Jesus is the Door

Can you imagine walking into the throne room of heaven? 

What a magnificent experience!

What a fearful experience!

What a glorious experience!

Can you imagine standing before the creator of the universe in all HIS glory. The presence of HIS glory would be overwhelming. The colors must be immense, the beauty beyond our wildest imagination and the brightness of his presence blinding. And just imagine how huge and magnificent the God of all creation must be if the earth is but his footstool. (Isaiah 66:1)

As magnificent as he is, he still wants us to come boldly into this throne room without fear!

Hebrews 4:16, “… come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (NKJV)

Jesus made the way for us!

Why would he do that? Simply because he loves us. He sympathizes with our weakness and understands us because he was tempted as we were and yet did not sin. Because of that HE has made a way for US to come into the presence of God. Sin had broken a relationship with the Lord. But Jesus made a way for us to have a relationship with the Lord, just as Adam had in the beginning.

Before Jesus, only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies which was located in the Jewish Temple and protected by a veil. He would sacrifice an animal and pour that blood on the mercy seat, requesting mercy for the sins of the people.

NOW WE can come boldly to the throne room itself and ask for mercy without the priest. WHY? Because when Jesus died that veil was ripped in half, physically and spiritually.

Matthew 27: 51 “Suddenly the curtain in the temple was split in two from top to bottom.” (GWT)

Jesus made a way. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV)

Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father. He is the only way into the throne room of grace. His name has authority. HE IS THE DOOR!

You often hear people pray, “in the name of Jesus”. It isn’t because Jesus’ name is magical. It is because there is authority in his name.  He even mentioned in John 14 that if you ask the FATHER for ANYTHING in my name I will do it so that the Father may be glorified.

“By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.” Hebrews 10:20

This is how I envision it:

 When the name of Jesus is spoken in authority, I see a door literally open into the throne room of heaven before the Father. We boldly walk through that access into the very throne room before the Father, the creator of the universe. And who is opening that door? Jesus is…HIS blood is…HIS redemption is.

YOU HAVE ACCESS INTO THE THRONE ROOM OF HEAVEN!

What is it you need? Do you need healing? Do you need hope? Do you need peace? What is it that you are asking the Lord?

You have access to come BOLDLY…without shame, before the Father and ask anything because the name of Jesus has given you that access.

I pray that God meets your every need, IN JESUS NAME. Amen

The Lady Behind the Door

I am not sure of the year, but the event echoes in my mind. It was a warm day under the hot Nevada sun. I had heard about a home Bible study group that was in a small senior apartment complex in the southern part of Henderson, Nevada. I attended a large church in Vegas and thought it would be great to get into a smaller group to actually form relationships with other people, instead of just being part of an unknown crowd.

So, I typed in the address that I had found on the website, into my cell phone’s GPS. I found the apartment complex easy enough and parked in one of the many spaces available. I had the number of the building and of the apartment, but once I walked into the courtyard, I wasn’t clear which building was which.  I figured I would simply knock on a door with the same number in hopes that I was at the correct building.

An elderly lady came to the door. I asked her if this was the apartment that was hosting a Bible study. When she told me it wasn’t, I thanked her and began to turn around to continue my search. But instead, the frail old lady looking back at me through the crack in the door asked if I could please come in and help her. She had wanted to watch a movie but didn’t know how to work her remote, nor was she sure which remote went to which TV or DVD or VCR player.

I hesitated because I was already late but couldn’t ignore the pleading in her eyes. She pulled the door  wide open to welcome me into her home.  As my eyes began to adjust to the darkness of her home from the bright sun outside, I saw her despair. I cautiously walked behind her as she led me into her tiny studio apartment. In that one-room home was a small kitchen on one side and a mattress on the floor on the other side with one lone chair. It was positioned in front of two old CRT television sets, each sitting on separate portable metal stands. One had a VCR player connected to it and the other had a DVD player connected to it. And cluttered on all the open floor space was jumbled stacks and stacks and stacks of movies, some were VHS movies while others were DVDs.

She told me she had wanted to watch a particular movie but wasn’t sure which remote went to which TV and/or which video system. I am not real savvy but thought I could try to help her. She mentioned that she was going to have someone come by but wasn’t sure when they would be there. And so, I set my purse and my bible on the floor and tried to figure it out for her. After several minutes it was all sorted out and she thanked me and then wanted to just talk. I listened to her stories and found out that in her younger years she had actually been a cook for a time for BB King. She proudly pointed to a lone picture of the singer on the otherwise empty walls.

We chit chatted a bit more as she walked me the few steps back to the front door. Because I don’t believe there is ever a coincidence in a believer’s’ life, I asked her if she knew Jesus and if she wanted prayer. She said yes to both. So, in the small dark studio apartment we prayed together. Tears streamed down her cheeks. We hugged before she left, and she asked if I could stop by again sometime. I nodded in agreement, thinking I probably would be here again anyway.

Surprisingly as I turned around, after she closed the door behind me, I saw the number of the apartment I had been searching for in the beginning.

I thought I would return the next time I came to the Bible study. And I want to proudly say, “I did return, and we became close friends”.  Wasn’t this a “God ordained meeting”? But instead, I have to report that I never did go back. The meeting moved locations and busyness took my time from me. After several months I forgot and eventually moved away. Sometimes it really bothers me. How could I not return? How could I forget a lonely person that longed for companionship? I can only hope and pray that God heard her heart, and though I know God forgives me I was not the blessed person to meet her need.

Fast forward several years later to December 2022 and several states north. I am attending a small church in the great northwest and have had the opportunity to create lasting friendships. From those friendships I was invited to a Christmas painting party. I love to paint, especially with friends. It sounded marvelous. One of those friends offered to give me a ride. She had been to the house before, so I gladly accepted.

The snow blanketed the roads, so it was difficult to find parking. She remembered though that there was an open parking lot near the home that was hosting the party. That was convenient. So, we parked and marched through the heavy drifting snow. We were coming in a bit late, so instead of knocking on the door we thought we would just let ourselves into the home.

My friend went ahead of me and announced our presence. Except there was no party there. There were no people. Were they in the back of the house? And then we heard a lady frantically asking who was in her home.

“Oh no,” my friend said frantically, “this isn’t the right house!”

I was hysterical. Part of me was laughing uncontrollably. The other part was anxious, and I pushed my way in front of my friend running towards the front door, loudly whispering behind me, “hurry”!

She, on the other hand, was trying to apologize and explain our plight. I hurried out the front door and hopped like a bunny through the deep snow, which I had previously dredged through, back to the parking lot and back to the safety of her car.  My friend was trailing behind me at a slower pace. I was still laughing uncontrollably when I opened her passenger car door and ducked under the dash. We could hear the owner of the house holler from her front door,

 “Are you the people who were in my house?”

My friend apologized and said she thought it belonged to a friend and she was sorry.

We did eventually find the house, which was only a few houses over. After the party my friend thought it would be nice to bring over some cookies and apologize again. I was not in agreement but followed behind her. My thought, let bygones be bygones.  

We knocked this time and an elderly lady, in her pjs and pulling an oxygen tank behind her opened the door. As my friend apologized again offering her a peace-offering of cookies she also asked if she knew Jesus. The lady said she did, but she had to stay at home these days because of her health and the weather. She watched on TV or online but didn’t have many visitors. I suddenly remembered that tiny frail woman in Nevada who longed for companionship, who was deeply touched when I prayed for her.

My aloofness turned into compassionate boldness. This was my opportunity to pray.  After getting her permission, I came into her home (invited). I held her hand as I began to pray. This was an individual whom God loves and did not forget but I felt the weight of loneliness surround her. Tears filled her lonely eyes, and she thanked us.

What is the takeaway from this? For me there are many things.

  1. There are a lot of people in this world…a lot of people going through heartaches. I hope to return and visit this lady, and that is our plan. We NEED one another. Look for opportunities to spread hope.
  2. Be ready in season and out as found in 2 Timothy 4:2 ” Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” (NIV)
  3. When or if you make a mistake, ask for forgiveness and move on. I would have loved to return to the lady at the door in Nevada. But, though I didn’t I believe God still comforted her, but I missed out on the blessing.
  4. 1 Corinthians 1:27 sure comes in play. “Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.” (NLT) Both of us looked so foolish but in the end the lady was blessed.

Know this: If he can use me, he sure can use you. Be ready.

Happy 2023.

God Bless.

What Will be Your New Normal?

 

Plagues, chaos, vandalism, terror, confusion…America?

There were times in the United States of America when rebellion and anarchy and war broke out.

Then there were seasons of rest and peace; more in some areas than in others, but overall, we had long seasons of peace in this nation.

Perhaps because of the ability to view anything almost anywhere in the world in an instant, our nation and even our world seems to have gotten smaller. These are different times than times in the past.

The year 2020 has been not been what I imagined. I believe it will never look the same.

In times past, we may have never known that a virus was covering the world. Perhaps it wouldn’t have even reached our land or maybe it would have come, and many people may have lost lives, but then we would have moved on.

We may have never known that a man was unjustly killed by a police officer. (How very heart breaking.) It probably happened more times than we have realized before days of technology, but it was not known world wide until recent times allowed that technology.

We may have not heard, except through others, that towns were being burned to the ground and chaos ruled the land. Social media and smart phones now record such events. Again, these things have happened in the past but were not announced across the world like they are in the media today.

Today these things spread like wildfire and like wildfire ignite more anger and hate and chaos.

Today we are immediately aware because of our technology. Times have changed

Because of that we are witnessing horrendous events shake our nation.

These are the days in which we live.

Evil is devious. Evil is strong. Evil is loud. It has been in our nation since the beginning of the nation’s existence, and before. I believe there were times of refreshing and open windows of blessings from the Lord in our nation because, for the most part, we honored God. But because we have opened our doors to sin, the blessings of peace seem to have disappeared.

Still during this evil, hope does exist. The Lord is not caught off guard and always has a plan.

“So, shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19

I believe that the Lord, who sees all and knows all, who is aware of our past, our present and our future will never leave or forsake those who seek him during these hours.

Like I said in my last blog, the enemy of darkness is angry and afraid and will do all he can to bring unrest and destruction. He knows his time is short. And he comes ONLY to kill, steal, and destroy!!! (John 10:10) That is his only purpose. But on the other hand, Jesus came to bring abundant life.

Regardless of the purpose behind this chaos, though it is important, the real enemy is satan. It always has been.

The Lord still reigns. And people need his presence, his hope, his peace like never before.

I believe these riots, like the effects of COVID, are a wakeup call to the body of Christ. We need to always be prepared, not only to pray, but to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and walk amid the darkness. It is our obligation to bring HIS light and HIS hope. The only answer is Jesus.

There was a season in America when there was peace. Today injustice, hate and anger have multiplied.

During the days of the Roman Empire there was so much chaos and blood shed, as well. That is why the disciples thought, at first, that Jesus was going to raise up a revolution. Interesting enough, God chose a time of complete confusion to bring his hope.

God’s ways our not our ways.

As I write, it is Pentecost Sunday. And where I live it was the first day since COVID that I got to attend my church. I wept, thanking God for that opportunity, yet I was also aware that my country was being torn apart.

What is our place in this chaos?

I know I am to pray but we (you and I) are also called to spread the hope of Christ. The Lord will guide us. I want to hear his voice, in this hour.

God is NOT sitting back. He is STILL in control. He is STILL brooding upon the earth. He has heard the cries of his people that have been crying out day and night for his presence, not just in America, but around the world. Those kinds of prayers have been uttered from suffering individuals in other countries for years. Like the cries that went up to heaven during the years of slavery in which the Israelites suffered at the hands of the Egyptians, so God hears the cries of his saints today.

He is not turning a deaf ear. Evil is evil. But God is greater.

Greater is he that is in you and me than he (satan) who is in the world. (1 John 4:4).

The glory of the Lord will rise in this hour of darkness because the Lord is still on the throne. He longs to save us from our own destruction. He longs to bring us to THE LIGHT. Are we prepared to bring the gospel to a lost and dying world?

Jesus died a sinner’s death on the cross for our sins during the Roman reign. Though it surprised the disciples because it wasn’t what they expected, it ended up being so much better than what they had anticipated.

Jesus rose from the dead!

After he returned to heaven the Holy Spirit came upon them with POWER as seen in Acts 2. They went from hiding in fear to boldly sharing the gospel in a world that did not want to hear it. Yet many came to Christ.

During the turmoil today, like in the days of the Roman Empire, I believe the Holy Spirit will once again fill the earth with his glory.

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord WILL be saved.” Acts 2:17-21

So instead of anger or fear reigning in your heart with all that has been happening in 2020, we should rejoice. We are found worthy to be part of this age, part of something so much greater. We can be part of the greatest harvest before his return.

Remember:

He will not leave or forsake us. Hebrew 13:5
He has a plan, a hope, and a future for us. Jeremiah 29:11
He wants us to rejoice in him, always. Philippians 4:4
He will fill the earth with his glory. Isaiah 6:3

He wants us to partner with him to bring in the harvest.

“He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into this harvest field.” Luke 10:2

Will you be one of the workers in the harvest?

Father,
I thank you for taking the very thing that was meant for destruction and using it to draw many people to you. Thank you that you are healing hearts and forgiving sins. We ask for your mercy. Hear our cries and heal our land. Teach us how to be harvesters in this hour and fill us with your boldness to go on the streets to bring the lost and broken to you. Amen

What will be your new normal?