Embracing New Beginnings
2018 = A Year of New Beginnings
If you're anything like me, January can be a down month. All the hard work and buildup to Christmas is over and now it is time to refocus. It is the Hebraic year of 5778 and that number means "The Year of the Door."
Jesus is the Door!
John 10:9-16 Amplified Bible
"I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security). The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His [own] life for the sheep. But the hired man [who merely serves for wages], who is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming, deserts the flock and runs away; and the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. The man runs because he is a hired hand [who serves only for wages] and is not concerned about the [safety of the] sheep. I am the Good Shepherd, and I know[without any doubt those who are] My own and My own know Me [and have a deep, personal relationship with Me]— even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My [very own] life [sacrificing it] for the benefit of the sheep. I have other sheep [beside these] that are not of this fold. I must bring those also, and they will listen to My voice and pay attention to My call, and they will become one flock with one Shepherd."
On our calendar the number 8 represents "New Beginnings" and so with the two combined it looks like 2018 is going to be a very interesting year indeed. If you look at the last verse of this scripture, you will notice that Jesus declared He has other sheep "that are not of this fold." At first that struck me as odd. What was He talking about? I had to do a bit of research and put a few things into perspective.
Sheep of Another Fold
The question that needed to be answered first: Who was John writing to?
John was writing to the Jewish people, therefore, the sheep in the first pen were the Jews. Jesus was born into a Jewish family so he was Jewish. That makes sense, but still what about these "other sheep?" Who were they?
When Jesus walked the earth he spoke in parables and messages that spanned time because Jesus, being the Son of God, had come from being seated with the Father in Heaven. Heaven is outside of time. Keeping that in mind, I believe Jesus was referring to non-Jewish people who accepted Him before and would accept Him as AFTER His death and resurrection.
The "other" sheep then, are Gentiles who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. He is the Good Shepherd of ALL of His sheep regardless of what "pen" the come from.
The end part of the last verse is my favourite: "and they will become one flock with One Shepherd." Here Jesus is speaking of UNITY within the Body of Christ between Gentile believers and Jews who acknowledge Jesus as Messiah. Isn't that glorious!?
For me the "New Beginnings" have already started. I officially launched this website on January 1, 2018. I am stepping off my map and being obedient to what God has asked me to do. I am both excited and terrified. I take comfort in the fact that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.
So stay tuned for announcements coming up soon!
I think that is cause for celebration, so please share your "New Beginnings" in the comments section below.