masters voice and they will follow only him. “Jesus gives this figure of speech to teach the people how this sheepfold represents Israel. “He will lead His sheep out of Judaism (the sheepfold) out from under a legalistic system.”1 He will call out to His sheep and they will hear Him and follow Him through the door. Jesus claims to be the door, declaring that ‘the sheep’ has to go through him to be saved. This is a build up to show the people that he is the Good Shepherd who enters through the door and calls His own sheep by name.
Again, we see here that we have to go through Jesus to be saved.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
1. J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Vol 4 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1981), 431.
Work has been real slow, so I have had a lot of extra time on my hands. Some people are probably thinking, “I wish I had extra time right now.” There is always something to do (I have no trouble keeping busy), but when work is slow it gets me thinking. This can be dangerous. I start questioning or wondering if I should be doing something different. Should I continue on doing the same type of work, same ministries, ….same town…. the list goes on and on.
Tonight I was thinking about the different men of faith, who made a mark for Jesus in this world. The list of these men could go on and on, but the one who I was really thinking about was George Muller. If you haven’t read about him, I highly encourage you to look him up. This man was a man of prayer. He had strong faith that God would provide for him. He started a bible institute and many orphanages without ever soliciting for money. He would pray and God would answer. My favorite story of his is when there was no food in the orphanage. He had the kids sit down at the table to pray (remember no food), and as he finished praying, there was a knock at the door. It was the baker. God told the baker at 2am to bake some bread for the children. Right after that there was another knock at the door. The milkman’s cart broke down in front of the orphanage. The milkman wanted to give the kids the milk, so he could work on his cart. Again, God had provided for him.
The verse of Scripture that motivated George Muller to start the orphanages was Psalms 81:10 “…Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” In context, the passage is talking about Israel. Israel is worshiping other gods, so God reminds them that He is the one who brought them out of Egypt. God says if you open you mouth wide, I will fill it. The picture that I get here is of a baby eating baby food. The only thing that the baby is thinking is “give me more food”. So his mouth is wide open awaiting whatever his father has for him. Since his mouth was open wide, his father was able to fill his mouth with good things. Sadly though, Israel did not open their mouths for their heavenly father to fill it with good things.
What if we “opened our mouths wide for God to fill it”? What if we prayed with confidence? What if we had faith that could move mountains? What if we were really willing to be used by God?