Tuesday, April 17, 2018
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When you live in the New York area, locking up your house is just second nature. In fact, it's wise to make sure that every door and every window is locked. Unfortunately, all those precautions can work against you if you forget or lose your house key. Yes, this is the voice of experience. Not only are all those nasty people locked out, you are now locked out! I've been there and done that. I can remember making a complete circuit of the house, desperately trying every window and every door. And the good news was that sometimes I actually found something was unlocked. I'd take even a window that I had to be a contortionist to get through! Anything to find a way to get in!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Open Door On a Locked-Up Heart."
There are probably some people in your world who you want in heaven with you someday; people who probably don't know your Jesus yet. Maybe people who seem to have little interest in knowing Jesus. Sometimes, it seems as if the doors to their heart are all locked up when it comes to Him. But there is a way to get in, no matter how hostile they may seem.
In our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Peter 2:12, Peter says we should "live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us." He even says that "by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men."
A lost person might resist your invitation to Christian meetings and reject your Christian beliefs; but random acts of love and kindness? They're usually a key that unlocks even the hardest hearts. As Jesus carried out His rescue mission here on earth, He wrapped His message in concrete acts of love-touching the leper that no one would touch, going to dinner with "sinners" that the religious people avoided, going to a neighborhood where racial barriers said He should never go, or cuddling the children who came to Him.
That kind of love tears down walls between a believer and an unbeliever; it challenges an unbeliever's misconceptions about Christians being angry, and condemning and uncaring. It creates curiosity about what makes this caring person tick. And the good news is that anybody can show Jesus' love to a lost person. You don't have to have a theological education or a Hollywood personality. It simply requires that you focus on someone whose eternity you care about and you ask yourself this question: "Knowing what I know about this person, what things could I do that would make him or her feel loved?"
Maybe it's babysitting or helping to care for a live-in parent for free, filling in at work so they can have a day off, or helping with a school subject that person is struggling with, or maybe you could provide transportation, or offer to do some "dirty work" for them. Maybe it's forgiving a debt or providing work for them. You could introduce a newcomer to his new surroundings, open your home for dinner, how about repairing a vehicle or an appliance, or just taking an interest in something that matters to them.
I call it "rescue loving." It involves a conscious effort to identify what would make a lost person in your life feel loved. You can find a person's language of love by asking, "What need do they have right now that I could help with?" You literally go looking for needs into which you can pour the kind of love with which Jesus has loved you. That's how you find the open door on a life that you can't get into any other way.