Thought for the Week - 30th DecemberVanda Hopkin
“…See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it”
Every New Year, our church holds a conference. The preaching is very, very deeply blessed. It brings a very deep presence of God. Each year there is a prophetic word given in those meetings. It’s a promise given by God each New Year to last throughout the whole of the year and beyond.
It’s a literal promise from God for what He will do for His church and His people. God doesn’t lie. He promises things to us. There are 366 promises in the Bible – one for every day of the year – of the things God will do for His people. Back when the New Year word started, they didn’t realise the words were prophetic. But things would happen in the church throughout the year, and they would go back to the word and realise what God had promised right at the start of the year.
The New Year word given to the church and individuals within the church in 2018 was from Revelation above. Even though 2018 is over, the promise still lasts.
Twenty years ago when our church started, we were meeting in Caewern Community Centre. A lady Jessie Wallace also gave this same promise from God! That has proved itself time and time and time again to both the church and to the individuals. We’ve proved God so many times because of that promise. Time and time again God has proved Himself faithful. He has given us things to do.
We initially met in the hall of our Pastor’s house. We eventually moved into the community centre. We started looking for our own church. We looked and looked. Buildings were impractical, too big, too small, or too old. We came across our current venue, an old maternity clinic. Maternity clinics hadn’t been in use for a long time by then, so the Local Authority decided to sell the building as it was surplus to their requirements.
We put a bid in to buy it, but the council opposed it. Lots of people over the years have opposed this church. It went to the Welsh Office as an appeal. We went to the highest court in the land. God gave us a promise in the very beginning that this building would be ours to put a church in. It was many years from the point we decided we wanted it to when it became ours. God in His faithfulness said “I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it”. He’d promised us this place and told us we were to come here. He wanted us to come to this place.
People might ask how do we know He wanted us here or why this town. We didn’t know why at the time, but we do now. Because many people around us need to know about the love that God has for them. At the time, we walked in darkness. We didn’t know why God was asking, but we were obedient. He opened the door for us to do that. And He’s done that time and time and time again.
This year we’ve seen God open the doors in so many ways. He’s opened a door into the Bible College, where we have a meeting once a month for people in Swansea who want to come to our meetings. We’ve opened the door to many new people; wonderful open doors! When God opens a door, He doesn’t just open a door where we get inside and there’s nothing there. There’s actually an abundance of life!
My favourite verse in the bible is where Christ says: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10).
There’s an old saying that that our pantries are full. If we opened our pantry we wouldn’t just see a bit of straw or an old biscuit. Our pantries are full of M&S food! When He opens a door, we don’t find meagre things behind it. We find things that are rich and good, and lovely for us. He’s the God of good things.
So many of us in 2018 have seen those things coming to fruition. We’ve seen lives who’ve had serious illnesses where God has brought them through that illness and been faithful to them through the treatment. They’ve gone through that open door with God and He has brought them out the other side into that rich place where they’ve been able to experience His faithfulness to them, and experience what God has said He will do. He has healed them and made them new. He has brought them into a new place in Him.
We’ve seen a host of things. We’ve listened to many, many testimonies of people going through that open door with God and He’s been good to them. We’ve seen people with no job and no sign of a job; and suddenly there are three jobs there! We’ve seen God being faithful in universities where He’s opened up courses, held up through degrees, and given jobs for people to walk into at the end. Every single person can testify to the faithfulness of God.
We’ve seen people who’ve come from crippling shyness who can now get up and say God has been faithful to them. God has transformed lives. God is in the business of transforming lives!
That encounter with God is for every one of us. Where we come before Him, meet Him face to face, and we find Him for ourselves. Through that open door.
In John 10:9 Christ says “I am the door”. What is beyond that door?
It’s where we find Him! We find Him for ourselves. We can find healing of our body, mind and emotions. We can find that strength of God for ourselves. We can find that our weaknesses, fears and phobias are removed! Our background, our baggage, can go in an instant without medication. We find the peace of God, the joy of God, and the freedom of God to be ourselves!
Just as we are we come to God. We haven’t got to pretend because He knows us. He knows every hair on our head. He knows our strength and weaknesses. He knows the good and the bad. He knows the things we do that He doesn’t like, but He still loves us. He has a love for us that nobody else can match; not even our families. There isn’t a love like God has for us.
We can find that love for God for ourselves. We can find our reason for living, our purpose, the reason we were born. We can find our deepest needs fulfilled, and the plans God has for us. A life worth living!
Many, many people don’t find the reason why they’re alive. They may think they know, but many people have never realised that there is a plan and a purpose that God has, that brings that abundant life. Where everything – our whole past – is gone.
Whoever you are, whatever your background, the love of God is waiting for you when you step through that door. It doesn’t matter what background we’ve come from – rich or poor, educated or non-educated – under God every single one of us are the same. It doesn’t matter what a person has done – there is love and forgiveness in Christ! It pours out from Him.
As we come into 2019, none of us know what is in front of us. There may be good times and there may be difficult times. I would rather walk in the most difficult circumstances with God than in the most wondrous circumstances without Him. He’ll prove Himself faithful.
I encourage anyone who doesn’t know Christ as their saviour. I cannot recommend Him highly enough. I can’t recommend anyone else other than Him who would be faithful to you forever, in your families, your home, your working life, your private life and in your past life, where He can come and wipe away the tears, the sadness, and the grieving. There is nothing in your life that He cannot mend. There’s not a broken heart that He cannot heal. There’s not a broken life that He cannot put back together.
He is the saviour of the world. He came to save us! If He hadn’t come to save us, we would have had to face the wrath of God. But Christ came so that we can face the love of God, and experience the love of God, each and every one of us for ourselves.
I can set a beautiful table of food before you, show it to you and describe the taste. But that’s no good. You need to come to taste it for yourself.
I would encourage you to call on His name.