April 22, 2016
READ: Revelation 3:14-22
Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends (v.20).
We all have that space in the home we would rather no one see—the messy garage, the cluttered study, or maybe, like me, it’s the yard. There are few things more beautiful than a well—kept lot with lush, perfectly mowed grass, neat hedges, and precision—trimmed roses. Our property’s hedges look more like an overgrown jungle and the grass is patchy and dry. So when our pastor’s wife, Mel, offered to help plant the roses she’d given me, I panicked! I was ashamed of our yard.
Just as there are parts of our house and our yard that we may be ashamed of, there are parts of ourselves we keep hidden from others and God. Lustful thoughts, uncontrolled anger, dishonesty—whatever it is, Jesus stands at the door to that shameful place and knocks. He says, “If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Revelation 3:20).
The church in Laodicea was complacent and mediocre in all they did. Since they were “neither hot nor cold,” Jesus challenged them to be “one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (3:14—16). They slumbered in the numbness of accumulated wealth and succumbed to self—reliance and indifference towards the most vulnerable in society, so God called them “wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (v.17).
My friend Mel showed me that the only way to tame an unkempt garden is by focusing on one manageable spot at a time. Jesus didn’t give up on the church in Laodicea, and He hasn’t given up on you. He knocks on the heavy, locked door of your junkroom, and if you allow Him, He’ll come in to cleanse you and remove your shame (v.18).
—Ruth O’Reilly-SmithI pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit (v.16).
365-day-plan: 1 Kings 22:29-40
Read Matthew 8:1—3 and Luke 7:36—50, 19:1—10 to see how Jesus drew close to and even touched people viewed as untouchable or undesirable. He’s ready to touch the most shameful places in your heart!
What are you trying to hide from God and others? How will it affect you and your relationship with Him if you bring your shame to Him?