Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me.
To the church in Laodicea, Jesus is pictured standing at the door and knocking. This is both a call to intimacy (I will come in to him), as well as a call to action and readiness – Jesus warned us that when we see certain events unfolding that he is near – ‘even at the door’.
But not only is he standing and knocking, he is calling to those on the inside. The Lord has admonished Laodicea for being ‘wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked’ – but he never said that they were deaf!
The primary way that God communicates with us is through his voice. He SPEAKS. He speaks through His Word, He speaks through prophecy, He speaks through dreams and events. But just hearing His voice isn’t enough – we have to OPEN the door – recognise that it’s Jesus who calls us, and take action based on that. Then our faith comes alive – because faith without works is dead.
If you’re wondering what your next move in life is – go back to the last time you heard Him calling. What was He saying? He’s standing at the door and knocking – will you hear His voice and open it up?
Ephesians 3:8 – To me, the very least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
There are rich people on earth for sure – but there is no-one on the planet whose riches could be defined as ‘unsearchable’!
The treasures of God cannot be tracked or traced out – Romans 11:33 declares ‘Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!’ In fact there’s more in what Jesus has to give us than we will uncover in one lifetime – that’s why we need ages still to come!
But the good part is that these riches can be accessed by us – now! It’s not just held out as a carrot on a stick – Colossians 2:2 shows us that we gain access to the riches of Christ through ‘the full assurance of understanding’. What does this mean? It means that if we BELIEVE we have access to them, then we do. It’s about faith!
Do you understand the mysteries of God? Do you have access to His power and riches? In your position as a son of God, the answer is yes. But in practical terms, our faith is the key that unlocks the door to the unsearchable riches of Christ.
All things are possible to Him who believes!
Ezra 3:3 – They set the altar on its base; for fear was on them because of the peoples of the countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon to Yahweh, even burnt offerings morning and evening.
In the days of Ezra, even before they had laid the foundation of the new temple, the Israelites began once again to offer sacrifices to the Lord upon his altar. As this verse shows us, great fear was upon them because of the surrounding countries. They lived among people who were opposed to their settlement.
Yet in spite of this they went ahead and built the altar. Their fear didn’t stop them from doing the right thing, instead it motivated them to do the right thing with haste and speed. On this altar they burnt offerings morning and evening, which would have made smoke that could be seen for a long distance. It’s very difficult to hide a fire, and by setting this altar up before the temple was built, they were in essence exposing their intentions to the surrounding nations.
There are times when doing what is right will make us immensely fearful. We will think of all the possible reactions and repercussions, and it can cause us to second-guess what God has asked us to do.
There’s a well-known motivational speaker whose catch cry is ‘Feel the fear, and do it anyway!’. The sense of fear can help us to do the right thing with haste and speed. It can be an incredibly motivating force, if we use it to propel us into the will of God!
So don’t let fear hold you back from following God, use it as a strong force to take another step closer to what He’s called you to do!
Ezra 8:22 – For I was ashamed to ask of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way, because we had spoken to the king, saying, The hand of our God is on all those who seek him, for good; but his power and his wrath is against all those who forsake him.
There are times in our enthusiasm for God when we open our mouth and make statements about Him that we have to walk out later on! This is exactly what had happened to Ezra. He’d opened his mouth and said to the king of Babylon “The hand of our God is on us”. However, the road he was about to walk was well known for bandits and robbers. But to ask the king for soldiers to protect them would have been to show the king he didn’t really believe that God would look after them.
So Ezra called a fast, and prays that God will protect them as they journey forward.
When we make claims of God’s power and saving ability, the very least that we can do is to display our own confidence in them! When Christians boast of God’s strength, but then don’t look to Him for His support we undermine our message and lose credibility in the eyes of the world.
It’s good for us to let people know that God can do all things! Let’s just make sure that we really believe what we’re saying is true for us!