The Justifying Way

way: an opening for passage
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. 
They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
John 10:9 NIV
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, 
he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
John 10:9 ESV
Gates and doors…they draw me in.  Do you remember the Price is Right game show where there were several doors and the player could choose one…or take the next?  The mystery was what was behind the door.  I walk by doors or drive by a gate where you can’t see the house and I wonder:  What’s behind there?  Who lives in that place?  And rarely do I open one when I don’t know what lies behind…rarely do I go where I have not been invited.
The shepherds received an invitation on the night of Jesus’ birth. 
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:10-12
It didn’t take long for the shepherds to say yes to that invitation.
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 
“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, 
which the Lord has told us about.”
Luke 2:15
Prevenient grace is the open invitation to enter into relationship with God from our birth.  That grace leads us to a point when we can say yes to the invitation.  This is justifying grace.  Saying yes…is like walking through the door or gate of Jesus.  Like the shepherds we act out our faith and we go to see the one who saves us all.  There really is no mystery about what lies behind this door…everyone is invited no matter their circumstance or past.  We must simply turn the knob of belief and go in.
Do you remember how the players would cheer if the door they opened on the game show was a winner?  What joy and excitement filled them.  The shepherds felt that way too.  It is as if they opened the door on the biggest prize of their life and they could not hold the good news back.
When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
Luke 2:17
May this Advent season be the same for us.  May we be so filled with joy and excitement of our coming King that we cannot wait to tell someone.

God, thank you for saving me.  For giving me hope and a future.  Show me where I can share you today with others.  Ignite in me a joy and excitement I cannot contain.

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