Stay Inside the Fence
I have a standing reservation every Wednesday. Not at a spa or restaurant. With my three oldest grandkids.
Every since they were born, Wednesdays were saved for tea parties. Baking cakes and cookies. Picnics in the backyard. Jumping in autumn leaves. Shooting hoops on the Gorilla Goal. Taking hikes in the neighborhood greenbelt. Making forts with couch pillows. And the list goes on. It was easy to entertain them when they were young.
As they got older, time was limited. There was school and extracurricular activities. Play rehearsals, music lessons, basketball practice and science club. Sometimes all we can fit in is a quick game of Sorry while sipping homemade milkshakes. But whatever we do, it’s a date none of us wants to miss. I want them to know they’re my priorities and that I cherish the time we have together.
Amidst all the hoopla, I look for teachable moments. Years ago, the topic of following rules came up. So I got an idea to help them understand how important it was to obey. Giving them some paper and colored pencils, I asked them to draw a fence with a gate. Inside they were to place happy things. I loved their perspective on what is good. They drew stick figures holding hands with big smiles. Happy faces and musical notes. Birds in trees and rays of sunshine. Even flowers.
Outside the fence, they were to draw pictures of hurts and sadness. They came up with someone throwing stones; a broken heart; tears and a figure standing all alone with no one to help. The lesson being that there was love and protection inside the fence. But when they got outside of it, only pain and trouble. I explained that God’s rules were put in place to give life, joy, peace and provision. I wanted them to get a picture of the rewards of obedience. And the consequences of rebellion.
Even after all these years, they get it when I say, stay inside the fence. (May all of us remember to do the same)!
John 10:1-10 excerpts
I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber…I tell you the truth, I AM THE GATE for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I AM THE GATE; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
Questions to Consider:
1. What is the truth Jesus declares here?
2. Who are the thieves and robbers to whom Jesus refers?
3. What other ways might people devise to get into the “sheep pen”?
4. How does Jesus describe himself?
5. Describe the difference between the mission of Jesus and the thief.
Jesus used word pictures to clarify truth. He said He was the Gate for the sheep. The sheep pen in Bible times was surrounded by walls open to the sky but with only one entrance. Several flocks of sheep would be held there, protecting them from wandering and from wild animals. We are like sheep who have gone astray. The Lord wants us to stay close to Him and not wander away. Isn’t this a beautiful picture of protection for us as the Lord’s sheep! It’s inside the fence where all our needs our met. I love that Jesus came to give us abundant life. The enemy is out to kill, steal and destroy. But praise God, Jesus came to destroy the works of the evil one. Our part is to stay close to the Shepherd of our souls and obey His Word. It’s where abundant life is found. Stay inside the fence. The rewards are eternal.
2 thoughts on “Knowing Christ – Lesson 4”
This is a wonderful parable – those who know the name of JESUS – know HIS voice and follows after HIM in this old world of sin. JESUS will always be with the ones who call on HIS name at all times – HE is the way – HE makes a way for us in all of our battles down here on earth – if we only believe on HIM at all times. The thieves and robbers are the ones who do not believe on HIS name – they try to get in through the gate with the saints also – but JESUS know them. You and I know HIS voice when HE speaks to each one of us – HE called our name and leads us out of danger. You and I only know HIS voice and will follow close to HIM in our lives – what a wonderful feeling. JESUS says HE is the door of the sheep – I am the door – we enter the door and are saved and follow after our MASTER. The thief always comes to steal – kill and destroy life. The thief always wants to destroy us in our lives. JESUS has come that you and I may have life abundantly by serving HIM down here on this earth. What a wonderful day that will be with HE returns for all of HIS sheep and takes us home to Heaven. I love the story of how you enjoy your grandchildren so much and have taught them many lessons – those lessons will always be remembered. My grandmother was always with me growing up as a child – while Mother worked – she was a GODLY grandmother and taught me many things and I remember a lot of those things today – I tried also to instill many things in my children when they were small about the LORD and serving HIM with their lives – I am so proud they are still serving the LORD and going to church each week. GOD is so good to all of us who live for HIM. As we grow older we just want to be as close to JESUS as we can get with our lives and help in any way to lead them to the LORD. Thanks again – Karen – I have many verses of the BIBLE to study and remember – show them to others. We must do the work of our SHEPHERD.
I always love your illustrations of times with the Grandkids. You are so right about things changing as they grow older; so busy and less time with us but we say quality time not necessarily quantity time. I love that my girls and my grandkids are in church serving the Lord. May we all stay inside the fence and listen to HIS voice. Love and Blessings.