Thought for the Week - 10th December

Pastor Gareth Watkins

Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

As we come closer to Christmas, I want to reflect on Christ. In John 1:11 we read that Jesus “came to His own, and His own did not receive Him”. The God of all times, sent His son to His people, but they wouldn’t receive Him. He was the Messiah, the Light of the World, and the one who would lay down His life. Yet everyone pushed Him away.

People those days pushed Him away. And today, He still comes to people and the majority don’t want to receive Him or accept Him.

In the verse from Revelation above, we read that our loving saviour is standing at the door and knocking. We read “if anyone hears My voice”. That means that not everyone wants to hear his voice. There are so many people who do not want to hear His voice and therefore keep Him at arm’s length. That is awfully sad.

This verse in Revelation was directed to the Church in Laodicea. Is it possible that a whole church couldn’t hear the voice of Christ? He’s standing at the door, and yet they cannot hear Him. Is it possible for an entire Church to not hear, not listen and not want to hear the voice of God? This isn’t an individual. It’s a Church, 60 years after Christ had gone to eternity. They would have probably had their communion, their psalms and songs and prayers. Is it possible that they couldn’t hear the voice of Christ or know the voice of Christ? That is what this verse shows us.

This speaks to us as a Church and as individuals. Are we able to hear the voice of God? Because if we don’t hear the voice of God, then are we able to open the door? Do we open the door? Are you opening the door to Christ in your life and as a church? Can we hear the voice of God? Without that, we’re not listening to Him.

In Revelation we read about all sort of churches. Some were dead, some were alive, and others were lukewarm. We see Christ’s attitude towards those churches because of their attitudes to Him. The Laodicean’s were a well off, prosperous and educated church. Yet they were a people who didn’t know the voice of Christ. A mere 90 years after His birth – when His own didn’t receive Him – His own still weren’t receiving him. A brand new church – the formative years of the Christian faith – were not receiving Him because they could not hear His voice and were doing His own thing.

In John 10:27 Jesus said:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
If His followers can’t hear His voice, how do they know if they are following the Shepherd?

We have a picture of Christ. He was the one who loved us, who died for us, and who overcame sin for us. He stands on the door and knocks! The humility of this man to come and knock when He is the King of Heaven. And not only that, but He’s waiting. He doesn’t blast through. He waits for the individual and the church to open their hearts and hear His voice. The graciousness, the loveliness and beauty of Christ Himself!

He’s not on the outside because He doesn’t want to come in. He’s not on the outside because He can’t get in. Rather, it’s because He wants you to meet the conditions for Him to come in. He’s outside because we haven’t met His conditions. He wants us to open the door. He wants us to do something inwardly that lets Him in.

What conditions stop this door being opened? Sometimes it’s because we don’t meet the conditions. For example, sometimes our attitudes are wrong, and we have to change our attitudes towards who this Christ is. The God of all creation sends His son, and we have an attitude. If we don’t meet the conditions, then we won’t hear the voice and we won’t open the door. We won’t be one of the sheep who knows the Shepherd’s voice.

The second condition we have to meet is to take action. We have to actively do something about it. If we want to open that door, then we have to actively do something about it. Otherwise it just remains a theory for somebody else. It’s not just a theory, it’s a doing.

Perhaps some people and churches have the door opens for a season, and then the door shuts. All of a sudden God isn’t there anymore. Some churches are used in revival for example, but then revival ends. Revival isn’t meant to end, and yet it does – why? Because of circumstance, and these conditions are part of that. The Laodiceans didn’t hear the voice of God. Similarly, we see individuals who no longer hear the voice of God and people who no longer walk with God. God doesn’t shut the door, therefore they must have closed it themselves or allowed it to be closed. God doesn’t close it; Christ doesn’t close it – He stands at that door and knocks. And when that door opens and Christ comes through, He brings great joy, love, a new life, blessings, the Kingdom of God, and eternity to that person’s life.

This opening of that door brings so much to a person:

  • If someone is lost in sins, the opening of that door brings new life.
  • If someone has a stubborn heart, the opening of that door can bring a new heart.
  • If a person’s a dreamer, the opening of that door will bring a reality.
  • If a person wants a new direction, with the opening of that door God will bring direction.

So many things depend on us opening up the door to Christ. Opening up the door to Christ makes Him special in our lives and opens the door to eternal things in our lives. Christ is the Good Shepherd. Opening the door to Him brings into our being the Good Shepherd. If we don’t open the door, then it stops Him being Good Shepherd and instead we shepherd ourselves, doing what we want to do.

Many people say they’ve never heard God speaking to them. Some people have heard Him audibly, but many haven’t. So how do we know the voice of Christ? He speaks in so many types of ways. For example:

  • When we’re reading the bible
  • Through another person.
  • Through worship
  • Amid crisis
  • In creation itself!
  • Through sermons

The Holy Spirit allows it to come. The Holy Spirit brings the voice of Christ to us. The Holy Spirit works in conjunction with the voice of Christ to bring His message and His voice to us. When we look at this in scripture, it doesn’t have to be an abstract thought! Christ speaks through so many different vehicles. The Holy Spirit brings His voice to us and makes it alive to us.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

There’s a promise in this verse! Christ will come into us if we open the door. In John 1: 12 we read:

But as many as received Him,
to them He gave the right to become children of God,
to those who believe in His name

If we receive Him, if we listen to that voice, He gives us new rights – to become a child of God. A child always knows its parents voice – a child has that strength, comfort, direction and nurturing that comes from knowing their parents voice.

When we open up that door to the one who stands at that door, and He comes in, He will come in to us and dine with us. That’s what we want for all of our friends, our families, and everyone else. Why would we want anyone left outside that door, whether they are churches or individuals?

The Laodiceans were educated, contented in themselves, and self-sufficient as a church. We don’t want to be self-sufficient, but a church dependent on the voice of Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit. We want to be a church alive to the beating heart of God and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We want to be dependent on Him.

He stands at that door. Is He standing at your door? Are there things in your life that you won’t open to Him?

He’s full of grace, full of love and He’s patient. He wants to come in and dine with you.

Keep that door open.


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