RECAP: THE GATE based on John 10:1-10
Doors are very important. What is on the inside of the door is what belongs on the inside, whether a family, city, place of employment or place to shop. But the ultimate purpose of a building is to protect that which is on the inside, whether from the elements or from outsiders who do not belong (think the big bad wolf and the three little pigs!). That is why doors get locked or gates are guarded; you want to keep out threats!
Just as there are doors in the physical world, there are doors in the spiritual world as well. Jesus described himself as the door for the sheep. In ancient Israel, a sheep pen consisted of a wall made of stone or twigs several feet high. At the top of the wall were either jagged stones, pottery, or sharpened twigs into poles. The goal was to weaken, injure, or even impale predator animals who tried to leap over the wall to destroy the sheep. But at the entrance of the sheep pen was the door or gate. But it was not a door on a hinge; it was an open archway! The shepherd themselves was the gate. They stood or sat at the entrance, crook in hand, to fight off any intruder. Jesus is our door.
Jesus is the one who fights off the intruders. Satan our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he might devour (1 Pet 4:8). The enemy of our souls has come to steal, kill, and destroy, looking for the opportunity to get in. He tries to confuse us by offering a competing voice to the shepherd. The goal is to get us isolated and to question the very Word of God (did God really say?–Gen 3). But when we are anchored in the Word and trust in our gate, he keeps us safe! He reveals the enemy for who he is and fights the battle! And when Jesus is our door, we can be assured that nothing that comes in will lead us to harm; instead, it only leads to abundant life.
Jesus is the gate to heaven. All who enter through him will be saved. We live in a day and age where we have somehow believed that all roads lead to heaven. But the gate is narrow (Matt 7:13-14), and only a few find it. Jesus stands at the door of our hearts, knocking, asking us to let him in. When Jesus is at the door of our hearts, and we enter into his pasture, we will see the promise of eternal life and abundant life. Abundant life is not a perfect life; rather, it is a life that is full because we have all we truly need in front of us!
The thief and robber want to come in a different way. Satan wants us to believe there are greener pastures outside of Jesus. The devil wants us to believe that we can compartmentalize our faith, allow some compromise, and sacrifice our integrity. Satan wants us to confuse the true voice of God, allowing our own destruction through another way or wandering through the door and out into the open. Jesus is our gate and our door, our protection and our life; will we choose to rest inside the pen, or fall victim to the robber?
Questions for Reflection
1) In what areas of your life could you use God to fight your battles?
2) What is your greatest area of weakness? Can you entrust it to your Lord to keep you safe?
3) Sometimes the competing voice sounds similar to the Word of God, but is not the Word and leads us astray. How frequently do you spend time reading the Bible?
4) Is Jesus at the door of your heart? Have you let him in? Is he your guard?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the “I AM JESUS” series with the sermon titled, “The Good Shepherd,” based on John 10:11-18. Jesus said he was the good shepherd. What does it mean, and how should it deepen our faith? Can there be a bad shepherd? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for February 15 – 21
February 15: Nehemiah 1:1-11 What was the true meaning of the gate in Nehemiah’s eyes?
February 16: Psalm 24 What is the importance of the gate to faith?
February 17: Psalm 122 What do the gates represent to David?
February 18: Isaiah 60 What do the gates represent?
February 19: Revelation 3:14-22 Why do we need to allow Jesus to enter the door of our hearts?
February 20: 1 Samuel 17:32-37 How did David’s experience as a shepherd empower his faith?
February 21: Psalm 78 How was God a shepherd to Israel, even in their failures?
This Week’s Events:
Tuesday, February 15–Leadership Team Meeting with District (closed meeting) @ 7 pm
Wednesday, February 16–Ministry Team Meeting @ 7 pm
Thursday, February 17–Leadership Team Meeting (open meeting) @ 7 pm
Sunday, February 20–Birthday Dinner after church; we still need a volunteer for January and August! Please call the church office if you are willing.
Sunday, February 27–Winter Jam Christian Concert in Roanoke; $10 admission
Saturday, March 5–Sadie Rose Pancake benefit @ 2 pm
Friday, March 25–Gospel Hymn Sing Concert Benefit for the Whitmore Family @ 6:30 pm
The Leadership Team asks for your continued feedback! If you have any questions, need clarification, or anything, please contact Pastor Ryan or John Wright. We both will be happy to answer any questions you may have. In addition, as we continue to discern, we have sent a letter to the denomination back in January seeking answers to some specific questions that have arisen through our listening sessions, the surveys, and small groups. We may have an opportunity as a Leadership Team to have a conversation with one of the denominational leaders in an upcoming Leadership Team meeting. Remember, unless a meeting is notated as closed (see above), all Leadership Team meetings are open to anyone who is a member who would like to come and observe. As we have more concrete knowledge of whether such a meeting can come to fruition, we will pass it along.
As Pastor, I am proud of how the Leadership Team has handled everything so far, as well as the study and preparation they have undertaken serving on your behalf. I am also thankful for the team’s commitment to being transparent and filled with integrity throughout the entire process. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please share them with John or me, and we will make sure we take the time to answer them. Our goal and aim is to follow the Lord’s leading for Beaver Creek and to strive to keep our church whole.
We will have a further brief update during the Birthday luncheon after church.
Whitmore Family Relief
Thank you all for your help so far! Through Sunday’s offerings, over 33,000 dollars have come into the church to help the family! It is truly amazing to see how we as a church and the community have come together to help our friends!
We will host a Gospel Hymn Sing Concert benefit on Friday, March 25 beginning at 6:30 pm (doors open at 6 pm). We will collect a love offering for the Whitmore family. Some of the guests include Michael Hoover (Elvis), one of the Crestmans, and more!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s stories. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer & Discernment
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
The Christian Education Team is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
John Bennington (health)
Sandy Bennington (health)
Samantha Cooper (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Marty Moore (recovery)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Pidge Rhodes (recovery)
Lottie Ritchie (health)
Abbie Shiflet (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Tom Wilfong (health)
Winne Wilfong (recovery)
Charles Wright (recovery)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB