Have you ever read a verse in the Bible for the hundredth time thinking that you could not possibly learn anything new from it, only to have it floor you? That happened to me a few weeks ago as I read through the book of Revelation.
If you’re a Christian you’ve probably heard or read the following verse, and especially heard it used in reference to evangelism. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says:
“Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.”
That’s a pretty great verse talking about the Savior of the world wanting to fellowship with you…and me.
But in context, who is Jesus talking to and what precedes it?
We see in Revelation 3:14-22 that Jesus is addressing the church in Laodicea. And He doesn’t sugarcoat it. These are words you probably never want to hear from God…unless of course they could save your life:
“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.” (Revelation 3:15-17, Message)
Those are intense words but they are actually words filled with love. Everyone in this church in Laodicea is created in the image of God, and He has beautiful plans for their lives. But they had gotten off track. Way off track.
When God corrects us it’s because He loves us and wants to help us. Really!
Shortly after those verses He says this:
“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God! (Revelation 3:19, Message)
In the original language, what the Message version interprets as “about face” is the word “repent”. In Greek the word is metanoeó.
It means “to change your mind; to change the inner man (particularly with reference to acceptance of the will of God).” It’s a verb, which is an action. It means you make a decision to do an “about face” and head in the other direction. It’s not just a thought, there is action to it.
As in choosing to turn from death (sin) and turn to Jesus (eternal life).
And then we come to this: “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.” Revelation 3:20
The beautiful thing about this is that even when we are choosing to be far from God, and acting in a way that actually makes Him sick to His stomach, He calls us back to wholeness. He wants us to be well. He wants us to turn around; to make a decision to do things differently.
And then He wants to have dinner with us; to talk and eat and laugh and fellowship.
Jesus isn’t standing on the other side of the door with a bat ready to hit us over the head.
Quite the opposite.
He’s standing on the other side of the door with a cheesecake that He’s bringing for dessert at the dinner party we’ve invited Him to. He wants to spend time with us.
I want to encourage you today that if you feel you’ve gotten a bit off track, or if God is showing you that yep, you’re way off track, you have the opportunity to turn around. It’s a choice for you today.
And if God is correcting you, it’s because He loves you and so desperately wants you to be well; to live to the fullest in the abundant life He died to give you.
Don’t ignore His prompting. Invite Him in. Sit at the table with Him. Eat some cheesecake.