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Faith

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people of praise

Jesus will knock until you answer the door

Hartzell

My wife and I recently went to France to visit some missionaries that our church supports. While we were there, we were amazed and overwhelmed by the charm and beauty of some of the villages.

The village our missionaries live in, including their house, was built over 1,100 years ago. I noticed that all of the houses had different doors with various ornate hinges, door knockers and doorknobs.

As I stood there looking at some of those doors, I wondered how many times those doors had been knocked on over the centuries. How many visitors had those homes had over the years?

Each human being has their own special door, and it’s the door to their heart. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “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 him, and he with me.”

Jesus, in a very polite way, stands at the door of each person’s heart knocking, waiting for the person to respond. He will never force his way in, but he will patiently pursue everyone with great persistence.

One of the great things about a relationship with Jesus Christ is that it is available to everyone. In this verse, Jesus says, “If anyone hears my voice.” He doesn’t limit himself to one gender, race, color or economic background. He makes his free gift of salvation available to everyone!

Often, people who have not opened the door of their heart to Jesus are afraid to for fear that once he enters and sees what’s on the inside, he will come down hard on them with swift punishment and condemnation. However, he wants to do the exact opposite.

Again, in Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Does this sound like punishment or torture? Of course not! We wouldn’t think of inviting an enemy into our house to have dinner with them if we knew they only wanted to harm us.

Jesus didn’t even say that he would come in with a list of rules. Of course he wants us to change our behavior, but our obedience to him should flow out of the relationship that he wants to have with each and every one of us.

At other times, we keep the door closed to Jesus because we believe we have the power to take care of our own sins. However, Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

The Bible makes it very clear that there will be judgment for sin. The longer we try to hide our sin and take care of it on our own, the longer we will stay under God’s judgment. However, as this verse says, if we confess our sin and repent of it, we will find mercy.

We know that we will find mercy and forgiveness when we ask for it. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

To take it one step further, God will not only forgive you and take away your sin, but when he does, he will never bring it back up and use it against you. In Jeremiah 31:34, God says, “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

This doesn’t mean that God completely forgets. He’s God and therefore all-knowing. It just simply means that he won’t keep a list of your sin for a later time to bring it back up after he’s already removed it from you.

If you’ve never opened the door of your heart to Jesus, I would like to encourage you to do so. He has been patiently standing at the door of your heart knocking, waiting for you to answer. He won’t stop knocking until you respond.

If you have opened the door to Jesus and have trusted him for salvation, have you allowed him in to every room in your house, every area of your life? If not, treat him like a welcomed guest and let him take full control of every area of your life. The result will be a lifelong friendship with the loving, saving, eternal son of God.

Sean Hartzell is associate pastor at New Hope Christian Center in Waterloo. If you are interested in submitting a column (750 words or less), send it to Terri Richardson, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802; fax 461-8893 or email trich@jg.net. Include your name, religious organization and a phone number where you can be reached. For more information, call 461-8304.

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