GATES…are plentiful in everyday life around the world. We have four in our small yard, mostly for security. Gates come in all sizes and shapes, with numerous uses. As we were traveling in the area of Tennessee where Joanne grew up, we encountered a very old gate with stone pillars (pictured below). They were there when she was a child. Some things endure. Aren’t we glad!Naturally, my thoughts turned to Scripture. We have always heard the term ‘pearly gates’ which portrays the image of the entrance into heaven. Having traveled to Israel, we witnessed the massive gates to the ‘old walled city’. Psalm 122.2 (ESV) declares this. “Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.”
The scriptures refer to gates in over 300 verses. All are significant. In Psalm 127.5 we see that a man of renown would sit at the city gates to speak with their enemies. He essentially was the gatekeeper along with other men of the city. There are so many men in the Old Testament that were chosen to be gatekeepers in numerous capacities.
Jesus is the gate
Jesus addressed this also. He said he was the door or the gate, words of the same meaning. We only have to look at John 10 to see the significance of Jesus’ words. Read vss. 1-10. I have selected a few. “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the Shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. In verse 7 Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture.” (NIV)
Dads, you are the Lord’s gatekeeper for your family. You are to guard your children, allowing God’s word to come into their hearts and minds. You are the one appointed to open the gate to allow Jesus to enter, the great shepherd of your sheep. Today, as never before, there are myriads of ‘thieves and robbers’ trying to turn their hearts and minds away from God and to the world, with all its trappings. Your children must have a godly gatekeeper, and no one can fill your role like you. Your little lambs hear your voice, and they follow you. To where and to whom are you leading them? What are you allowing to penetrate their lives?
Be a good gatekeeper
While they are young, model and teach them to love the word of God, and to understand the great power and privilege of prayer. That’s what gatekeepers do. The men of renown that stood at the city’s gates engaging their enemies and would-be enemies understood the significance of their role. Do you? The welfare of their city was at stake, and so is your family’s.
The Lord Jesus has appointed you to be that gatekeeper. He is interceding for you daily; he has sent the Holy Spirit to be your constant companion and helper. Yield your gatekeeping to them, daily. It is the formula for successful gatekeeping. And for sure, don’t leave the gatekeeping to others.