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The Door to Life

The word entrance is an opening that allows access to a place.  The most common entrance is a door, but others include corridors, gates and passages.  Prior to modern technology such as cell phones, email or social media, you went to someone’s house if you wanted to get their attention.  The Bible uses a similar concept, but before you find the correct door, you must listen first.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me, Revelation 3:20.

The Bible makes a clear distinction between listening and acting upon advice from the Holy Spirit.  Anyone can notice, observe or understand the way to heaven, yet unless you exercise faith by opening the door to life, this knowledge is useless.  If you take the passage above literally, God speaks to individuals throughout life.  This could be through miracles, signs or wonders.  Nonetheless, God doesn’t do everything for you as only you can open this door.

Whoever you are who seeks to honor these doors, you should seek not to admire the gold or the expense, but the craftmanship of the work instead.  The noble work is bright, but because it is nobly bright, let it brighten minds so that they may travel through the true lights to the True Light. where Christ is the True Door, Abbot Suger – 1140.

Abbot Suger was a French abbot, statesman, and historian during the late 11th century.  Suger was one of the earliest patrons of Gothic architecture.  If you enter any historic church, you will likely find magnificent stain glass windows inside or behind the altar inspired by this time period.  At some point in his life, Suger listened to God’s voice and opened the door to life.  In the quote above, Suger suggests that there are counterfeits, masquerading as the way to heaven.  Yet, by the end of his life, Suger came to the conclusion that Jesus Christ is the true door to life.

by Jay Mankus

Access Denied

Whether you are at home, school or work, if you’re careless when you enter your password into a computer, access will be denied.  Perhaps, you accidentally hit the caps button.  Or maybe your finger touched two keys at the same time.  Regardless of your mistake, black dots prevent you from seeing where you went wrong.  Instead, you are rejected, having to repeat the same process without a flaw to gain the access you desire.

When it comes to talking to God, many share a similar frustration, desperately seeking answers to their prayers.  Nonetheless, countless individuals are given the silent treatment, left in the dark by a God unwilling to tell you why at least for the moment.  Whether your situation is sin related or not, Isaiah 1:15, being shut out of the conversation has caused some to abandon God.

Paul likely endured periods of doubt during his years of ministry as an apostle.  However, while in Rome, the Holy Spirit brought Paul a clear message in Romans 5:1-4.  If access is denied, faith carries you until God opens the next door for you to walk through.  When you do sin, grace is provided to allow you to enter God’s presence.  Therefore, if you are struggling to connect with God, remember the words of Hebrews 11:1-6 until your access is reinstated.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Different Kind of Paparazzi

Prior to Princess Diana’s death in 1997, I never knew what the term paparazzi meant.  I had heard of the term through shows like Entertainment Tonight, but paparazzi didn’t enter my world so I never gave them much thought.  According to modern dictionary’s, a paparazzi is a freelance photographer who doggedly pursues celebrities to take candid pictures for sale to magazines and newspapers.  In the case of Princess Diana, she fled from paparazzi in a limo with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed on August 31st, 1997.  Unfortunately, while trying to evade a media feeding frenzy, the chauffeur lost control of their vehicle in the Pont de l’Alma Tunnel resulting in her tragic death.

In Mark 2:1-11, there was a different kind of paparazzi.  These paparazzi’s were intrigued by life, not death, hovering around a home trying to catch a glimpse of Jesus.  Though modern crowds would be disbursed by Fire Marshals, the residents of Capernaum did whatever they could think of to gain access into this house.  While modern paparazzi likely don’t have the balls to cut a hole in the roof of a celebrity, 4 friends of a paralytic  astonished even Jesus, Mark 2:5.  As a result of the faith of these friends, thinking “if we can only get him to Jesus, some how he will be healed,” their prayer was answered in Mark 2:11-12.

After reading this passage, I thought, “to what extremes am I willing to go to receive answers to my prayers?’  Am I willing to become a fool for Christ like paparazzi who risk embarrassment daily?  Do I have the faith to lay everything on the line to achieve my end goal?  May this blog challenge you as we both contemplate our motivation in life.  May the words of Galatians 5:6 become a priority as you strive to become a different kind of paparazzi!

by Jay Mankus

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