In Bible times, a shepherd would take his sheep from pasture to pasture, making sure they were well fed and protected. At night, especially out in the wilderness, the shepherd would build a pen by piling up stones, leaving only one opening. After all the sheep were inside the enclosure, the shepherd would lay down across the opening, keeping his sheep safe. He was literally "the door."
The phrase "go in and out" was an Hebrew expression that referred to the activities of everyday life. When Solomon asked God for wisdom, he said that he did "not know how to go out or come in" (1 Kings 3:7). Today's verse tells us that Jesus is "the door." He is the Good Shepherd, the Way to Salvation, and He also guides us, for we (like Solomon) need daily direction.
Each day we must follow our Shepherd's leading: first, we must "GO IN" to God's presence, a place of protection and comfort. This is where we get our strength for the day. But we are not to live in the sheepfold. There are pastures where God wants us to labor, and there are souls who need to hear and see the Gospel lived through our lives. Just as a literal shepherd led his sheep to the best pastures, Jesus will lead us where we need to be today. Then, when our day is done, He wants to bring us back to the enclosure, to a place of rest and closeness with the Lord. I have found the best way to start AND end each day is by "GOING IN" and spending time with the Shepherd. The "GOING OUT" is much easier after that!
Where He leads I’ll follow, Follow all the way. Where He leads I’ll follow, Follow Jesus ev’ry day. — W. A. Ogden
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