Unlocked Doors – by Bryan Johnston

Don’t you love those friends and families who say “you can come over anytime without an invitation,” those places where if you knocked the owners would be offended if you did? My grandparents’ home was like that. My aunt and uncles place on the farm was like that. And there have been a few dear friends whose houses I am so at home with that I can enter without knocking, usually coming in through the back door. The owners of these houses are gracious hosts where no one is a stranger. For many of these, their homes are never locked and their doors are always open. There have been times when I have entered a beloved’s home without them even there. I was trusted and still welcome to find refuge.

The Lord is the Gate for the sheep. He is the doorway into his fold. The Lord welcomes all to come in and go out. There is no need to break in, steal, or destroy. While you are with him he cares for you and provides all your needs. He is the gracious host and he is committed to your flourishing.

All the sheep find the same comfort and the same attention. Every sheep is loved and cared for personally by the Good Shepherd. He is the gate and all are welcome. How dare anyone keep others from coming to the Lord and sharing in the blessings of His kingdom? Let the Shepherd do his work. Let him do the calling, the correcting, and the judging. Jesus is Lord, so let us not steal his Lordship by lording over others. Our lording may be the block that keeps others from seeing The Gate and knowing the love of the Father. Good news! He leaves his door open for all to come in, to feel at home, and to find refuge. As the Lords people, let us keep our hearts, homes, and doors open where all are welcome and where no one is a stranger.

Bryan Johnston –  preaching minister, North Bend, Oregon USA Church of Christ – nbcoc@hotmail.com

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