Aloha Friday Message – September 17, 2010

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Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

This painting was part of my life as a child. I remember seeing it in my Sunday School classroom. I think it was also in the office of our Pastor, Rev. Robert Lutz. It was in one of the bibles I owned sometime around Jr High. And that Bible verse was part of the Sword Drill. “Sword Drill” was a program of memorizing Bible Verses. Then we’d have contests to see who could recall a verse quickest. Seeing Jesus at the door and knowing why He was there seems to have always been a part of me; it is unforgettable.

I later years I have wondered how many times I have left him standing there while I went on with my life. This passage comes from the letter to the Church at Laodicea. They were enjoying the good life with plenty of worldly things to their credit. But Jesus scolds them for being luke-warm, neither hot nor cold. No fervor in their faith no fire in their prayers. In the verses just before today’s Bible verse, He tells them, 16 So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
17 For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.19 Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.”

And yet He stands at the door of your heart and my heart and asks to come in, to share hospitality with us, to be family with us. He waits patiently to be invited in.

“Oh, I don’t need that junk about church! It’s just a bunch of hog-wash!”
“Organized religion is just a crutch. I can worship God any way I want and he’ll understand.”
“God is me and in me and I am God and in Him. It’s all good.”

Hmmm. Jesus might be able to say that, but it just doesn’t ring true for us to say that. The church a Laodicea was thinking they could live their faith according to their own standards, do their own thing, take the middle road to worldly comfort so as not to bother anyone, to be politically-correct Christians. They were complacent in their self-sufficiency. And they left Jesus standing at the door.

I’m asking you, urging you, even begging you not to do that. Here’s an example of how easy it is to forget the hospitality of having Christ in your heart:

A Christian and a Quarter

Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, “You’d better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.” Then he thought, “Oh, forget it, it’s only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a “gift from God” and keep quiet.”

When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, “Here, you gave me too much change.”

The driver, with a smile, replied, “Aren’t you the new preacher in town?”

“Yes” he replied.

“Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday.”

When the preacher stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, “Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter.”

Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read. This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians, and will put us to the test! Always be on guard — and remember — You carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself “Christian.”

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

I’m glad a friend forwarded this to me as a reminder. So, I choose to forward it to you – my friend. God bless you.

If you don’t pass this on to anybody, nothing bad will happen; but, if you do, you will have ministered to someone today

From MBN Member A.T. Mahalo nui loa!

Beloved, if Christ were at your door right now, would you also invite your neighbor in when you opened the door for Him? And don’t ask me “Who, then, is my neighbor?” There is no substitute for a Christ-centered, Christ-filled life. And Jesus isn’t the only one who knocks on your door. The Accuser is always there trying to shove Jesus aside and push his way in. Jesus waits to be invited. Sometimes Satan can’t wait for you to open the door; he’ll open it himself and just barge in. BUT if you hear him knocking at the door, and Jesus is already in your heart, you can just turn to Jesus and say, “Jesus, can you get that for me?”

Special intention for this week:

MC&RC for Jason: M&R request prayers for son Jason. Suffering from anxiety, depression, and progressing mental illness also associated with employment issues. In addition, an elderly family member has moved back home for hospice care with this family. Please ask for the emotional and physical strength to cope with all this adversity in one small family, for a peaceful passage for the hospice patient, and for unsurpassable Peace to flood into their lives to wash away the pain, anxiety, anger, and depression now dominating their lives.

Please continue with the intentions I sent in the past two weeks along with these:

Jesus we pray for All the Peoples especially those suffering in Haiti (Daniel & Patterson), Pakistan, Chile, Darfur and Somalia, the Philippines, the Gulf Coast, Afghanistan and Iraq, and in other disasters and conflicts both natural and man-made over the entire world. We pray for Christians and for people of all faiths who are being persecuted for their beliefs.

We also pray that those who fear they cannot or should not be forgiven will find that your mercy exceeds all their fears.

Jesus, I trust in you. Help others to trust you, too.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

Chick Todd
Age quod agis.

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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