People everywhere are trying to find the way to someplace better. Dissatisfied with their lives, they seek a “better” reality. Sometimes it is their career advancement or a new relationship with someone. For many it is materialism; acquiring newer and better things to get momentary satisfaction. Maybe life is so difficult that they turn to substance abuse. Ultimately what everyone needs is to seek the presence of Jesus Christ in their lives. We all need to find the Way, and begin experiencing true reality in Christ.
Jesus said, “I am the Gate. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved” (John 10: 9). In other passages in the Gospel of John, Jesus states “I am … The Bread of Life, The Light of the World, The Good Shepherd, The Way, The Vine, and The Resurrection and the Life.” Jesus is saying that if we have Him, we have everything. We have found all there is to find. No further acquisitions or achievements are needed. Satisfaction and fulfillment is found in Him. For many of us we know that peace and joy.
As we enter the Gate, He becomes our Good Shepherd. This is what we were designed for. There is no other way; Jesus exclusively is the Way. Once we have found Him, we listen to His voice, and we follow wherever He leads. He protects us. In this personal relationship with Jesus, our purpose in life is fulfilled. That is wonderful news for us! And it is news that we are compelled to share with others. Jesus calls to them, often through you and me. While those who do not know Him cannot fully recognize His voice, His message resonates with them as His creation. They are drawn to the Gate. Along the way they encounter gatekeepers; saints like you and me. We then have the responsibility to bring them to the Gate with our words and actions. This is His Church in action. What we say, what we do, and how we do it, is the message the world hears from us.
The Church is a Gateway to Christ. Each person in the Church is a gatekeeper and guides people to Him. The Church is us in our families and the community, reaching out to the lost with His Message of hope and Salvation. The message we send is composed of our words, actions, lifestyle, and love for the lost. As His image bearers, we will draw the lost to Him only as we practice His presence in our lives. As we do, His Spirit will guide us to people and give us the words to say to walk them to the Gate. Jesus chose His Church, you and me, to accomplish this task. This is His Mission for us. With this Mission in mind, He has equipped us to be Mobilized in and outside of our church buildings.
Maricela Rodriguez was led by the Holy Spirit to minister in a greatly oppressed community. Drugs, crime, prostitution, child abuse, and much more are hourly occurrences in her community near Atlanta. God led her and equipped her. He brought her co-laborers and the resources she has needed to bring hope and healing to broken lives. Around forty souls are now part of her congregation; part of His Kingdom. Maricela and New Hope Church are gateways to Christ.
In less dramatic fashion, people in our churches are reaching the lost through acts of compassion. Backpacks full of supplies and food, clothing, bicycles, medical care, reading buddies at school, volunteers with Meals on Wheels. Paired with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, these people are bringing His Message of hope and salvation to people in their communities. Others are involved in community leadership and others through their workplace. Each is a Gateway to Jesus. Individually they are making a difference. Mother Teresa famously said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great Love.” We can’t do it all, but we can do our part.
Talk with your family and friends at church and in the community. What are the needs? Who are the hurting? Seek to discover what type of outreach Jesus is leading you to. Collaborate with others to gather the resources needed to go out and make a difference. Be the Church; a Gateway to Jesus.