“Behold, Hear His Voice, Open the Door”, Charles H. Spurgeon on Revelation 3:20 (See Jesus, Receive His Love, Believe)

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Revelation 3:20
“0 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

Charles H. Spurgeon, Sermon on Revelation 3:20

(July 26, 1874, delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington)

‘Behold,’ saith he, ‘I stand at the door and knock.’ I have known this text preached upon to sinners numbers of times as though Christ knocked at their door and they had to open it, and so on. The preacher has never managed to keep to free grace for this reason, that the text was not meant to be so used, and if men will ride a text the wrong way, it will not go. This text belongs to the church of God, not to the unconverted. It is addressed to the Laodicean church.

There is Christ outside the church, driven there by her unkindness, but he has not gone far away, he loves his church too much to leave her altogether, he longs to come back, and therefore he waits at the doorpost. He knows that the church will never be restored till he comes back, and he desires to bless her, and so he stands waiting, knocking and knocking, again and again; he does not merely knock once, but he stands knocking by earnest sermons, by providences, by impressions upon the conscience, by the quickenings of his Holy Spirit; and while he knocks he speaks, he uses all means to awaken his church.

Most condescendingly and graciously does he do this, for having threatened to spue her out of his mouth, he might have said, ‘I will get me gone; and I will never come back again to thee,’ that would have been natural and just; but how gracious he is when, having expressed his disgust he says, ‘Disgusted as I am with your condition, I do not wish to leave you; I have taken my presence from you, but I love you, and therefore I knock at your door, and wish to be received into your heart.

I will not force myself upon you, I want you voluntarily to open the door to me.’ Christ’s presence in a church is always a very tender thing. He never is there against the will of the church, it cannot be, for he lives in his people’s wills and hearts, and ‘worketh in them to will and to do of his own good pleasure.’

He does not break bolt and bar and come in as he often does into a sinner’s heart, carrying the soul by storm, because the man is dead in sin, and Christ must do it all, or the sinner will perish; but he is here speaking to living men and women, who ought also to be loving men and women, and he says, ‘I wish to be among you, open the door to me.’ We ought to open the door at once, and say, ‘Come in, good Lord, we grieve to think we should ever have put thee outside that door at all.’

And then see what promises he gives. He says he will come and sup with us. Now, in the East, the supper was the best meal of the day, it was the same as our dinner; so that we may say that Christ will come and dine with us. He will give us a rich feast, for he himself is the daintiest and most plenteous of all feasts for perishing souls. He will come and sup with us, that is, we shall be the host and entertain him: but then he adds, ‘and he with me,’ that is, he will be the host and guest by turns.

We will give him of our best, but poor fare is that, too poor for him, and yet he will partake of it. Then he shall be host, and we will be guest, and oh, how we will feast on what he gives! Christ comes, and brings the supper with him, and all we do is to find the room. The Master says to us, ‘Where is the guest chamber?’ and then he makes ready and spreads his royal table.

Now, if these be the terms on which we are to have a feast together, we will most willingly fling open the doors of our hearts and say, ‘Come in, good Lord.’ He says to you, ‘Children, have you any meat?’ and if you are obliged to say, ‘No, Lord,’ he will come in unto you none the less readily, for there are the fish, the net is ready to break, it is so full, and here are more upon the coals ready. I warrant you, if we sup with him, we shall be lukewarm no longer. The men who live where Jesus is soon feel their hearts burning.

It is said of a piece of scented clay by the old Persian moralist that the clay was taken up and questioned. ‘How camest thou to smell so sweetly, being nothing but common clay?’ and it replied, ‘I laid for many a year in the sweet society of a rose, until at last I drank in its perfume’; and we may say to every warm-hearted Christian, ‘How camest thou so warm?’ and his answer will be, ‘My heart bubbleth up with a good matter, for I speak of the things which I have made touching the King. I have been with Jesus, and I have learned of him.’

Now, brethren and sisters, what can I say to move you to take this last medicine? I can only say, take it, not only because of the good it will do you, but because of the sweetness of it. I have heard say of some persons that they were pledged not to take wine except as a medicine, but then they were very pleased when they were ill: and so if this be the medicine, ‘I will come and sup with him, and he with me,’ we may willingly confess our need of so delicious a remedy. Need I press it on you? May I not rather urge each brother as soon as he gets home today to see whether he cannot enter into fellowship with Jesus? and may the Spirit of God help him!

This is my closing word, there is something for us to do in this matter. We must examine ourselves, and we must confess the fault if we have declined in grace. An then we must not talk about setting the church right, we must pray for grace each one for himself, for the text does not say, ‘If the church will open the door,’ but ‘If any man hear my voice and open the door.’ It must be done by individuals: the church will only get right by each man getting right. Oh, that we might get back into an earnest zeal for our Lord’s love and service, and we shall only do so by listening to his rebukes, and then falling into his arms, clasping him once again, and saying, ‘My Lord and my God.’

That healed Thomas, did it not? Putting his fingers into the print of the nails, putting his hand into the side, that cured him. Poor, unbelieving, staggering Thomas only had to do that and he became one of the strongest of believers, and said, ‘My Lord and my God.’ You will love your Lord till your soul is as coals of juniper if you will daily commune with him. Come close to him, and once getting close to him, never go away from him anymore.

The Lord bless you, dear brethren, the Lord bless you in this thing.

PORTION OF SCRIPTURE READ BEFORE SERMON’ Revelation 3.

Charles H. Spurgeon

Spurgeons Sermon on Revelation 3:20 (entire) link to Rev. 3:14-21

“Living Through the Eyes of Love”, from L.Willows ( Heaven and Earth, , A Kingdom View, Beholding God)

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“Living Through the Eyes of Love”, from Linda Willows

My friend said to me, “That is ok. God still knows,” I felt my heart sigh inside. I was relieved and comforted. I should know this. But I needed the reminder. God Knows. He sees. He is always with us.

It was so good to remember. My friend is an elder in the church. He usually chooses his words carefully. I often think about what he says afterward. He is the age of my son with wisdom far beyond my own. It is humbling. The Lord gives us relationships like that to teach us to see our hearts. When He can’t get through, He sends people with His message!

I had been unable to do something that I promised to my group. It made me feel uncomfortable to not fulfill a duty. I did not like disappointing my colleagues, especially friends, people that I cared about. But there was a dynamic that I was not recognizing. I was viewing the situation through the eyes of my own needs and not admitting it. My need at that moment was to be recognized (loved) for the work that I could provide, seen as valuable and needed. It was a difficult thing to have exposed, to myself, to my own heart. We sometimes turn goodness, even ‘good works’,  into our value. That had been recent teaching in our small study group. It elaborated upon Ephesians-

Ephesians 2:8-9 –For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

I was reminded again. Nothing is my own doing. My faith needed a fine-tuning, a fresh filling of God’s Love.

We are all learning to see ourselves, relationships to life and to God more clearly as we live and learn. His love fills all of our needs. We learn that again and again.

That is the beauty of our story. We are in the process of remembering, of waking up to God. When we see how much we are loved, we see through His eyes, we see life through the eyes of Love.

The message was to see God. More, it was that God sees us and is with us all the time.

The only one to gaze upon is God. All of life follows Him. 

We learn to see through the Eyes of Love. They are His Own. Our lives are not about ourselves.

We often interpret most things in life to be about ourselves, it’s the inclination of our hearts but the truth is that there is an overriding bigger picture.  As my pastor said some months back, “our lives are not about ourselves.” If you recall, that sermon pointed towards my own heart with an embracing touch. It was not the first time, but perhaps we need to hear things many times, even at many ages- before the tip of the arrow ripens and is able to find that sweet spot and the message finds it’s way home.

Our lives are about love. If we look with the eyes of love we see that there is a larger story. All work, all of everything – really belongs to God. It is purposed for His will. When we become ‘willing’ to see farther than ourselves, our hearts are ready to receive the Big Picture, the view of Heaven and Earth.

We see with “A Kingdom View.”

Our hearts form our perspectives. When I speak of heart I am including all aspects of thought, belief, and feeling that create our identities. In Christianity, the heart is much more. It is also inborn with the seed of God’s Spirit.

Galatians 4:4 –“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, … you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!”

Life is meant to be consecrated. That means to be made holy. It is made holy by coming before HOLINESS. We long to cry to the Spirit of God, “Abba, Father – show us how to live in the fullness of Your love, help our hearts to be renewed in Your Holiness.

We Lift our hearts to the Eternity of Christ’s Love.

For me, prayer is an amazing way of encouraging and the view of Eternity in daily life. It pauses my mind and heart from the daily activity of thinking and feeling and asks for the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Soaking in Scripture before praying is a vital preparation.

Prayer is a way to fine-tune our capacity to be “Listeners” to God’s wisdom. We develop the ability to follow the promptings of His Spirit from prayer. By abiding in stillness and refining the discipline of prayer, we go to ‘places of solitude’ and peace that allow us to build secure bridges of communication to God.

Prayer is the basis of a relationship with God, Himself. When we pray, we are going to the throne of Grace and addressing the Lord.

Like David in the psalms, we need to go to a higher source for a look at our own hearts.

Psalm 134: 1-4 “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.”

David, the great King asked God for a perspective from The Heavenly Kingdom.

It’s like sifting gold in a river. The debris falls down and the gold rises up and shines in the light for us to see. It reflects God’s Goodness. We are reminded that it is all for His Glory. Because of His Glory. Our eyes are filled with Love.

Psalm 84:11 -“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Psalm 31:19 –“Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!”

We behold His Goodness through the eyes of Love.

The view that matters is the one seen through the eyes of love. 

Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

I am so grateful for my friend, for all friends that remind me that it is all ok, God knows. He is always with us. We are the ones that need to be reminded to be WITH HIM.

© 2019 Linda Willows

“The Eye of Joy’s Hold”, a worship poem from L.Willows (Joy, beholding God, God’s Glory)

 

 

 

The Eye of Joy’s Hold

What is this joy but a moment that sees,
Glimpses the time when all hindrances free.
All of our cares, when the burdens we bear,
Lift from our hearts and there our lives share.

Love in the fellowship, sweet honeyed noon.
All of us swaying to the music in a swoon.
Lifted with faces that shine with delight,
Oh, I can see this, I see it tonight.

What is this Life that the heart can behold,
Held in a moment, with the eye of Joy’s Hold.
Come let us join, let us share in the sweet fold,
Kept in that joy, in the story here told.

© 2019 Linda Willows

Isaiah 25:9 – “It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

Hebrews 2:12 -“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”