Acorns From Oakes

Seeing With Our Father's Eyes

Not Just At The Door…But At Your Door!

When our Lord addresses the last of the seven churches of Asia in the book of Revelation (3:14ff), He sadly, but lovingly points out how the Christians at Laodicea had allowed their devotion to  Him to moderate to room temperature…to lukewarmness. He encourages them not to settle for that anymore. He points them to the way back to love and then invites them to take it. But, did you notice where Jesus is located with respect to His church at Laodicea? What is He doing in verse twenty? He is knocking on the door. When you knock on a door, is it from the inside or the outside? Yes…astonishingly…Jesus is on the wrong side of the door of His own church! He stands outside knocking…waiting…longing for the door to be opened to Him.

Listen now…if a church isn’t open to Jesus Christ, what chance do sinners have there? How many people are going to be led to the grace of God in such a group? What are they doing even taking up space in the world? They are totally cut off from any real purpose. But the loving, patient, Lord stands knocking…inviting them to let Him in again.

Notice…how does a church open itself up to Jesus? It’s one soul at a time isn’t it? For Jesus said, “If anyone hears My Voice and opens the door…” The only way back for the church is for individual Christians to listen to Him again…to open up to Him again…as they had at the beginning. Whatever crowded Christ out of the life of that church, crowded Him out of the lives of individual members. They had become so self-sufficient…so arrogant… they didn’t think they needed Jesus Christ any more. They couldn’t have been more wrong!

But…and this is the most amazing fact of all to me…still Jesus stood knocking at the door…Why? To get in! Yes…but why? Well…so He could eat with them! Yes…BUT…WHY? Were there not many others who had opened their hearts to Christ and who wanted Him in their lives and gave Him the daily welcome? Yes! So why does He knock on the door of the church that turned Him out. Why does He knock on the door of the individual…the human heart…that no longer had a place for Him? BECAUSE…WONDER OF WONDERS…HE MISSES WHAT THEY HAD ONCE SHARED! Does Jesus get something out of our time spent with Him? Does it really mean anything to Him? Does He find something enjoyable about our fellowship…something for which He longs…something that He misses when we withdraw it? Yes. Unbelievably…YES! He knocks on our hearts…He invites us to supper…He wants us with Him… us…unworthy sinners that we are!

Dear Friend…the Lord of all…the Lord of heaven and earth…the risen Messiah Who reigns in glory at the right Hand of the Majesty on High…that One above all others…stands knocking not just on any old door, but on your door. Let all your protests of unworthiness be silenced and just listen. Be still and listen. Do you hear Him knocking? It’s not just anyone that He wants. It’s not just everyone that He wants. It’s you. It’s for you He knocks. It’s for you to open that He stands on the outside waiting. The banquet with Him that awaits you is more than worth whatever it takes for you to throw wide open the door to Him. Please…don’t keep Him waiting. Christian, don’t leave Him out of your life. What does it mean to you that He has prepared a dinner for two…for Him and for you? Don’t miss it!

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6 thoughts on “Not Just At The Door…But At Your Door!

  1. I shut the door on Jesus. I wanted to be away from Him. I hate to admit it but the truth was I didn’t want Him to see what I was doing. Even though He knows everything, I felt like if I shut that door and tried to keep Him out of my life I could do what I wanted and not feel guilty. That did not work. But I still kept Him shut out. He knocked…and knocked….He did not give up on me. I was flat on my face and completely hopeless. He kept knocking until I finally came to my senses and turned back to Him and opened that door to let Him back in my life.

    I hate that I kept the door shut for so long, but I am so thankful (not even close to a strong enough word) that Jesus wants me with Him in spite of that. It is hard for me to comprehend why He loves me so…but I am just glad that He does!

    Thank you Doug for reminding me (it is a particular talent of yours) for reminding me of Jesus’ love. I still fight the yuck that wants to bubble up telling me He can’t possibly love me. So your reminders are very much needed and appreciated!

    • oakesclan on said:

      Sherry,
      I know something about the yuck struggle…I had two days in the doldrums last week that I hated…but just couldn’t get my feelings in order. And this kind of thing happens to me now and again even at my tender age (I’m so over the hill that I’ve already peaked Mount Ancient and am sliding down the other side fast). I hate that such times come over me still, even after He has blessed and is blessing me so. How does He do it? How does He put up with this slowness of heart to believe all that He is to me and all that He wishes to do in and through me? A huge part of the Wonder of Him is that He does put up with it. When my endless weakness has manifested itself yet again…when those nearest and dearest to me on earth are so weary of it…when I am so sick at heart of myself that I can hardly stand it anymore…He is near to me…as always…so patiently speaking tenderly to me to open up again to Him. What a Father God is to us! I’m glad He’s yours…glad He’s mine…Wish everyone could open up to the security He offers us all.

  2. Gail on said:

    I just wanted to say that I know somewhat how sherryfisher feels about keeping the door shut on the one that wants us with him so much. I know this is going to sound simple (I don’t mean all the stuff in our lives that we have done wrong is simple because it did put our Jesus on the Cross). But thru that period of time I did not want to be close to God or Jesus. After I came to right thinking again I just knew God knows our humaness and he said he would forgive us if we ask. We do struggle with the human ways we have and what God knows is best for us. But I know when I asked my brothers and sisters to pray with me about this ugliness in my life that Jesus said if he still knocks and I let him in that he will still be there always knocking and waiting for me and all of us who are willing. Don’t think that my mind and heart does not go back to thinking of the stupid time that I lived in for awhile. But I try to remember that God said our sin will be as far and the east is from the west. It is FOREVER removed from us and he will remember it no more. But we remember and we have to keep trying to grasp that God does not remember anymore when we repent and get on with being God’s Child again. God said it and he showed it to us in the Bible…King David, Prodigal Son, Paul, Prostitute, Thief on the Cross, etc.

    I know we remember and that is why it is hard for us to think that how could God forget if we cannot forget. God is so far more merciful and gracious and loving to us than we will ever truly understand. He is all of that and more than I can even put into words, but my heart knows it somewhat. I say somewhat because we can still fall into how Satan wants us to think and feel. This is not Our God’s way of thinking. He truly does want us with him at the end of our Days. Don’t forget that our feelings and God’s Love and Forgiveness are different…a lot different.

    So I try to grasp that God knows our human ways (because Jesus lived here and talks to God on our behalf everyday in eternity). Jesus knows truly what it is like to be human and the struggles we have. God wants us to learn to lay these struggles down and let him guide us and Open the Door to living with him here on this earth and in Heaven (eternity) some day.

    I know this sounds too simple. I still have my blue days and times of remembering things that are not so good. But I really try to reason what God is like and His Wide Open Heart for Us if we are willing.

    Be with friends and people who love God that encourages your heart and feelings toward the God that we all want to Love and Know Better so we can be more at Peace with the ugliness that we have gone thru in this life.
    And sometimes when we have gone thru things in our lives we are able to be more like God here on this earth. We can become more ready to open our hearts to other people that are struggling now and who may someday come to know God because we might be able to help them in to know the God Who never has counted us out. We can tell them this about the God we know. He ever stands Knocking and wanting us to come in and lay our head on his breast for rest. I have heard someone even say “just to be like a little child and sit up on his lap and be safe in his arms”. And if we are in his arms we are SAFE.

    • oakesclan on said:

      It is a liberating thought isn’t it, Gail, to think how far God has removed our sins, all of them, from us? Now that’s news worth sharing with others. And I know you have that kind of heart…the kind that longs to share the good things of God with others. This quality you have received from your Lord Jesus Christ. The people Jesus shed His light upon…the “dregs” of society, as they might be called…these people were just as precious in His sight as any others. His reaching out to them surely inspires all of us to hope. No one is so far gone as to be beyond the reach of Grace. I hope that we in the church will be able to truly believe that…and to act upon it…so that our churches will really be more of a haven for lost souls that everyone else but God has given up on. May our churches have Jesus living INSIDE them…and may we be willing, earnest, involved in opening our doors to all lost people.

  3. The idea that Jesus misses me … misses time with me … is hard to grasp. It is hard for me to grasp the idea that anyone would pick ME to hang out with if they had any other choices. So to be told that He misses me in those times when I withdraw from Him … when I withhold my heart from Him … seems outside the realm of possibility.

    So often I focus on my insignificance in this world. I am only one … I am small, boring, and expendable. Feelings like this make me want to shut the door, not only to Him, but to everyone. There was a time in my life when I finally quit resisting and just shut the door. I shut the door, locked it, and hid myself away.

    I heard the knocking and I hid deeper into the darkness. I knew that no one would knock for long. I knew they were only knocking out of obligation so once they had fulfilled that obligation they would be on their way. And for some … this was true.

    But not Him. He knocked and knocked and knocked. If I left the house through another door, He would find me and knock wherever I was. He did not relent. He did not retreat. He sought me out … He never gave up.

    I finally opened the door. Thank God!!!

    I realize He knocks not only for me … but for you as well. But that doesn’t make me insignificant. No matter how many open the door He will keep looking for the ones that remain closed. His desire is that we are ALL with Him in paradise.

    It’s hard to wrap our brains around the idea that we are important to Him when there are so many in His world. Surely He is surrounded by enough hearts that He won’t miss mine. Heaven forbid that I ever believe that again.

    • oakesclan on said:

      I agree with you, Paige, that it is difficult for us, who are so aware of our failings, to accept that Jesus could get something out of time spent with us, time spent with me…that He could actually want to live in my heart…that He sincerely offers me partnership with Him in His work in and for this troubled world. Such thoughts are too wonderful for us. They are high. We cannot attain unto them. But they are true!
      When we are tempted to become lost in the vast number of humans that have and will inhabit planet earth, maybe it will help to think of the 100 sheep. Remember Jesus’ story in Luke 15 about the shepherd who left the 99 sheep to go after the single lost sheep? I used to think that it was kind of unfair of the shepherd to leave the 99 alone to look for one careless animal. I mean…doesn’t that endanger the 99? Why didn’t the shepherd just go buy another sheep if he needed exactly 100 or just wait until lambing season to replace the lost one. But such reasoning doesn’t take into account the HEART of a true shepherd, does it? It’s not just another animal the shepherd wants…it’s his sheep in which he’s interested. And if the 99 were placed in some bit of danger while the shepherd went searching, they were certainly in less danger than the lost sheep, weren’t they? And I realized too that the beautiful message conveyed to all the sheep (at least the ‘human’ sheep) in the shepherd’s diligent, costly search for the lost one “until he found it” and the elation with which he carries it back to the fold…well…what is that message worth? It’s worth more than all the world, isn’t it? I read of a mother of many children who was once asked which of her children she loved the most. She replied, as only a mother’s heart could, “The one who is sick until he gets well and the one who is away from home until she get back.” Every single one of us, the sheep in our Shepherd’s fold, can know for sure, since He’s been to Calvary and back for us…that there’s no journey He will not undertake for us…no enemy who can keep Him from us…no price He will not pay…today, tomorrow and ever. Praise His Holy Name!

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