I have always had a strange fascination with doors. Especially the colorful ones. The unique ones. Doorways can represent an opportunity to enter the life of someone you love and cherish–or a threshold to something new and different.
In our travels to Israel I was drawn to the colors and the variety of doors in this ancient land of the Bible.
“Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
If those doors could speak! Can you imagine all of the greetings they’ve heard through the years as people would enter or leave … Expressing a simple hello is the easy enough–it’s saying good-bye that can be very difficult. The parting words that we choose can hold a significant meaning–or a lasting memory. Whether it’s a child that’s leaving for college or a family member you don’t get to see often, finishing up those last-minute conversations can turn into twenty minutes standing by a door that you’re dreading to open.
Your mind floods with a thousand things you want to say before time runs out or you forget–especially if it will be awhile before you see each other again.
My parents are aging and though I see them every week now, they still will say good-bye reluctantly and remind me to “Be careful and let us know when you get home!” And they mean it. They will worry and pace if it seems like I’m taking too long or if I forget to call right away when I’m back home, so I honor their request and call them as soon as I’m in my driveway.
“Remember where you came from.”
“Be careful and call me when you get there.”
“Don’t be a stranger!”
“I love you!”
“I love you more!”
In 1 Corinthians, Paul is wrapping up a lengthy letter to the church at Corinth. He has encouraged them, taught them, chastened them and warned them–specifically about pride, idolatry and the danger of using the freedom they have found in Christ to become a stumbling block to others who are weaker in the faith. And he comes to the end of this long letter with words of admonition:
“Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave and strong. Your every action must be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 **
What a perfect verse to memorize–maybe even post on the inside of the door. When we walk out the door of our homes, we can’t possibly know what the day will bring, but God knows. He knows every hill, every curve, every stop sign. He knows every opportunity and every person you will meet along the way:
Be. Alert. : watchful, vigilant : “Therefore, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall!” 10:12
Stand. Firm. : constant faith : “…steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work.” 15:58
Be. Brave. : bold, fearless : “For the kingdom of God is not in talk but in power.” 4:20
Be. Strong. : solid, stable : “…so that your faith might not be based on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.” 2:5
Walk. In. Love. : “No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person.” 10:24 , “Love never ends…” 13:8
Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
I pray God’s Word speaks to you today. Whatever door you are going through–whether one that leads to trial or hardship or one of excitement and joy, let these words encourage you. Let it remind you that every day is a gift, and whether it leads us down a difficult path or one paved with beauty, our focus should remain the same: “Walk in love”.
“Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” –Jesus [Luke 11:9-10]
**For those of you that have stuck with me in the Scripture Memory Challenge, 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 is the verse I chose to memorize–won’t you join me!