The Open Door

opened brown wooden french door

“…I have set before you an open door…”  Revelation 3:8

 

Did you ever wonder about the meaning of words? Words can be very fascinating! A word could be pronounced the same although spelled differently and the meaning is totally different. Then there are some words that there is no doubt as to their meaning and how they are spelled.

However, a word such as “door” could have more than one meaning depending how it is used. The first image that comes to mind is a moveable structure used for opening and closing an entrance, but it can also be a symbol—which can be easily overlooked. As a symbol, it symbolizes the transition and passageway from one place to another, perhaps as moving from a place of hopelessness to hope.

You haven’t been able to open the door, you don’t have the key—you’ve looked and looked and cannot find it. Then one day almost miraculously, you look and there is a crack in the opening and light is coming through. Cautiously, you lean forward and peak through. You give the door a little push and it opens a little farther. There are people in there and a strange sound comes forth. It is the sound of their voices—there is music and laughter and singing and much chitter-chatter, you want to join them. But, to walk through this door you must have faith—that is the key.

I saw a young—twenty or thirty something—young lady. She entered the hall and asked if she could sit at a certain table. When she was told, “Of course,” she sat, smiled, and the people at the table introduced themselves. However, the music was too loud to be able to carry on a conversation. This young lady seemed to want to blend in with the crowd. Soon she was mouthing the words of the songs. The Spirit began to work and she forgot about herself and allowed the Lord to fill her with His Spirit. This young lady had walked through the door from a hopeless to a hope-filled life. You see, Jesus is the door—He is the open door. You, too, can come in and sit and dine with him—all you need to do is believe.

Don’t be afraid to open the door. Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart, asking you to open it and let Him in. (Revelation 3:20) Unlock the door, have faith, and never look back. Forget about what lies behind and press forward to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:13, 14) Each door that opens will bring you closer to the life for which God has created you.

Holy Scripture as quoted in “If I Live,” by Terri Blackstock, published by Zondervan; “If I Run Series” Book 3

Seek God’s kingdom first (Matthew 6:33); love because you’re loved (John 13:34); overflow with hope by trusting in God (Romans 15:13). “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Dear Lord, remind me daily—every moment—that You love me. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Have faith until you believe, then have faith because you believe.

 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved…”

Acts 16:31

Also,

John 4:24   2 Corinthians 3:17   Psalm 34:8

In Forgiveness You Will Receive

 

blue purple red and yellow heart printed poster

“…Not seven times…seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:22

How many times have you ever heard someone say—or perhaps you yourself have said—“I can never forgive them?”  My heart breaks when I hear those words. Why? Because that person has put themselves in a prison that will only reap bitterness until he/she forgives. It will be a sad and dark life in which they see no beauty, no light for the future.

Several years ago an Amish community suffered a terrible loss. Someone came into one of their school houses and killed eleven of the students, after which, he killed himself. It must have been a horrific scene, as you can imagine. And, the children who witnessed all of this must have been traumatized! Yet, the Amish people forgave this man and even, helped his wife and family through their grief. A testament to the way of life the Lord Jesus has laid out for those who follow him.

So when you hear someone say, “I cannot forgive,” know the first thing that person needs to know is that God loves them. They need the Lord! They are lost in their grief. It is not that this horrible thing that has happened should go without punishment. It is about forgiveness that will release them from the burden they carry that should not be theirs to carry in the first place—it is the Lord’s burden and He will be the one to judge and punish. Another very important thing, when you forgive you are not condoning the person’s evil deed—you are releasing the burden you have been carrying and putting it where it needs to be—in God’s hands.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a story of the “Unforgiving Servant.” A king wanted to settle accounts with his servants. One was brought to him who owed an enormous amount which he could not pay. The king ordered the servant, his wife and children, to be sold. But, the servant pleaded with the king to have patience with him and he would repay what he owed. So the king forgave him. But, this same servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him money and demanded that he pay him what he owed!

When the king heard what happened, he sent for the unforgiving servant and sked him, “Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” (Matthew 18:33) The king sent, the unforgiving servant away to be tortured until he paid.

The scripture goes on to teach us that if this is what our Heavenly Father will do to us if we do not forgive as He has forgiven us. Our Father has forgiven us much—seventy-times-seven, we are called to repent of our sins and forgive those who sin against us. Only when you understand this can you live a blessed life. For you see, you cannot give away something you do not have.

 

Dear Lord, help me forgive as You have forgiven me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

God is rich in mercy and grace, but He is also holy and just, so those who refuse to forgive should not imagine that God would welcome their unforgiving hearts into His kingdom. (The Jeremiah Study Bible, pg. 115, note Matthew 18:35)

Matthew 18:21-22   Luke 17:4   Colossians 3:13   Psalm 103:10, 13

 

The Wrong Focus

 

“To set the mind on the flesh is death…” Romans 8:6

person playing on light

 

So many of us are rushing around tending to all the facets of our lives. There is home, work, and family—to say nothing of meeting all our desires. All of us have the same amount of time in a day—24 hours. But, some of us seem to run out of time.

The one thing that overrides everything else—or so it seems—is money. And when the pot gets big enough we call it, wealth. For that “money” has afforded us many material blessings. I use the word “blessings” in the worldly sense, for it seems that it has been with us since the beginning of time. It is the one thing that raises us up, one above the other—or so some think.

Here is the disaster that encompasses the world since the beginning of time—wealth corrupts our focus, if we allow it. And we celebrate too often or we fill our bodies with mind altering drugs and alcohol. It seems then you can think of yourself as accomplished only to find out when you awake, from such a state, that you are not only in the same place, but even a little lower. It becomes a vicious cycle. But, still there is hope.

Let’s get back to those 24 hours I mentioned earlier. Where is the time you’ve spent with God? Could that be what is missing and causes you to fall into the trap of discouragement? Take note of time. Don’t let it march by without spending even a few moments with God. The richness that He can give you through His love is much more valuable than all the riches of the world. You will not need drugs and alcohol to make you feel important. Instead of being filled with spirits, you will be filled with His Spirit.

Don’t worry you can do it! All you need do is decide.

The Psalmist writes, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (37:4)

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” (37:5)

The Psalmist also tells us, “…do not fret over those who prosper in their way…it leads only to evil.” (Psalms 37:7, 8)

All you must do is pray and do what is right, then the Lord will supply all your needs.

Trust and obey—there is no other way. And for those of you who have found your way—reach out and touch someone who needs you.

Dear Lord, help me find my way to the life you have promised me. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

 

Romans 8:5   I Corinthians 2:15   Galatians 5:22   Luke 21: 34-35   Romans 13:14

Galatians 6:7-8

The Open Door

facade of an old building with a huge arched wooden door

“…I have set before you an open door…”  Revelation 3:8

 

Did you ever wonder about the meaning of words? Words can be very fascinating! A word could be pronounced the same although spelled differently and the meaning is totally different. Then there are some words that there is no doubt as to their meaning and how they are spelled.

However, a word such as “door” could have more than one meaning depending how it is used. The first image that comes to mind is a moveable structure used for opening and closing an entrance, but it can also be a symbol—which can be easily overlooked. As a symbol, it symbolizes the transition and passageway from one place to another, perhaps as moving from a place of hopelessness to hope.

You haven’t been able to open the door, you don’t have the key—you’ve looked and looked and cannot find it. Then one day almost miraculously, you look and there is a crack in the opening and light is coming through. Cautiously, you lean forward and peak through. You give the door a little push and it opens a little farther. There are people in there and a strange sound comes forth. It is the sound of their voices—there is music and laughter and singing and much chitter-chatter, you want to join them. But, to walk through this door you must have faith—that is the key.

I saw a young—twenty or thirty something—young lady. She entered the hall and asked if she could sit at a certain table. When she was told, “Of course she sat, smiled, and the people at the table introduced themselves. However, the music was too loud to be able to carry on a conversation. This young lady seemed to want to blend in with the crowd. Soon she was mouthing the words of the songs. The Spirit began to work and she forgot about herself and allowed the Lord to fill her with His Spirit. This young lady had walked through the door from a hopeless to a hope-filled life. You see, Jesus is the door—He is the open door. You, too, can come in and sit and dine with him—all you need to do is believe.

Don’t be afraid to open the door. Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart, asking you to open it and let Him in. (Revelation 3:20) Unlock the door, have faith, and never look back. Forget about what lies behind and press forward to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:13, 14) Each door that opens will bring you closer to the life for which God has created you.

Holy Scripture as quoted in “If I Live,” by Terri Blackstock, published by Zondervan; “If I Run Series” Book 3

Seek God’s kingdom first (Matthew 6:33); love because you’re loved (John 13:34); overflow with hope by trusting in God (Romans 15:13). “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Dear Lord, remind me daily—every moment—that You love me. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

 

Have faith until you believe, then have faith because you believe.

 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved…”

Acts 16:31

Also,

John 4:24   2 Corinthians 3:17   Psalm 34:8

Three Words

text on shelf

 

“The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock…” 2 Samuel 27:87

 

The storms of life are raging—please, O Lord, give me grace to move through it.

What is it, do you suppose, that makes one person attack another with such great vengeance—without seemingly a conscience? And, at times, even sacrificing themselves. I know you know what I am talking about, even though, you try to be oblivious to it. Some will not even listen to the news or read about it when these horrible acts are reported! They just turn their backs, but, that does not make them as though they did not happen! It is a reality of the time.

I want to talk to you about three words that are all but forgotten and are sorely needed.

  1. Respect–regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of another. This is a very definite attribute of the human character. The respect of a child toward their parents; the respect of the highest office in the land; or a husband to his wife and wife to her husband.

Jesus had the greatest respect for his mother, even as he hung in agonizing pain on the cross. However, no one had respect for Jesus, instead they abused him and put him to death. But, in the process he stayed true to his character—a man filled with love. He asked God to forgive those who had put him there, because they didn’t know what they had done. I believe, also, that he meant all who had turned their backs upon God—past, present, and future. And, he maintained his love and respect for his mother as he provided, by way of his beloved disciple, John, someone to care for her. Can you show such respect?

  1. Loyalty—to be faithful to one’s oath, engagements or obligations. A relationship can only survive under the banner of loyalty. The relationship of one’s nation, marriage, and parents, are the three basic relationships that demand loyalty and respect in your daily walk. Of course, the relationship that gives balance and strength to these three is your relationship with Almighty God through Jesus Christ.

 

  1. Honor—an attribute of men and women of high esteem, those who live by a code by which there is no doubt that they understand respect and loyalty in their relationships. Jesus never ceased giving His Father, God, all honor and glory in all that he said or did. He knew from whence He came, therefore, He acted in a way that emanated His Father and lived in high esteem of His Presence.

 

If you are reading this, I pray that you are also reading the scriptures that have been noted at the bottom of the page. And when you read them, may you understand that it is not just a nice story, but one that should be taken seriously and incorporated in your life. You and I, need to allow the Word of God to transform us and become the “Living Word” of God. For if you believe, you are a child of God, as is Jesus. This transformation is the only thing that will save you from becoming one of God’s enemies who have no respect, loyalty or honor. Mark writes, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (5:36) George Muller, in his book of meditations entitled “Faith” wrote, “As long as we are able to trust in God…the heart remains calm and peaceful.” (pg. 7)

 

Dear Lord, turn my face to You and fill my heart with love—even for my enemies. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Proverbs 27:17   Psalm 144:1   2 Samuel 22:35

The Wrong Focus

fb_img_1428509650363

“To set the mind on the flesh is death…” Romans 8:6

 

So many of us are rushing around tending to all the facets of our lives. There is home, work, and family—to say nothing of meeting all our desires. All of us have the same amount of time in a day—24 hours. But, some of us seem to run out of time.

The one thing that overrides everything else—or so it seems—is money. And when the pot gets big enough we call it, wealth. For that “money” has afforded us many material blessings. I use the word “blessings” in the worldly sense, for it seems that it has been with us since the beginning of time. It is the one thing that raises us up, one above the other—or so some think.

Here is the disaster that encompasses the world since the beginning of time—wealth corrupts our focus, if we allow it. And we celebrate too often or we fill our bodies with mind altering drugs and alcohol. It seems then you can think of yourself as accomplished only to find out when you awake, from such a state, that you are not only in the same place, but even a little lower. It becomes a vicious cycle. But, still there is hope.

Let’s get back to those 24 hours I mentioned earlier. Where is the time you’ve spent with God? Could that be what is missing and causes you to fall into the trap of discouragement? Take note of time. Don’t let it march by without spending even a few moments with God. The richness that He can give you through His love is much more valuable than all the riches of the world. You will not need drugs and alcohol to make you feel important. Instead of being filled with spirits, you will be filled with His Spirit.

Don’t worry you can do it! All you need do is decide.

The Psalmist writes, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (37:4)

 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” (37:5)

 The Psalmist also tells us, “…do not fret over those who prosper in their way…it leads only to evil.” (Psalms 37:7, 8)

All you must do is pray and do what is right, then the Lord will supply all your needs.

Trust and obey—there is no other way. And for those of you who have found your way—reach out and touch someone who needs you.

Dear Lord, help me find my way to the life you have promised me. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Romans 8:5   I Corinthians 2:15   Galatians 5:22   Luke 21: 34-35   Romans 13:14

Galatians 6:7-8

A World War

man kneeling in front of cross

 

“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15

There is no easy way to say this: World War III is upon us! In fact, it may have even started, and we go along living our lives as though there is no tomorrow and all is rosy. The fact is we are living as a horse with blinders on, all we can see is what is straight ahead and do not see what is sneaking up beside us.

Be careful at what you allow your eyes to see and your ears to hear. Test everything by the word of God. Do not let your emotions take over your heart. What feels good is not necessarily good. The Devil disguises himself. He looks like a sheep, but is actually a wolf, his intentions are to separate you from the One who can save you from a life of suffering. I’m sure you have heard; the way to destruction is filled with good intentions.

Almost every day, my husband and I sit in our Florida room in the mornings while having our coffee, and we look out at the pond that lies out behind our home. We see all kinds of wild-life. It is amazing to watch them, each one, in their own kind of beauty, are doing what God has created them to do.

The Great Blue Heron walks majestically looking for its prey; the Anhinga pops up out of the water and flips a fish that it swallows and when it is done “fishing” climbs up on the shore and spreads its wings to dry them. There are ducks, the Black-Capped Night Heron, the huge Sandhill Cranes, and of course, the squirrels. Each of these build their “home” and try to survive among the many dangers that threaten their lives.

Among those dangers is the Alligator that threatens all the life around him. We see him floating “innocently” across the water. He swims toward the shore and when he gets there, he allows just his head and eyes to show above the water. He watches and waits for his next meal to devour. He is very patient, and if he finds nothing, he swims to another spot. He knows that sooner or later some careless, unsuspecting, creature will become his next meal.

The Alligator represents the Devil that roams the earth in search of his next meal that will serve to inflate his already overly inflated ego. He presents himself as the harmless one who speaks the words that will puff up your sense of being, making you believe that you have the “world by its tail,” when in truth it has you! Beware and be on the look-out for false truths. The thief—the Devil—can only kill and destroy, but Jesus came that you could have life and have it abundantly.

So, my friends, be aware, but do not be afraid. You can be victorious in this life by reading God’s Word and transforming it to your life. Allow the Lord of life into your heart that you may follow His commands and live a life of love. Yes, even your enemies! For living in the confines of God’s love is the only way to win the war. Do not allow yourselves to be separated from your Creator and Sustainer of life, for He has already won the victory and wants you to be victorious with Him.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, I see You coming in the clouds—I want to be right there behind You—help me, O Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Further reading

John 8:44   Matthew 13:38   2 Cor. 11:13   Jude 6   John 10:10/6:63

2 Peter 2:1   Romans 8:2