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Who At The Door Is Standing

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DoorWhat a beautiful song and message this is! My soul stirs within me as we sing this hymn, and it makes me acutely aware of the Lord’s tremendous love and patience. Think about these words from the second stanza:

“All thro’ the dark hours dreary, knocking again is He; Jesus art Thou not weary, waiting so long for me?”

            Many people wait so very long before submitting to Jesus and becoming Christians. Thankfully He is enduringly patient. We, as Christians, often procrastinate in our coming back to the Lord after we have sinned. Christians and non-Christians alike lay awake at night, pricked by a guilty conscience. That’s what the song is talking about, during the dreary hours, Jesus is “knocking” on the door of our hearts and hoping we will reconcile with Him. Consider the thoughts of David as he expresses the heaviness he feels in his heart: (Psalm32:4) “For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.” Have you ever felt as David did? What a terrible burden it is to bear, and the really horrible part is that we choose to place that burden on ourselves!

Here is the response the Lord wants in the third stanza: “Door of my heart, I hasten! Thee will I open wide; tho’ He rebuke and chasten, He shall with me abide.”

The Lord wants to abide or live with all people. Of course, He can’t abide with all people as they won’t all submit their will and ways to Him. That is the thrust of the song. He is waiting, waiting, and waiting…standing at the doorway of our heart, patiently enduring our silence, just waiting for us to open up. The refrain of the song ends with this statement: “If thou wilt heed My calling, I will abide with thee.”If” is such a small word to have so great a meaning. “If” will keep people separated from Christ. However, if we do His will, He will be with us forever. He will be with us through the good times and the times when we don’t know how we can continue. He will be there on Judgment Day and tell God that we are His and to welcome us home.

Have you let Jesus in? He is still patiently waiting outside the door of your heart. When will you let Him in or allow Him back into your life? Don’t make Him wait long as we may not be here to answer the door tomorrow.

Lord, Give Us More

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I cannot take credit for the list below, but neither can I remember where I received it from. Regardless, I found it encouraging and wanted to share with you.

It is often the case that when one is promoting a position, and another stands in opposition to that position, efforts are made to discredit the one who stands in opposition.  This is often accomplished by “name-calling” and “false-labeling.”  However, such tactics should not dissuade one who is standing in the right.

  • If opposing homosexual marriage is being homophobic, Lord, give us more homophobes!
  • If demanding strict obedience to the Bible is legalism, Lord, give us more legalists!
  • If opposing divorce, except for the cause of fornication, is idealistic, Lord, give us more idealists!
  • If opposing women leadership in the church is chauvinism, Lord, give us more chauvinists!
  • If dressing modestly is prudish, Lord, give us more prudes!
  • If opposing abortion is right wing, Lord, give us more right-wingers!
  • If believing in the inerrancy of Scripture is fundamentalism, Lord, give us more fundamentalists!
  • If total commitment is fanaticism, Lord, give us more fanatics!
  • If believing one should be a virgin when one marries is Puritanism, Lord, give us more puritans!
  • If believing in creation is foolish and unenlightened, Lord, give us more fools!

No matter what names the world and even some Christians may call you, if you stand for the truth, the Lord will call you “right.”  Give it some thought.

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (I Jn 1.5-7)

Hurt People Can Hurt People

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CryingWhen I was a teenager, I had a dog that was hit by a car. His hip was broken in the accident. Obviously, he was in a lot of pain. So when I picked him up to take him to the vet, do you know what he did? He bit me! I was only trying to be kind and help, but he bit me.

Same song, second verse…

Have you ever tried to reach out to someone who was obviously in pain in an effort to help them? When you have done so, have you ever been “bitten” by those you were trying to help? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you have. You see, I’ve come to realize that hurt people can hurt people.

 So here are two challenges we face in times of great stress in our life:

1)      Don’t let your fear of being “bitten” keep you from doing good for others. Seldom does doing good and helping another come without some cost. The gift of God’s grace for doing the right thing far outweighs the emotional or financial sting a hurting soul can dish out.

2)      When you are hurting, and someone reaches out with an offer of help, resist the urge to “bite”. Do not be afraid to graciously accept their help, try to understand that they are seeking your good. Sometimes it is difficult to admit that we need assistance, but we end up doing good ourselves by allowing others to serve God in helping their fellow man (even if it is us).

Consider this, being a Christian is much more than having the right answers to biblical questions. It’s also making oneself available to be used by Jesus to reach out to a hurting world with a healing message. Let’s be sure we share the love of Christ with our words and show His love through our deeds.

 

“By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13.35).

It’s MY Big Gulp

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Not too long ago now, there was an argument raging in the city of New York over the mayor’s dictate that a person cannot buy a single soft drink 32oz or larger. If you want a ‘big gulp’ from Seven Eleven then you will just have to buy two smaller ones and drink them both. The situation ignited the airwaves with controversy, something we Americans seem to thrive on.

BigGulp

            One nutritionist argued that America is eating itself to death, literally. Obesity rates are higher than in any other country she said. Not to mention the deaths caused by heart attack and diabetes that can be caused by overconsumption.

            While I do not accept the mayor of New York’s solution to sugar consumption, I did have to agree with one thing. We are a nation addicted to things that are not good for us both physically and spiritually.

            Consider the words of Christ, “Then He said to them all, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9.23)

When we are hungry, we eat, but often it is too much ‘comfort’ food. I wonder, do we feed our minds in the same way? We soak up shows like Duck Dynasty when we want to sit and relax…for hours. People spend more time in activities like texting or messaging friends than they do in even considering their own soul. Others just don’t have time to consume spiritual food, opting for the world’s drive through instead.

            If our desire is to be with God in heaven forevermore, then we have to find the strength to put ourselves aside and pick up the cross of Christ, every day. We must develop the courage not only to be seen with Christ, but to stand up for His cause.

            To be honest, it doesn’t matter if you want to walk around with your 44oz Coke from Sonic, it’s OK. But if we fill ourselves to overflowing with the world instead of God, then we will die a spiritual death. Don’t die a spiritual death! Take up your cross, open the Bible, eat the bread of life, drink spiritual water, feed your soul, follow in His steps and live with the Lord forever.

Twenty Seconds of Courage

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Every now and then a song or a movie comes along that just makes you feel good inside. In the movie, We Bought a Zoo, a scene is played out between a young man named Dylan and his father Benjamin. Dylan, who is confused about his feelings for a young lady says, “I like her. It’s like you embarrass yourself if you say something, and you embarrass yourself if you don’t”.

 Benjamin grins at his son in that way fathers have, takes a deep breath, and replies,

You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you…something great will come of it.”

            There is some truth found here for our own lives. Every now and then all we need is a little moment of insane courage in order to do great things for God. Caleb displayed great inner strength when he faced the weakness of the people and said of the Promised Land, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are able to overcome it.” (Num 13.30, 14). Daniel and his friends were able to gather their courage in the face of an angry King Nebuchadnezzar when the king asked, “and who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?” (Dan 3.16-18). Peter and John showed their trust and devotion to Jesus in the face of the high priest and other rulers of the Jews when they boldly declared the power of Jesus Christ to the people, even in the face of certain punishment or death (Acts 3.12-26).

            Finding that moment of insane courage which may needed to face down evil, to turn away from sinful actions, to stand up to your friends and family if need be, or to rise up and say, “I am ready to be a faithful servant of the Lord”, can be terrifying in this world often filled with hate, racism, and hypocrisy.

            Friends, you can take courage, we are not alone! God will strengthen us. The apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Php 4.13). Christ will strengthen you too! All you need is literally twenty seconds of insane courage, and I promise you…something great will come of it.

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