Monday, April 9, 2018
Sermon Notes: Closed Doors and Windows Can't Keep Jesus Out!
My ears really perked up during Sunday's sermon when the pastor said,
"Closed doors and windows can't keep Jesus out..."
or at least that's what I thought he said...but then I realized what he really said was this:
"SPIRITUAL Closed doors and windows can't keep Jesus' SPIRIT out!"
Either way, I thought to myself..."He must be reading my blog to use the Closed Doors, Open Windows terminology!"....and then I started paying closer attention to what the pastor was REALLY saying...
And what he was really talking about was what was happening in the days following Jesus' resurrection from the dead...looking especially at John's Gospel, chapter 20, verses 24-29.
Here's the story... just prior to this in verses 19-23, Jesus had appeared to most of the Disciples as they gathered back in the Upper Room trying to figure out what was going on...
19. "Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week,
when the doors were shut
where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them
"Peace be with you."
Now, on to verse 24...
"Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came."
So the other disciples told Thomas all about Jesus appearing to them, and Thomas was a bit incredulous...or maybe just a bit envious...either way, he wasn't too sure about this, so he said,
25. "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe!"
Thomas wanted his own experience...his own story...not everyone else's story...he wanted to see Jesus for himself and experience the Risen Christ personally before he would truly believe...
So, what happened? Well, read on...
26. And after eight days His disciples were again inside,
and Thomas with them.
the doors being shut,
and stood in the midst, and said,
"Peace to you!"
Jesus got right to the heart of the matter with Thomas when He said to him,
27. "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands;
and reach your hand here, put it into My side.
Do not be unbelieving, but believing."
28.And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
At this point, Thomas acknowledged Jesus as his LORD...he let Jesus' Spirit enter into his heart...he made Him LORD of his life...which is like saying "My Lord, You have dominion over my life here on earth..." We can lean on His everlasting arms as our sustainer, protector, and guide here on earth...
And then Thomas also acknowledged Jesus as "My God"...for eternity...even when this life ends... My God Who will be there on the other side of this life...waiting for us...to welcome us home...
Jesus not only entered the room through closed doors and windows, where the disciples were sitting and waiting, but He entered the closed door of Thomas' heart, and opened it wide...just one look at the Savior and Thomas's heart door opened wide to let Him enter in.
Jesus then said to Thomas,
29. "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed.
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
It is as if Jesus "established a new blessing for those not yet born...we are blessed...God has blessed us. We weren't there at the Upper Room or at the crucifixion...yet Jesus said we are blessed because we have believed, yet not seen! We are blessed...Jesus says we are blessed...and no liar, gossiper, or demon can change that..." (paraphrasing from sermon)
Don't let spiritual closed doors or windows keep you from letting Christ into your heart! He wants to enter in...He's standing there waiting and knocking at your heart's door. His Spirit is able to enter in through closed doors and windows...perhaps even when we aren't really "believing"...but we need to acknowledge His Presence and welcome Him in, and proclaim with Thomas,
"My Lord and my God!"
Sermon notes from FUMC Interlachen, Pastor A.C. Myers, 4/8/2018