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  • From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove

What does God say about the doors in our lives?

Jn 10:7, “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” All who choose to become sheep will find their way to His open door, Jn 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” and an eternal life with God the Father, Rev 3:8, “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” God sends His servants into this world looking for His lost sheep, even those who deny His name, Mk 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” He is always ready to do whatever it takes to save every last one of us, Matt 18:12, “How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?” Some of us shut the door to our hearts and never know about the open door to salvation. But, God continues to knock at the door of our hearts; wishing we would open it and let Him tell us about salvation, Rev 3:20-21, “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. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

Our lives are filled with many doors, some we should go through, and some we should not, and everyone one of them changes our lives forever. God knows the doors we should go through. When we open the door of our hearts and let Him in, He leads us to the doors of a more enjoyable, abundant life, Matt 7:7-8, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” We need His guidance to find the right doors, Prov 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” When we accept Jesus as our savior we will learn to see the doors He has opened for us. Patience and faith are required as we look for these doors, for God’s timing is better than ours, Ps 27:14, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” and Eccl 3:1, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” and Is 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Sometimes God allows doors to remain closed for our own good, Prov 16:9, “A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” If we were to open those doors, they would lead us away from God and His plan for us, Prov 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” So, He warns us about those closed doors. Of course, He has given us free will, so we can still choose to open those doors. But we will surely suffer the consequences and so will all of those who are affected by our choice. We need not dwell on the closed doors, for God has seen the future and knows what needs to happen for His plan to be completed, Rom 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Our faith allows us to wait on the Lord’s timing and it also sustains us during times of tribulation, Rom 5:3-5, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” And, we will all experience times of tribulation, Matt 5:45, "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

Matt 13:24-30, "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." Why would God allow the tares to damage to the wheat in the field? Why wouldn't He just remove them when they first appear? Because God knows we all start out as tares, Rom 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" and that we become wheat when we choose to accept His love. If He can turn water into wine, Jn 4:46a, "So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine..." surely He can turn tares into wheat. He wants all of us to have every opportunity possible to see the choice before us and to accept His offer of salvation, Matt 18:12, " How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?" We all have the choice and those of us who choose to ignore God will remain tares, bringing tribulation into the lives of the people around us.

So, the next time we are passed up for a promotion, or a person who attracts us is not attracted to us, we can accept those closed doors and move on knowing God has something better planned for us. Our response should be joyful prayer and service to others in expectation of the exciting things God has planned for us, 1 Pet 4:10, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” It is our faith that allows us to have positive expectations. And, we can have faith because God has already told us everything that happens will work together to complete His plan, Rom 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." If we watched the replay of a game our favorite team won, and late in the game it appeared they were going to lose, would we worry? We already know they are going to win, so we can be excited to watch the miraculous ending that brings victory. In this life we have a choice, we can worry and fret, or we can have faith and joyfully do the works He has called us to. When we do these things, God is faithful to complete a good work in us, Phil 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

There are times we face doors that seem closed because of some adversity but are really part of God’s plan, as did Noah, Joseph, Moses, Mary, and Jesus. Noah did not let the 100+ years of criticism and name-calling stop him from building the Ark, which preserved the bloodline God had chosen to complete His plan. Joseph did not let his brothers selling him into slavery stop him from rising to the second-highest position of authority in Egypt, so he could save those same brothers from starvation. Moses did not let the 40 years of his people’s complaining stop him from leading them to the very edge of the Promised Land. Mary did not let the stigma of an immaculate conception stop her from marrying Joseph and raising Jesus. Jesus did not let the suffering and death He faced prevent Him from accepting the cross and offering salvation to all of us. All were parts of God’s plan, and those doors were open, but the doorways were not easily crossed. We can read about Jesus' anguish as He prepared to cross His most difficult threshold, Lk 22:22-24, "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." The key to knowing whether a door is indeed closed is in the Word of God. He never leads us to an open door that requires us to defy His Word, Jn 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

Our patience and willingness to open the door of our hearts lead us to Him, Jn 10:2-3, “But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” God has sent many into this world to speak the mystery of Christ, so that every last one of us has a chance to accept His offer of salvation, Col 4:3, “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:” Amen!

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