Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Open the Door

Revelation 3:20 says, “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.”

Reading this verse brings to mind an image of Christ standing at a door knocking. The picture that comes to mind is from a painting done by Warner Sallman entitled Christ at Heart’s Door. Feel free to open another window and google for the image. My guess is it will immediately bring back memories to you also.

Your search engine will present you with a picture of Christ standing at a door with his hand upraised as if knocking on the door in front of him. While you can see a grating on the door, no light shines out. Brambles and weeds are crowding in around the figure of Christ.

In describing the picture its curators at Anderson University say, “The barely concealed heart produced by the luminance of Christ and the frame of the doorway convey Christ’s call to the soul ensnared in thistles of sin and the darkness of ignorance and willfulness. Yet, “all is not hopeless, for there is an opening of grillwork in the door ‘revealing the darkness within,’ so that the individual may see who is at the door, and see that He is good and kind.”

The pictures preaches a theology of repentance. Christ is the first mover, He comes to the door and knocks. But there is no handle or latch on the outside of the door, only the person inside is able to open it. This is a Savior who will not force His way in, but chooses to knock and even to call out with His voice. Jesus patiently waits, and insistently invites a time of commitment and fellowship.

What will you do today? Will you open the door? Will you make a first commitment to this Savior? Is it time to recommit through Bible study and prayer? Jesus stands at the door and knocks, we must choose our response.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Call to Share

As Seventh-day Adventists we are a part of a worldwide movement. Just some facts and figures to make this worldwide church more real to you. The latest statistics released by the General Conference include these numbers. There are 78,810 church congregations in our denomination. Add to that 69,213 companies. (These are faith groups that aren’t officially organized as a church, but meet together regularly for worship on the Sabbath.) Worldwide church membership is 18,479,257. These are amazing numbers to me! This movement that stretches around the globe, sharing the same message of Christ’s love and soon return.

There are 237 countries and areas of the world as recognized by the United Nations, the Seventh-day Adventist church has an official presence in 216 of them. This is encouraging, and challenging at the same time. There is much success to celebrate, and yet there is still much to do.

What will you to today to further the spread of the gospel message? This message is contained in the words of 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.”

This is the good news, Christ died for our sins. Because He died on our behalf, there is hope for a future life with Him in a world free of sin. This good news needs to reach to every person, in whatever language they speak. They must know God’s love for them as expressed by His son’s death and the hope that brings. What will you do today to help further the spread of this message?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Evangelism sounds like a large, complicated and frightening word. It may conjure up for you pictures of pitched tents in the field, or handbills arriving in neighborhood mailboxes. You may picture an opportunity to share the gospel, and staring wide-eyed as you watch the opportunity slip away.

What it looks like to our church family is a mission to reach families with young children with the love of God. It looks like our family church where we sat around tables and made snowflakes to share our praises and requests during prayer time. In a moment of optimism we prepared four extra tables for groups to participate in our snow experiment and did you notice God sent people to fill every chair?

Evangelism is the upcoming Kids’ Night In planned by Annie Benedetti. Miss Annie sent out a call to children to join her for games, crafts and more. Her list is growing as parents call to reserve a spot for their children to attend.

This same passion to follow Jesus and share His love extends to our fellow churches of the Potomac Conference. Did you hear yet about Cultivate? It is the church planting and evangelism department’s plan to reach out with evangelism in many ways. Interested in comparing our evangelism with others around the conference, click on this link to see a short video or read evangelism reports from around the conference.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Returning to God

I remember the huge transition from full-time work to student labor when returning to school for my master’s degree. From a balanced budget with allotments for savings and discretionary income, I went to living off of $804 a month. With a rent payment of $350 a month, you can start picturing what my life looked like to cover utilities, a car payment, food and purchasing warm winter gear. The temptation came to shorten God’s piece. On paper it just didn’t work, and so I gave into the temptation. However, the month that I took courage and challenged God to stretch what was left because I wanted Him first, strange things happened. I remember a tube of toothpaste that seemed to keep producing. Simple things like the milk lasting longer in the fridge and a roll of toilet paper that seemed never ending. All these little things with no explanation except God’s blessings.

Is your story similar? Did you notice the blessing of putting God first? Think over God’s faithfulness in your finances as you chose to include His work in your budget. As you go into the week put God first by returning to Him before using your funds to meet other needs or wants. Prayerfully choose what will be marked as tithe and what is marked as offerings to support the local ministry of your church. As you put God first in your finances, see what He will do for you. Step up into this calling to be a steward of your time, talents, and financial resources. Dare to risk returning to God, and see what He will do to show His faithfulness.