“Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
I love the above verse and find a great deal of comfort and encouragement in the security the verse portrays. The words of Revelation 3:20 are personal and appeal to the heart of the individual church member of Laodicea more than to the church as an institution.
I love the thought of how inclusive God’s invitation is “if anyone hears” His calling they are accepted into the arms of Jesus. As Christians we tend to be a little too exclusive in who we believe God will allow into the Kingdom, but this verse reminds us that everyone who has ever lived, is living and will live is loved by God, sought by God and holds a place in His heart.
The Holy Spirit whispers into the ear of every one of us to open the door of our heart and let Jesus in. How many times have we heard the promptings of the Holy Spirit or the feeling that God was speaking to us, or after hearing the word of God preached felt moved to allow Jesus to dwell more fully in our hearts, but done nothing about it. If you are hearing the voice of God in your life, then let Jesus dwell within you.
I spent yesterday afternoon with a group of friends, eating good food and talking about Jesus. Some of us were a bit older and some of us were a lot younger, but we all faced the same frustration in our Christian walk. From the bottom of our hearts we all wanted to stop just going through the motions of being Christian and begin to live and experience the Christian life in the power of the Holy Spirit. We want our lives to matter because Jesus matters and we long to have a deeper relationship with God, where we trust more, hear His promptings more and respond by faith more fully.
John Stott writes, “If we do open the door of our heart to Jesus Christ and let Him in, He will bring an end to our beggary, He will transform us from paupers into princes. He will cleanse us and clothe us. He will sup with us, and we shall be permitted to sup with Him. The picture illustrates the shared joys of the Christian life, the reciprocal fellowship which the Christian has with his Savior. That He should bid us come and sup with Him is honor enough; but that He should wish to share our humble board and sup with us is wonder beyond our finite understanding. We are not worthy that He should come under our roof, and will He sit at our table?” What Christ Thinks of the Church p. 124
When I read these words of Stott I can’t help but think what a privilege it is for us that Jesus wants to be with us and enter into our lives with such power that He actually dwells with us. Most of us, of course, understand that Revelation 3:20 is an invitation to the Communion Table. The text is depicting our inward experience of allowing Jesus to dwell within our hearts that is expressed outwardly when we share in Communion.
What the Laodiceans need more than anything in their lives is to put Jesus first. Last evening Ruth and I watched an old sermon by Francis Chan called, The End of the World, PART 1. I would encourage everyone reading this blog to take 45 minutes out of your life, look up the sermon on YouTube and watch it. The premise is that we love ourselves way too much and the result is we love Jesus way too little.
This was the problem of Laodicea; they were a self-centered and ego-centered group of people who played at being Christians. They needed Jesus to come into their hearts and become real to them. It was time to stop relying on their wealth, fame and pride to carry the Gospel message and instead it was time to let Jesus be Lord of their lives that they could follow where He directed.
That’s what I want for my life. I want to fall at the foot of the cross and give it all to Jesus. I want to encourage all the readers of this blog to take some quiet time in prayer and contemplation about where your heart really is and what you really want out of your life. Ask yourself a simple question, “Is Jesus part of my life or is He my life?”
All I know is that the condition of being Laodicea is to be condemned by Jesus as being spit out of His mouth. The church in North America is rich, proud and in need of nothing but the indwelling of the Holy Spirit transforms us from the “Me generation” to the “Jesus people.”
If everyone reading this blog simply said “OK God I will allow you to lead and I will follow wherever you take me,” what an impact we would have in the lives of our families, friends, neighbors, towns and cities. But even more important, what an impact we would have on our relationship with Jesus.
The 1st Century church of Laodicea is long gone, no trace of it to be found, but the spirit of Laodicea lingers on in the hearts of Christians and that needs to be gone as well. Jesus ends the message to Laodicea by giving these words of hope and comfort, “He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself have conquered and sat down with the Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21
To those who conquer their tendencies to allow the things of this world to control and motivate them, God will fill their hearts with assurance of salvation and love. To conquer is to turn our back on the motivating allures of our culture with their appeal to our egos, selfishness and greed. To conquer is to let Jesus into the heart to eat with us and dwell within us.
Laodicea needed a relationship with Jesus as a people, and if anything we need that relationship even more in this culture of anti God, indifference and selfishness. Stott sums up our options, “Here is a choice we cannot avoid. We must either throw the door open to Him or to keep it closed in His face.” p. 126
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3:22
* Please remember to pray for the Christians who are suffering persecution for their faith in many countries around the world. There is a great evil settling on this earth and we must be vigilant in our prayers and stay close to Christ. Our hope is in Christ and he is faithful to his people. Please take the time to read about what is taking place in the world around us at http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…