Wednesday, January 18, 2023

By Joe Beckler, Journey Host Team Member
Scripture

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:9-10 (The words of Jesus)

Devotional

What makes your life meaningful? And, what specifically threatens your ability to live life to the fullest?

Jesus wanted his followers to understand what it meant to experience a full life. In John 10:9-10, Jesus compared himself to the gate of a sheep pen. The gate was a means of security and salvation. Sheep, in their vulnerable state, counted on the regular routine of moving in and out of the secure gate.

This movement, in and out of the gate, is intriguing. Jesus was calling out the inherent risk associated with daily movement from the pen to the pastures. There were threats like thieves and robbers that sought to harm the sheep. They came to kill, steal, and destroy.

The parallel meaning is clear for Jesus’ followers. What are the things that rob us of life, freedom, hope, and eternal peace? When you think about it, our daily movement is about being aware of the things that bring life, as well as the things that rob us of life. We’ve all felt both.

In comparing his followers to sheep, Jesus spoke of being the gate that ensured salvation, his secure presence, and guidance in life. Think about what this means as we trust God with our daily movement. Jesus’ mission was clear. He wanted his children to experience life in all its fullness. So, his role as the gate is all about providing a full and meaningful life. He does the work of guiding us from place to place and directing us towards a better way of life. Also, he does this in the midst of all the threats and challenges we face daily. All we must do is stay focused on him, our gate.

As you think about John 10:9-10, consider what is robbing you from experiencing a full and meaningful life. How might Jesus help you experience more of the fullness he promises to all his followers?

Prayer

“Jesus, you are the gate. Through you, in the midst of a world full of threats, we can experience fullness of life. Help me experience this fullness today as I move from place to place. Show me how to trust you with the challenges that threaten to steal, kill, and destroy in my life. Amen.”

I read this devotional

Now You Try

John 10

Highlight

Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.

Explain

Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:

  • Why was this written?
  • To whom was it originally written?
  • What is the author trying to communicate?
  • What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?

Apply

After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:

  • What do these verses mean today?
  • What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
  • How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
  • What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?

Respond

Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.