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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.timeintheword.org

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Monday, October 17, 2005

Thieves!

Verse for the Day: John 10:1
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, that same is a thief and a robber.

Daily Scripture Reading: Galatians 1

The Puritan Catechism
Question #2 - What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify him?

Devotional Thoughts
Jesus starts this discourse on “The Good Shepherd” by telling us about the sheep fold and those who come and go throughout the day and night to care for the sheep. The shepherd often slept in the doorway (or gate) to the fold in order to prevent predators from entering and harming the sheep. The shepherd would also use trusted "hirelings" or paid assistants. These "under shepherds" would guard the sheep while the shepherd was away and they would help him care for all the sheep throughout the day.

But this verse finds Jesus telling His disciples that they needed to beware of anyone who would try to enter a sheepfold any other way than through the door. Truly, He tells us, the one who tries to sneak up another way to get to the sheep is not there to care for them. Anyone or any animal that was attempting to get into the fold without being noticed, or without coming through the door, was not to be trusted with the sheep!

Thieves would come up at night when the shepherd and hirelings were asleep and they would creep up to the far side of the fold - if they could make off with just a few sheep they would do a good job at providing a meal or selling the sheep for sacrifice! And as we will learn, it is no wonder that over and over God refers to us as the sheep of His pastures. He uses the picture of sheep for us because we really are like sheep (more about that later).

Our application for today is simple - if someone tries to enter God's kingdom any other way than through Jesus Christ, they are coming over the wall and not through the door. In other words, either come the Way God designated or you can't come at all. And those who would enter through the cover of darkness are not there to edify and encourage, they are there to wreck the faith of Believers.

Any person who tries to justify a salvation by any other means than by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is a false prophet and a thief! They will rob believers of their joy and their freedom and lead them off into all sorts of false doctrine and cults! Most people involved in the cults are not won off the street - most attend church regularly and are lured away by the presenters of false doctrine and a false view of Christ, God, self, and sin. But because they don't realize that these cultists are entering over the wall instead of through the door they fall prey to their idolatry and are led off into all types of heresies and false religions.

We must learn to recognize those who are trusted under shepherds and are leading us in the Way - for all others are there only to destroy, kill, and steal - they will destroy you faith, kill your hope, and steal your joy - they will take you away from the narrow way and lead you down the broad way after taking you through the popular, wide gate that leads to destruction.

"Assuredly" is the word Jesus starts with and it can mean "You can count on it!" There will be those who enter by the door, others who will try to enter over the side. They will come and try to do it their way, not His! Today think about the Way, the right way and the wrong way. And watch out – the devil would love to steal, kill, and destroy today. Don't fall victim to his deception.

Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship

BONUS - The Treasury of David
by Charles H. Spurgeon
Psalm 23
(It is recommended that the reader take a small section of this work each day and meditate on the truths gleaned from Holy Scripture - today focus on the sections on verse 1).

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