Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Man, our garage was one busy place! I mean, you know, being in Youth Ministry, having meetings at our house. It was the fastest way to get to the basement. So, I mean teenagers were coming and going through the garage, and my wife and I were going in and out daily through the garage, and I usually had an armload of something. And in bad weather, the garage was the best way to get to the driveway, to the back yard. Well, listen, I tell you what. I got a great Christmas present that year - an automatic garage door opener. Never had one of those before.
Oh, that changed my life. Wow! It just meant so much with all I had to do and all I had to carry and how fast I was trying to move. Why, that door would open before I got there!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Open It Before You Get There."
Okay, our word for today from the Word of God comes from John 10:3-4. Some years ago we felt the Lord's leading to move from a ministry in Chicago. That was a place and it was people that we really knew well, and we knew we should move to the New York area; a place where we knew virtually no one. We were literally jumping from the very known to the very unknown. And God gave us a word from the Bible that was my anchor then and has been my anchor since then in a lot of uncertain moments.
Jesus says in John 10, speaking of the shepherd, "He calls his own sheep by name and he leads them out. And when he has brought out all of his own, he goes on ahead of them." Oh, man, I love that! I told you about that garage door opener. It makes sure that the way is open before I get there. I've got a Shepherd who does that, and so do you if you belong to Him.
See, the Shepherd gets there ahead of the sheep. And no matter how new, or how dark, or how scary, or how uncertain the path seems to be, the Shepherd has gone ahead of you there. I'm sure they did that back in Jesus' day. The shepherd would go wherever the sheep were being led - first - and he'd check it out and make sure there was pasture to feed them, see if there were any wolves there, and see where the edge of the cliff was so they wouldn't walk over it. Your Shepherd is doing that for you right now.
Maybe you're facing a situation that's got a lot of question marks. Maybe more than question marks; maybe even some frightening possibilities. You can be sure that Jesus is already there. He's way ahead of you, clearing the way, making sure that your needs will be met. He's dealing effectively with the dangers that are going to be there, and He is securing your future for you because you're a lamb in His flock. Yeah, He leads His sheep out, but then He goes before them.
Boy, I'm glad that's John 10:4 - it's kind of like the radio people saying, "Ten-four, good buddy. That's all you need to know; that the Shepherd goes on ahead of you." This is God's ten-four. Anywhere you walk under the Shepherd's leadership, the Shepherd has walked there first. You're going to find His footprints there when you get there, and that's all you need to know.
When you're in Christ's care and you're headed toward what seems to be a closed door, remember your Lord's going to be there first making sure that the door is open before you get there.