“Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He 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.”
When was the last time you looked at your high school annual to read the things friends and teachers had to say about you? What did they see in you? What was the road they expected you to travel?
Youth is the time of life when we’re most likely surrounded by people who are looking for the potential in us. It’s also a time when we’re inclined to dream about future possibilities.
As we grow older, we become cynical. Our support system of encouragers diminishes; fewer people around to cheer us on toward our goals. Negativity and difficult circumstances steal our dreams. Ultimately, we settle for “just getting by,” which diverts us to a road of disappointment.
In today’s focus text, Jesus tells us about “the thief” who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Satan’s objective is to keep you from salvation and the abundant life Christ gives.
Some days you feel as if the world is against you because it is. There is a force in this world working to hold you back, to steal your potential, to divert you from the fullness of life that God has prepared for you.
This “thief” will deceive and divert. That means that this world will offer you alternative choices that can throw you off course. One day you wake up and realize you are shipwrecked and headed nowhere.
Here’s the good news. God has not given up on you. No matter where you are in life, He offers a way to a full, rich, meaningful, rewarding life. He has filled you with great potential, and He wants you to attain it.
This abundant life that Jesus offers begins by accepting His invitation to enter through the gate. “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.”
Saved from what? Saved from this deceitful world that is destroying your life. Delivered from the hold of the Deceiver. And saved from eternal torment and the finality of death. (1 Corinthians 15:55)
Those I’ve seen enter through the gate to receive Christ expressed incredible relief. The weight of the world was lifted from their shoulders.
For all who follow Him, Jesus promises, they “…will come in and go out, and find pasture.” A life headed nowhere suddenly has hope, meaning, and a magnificent future.
New life in Christ comes with a heavenly guarantee. “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Fullness of life for now and forever.
Possibly you entered the gate a long time ago, but you have lost sight of the abundant life God has promised. Even Christians make bad choices and are thrown off course by painful circumstances. Determine today to get your life right before God. Get back into His word and apply His principles for living. Take the seeds of abundance He has planted in you and nurture them to their fullest. Let Him rekindle old dreams and show you new ones. If you’ve taken a wrong turn, get back on the road to abundant life.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Redeemed from the Empty Way of Life
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 4 (October – December) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats