Gates-inspirations from Nehemiah

All my recent posts on gates can be found here:

Gates-The Sheep Gate,

Gates-The Fish Gate,

The Rubbish Gate,

The Valley Gate,

The Fountain and Water Gates,

The Horse Gate

Gates – The Inspection Gate

Gates – The Inspection Gate

This is the last in my series of posts on the Gates. I will include a link to all of them on a separate post as well for ease if you haven’t seen or had chance to read the others.

The Miphkad Gate or The inspection Gate

The bible teach us that Jesus is coming back (Hallelujah) and we should live today and each day with that in mind.    

Whatever we are doing -let us do it with an eye to the future and make it count.

This gate reminds me of the judgement seat of Christ.  An inspection appointment.

The bible teaches us that one day we, as Christians, will give an account of ourselves to Christ. We will appear before His throne and Christ will judge our works.  Each one of us individually will appear before Him. How we long to hear those words from His lips “Well done good and faithful servant”. Christ has gifts for us as rewards for our faithfulness to Him.

We can be confident that we are not being judged for sin to face the wrath of God because our sins have been paid for by Jesus’ precious blood, but we will give an account for our works or in other words how have we have lived out our lives for Jesus as His follower.

Paul teaches on this in 2 Corinthians Ch 5 – v 9  “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad“.

What is Christ looking for? 

I believe it is His character reflected in us and how it has manifested in and through our lives as the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are exhorted to be doers of the Word and not just hearers.

Matthew 7 – v 17 – “Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit“.

This takes us right back to the Sheep Gate where we started our journey around the gates – We have to be rooted in Christ to bear good fruit.

John 15 talks of the true vine and Jesus says:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you will be My disciples.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit working in our lives is Galatians 5: 22 – ” love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, – Against such there is no law: And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires“.

If we are rooted in Him then the good fruit will be produced naturally by the Holy Spirit working in our lives and what we do will be good and pleasing to Jesus.

Let us not become weary in doing good but let us encourage each other to grow in our love for Jesus, the Holy Scriptures and to be wells of living water to those we meet. To boldly proclaim the Word of God in season and out of season.

I have added a link here to another post which I posted some time back on Being a Faithful Servant.

Blessings to all.

 

Gates-The Fountain and Water Gates

Two gates today which I have mentioned together as they are both water related. The Fountain Gate and the Water Gate.

These gates have been very much in my thoughts and prayers the last week or so. At church we have been considering wells. We are all wells for Jesus. Sometimes our wells can become blocked, capped, or run dry. There are some people whose wells have been capped by others. Perhaps capped intentionally or sometimes unintentionally by a thoughtless criticism or harsh word.

The Lord wants to see those wells uncapped. I am sure you can recognise some capped wells that you know. Could you pray for them to be released. For healing of those hurts of the past and the restrictions to be lifted off people. It’s time to uncap those wells. Spring up oh wells is the cry of our hearts.

The enemy will seek to hinder us from being wells and we need to guard the wells of our heart. Sometimes our wells become polluted because it’s not pure water that we are allowing in. As my friend Paul wisely said this week, if we are pouring out a drink offering for others then may it be the pure living water of Jesus Christ, the Living Word that we offer them. May we be cleansed and purified by Jesus.

The Fountain Gate

Nehemiah repaired the Fountain Gate.   This gate reminds us of Jesus, who is the fountain of living water and the Holy Spirit freely given to us, who lives in us and fills us daily by His power.

There is a living well of spiritual water for us to draw from daily.   

It is an inexhaustible supply that will never run dry.      

Jesus said we never need to thirst again when we come to Him because He is the living water.   He can satisfy our thirst in all areas and bring refreshing to us.   

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

John 7:37-39

When we are tired, weary or discouraged then we can come to the Fountain Gate and be refreshed.   We can drink deeply of Jesus and be restored.     

If we forsake the living water then we will be dry and empty with nothing to give.  Our source of spiritual life is Jesus and the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. The promise in Jesus’ words is that if we believe in Him then rivers of living water will flow from us. That’s a promise from Jesus. We have to thirst, come, drink, believe and let the river flow. No capping.

timelapse photography off water fountain
Photo by Gabriel Peter on Pexels.com

 

The Water Gate

This gate speaks to me of the power of the Word of God (Holy Scripture) which is at work in our lives.    The bible teaches us that we are washed by the Word of God.   The Word of God is living, powerful and true – a test of our thoughts and intentions of our hearts.  

When we read, meditate and act on the Word of God then we see the fruit of its out-working in our lives and it keeps us on the right path.

The Water Gate was the only gate which it seems did not need to be repaired by Nehemiah as it doesn’t mention the repairs. They repaired opposite that gate and then the next section after it.

Palal son of Uzai worked opposite the angle and the tower projecting from the upper palace near the court of the guard. Next to him, Pedaiah son of Parosh and the temple servants living on the hill of Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate towards the east and the projecting tower.”

Nehemiah 3:25-26

This speaks to me powerfully.

The Word of God endures for ever.     

God’s Word does not need to be improved, added to or altered. It is complete just as it is.   It is the best instructions, which are never irrelevant or outdated, for a life lived to God’s glory and fulfilling in every way. It’s the manual for successful living in God’s eyes. Not worldly success as we know it but Kingdom living.

Gates -The Rubbish Gate

Just as the name suggests this gate which Nehemiah rebuilt was the one used to get rid of the rubbish and waste from the city. The rubbish has to go somewhere.

I don’t know about you but even after being a Christian for over 40 years, I am still a work in progress. Working out my salvation. I sin (even when I don’t want to or intend to) and get things wrong. However, I don’t write myself off. Even though I sin, I know that the power of sin over me has been broken because of the work of Jesus Christ at the Cross.

I repent when I know I have done wrong or when the Holy Spirit convicts me and I am forgiven and cleansed by the power of the blood of Christ. The rubbish is swept out of the door. When the accuser comes to me I just point to the blood of Jesus and he has nothing on me. The slate is wiped clean.

I don’t use the grace of Christ as a licence to sin though but I rely on the grace of God in my life and the work of the Holy Spirit to convict me of sin. Keeping short accounts and pursuing a life in Christ.

If there is still rubbish in your life or you are carrying it around then I encourage you to get rid of it. It is only choking the word of God and the fruit of the Spirit from maturing in us. If we allow the Holy Spirit to search our hearts then He will convict us of sin. Keeping our hearts soft so they do not become hardened by sin and disobedience.

Guard the gate to your heart. There is so much rubbish out there in the world, don’t let it through the gates to contaminate and pollute your soul and mind.

What rubbish needs to be out of our lives today? Let’s be ruthless with it and get rid of it – once and for all through Jesus.

Photo by Emmet on Pexels.com

Gates-The Fish Gate

The Fish Gate is another gate which was rebuilt by Nehemiah. Fishes have been associated with Christianity for many years. The sign of the fish is still a symbol you see denoting Christian faith.

As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to be “fishers of men”.

The body of Christ has been given the great commission to go out into all the world and make disciples of Jesus. It is the mandate from Christ to His church.

If we just put all of our efforts into catching fish though and seeing converts, people being saved, but we don’t disciple them properly afterwards, then we shouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see any growth or maturity and people fall away from faith. The Christian life is one of walking daily with Jesus and serving God and each other.

Discipleship requires service, commitment, love and sacrifice. In order to walk alongside people, especially people who are hurting, we will need grace, patience, empathy and love in abundance. The Holy Spirit will help us to develop the fruit of the Spirit in us as we disciple others.

It’s such a blessing to help other believers to grow and mature in faith in Jesus. There is a cost to following Jesus and it’s important that we present the whole gospel to people. The Christian life can be one of suffering, hardship and persecution because of our faith in Jesus and preparing people for that is a key part of discipleship. The Lord is with us in all circumstances of life, the ups and downs. Our God is big enough to handle the challenges and hard questions. We do a dis-service to God if we do not study and present the whole of scripture.

So are the nets (our churches) ready for the catch or do they need some repair work to avoid people falling through the gaps. Are you personally willing to receive and disciple new converts. If you are a follower of Christ then I encourage you to share your testimony and life with others who are new to the faith and disciple them. Help them and strengthen them to grow and mature in Christ and share your experiences with them. We all have something to offer in service to Jesus. Is there someone that you can take under your wing today or give a supporting hand?

We often leave the discipling to others but as someone said it’s just an invitation to someone to “come journey with me as I journey with Jesus”.

Jesus invites us to follow Him and become more like Him. That is the discipleship journey – to become like the Master. We are all on the journey together, at different stages, but we can all help each other to keep pressing on to the finishing line.

Gates-The Sheep Gate

I did a series of posts a couple of years ago on Gates and I am re-posting them with a couple of tweaks over the course of this week. The posts were inspired by a teaching I heard a Pastor give many years ago at church from the story of Nehemiah. I have also over the years used the material in small group teaching. The book of Nehemiah is rich material for a bible study and discussion group as there are valuable lessons for us that we can apply.

To set the scene, the Lord leads Nehemiah by His Spirit to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the ruined gates and walls of the city.

Here are some questions for us to consider. How and what are we building in our lives?

I am encouraged by the example of how to build from Nehemiah Chapter 3. The order in which Nehemiah describes how the gates and walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt is an example of how the Holy Spirit leads and inspires us to build in our lives.

The Sheep Gate was the first gate to be rebuilt. This is the most important gate in our lives. We have to come to God through the Sheep gate. The bible teaches us that it is only those who enter in by Jesus Christ (the Shepherd and the Sheep gate) who can come into relationship with God. Jesus said that no-one could come to the Father but by Him.

Have we come to God by repentance through the Cross of Jesus and understood the power of the Cross in our lives. That the power of sin and death is broken because of what Jesus has accomplished for us by His death and resurrection. That we are now children of the living God, adopted into God’s family. If we try and build on anything apart from the true foundation of the revelation of Jesus Christ and the Cross we will build wrongly. Jesus Christ has to be the cornerstone of our faith.

We all need to enter in through the Sheep gate to be a true sheep, no exceptions.

Jesus Christ warns us about those who don’t come in by the Sheep gate.

They are not sheep but wolves in Sheep’s clothing and there are false shepherds.

In John chapter 10 v 1-11 Jesus says “Most assuredly I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” “But he who enters by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep – To him the doorkeeper opens and the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep he goes before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Jesus went on to explain: “Most assuredly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before me are thieves and robbers but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door, If anyone enters by Me he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”

Please be on your guard of any teaching or doctrine about Jesus which is contrary to what the Bible reveals to us about Jesus.

We need to come to God through a true revelation of who Jesus is, why his death on the Cross was necessary and the power of His resurrection. The bible teaches that Jesus was God’s son, the Word made flesh. Jesus came as God in the flesh. Jesus died for our sins but was raised again victorious and ascended back to Father God in heaven. God has given Him all authority and power and a name above all Names. Jesus sits at God’s right hand and makes intercession for us. One day Jesus will return for His church as He promised.

An interesting detail is that the Sheep gate was the only gate that didn’t have locks and bars. To me this symbolises that the way to God is open through Jesus and it is open to everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done. Nothing can disqualify you from receiving grace and forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ and the redemptive power of the Cross.

If you have never come through the Sheep Gate then I encourage you to confess your sins and take that step by faith in Jesus today. Receive forgiveness and start a new life in Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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