Monday, August 8, 2011


Rev 3:8 ""I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name."

Doors are cool things. I mean they can be plain and just protect us from what is on the outside, or they can be fancy and nice to look at. When Elise and Austin went to Europe, she took pictures of all kinds of doors. We asked her to give us copies, which we framed and now hang in our hallway. Some are square, some are curved at the top, some are metal, some are solid wood, some are carved, some are recessed. The similarity with all of them however…they are all shut. They keep us out of what is inside. We have no idea what the house is like inside because no one has opened the door for us. And those inside stay there. (At least when the pictures were taken.) We are outsiders.

Once again, John begins to write to a schizophrenic church…Sardis. They were alive but dead. Unfortunately, it looks like this was more the rule than the exception back in that day. But then something changes. The next two churches were contrasts. The church at Philadelphia and the church at Laodicea. The church at Philadelphia is a church who had kept God's word…they did not deny Jesus' name in any way. The church at Laodicea was not hot or cold, but just lukewarm…compromising…tasteless…comfortable. God's response to both: To the church at Philadelphia He said: "Because you have kept my command to persevere, I will keep you from the hour of trial…". Now I am not going to get into the meaning of that, except for this one comment. The church that was consistent was the church that was protected. Then to Laodicea He said: "Because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth." Not good.

And then the question that hits my mind: What are we? What am I? Schizophrenic? Consistent? Lukewarm? This is a tough question. I obviously want to be consistent. I want to keep God's word and not deny the Name of Jesus. But then there are times when I am disappointed to see that I may fall into one of the two other camps. Unfortunately, this is the state of the human condition. Just take a look at what Paul said in Romans 7, and we can see that he struggled too. But then this…Rom 8:1: "There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Words of hope. Words to hang on to. Words of truth. And there was always hope for the church that was lukewarm. "Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him and He with Me." Rev 3:20 God wants our fellowship more than anything. He does not want us to wallow in guilt, or pity, or condemnation. He, instead wants us to enjoy a meal with Him. How? Open the door. Open my mind. Open my spirit. Let Him in and let Him take over. Not schizophrenic, not lukewarm but consistent…keeping His word, upholding His Name. And all it takes is "a little strength" which God supplies.

And what will I see? Open doors that no one can shut. Not massive things that keep us out or prevent us from coming out, but open doors that allow us to move and work and do what God wants. What doors do I see opening for me? What doors do I see opening for Lake Ridge? I know that we have our issues, but thank God, He is at work. He is giving strength and I see some doors opening. Walk through them. No one can shut them.

Interesting…a contrast in doors…open doors for Philadelphia and a closed door that needs to be opened for Laodicea. The similarity? They both can be opened. No matter what, there is hope. There are opportunities. There is fellowship. No matter where I am, no matter where anyone is, God wants to move in and do amazing work. Open the door and keep it open.

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