“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.” (Rev. 3:20) God is right there, right now… knocking. He wants to come in and be a part of our everyday life in a real way. But, we have a choice to leave that door closed, or to open it to him.
Some of us have opened up that door to God, but there are still some other doors we’ve left open that need to be shut, and as it’s a new year, a new month, a new week, a new day, a new hour, a new minute, a new moment – God always has new doors for each one of us. But if he’s not already inside as part of our life, we miss those doors. How many doors did you miss in 2007? How many doors stayed open in 07’ that you know needed to stay closed?
Many of us had a rough time last year and we’re glad it’s over. We’re hoping 2008 will be a better year. But, is that the best we can do? We’ll just hope and see what happens? Doorways matter… as we step through them it can be a real break through for us. All of us need to open some new doors. Some of you need to step through the door of a solid relationship with Christ. Some of you have done that but you need to step through the door of spending more time with him this year reading, praying, reflecting. Some of you need to step through the door of using your gifts and talents this year. Some of you need to step through the door of serving and helping out here at your local church, as it’s your time to learn to become a contributor and not just a consumer. Some of you reading this need to learn to step through the door of giving of your finances, some of you need to step through that door of starting that business you know God gave you a vision for, or that ministry God gave you a vision for, or finally finishing up that album. There are lots of doors each one of us need to step through.
All of us need to close some old doors. Some of you need to close the door on procrastination. Some of you need to close the door on bad language. Some of you need to close the door on debt. Some others need to close the door on lust and pornography. Some of you need to close the door on doubt. Some of you reading this need to close the door on bitterness. There are some doors that we all need to close. Now is the time for them to close, so you can have a real break through in your life and move forward.
Change is a tough thing and opening new doors isn’t as easy as it sounds. When it comes to change and opening new doors, it all starts in our minds. What we believe and what we think. Our spiritual worldview has a huge impact on this. Hardly anyone who hears the full story of Jesus and learns the true facts of his life and his teaching, crucifixion and resurrection, walks away with a shrug of the shoulders, dismissing him as unimportant. People ignorant of the story or misinformed about it – regularly dismiss him of course. But, with few exceptions the others know instinctively that they are dealing with a remarkable greatness. But, it is quite common for those who consider him truly important to include others who seem to be equally important in his company – Buddah, Moses, Socrates, and Mohammad for a historical start – along with some personal favorites. For these people Jesus is important, but not central. His prestige is considerable, but he is not preeminent.
The book of Colossians was a letter written by Paul to a group of people in the city of Colosee, and many of these cats were taking this line of thought that Jesus was important, but so was all these other gods and belief systems. All these other doors were still open. Paul writes them in an attempt to restore Jesus – the true Messiah to the center of their lives. Paul has this combination of a dope uncompromising intellect along with a heart that is warm and kind. Check out Chapter 3 as it talks about old doors we need to close and new ones we need to open as we follow Christ and make him the center. Verse 5 says, “And that means killing off everything connected with that old way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you fell like when you feel like it, and grabbing at whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings.” Our culture really knows how to play on things and feelings don’t they? If you get these things…you’ll feel happy. That’s what a lot of hip-hop tells us doesn’t it? Get these rims, these cribs, these girls, these jewels, and you’ll feel happy! But, unfortunately even the church sometimes opens up this door…doesn’t it? They can play on things and feelings also as they make promises of what material things people will get if they hook up with God. They say things that tickle people’s ears and make them feel good. They press those emotional buttons…instead of preaching the uncompromised truths of the gospel. Things are feelings aren’t a bad thing, but we have to be careful that doesn’t become what shapes our life. The passage goes on and says, “It wasn’t long ago that were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, and dirty talk. These are the things we need to close the door on!
Paul then goes on and talks about the doors we need to open in verse 12. “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe god picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the master forgave you. And regardless of what you put on (baggy jeans, a fitted, a suit), wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”
We did a series at Crossover Church in January about Doors and the last Sunday 39 people came up the stage and walked through the door representing Christ. Hundreds of others made a decision to close old doors and open up new ones. 2008 isn’t brand new anymore …but it’s still fresh. Everyday is brand new…what doors do you need to close and which ones do you need to open? Step through! I hope to meet you someday on the other side of that door of eternity.