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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Door in Marietta, PA
Door in Marietta, PA

"I Am The Door"

Message summary: We welcome you to enter the door of Christ which is the only way to salvation!

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"So Jesus said to them again, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep'" (John 10:7).

On Saturday during our Crossroads class bike ride I passed the door in our lead photo on Front Street in Marietta PA. When I saw it I thought of Christ's statement, "I am the door".

Doors are not something we normally give a lot of attention to and probably often take them for granted. But each of us can appreciate their value; exterior doors that keep our homes secure and the  weather out, interior doors that provide privacy within our walls.

Have you ever counted how many doors you have in your house? Our house has twenty-eight doors. This includes closet doors and a shower door as well as the doors in our utility barn! You might be surprised at how many doors you have in your house, should you choose to count them!

Star Barn doorOur only door with any real distinction (and that's not much) is our front door but many doors have real character such as the one in our lead photo. I took the photo to the right in the Star Barn near Elizabethtown, PA. We have seen posters made of distinct doors in a particular town or county such as this one of doors in neighboring Columbia, PA.
Wherever you live you most likely have doors but we recall having a wonderful meal with a family in Guatemala some 30 years ago. We had hosted their son Marvin who had come to the states for emergency medical care. He and his family lived in a tiny two room house with no interior or exterior doors at all (as we recall). They shared with other villagers an outdoor latrine, a common faucet and a shower. We are still in touch with Marvin who has grown up to be a fine young man serving the Lord, married, raising a family and working as a forester.

Doors are referenced all through the Bible with the first reference in Genesis 4:7. It was a message from God to Cain before he killed Abel, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

Among the last references to the door in Scripture has Jesus standing at the door and knocking in Revelation 3:20. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me".

Today let us examine a reference to the door among the “I am” statements in John’s Gospel. In these statements Jesus asserted His deity in describing Himself. They are known as the ego eimi (ἐγώ εἰμι) statements from the Greek words for “I am”.

In John 10 He uses an illustration that would have been so familiar to them on the basis of observation and experience along with their knowledge of the Scriptures such as Psalm 23.

Christ said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep". Just a few verses later He stated, "I am the Good Shepherd".

In the Bible period a shepherd would build a temporary sheep pen by building a wall when staying overnight in distant pastureland. He’d leave an opening where the sheep could come and go and be safe. All that remained was the closing for the door, but there was no door. Somehow a door had to be provided in order for the sheep to dwell in security.

John 10:9A good shepherd, in caring for his flock, would simply lie down across the small opening. Thus the shepherd became the door, and in this way the sheep remained safely inside and the wild beasts remained outside. Because the shepherd had become the door, there was nothing for the sheep to fear. Their protector and provider had guaranteed their protection from predators while also preventing them from wandering from the secure sheepfold and entering enemy territory. “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).

We encourage you to enter this door of Christ which is the only way to salvation. As one of His sheep I am so thankful for this desperately needed provision. Christ emphasized the statement with repetition when He “said to them again and with the dual emphasis, “Truly, truly”. We do well to listen!

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  Jesus, just like the shepherd willingly lays his life down for his sheep, You also willingly laid down Your life for us. You took on our adversary, the devil, who takes people captive for his own diabolical plans. You struck down the devil’s scheme to enslave and devour us, and his plan for death and the grave. Instead You became the doorway to the Father when You told the disciples, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” We thank You for being the door to our eternal salvation, when You laid down Your life for us, through Your shed blood. Amen.

The seven "I Am" statements of Christ in John's Gospel:

1. I am the bread of life  6:35, 48,51
2. I am the light of the world  8:12; 9:5
3. I am the door of the sheep  10:7,9
4. I am the good shepherd   10:11,14
5. I am the resurrection and the life  11:25
6. I am the way, the truth, and the life  14:6
7. I am the true vine  15:1

In addition to these metaphorical "I am" statements there are absolute “I am” statements. Among the last words in the Bible is our Lord’s powerful self-declaration, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13).

An interesting reference to a door that has relevant teaching truth in regard to our current culture is from Sodom when Lot was besieged, "They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door" (Genesis 19:9). This seems analogous to the persistent efforts of the downstream culture attempting to break down the doors of morality and righteous teachings.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Door"  Video  Fourtwelve

Can Your grace set me free?
Can it break the chains that always held me
And do what no one’s done before
Throw the past away and open the door?

"Jesus, Strong and Kind"  Video  CityAlight  What a blessed "children's" song for all ages!

"Somebody's Knocking At Your Door"  Video  King's Heralds (1949-1961)

"Into My Heart Lord Jesus"  Video  Selah  Brooksyne's note:  Several weeks ago I visited my cousin's church in Oark, Arkansas. I have three cousins who are preachers from the mountain in Arkansas. After Sunday School and just before church began the children came up front and sang "Booster Band" songs (at least that's what they called it when I was a child and we did the same thing in my church in Tulsa). The children sang their last song and then knelt at the altar with their hands folded and their heads bowed as they sang, "Into My Heart". It took me back to my childhood (a LONG ways back), as our children's songleader always led us in this song to close our booster band service as well. Perhaps some of our you had a similar arrangement at your church or still do.

Stephen's note: I recall an early effort at personal evangelism when I quoted this verse about Jesus knocking and a man earnestly felt his chest and said, "I don't feel anybody knocking".

But here's our favorite story on this:

A children's nurse had an interesting approach in calming children. Before listening to the little ones' chests, she would plug the stethoscope into their ears and let them listen to their own hearts. Their eyes would light up with awe, though she never got a response equal to a little four-year old's comment. Gently she tucked the stethoscope into his ears and placed the disk over his heart.

"Listen", she said quietly, "What do you suppose that is?" The little boy drew his eyebrows together in a puzzled line and looked up as if lost in the mystery of the strange tap - tap - tapping deep in his chest. Then his face broke out in a wondrous grin with big eyes as he curiously asked, "Is that Jesus knocking?"

Apparently the little boy had heard a lesson about Jesus knocking or more likely had sung the little children's song based on the verse such as this one (video) or perhaps this one (video)!

Today we share some fall scenes from rural Lebanon County and Hershey as we drove through yesterday.

Maple tree in Cornwall. PA
This huge maple is next to the school in Cornwall, PA. The grounds crew will be busy with this one for the next several weeks!
Click on photo to enlarge

Lebanon County
These trees are along the Little Swatara Creek.
Click on photo to enlarge

Lebanon County church sign
We often pass this church in rural Lebanon County and they do a great job posting thought-provoking messages on their sign.

Hershey Hotel
The entrance to the popular Hotel Hershey.
Click on photo to enlarge

Finally today:

Gracie on scale
Early yesterday morning I caught our cat Gracie sitting on the bathroom scales. Perhaps she is worried about putting on a few ounces!

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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