Monday, January 7th, 2013
The Beggar At Your Gates (Part 3)
Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,' then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.' But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.'
Luke 13:24-27 (NKJV)
Walls and gates are important in the Bible. Walls mark your home borders. They create a safe haven. If God patrols your walls, enemies cannot breach them. Consider walls to be your city limits, your church building, your home, and even your body.
Gates within your walls are physical doors to the world and spiritual doors to eternity. Throughout your life on earth, you enter and exit the doors of your comfort zone--by walking out, reaching out, or speaking out. At life's end stands the ultimate Door: Jesus. He is 'The Door' (John 10:7) you must enter to live with God Face-to-face.
Until then, you have a job to do, places to go, and people to see. 'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations' (Matthew 28:19). In this work, God says 'You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out' (Deuteronomy 28:6). Read the list of blessings available to you in Deuteronomy 28:1-14.
With the protection of the Holy Spirit, you carry an impenetrable force field when you go out, like one from Star Trek--only this One is real. It's the gift of the Holy Spirit. It goes where you go: 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you' (Hebrews 13:5).
Therefore, God's walls and gates travel with you. Not only are you at home everywhere, you are a home. You are a 'City that is set on a hill' (Matthew 5:14). Your Father will send strangers to you. They stand at the edge of your moveable grace. They huddle like visitors drawn to your light. They are outsiders looking in to your joy. Invite them inside.
'Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the Lord your God and carefully observe all the words of this law' (Deuteronomy 31:12). Shepherd them physically and spiritually until the King's return.
And for those of us who don't go out of our comfort zones as good shepherds to find lost sheep, or if we ignore the unattractive beggars at our gates, we must re-read the warning in Luke 13:24-27. He wrote it for us--His church.
Because it's not just the lost sheep we neglect or the beggars we ignore. It's the King Himself. 'Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!' (James 5:9).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Beggar At Your Gates series.