7 Letters of Revelation: Open to Opportunity

Key in LockRevelation 3:7-13 NIV
The Risen Christ says, “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars–I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Three quotes by John Stott from his commentary What Christ Thinks of the Church: an Exposition of Revelation 1-3

  • The church urgently needs Christians of apostolic zeal who will count all things loss for Christ, and hazard life, comfort, career and reputation for him. The open doors are many, but there are few to go through them.
  • Here then is the balance of the Christian life. It is a life of give and take. “Freely you have received,” said Jesus, “freely give.” (Matthew 10:8) First we gratefully take what he offers; then we gladly give what he asks. He sets before us the open doors of salvation and of service. He bids us go in through the one to receive salvation and out through the other to give service. It is not possible to go through the second until we have been through the first. As Jesus puts it: “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
  • Not only is every individual Christian called to be a witness, but every local Christian community is called to mobilize its membership for mission. This will involve a careful training program, the regular visitation of the whole neighborhood, the development of home evangelism, and the arrangement of special events at which the gospel is shared. These are some of the doors which Christ as opened. We must make sure we go through them. The key is Christ’s but the choice is ours.

2 Timothy 4:1-2 NRSV
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.

Maybe “witnessing” is about the choice we have to plant seeds of unkindness, hurry, hate, and greed in one another’s lives, or to plant seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. Whether it’s in our closest relationships or our brief encounters with strangers, we always have that choice—to bring life or to bring death, to bring an agenda or to bring love, to bring a product or to bring Jesus.
– Rachel Held Evans, Why I Don’t Witness to People on Airplanes (A Post in 3 Acts)

The world can no longer be left to mere diplomats, politicians, and business leaders. They have done the best they could, no doubt. But this is an age for spiritual heroes- a time for men and women to be heroic in their faith and in spiritual character and power. The greatest danger to the Christian church today is that of pitching its message too low.
Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives

Prayer: Blow Open
Holy Jesus, blow open the doors of our hearts
We’ve locked them tight
in pride, in guilt
Swing them wide with wonder and grace
that we may walk through them
into your welcome
into your saving love

Holy Jesus, blow open the doors of your house
We’ve locked them tight
in fear, in apathy
Swing them wide with courage and hope
that we may walk through them
into your harvest
into your kingdom come

This is the sixth of seven posts based on themes from Revelation chapters 2-3. In these scriptures, Jesus reveals the timeless message of what His church should look like.

Prayer: Blow Open © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on use of the scripture, art and this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s