Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday's with Jesus #118

#118 "Can You Hear Me Knocking?"
October 23, 2007
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3: 20)
Have you ever gone to someone's home and knocked on the door or rang the doorbell over and over again, and no one came to answer? You could hear their dog barking, music or the TV playing, and you knew they were in there, but no one ever opened the door?
Our verse today comes from the message that Jesus Himself had for the church at Laodicea (Rev. 3: 14-22). This was a church that He called "lukewarm...neither hot nor cold". They thought that they were all that. They imagined themselves to be rich, wealthy and in need of nothing. They had it goin' on. Or so they thought. But in contrast, Jesus said they were poor, blind and naked. This message was not for those who didn't believe in Jesus. It was, and still is, a message for believers. It is just as much a message for the church of 2007, and for you and me, as it was for the Laodicean believers in their day.
Dramatically Christ pictured Himself as standing outside and knocking on a door. You may have seen the familiar painting of this scene where the latch is not shown, but is assumed to be on the inside. Christ's appeal is for those who hear, to open the door and let Him come in. To those who open the door, He promises to "go in and eat with him and he with Me." 
When Jesus says, "Here I am!", notice the exclamation point. He's trying to get our attention. In essence He's saying, "Hello, Hello, is anyone in there?" But we are preoccupied with so many things. We're too distracted to hear the knock. Do we hear Him? Or are we even listening?
This door is one that only we can open. The latch is on our side of the door. Jesus is knocking at your heart's door. What is so wrong is that Jesus is standing on the outside, excluded from all of our activities and programs and the business of our lives. We have, in effect, shut him out. We've become self-sufficient, complacent and only marginally Christian. 
The tense used in the words of Christ reveal that He is continually standing and knocking. He doesn't go away. He doesn't just knock a couple of times and leave. He is patiently waiting for you to answer the door of your heart to His gentle knocking. I say gentle because He's not beating your door down. He lets you know He's there even if you're not paying attention. The knock may come in the sweet song of a bird in the morning. He's calling you when you see the morning star in the dark sky. He's whispering your name when you hear the laughter of a child. A sunrise, a rainbow, a cool breeze on your face. Good news from a friend. An answered prayer. Or maybe in the realization that you had the strength to bear your problem without having a nervous breakdown. You know it wasn't your strength, but His strength was made perfect in your weakness.
Are you listening? Can you hear Him? Are you ignoring the knock and the call? We can ignore Him when we don't confess our sins. When we aren't praying. When we aren't reading and meditating on His Word or going to church. Do we hear His voice at all? Like He said to His people in Matthew 23: 37, Jesus says to you..."how often I have longed to gather [you] together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing." He wants to be close to you. He wants to be where you are. He wants to eat with you. Are you willing?
Sharing a meal is a time of close fellowship. Great business deals are made over dinner. Romantic dinners strengthen relationships. Secrets are shared when friends meet for lunch. Jesus says He wants to eat with you. He wants that time of fellowship with you. That time of closeness where it's just you and your Savior. Sharing secrets, talking things out, including Him in every minute detail of your life. He's knocking. He's calling. Can you hear Him? Are you even listening?
We need more than just our experience of salvation to get us through this world that we live in, with all of it's problems and circumstances and half-truths and chaos. Yes, we'll make it to Heaven someday, but we will miss out on the fullness of life here...in the land of the living...that a closeness with Christ will give us. Slow down, my brother or sister. Listen. Do you hear the knock at the door of your heart? The latch is on your side. It's up to you. Hear His voice and open the door. Today.
Donna Schultz
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