Tag: open door

Clear and gracious speech!

Scripture reading for June 26th: Colossians 4, Psalm 126, Proverbs 2

Colossians 4:2-6 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

Paul, writing from prison in Rome, to believers, gives them words of encouragement concerning their need to stay connected in fellowship to Jesus through prayer while living in a hostile world among great darkness. He also asked them to pray for his own situation, though in a way we might not think of. He asked for open doors to preach the mystery of Christ. He asked that his speech and words would be made clear to those who would hear. He did not ask to get out of jail! He further instructed them to walk in wisdom towards the lost and to seize every opportunity to share the grace of God in Christ through gracious speech and the salt of the Gospel and the power and direction of the Holy Spirit. Joy would be a fruit of obedience and God would bring forth fruit and protect them from evil men!

Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Paul’s instructions to us who follow Jesus Christ. The sowing of Your Word is done often through tears of compassion for the lost and suffering as a result of the darkness and evil of this world. Open doors for me today and give me wisdom and boldness to sow the Seed of Your Word with clarity. Thank You for the promise of a great harvest and great joy!

Proverbs 2:9-12 “Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil, and from men of perverted speech.”

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The Glory of Heaven’s Throne!

Scripture reading for December 6th: Ezra 7-10, Psalm 97, Revelation 4

Revelation 4:1-4 “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne. And He Who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. . . “

John, after receiving personal messages from Jesus Christ for each of the seven churches, describes how he next saw an open door in heaven. As he beheld this door, a voice called to him (like a trumpet) commanding that he come up through the door. Immediately, John was in the Spirit and transported to the throne room of heaven. His attention was focused on the One seated there, clothed in radiant splendor like precious jewels. Around that throne were twenty-four other thrones occupied by twenty-four elders, clothed in white with crowns. This scene was marked by worship from these elders and four living creatures guarding and serving God’s throne. ,

Psalm 97:1-3 “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are all around Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. Fire goes before Him and burns up His adversaries all around.”

Prayer: Father God, I am in awe of Your glorious throne! Thank You for promising Your church an open door that no man can shut! Thank You for promising those who overcome the right to sit with You on Your throne and for the white robe of Your righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ and the crown of life eternal! Open doors here for sharing this Good News that more may be crowned and clothed!

Ezra 7:27-28 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers, Who put such a thing as this into the heart of the king, to beautify the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem, and Who extended to me His steadfast love before the king and his counselors, before all the king’s mighty officers. I took courage, for the hand of the Lord my God was on me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.”

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Open door? or Closed door?

Scripture reading for December 5th: Esther 7-10, Revelation 3

Revelation 3:8-12 “”Behold I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My Word and have not denied My Name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept My Word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the Name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, . . .””

Jesus explained to the church at Philadelphia that He had set before them an open door, which no one would be able to shut. Although these believers had little strength, they had been faithful to Jesus’ Word and had not denied His Name. Their patient endurance had brought rewards of deliverance from the hour of trial. In Jesus’ next message to the church at Laodicea, however, Jesus told them that He was knocking on their door, closed to His entrance! He implored them to open the door so He could come in and fellowship with them. Which kind of door is Jesus finding or providing in your life?

Revelation 3:20-21 “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. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I also conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You that you always seek the welfare of Your people and speak peace and blessings for encouragement. You also warn those on a dangerous path. I have chosen to open the door of my heart to You and desire daily fellowship at Your table. Help me today to hear Your voice and remain faithful even though I often feel I have little strength. I will walk in faith through Your open door.

Esther 10:3 “For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.”

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Steadfast prayer for ministry!

Scripture reading for March 10th:  Numbers 19-21, Colossians 4

Key Scriptures:  Colossians 4;2-6 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.  At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.  Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”  

Disciples of Jesus are called to a life of prayer.  Ministry doors are opened through prayer.  Boldness to preach comes through prayer and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.  Clear Gospel presentation comes as a result of prayer.  Gracious speech and words spoken in season come through those who are connected to Jesus through a life of steadfast prayer.  Paul, in prison for preaching, encouraged prayer for his ministry efforts–not release from jail!

Numbers 21:16-18 “And from there they continued to Beer; that is the well of which the Lord said to Moses, “Gather the people together, so that I may give them water.”  Then Israel sang this song:  “Spring up, O well! –Sing to it!–the well that the princes made, that the nobles of the people dug, with the scepter and with their staffs.”  

Faith Confession and prayer:  Lord, You alone are the source of all ministry, empowerment, fruitfulness, and open doors!  I pray with the Israelites of old:  “Spring up, O Well!”  Fill me with living water to boldly preach Your Word.

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Salted Speech!

Scripture reading for September 11th:  Proverbs 15-18, Colossians 4

Key Scriptures:  Colossians 4:2-6 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it, with thanksgiving.  At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.  Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”  

Believers are to be people of prayer.  Pastors and missionaries need prayer and ask for it.  Paul’s specific request was for open doors to preach God’s Word, the Gospel.  He asked for boldness and clarity of speech for himself and for those he was writing to.  Salt seasoning of speech is for all believers.

Proverbs 15:1-2 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.”  

Prayer:  Lord, I ask You for open doors for Your Word today.  May my speech be bold for you yet filled with wisdom and compassion, seasoned with salt by the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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We are the aroma of Christ!

Scripture reading for July 30th:  2nd Corinthians 2

Paul had a painful visit to the church sometime before he wrote this letter.  (2nd Corinthians 2:1-2)  Some of those in the church that should have been a source of joy to the Apostle, were instead a cause of distress!  He wrote to assure the church of his love.  “For I wrote to you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.”  This is a pastor’s heart for those he loves and the heart of Christ for His Bride!

Paul encouraged forgiveness by the church towards the member that had been disciplined earlier. (1st Corinthians 5:1-2)  This man was evidently repentant and needed the love and restoration to fellowship that he had lost earlier through his sin.  The exercise of discipline and the grace to restore are needed in a healthy church!

Paul explained that he did not peddle the word of God for profit like many of the false teachers.  He preached the Gospel with sincerity as one sent by God.  God used him and all who would respond to Christ’s call to be special messengers.  “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.  For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.  To the one we are the smell of death; and to the other, the fragrance of life.  And who is equal to such a task?”  (2nd Corinthians 2:14-16)  None of us is adequate in ourselves, but carry this fragrance of the knowledge of Christ through His grace and stand between the living and the dead!


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Open door for effective work!

Scripture reading for July 28th:  1st Corinthians 16

“On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”  (1st Corinthians 16:2)   As Paul concluded his letter to this church he loved, he directed them in their manner of giving to help him in his ministry.  Paul asked them to set aside some money each Sunday and save it up for when he came.  This was to be in proportion to their income.  God did not want all they had, only what they could cheerfully give.  That way, no pressure would be felt from Paul for an offering when he was there.  We should give purposefully, not out of emotion or pressure.

Paul planned on visiting this church and wanted to stay for a while when he could come.  But for the present time, he felt the Lord’s direction to stay in Ephesus.  “But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.”  (1st Corinthians 16:8-9)   God opens doors for his ministers.  But this does not mean that there is no opposition!  In fact, opposition may be greatest where there are open doors!

Paul also stated that it was a door for ‘effective’ work.  Acts 18 describes how Paul was opposed by the Jews after testifying that Jesus was the Christ in the synagogue.  He shook his clothes out and went to the house of Justice where the ruler of the synagogue, Crispus, came and believed resulting in salvation to his entire household!  The opposition did not keep Paul from effective ministry as the Holy Spirit worked through the Gospel to draw families to Christ!


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Jesus comes knocking!

Scripture reading for December 12th: Revelation 3:7-22

The last of the seven letters Jesus dictated to John on Patmos was to the church at Laodicea.  Imagine being a part of this church, thinking that you knew and loved Jesus, and then hearing from your bishop that  He was actually outside your door knocking to gain entrance!

“These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one or the other!  So because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit  you out of My mouth.” (Revelation 3:14b-16)  Jesus called Himself three powerful names.  As the ‘Amen’, He had said ‘yes’ to God’s Word and made it available to us through His sacrifice.  He was the ultimate faithful ‘Witness’ of God’s goodness and mercy.  He was also the ultimate and final ‘Ruler’ of God’s creation.  From this unique position of authority, Jesus made a startling revelation to this church family:  they were ‘lukewarm’ in their love for Him!

Jesus looks carefully at the heart of each of His beloved followers.  He desires full and complete devotion!  He was fully and completely devoted to the Father’s will on our behalf.  2nd Chronicles 16:9 states that God’s eyes search the earth looking for those who are fully sold out to Him in order that He might show Himself strong on their behalf!

These believers were deceived about their spiritual state.  They were evidently blessed financially by the economy of Laodicea.  They had good jobs and were prosperous and well-supplied.  But  Jesus warned them of their spiritual poverty and nakedness.  They did not see the true condition of their hearts and in His love, Jesus called out to them.  He always rebukes those He loves and disciplines the children He wants to receive.  (Revelation 3:19)  (Hebrews 12:5-11)

“So be earnest, and repent.  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.” (Revelation 3:19b-20)  Repentance is a change of mind which results in a change of action.  Jesus knows our deeds and is looking for complete change.  Examine your own life today in light of these verses!  Hopefully, Jesus has already found an open door!

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