Closed Doors

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together,
with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders,
Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
John 20:19

We celebrated the resurrection of Jesus a little over a week ago. Does that affect what you are doing or how you are feeling today? Let’s see what the disciples did after Jesus’ resurrection. Then, let’s find a promise for ourselves. What Jesus did for the disciples, He will do for us.

According to the gospel of John, the disciples hid behind closed doors after Jesus’ resurrection. They were afraid. Can’t say I blame them. However, this was not what Jesus intended them to do. So, Jesus walked through the closed door and extended peace. A peace that would help them overcome fear.

Have you allowed fear to close doors in your life? Jesus is willing and waiting to walk through your barricades. Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”

Has God put something upon your heart that He wants you to do? But, you are afraid. God will help you break down your barrier according to Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him (Jesus) who gives me strength.”

Maybe you are afraid you will make a wrong decision. Remember the Lord’s words of assurance in Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” The Lord will walk into your life and help unlock your fears.

I guess the disciples did not learn their lesson the first time because Jesus found them behind closed doors a second time. A week later, or seven verses later, they are still hiding behind locked doors. In John 20:26, we discover that Peter is with them while previously he had not been present. This visit may have been primarily for Peter’s benefit. However, Jesus extends the same blessing – peace. The disciples evidently did not remember the words of Jesus in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Locked doors still felt safer to them than the threats of the Jewish leaders.

Jesus walked through locked doors to speak with Peter and the other disciples. Today, He is able to enter through our closed doors.

Our granddaughter shared the following testimony with me. She was invited to attend a national scholastic leadership conference for college athletes. However, as she weighed her options, she decided it was best not to miss classes. She turned down the offer. A few days later, a staff member of the athletic department met with her explaining the significance of her attending this conference. She thought she had shut the door but the Lord walked through her closed door to keep the option open. She attended the conference.

Yes, all of us will be tempted to close doors because of fear. But, remember that Jesus can walk through the doors He does not want us to shut.

We just celebrated Jesus’ resurrection on Easter. Now this same power that raised Jesus from the grave is available to us. Does His resurrection make a difference in your life today? Paul says in Philippians 3:10 NLT, “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.” We will not be able to know this amazing power, if we fearfully hide behind closed doors.

I challenge you to envision Jesus walking through your closed doors and extending peace to you. Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus is risen and He still walks through closed doors!

(Images provided by Pixabay.)

 

 

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Three Doors

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Just for the fun of it I decided to look up the definition of a door on wikimedia.com this morning. Now I am ready to make some analogies between the physical door of a structural building and the spiritual door of my heart and life.

Door of a building: A door is a moving structure used to block off, and allow access to, an enclosed space.
Door of my heart: My heart’s door is my attitude that can block out, or allow access to, all areas of my life.

Door of a building: A door is constructed with both an interior side and an exterior side. Sometimes, the facades of the door are the same on both sides but often there is a contrast between the two sides.
Door of my heart: God has created my heart with an interior side and an exterior side. Sometimes, the feelings and expressions of my heart are the same on both sides but often there is a contrast between what I feel on the inside and what others see from the outside.

Door of a building: A door to a structure with hinges that swing to the inside allowing it to be opened inwardly. However, it can be opened from either side.
Door of my heart: There is a spiritual hinge to the inside of my heart allowing people and thoughts to access my life. However, there is the possibility that my heart can be open to and influenced by emotions and feelings from either side.

Door of a building: A door is a barrier that can either admit or keep out something or someone. An open door allows people, animals, ventilation or light to come in. The opposite is true if the door is closed. A door can separate the person inside from noise or other activities occurring outside. Most doors are equipped with some type of lock controlling who enters and exits.
Door of my heart: I have the choice of who and what can be a part of my life. When my heart is open to the Lord, people, and situations, they influence my thoughts and actions. The opposite is true if my heart is closed. I can decide whether or not to separate myself from the noise and confusion of the outside world. I can lock and unlock the door of my heart according to my desires and decisions.

OK – I have made my comparisons between the doors of buildings and hearts. However, I am amazed at some Bible verses that are coming to my mind with references to scriptural doors. So, I continue.

“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,
and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
John 10:9 NKJV

These are the words of Jesus! Now I have a third door! There are doors to buildings, there is a door to my heart, and now Jesus describes himself as a door.

Looking at the definitions and descriptions I have used for a door, I understand how Jesus is the door I will walk through when my earthly life is completed. He is a person rather than a structure, but He is the One who will welcome me into His eternal home. However, I must accept Him as my personal savior and invite Him into my heart before I can dwell forever with Him. I do not want to keep the door of my heart closed causing me to not be able to enter the door of Jesus. I do not want to be locked out.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives,
and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8

Jesus continues to be the one who speaks these words of scripture. Again there is reference to Jesus being the door upon which I am encouraged to knock. I need to knock on the door of Jesus by asking and seeking a personal relationship with Him through prayer. Jesus assures me that if I knock, He will open the door and allow me to enter. His door is not locked but I must knock loud enough (be sincere in heart) for Him to hear my knock and usher me into His presence. Yes, He is my door to salvation, but He is also the door upon which I knock when seeking answers through prayer. Jesus assures me that He is ready and willing to open the door allowing my prayers to be heard and answered. His open door also grants me the privilege of worshiping Him in His presence. All I need to do is ask! Jesus waits for me to come close enough to Him that I can knock upon the door of His heart, but He is also waiting for my arrival. Jesus never locks me out of His presence.

“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 that person, and they with me.”
Revelation 3:20

Here again are the words of Jesus. This time He is recognizing my heart as a door. Although Jesus knows the condition of my heart both inwardly and outwardly, He still chooses to ask for a place in my life by knocking upon my heart’s door. He makes a personal house call to the door of my heart, but He waits for my invitation before He comes in. I control who enters and exists my life. I must decide whether or not I will allow Jesus to have access to my heart and my home. Jesus is a gentleman and will not enter unless I swing wide my heart’s door.

It is time for me to bring this blog post to a conclusion. My Reader, I want to remind you and myself of the three doors I have thought about today. Door #1 is the physical structural door to a building. Door #2 is the spiritual door of your/my heart. Door #3 is Jesus. My Reader, as you go through the structural doors of buildings you enter and exit today, may you be reminded that Jesus is a door. Also be mindful of the door to your heart. Is it opening and closing in the proper way to glorify God?

Joyfully,
Cheryl
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