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God Is Open

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Knowing the Hours

I had the pleasure of being on the Servant Leader Coaches Bible Study Podcast this past week and at the end of conversation, the Host ask if I had to ask you God is “blank” what would you say? I said God is Open and it reminded me of something I think we can all relate to.
We make lunch plans, you’ve heard about this awesome restaurant and the person whom you are talking to says they’ve heard great things about the restaurant as well. You all decide to schedule a time to go. If your friends are anything like mine and work gets busy or you get busy one of you text, I’m on my way, and the other text I’m running about 10 minutes behind. You are excited, you’ve been looking at the menu and you know exactly what you are going to order. You arrive in the parking lot and you see no cars, but your faith is still strong and you say to yourself, “SELF, they must be parked in the back”. You get a glimpse inside and it looks like the lights are out, but your faith is still strong and you say to yourself, “SELF, they probably just have a dark tint on the windows. Now you’ve reached the door and your friend calls and says I’m pulling up and as they tell you they’re pulling up you pull the door handle to find out that they are closed. They are not open for to-go’s, dine in or take-out, they are closed. Your friend walks up and says what’s going on, and then it dawns on them, “AH, they are closed today”.
Now I have to do extra research to see who is open or go to a place that I know is open, but the lesson I learn is this particular restaurant is closed, so if I want to eat there in the future I have to come during the hours they are open.
So now I have a decision to make, I can reschedule with my friend or I can find a place that is open and still make the memory of having lunch and fellowshipping with someone I hope in high regard. It is always disheartening in an emergency or a scheduled event when the hours of operation don’t match the need.
I know a place you can go that never closes. I’m glad that with God, He is always open to listening to me, He’s open to forgive me, He’s open to protect me and My God never closes. Understand that just like the father in the story of the prodigal son, we have a Father in God that is willing to forgive and waiting for us to return home with open arms.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Background

In effort to paint the picture or provide a road map we have take a look at verse 16. “To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends, we played wedding songs and you didn’t dance, so we played funeral songs, and you did not mourn. For John didn’t spend his time eating and drinking and you say, He’s possessed by a demon. The Son of Man, on the other hand, feast and drinks, and you say, He’s a glutton and a friend of tax collector and other sinners!”
As followers of Christ and just people in general we have to know that the world we live in has become so individualistic, people want what they want when they want it without parameters.
We have to ask ourselves if no one is right how do we grow? If everyone wants their way, no one is satisfied for the long term. Someone has to be write and someone has to be wrong, but the beautiful thing about Jesus is the fact that in the midst of being right, he remained empathetic, he remained compassionate.
John did not engage them and they arrested him and beheaded him. Jesus engaged and they slandered his name and ended up crucifying him.
The problem with the world is the fact that people are looking for fellowship and peace people are looking to have things their way.
We serve a God that is open to everyone, but God still has standards. God still has parameters, God still has commandments. Nonetheless He’s open, He’s open to receive us no matter where we are in life.
God is not closed off to anyone, but God does have standards. Jude 4 & Romans 13:12-14

4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

God’s Love Is Open

Where we have things confused is we believe everyone in the pews is a representative of God. God is always open we are the ones that are closed off.
As much as the world talks about inclusivity we are the most divided group of people on earth.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Watch what Jesus does in Chapter 11 of Matthew, beginning at verse 21 “what sorrow awaits you” but in the same breath as we close this chapter off “Come to me, all of you who are wear and carry heavy burdens, I will give you rest”.
When society rejects us, God is open to receive us. God always is above board to reveal the consequences to us but ready to forgive at the expense of repentance that door is always OPEN.

God Has Open Power

In verse 27 Jesus states “My father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him”.
Jesus signifies his power, Jesus proclaims what God gave him and what God expects of Him. The openness of God is a blessing, that no matter where I am in life I can give my life to Him, I can surrender and He is open to help me get on the right path of righteousness. There’s no hour too late or day too early for God is always willing and ready to receive us!
Power is a sense of openness, I have the ability to do the impossible.
When family abandons you my power is still there.
When friends mistreat you my power is available.
When the world turns their back on you my power is still there.
When life doesn’t seem worth living, His Power is still available.
The tenets of God’s power is a sign of openness.
Grace is a sign of power - God has the divine ability to confront human indifference and rebellion with the capacity to forgive and bless in a manner that never runs out. Hebrews 8:6-7 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Mercy is a sign of power - God divine ability to keep promises and remain faithful with humans despite our unworthiness and unfaithfulness. Ephesians 2:4 But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses.
Forgiveness is a sign of power - Although God punishes sin, forgiveness is a part of His nature. unmerited forgiveness intensified through the death of Christ offered on our behalf. He has the power to relieve us our debts with no expectation of repayment but to live a life that is pleasing unto Him and treat other people with the same level of forgiveness.
Galatians 5:13-15

13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

I’m Open Come Unto Me

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Jesus has a consistent way that he invites us! He gives a command that can be carried out to lead to results. We cannot experience the full benefit of being in Jesus unless we come to him.
Command - Jesus gives instructions, come to me (I’m open)
Address - who is He talking to? “All of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens”
Result - Rest
What does he mean by rest? Basically it won’t be hard or as hard because you have help in Jesus.
Understand that giving rest is not an excuse to stop working. It is moreso the idea that I no longer have to carry these burdens on my own. Even though following Jesus takes obedience, patience and longsuffering. Jesus has already done the heavy lifting. I find rest in the fact that my sins are forgiven. I find rest in the fact that I can bring anything to Him, I find rest in the fact that I can talk to Him no matter the hour.
God is so open to share His nature so much so that He sent His son so we can spend eternity with Him! My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2
God’s attitude toward sinners is inviting - This is why He says COME!
His yoke is easy and to bear and the burden I give you is light: Jesus is not only providing us with an outlet of support but He’s shifting the narrative. There was a contrast between the law and the teachings of Jesus. The law made it a burden, Christ’ teaching was a refreshment, the yoke is not following a set of rules, the yoke is allegiance to Christ. I don’t mind the work when I know I have help. I don’t mind the work when I know I have someone in Jesus who is open to my shortcomings.
He is waiting with open arms to receive you today! God is Open!
He is open like the arms of the prodigal son’s father, even when we have wandered far from home: Luke 15:20 “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” He is open, never to abandon us or close the door on us John 6:37 “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” He is open, even to protect us from our enemies Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy before you and said, ‘Destroy.’”
To the persecutors and enemy that hung Jesus on the cross may have seen victory in convicting an innocent man. But when I look at Jesus on the cross even in the midst of a treacherous death I see Him even in persecution with His arms open so that He could receive the world. They may have lifted Him up on that cross because in their evil twisted thinking they thought they were preserving the status quo, but I serve a Jesus that said IF I BE LIFTED UP I WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME! Even in death God is open!
Read more: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/7-encouraging-bible-verses-about-the-open-arms-of-god/#ixzz6yqdRdHQA
The New King James Version. (1982). (1 Jn 2:1–2). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
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