Monday, September 15, 2008
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We've always had a wide variety of folks come to our front door. Like salesmen, for example. They get as far as the front step. Then there are the neighborhood kids raising money, they make it inside the door; they get to our welcome mat usually. And there are lots of acquaintances and friends who we invite into the living room to sit down and visit for a while. And sometimes it's a relative or a real close friend. They'll go straight to the fridge, and they feel free to use the telephone and the bathroom. You can tell how close we are to a person by how far that person is allowed to go in our house.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Stuck On the Welcome Mat."
Our word for today from the Word of God describes a healthy, growing relationship with Jesus Christ. And it has a lot to do with how far into the house of your life you allow Jesus to go. Colossians 2:6, "Just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith."
Now, there's a surprising spiritual secret in these words. In a sense, you learned the secret of growing in Christ the day you met Christ! The way you live in Him and get rooted and built up in Him is the way you first began your relationship with Him - you "received" Him, you invited Him in. So, just as you invited Christ Jesus in to be your Lord and Savior, so you keep on inviting Him in to more and more of your life.
Right now your life-house may be a mess. In fact, I've been asked, "I invited Christ in. How come I still feel so lonely? So depressed? So defeated?" Here's one possible reason: Jesus is still just inside the door; He's still on the welcome mat. You've never received Him farther into your life. He's in, but you're not inviting Him into any rooms. Yes, you had a time when you "accepted Christ as your Savior." But maybe your relationship with Him is like a couple that had a great wedding but not much of a marriage. You started with Jesus, but not much has really happened since.
Jesus Christ will only change and improve that which is consciously turned over to Him. He didn't come into your life until you opened the door, right? He won't come into the parts of your life until you open the door. If you let Christ into ten percent of you, then the other 90 percent will probably be as much of a mess as it was B. C. (before Christ). He's been treated like a visitor, a stranger, an acquaintance - not like your closest Friend, not like the most important person in your life. He wants to do so much more in those rooms: your temper, your tongue, your lust, your relationships, your marriage, your loneliness, your depression, or the pain of your past. But He just hasn't been invited.
You may be missing much of the love, the peace or the meaning that you came to Christ hoping to receive because you've never asked Him past the welcome mat, or a couple of rooms. Remember, Jesus only goes where He's invited in your life. So what specific part of you did you invite Him to be the ruler of today? That could be the Lordship question each new day.
Keep on opening doors to your Savior. Keep on inviting Him deeper and deeper into the things that matter to you. You can tell how close you are to Jesus by how far you allow Him to go in that "house" called your life.
You know, it's possible that you've never even opened the door of your life to Jesus Christ. You could be in the church your whole life. You can know the Bible in and out. You can know all the answers. You can know lots of Christian people and still have missed that step that's the difference between heaven and hell. That's opening the door to let Him come in. Have you missed that step? If you don't know you did it, you probably haven't. This could be the day to take care of it and get it settled. Tell Him, "Jesus, I'm Yours."
Go to our website. It's there really to help you to be sure that you belong to Him. It's YoursForLife.net. I hope you'll go there today.
You may have been around Jesus for a long time, but maybe you have never really belonged to Him. Let this be the day that the Jesus who you have known about becomes the Jesus you know.