Posted by: rcottrill | December 10, 2018

You Must Open the Door

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Ina Duley Ogdon (b. Apr. 3, 1872; d. May 18, 1964)
Music: Homer Alvan Rodeheaver (b. Oct. 4, 1880; d. Dec. 18, 1955)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Ina Ogdon)
The Cyber Hymnal (Ina Ogdon)
Hymnary.org

Note: In 1934, Ina Ogdon published You Must Open the Door. Mrs. Ogdon and her husband James were both school teachers in Ohio. She wrote many gospel songs as well, including the popular Brighten the Corner Where You Are, which has a touching story behind it. The present song captures the theme of a text in Revelation.

Security devices of all kinds are popular these days–cameras and alarms that can be set up in a home to thwart burglers. When an intruder tries to enter, perhaps lights go on, sirens sound, and the would-be thief’s image is recorded. There may also be an automatic phone call to the security firm. It seems to work. Owning a dog often does too. It’s estimated that houses without some kind of security system are three times more likely to be broken into.

On the other hand, most of us enjoy welcoming family and friends into our home. There’s a humorous welcome mat that, instead of being imprinted with the usual WELCOME, says, “Oh no! Not You Again!” But that’s meant as a joke. We likely look forward to having visitors. We just want to be allowed the right to decide who, and when.

Burglary is an unwanted and unwelcome violation of our space, it involves a forced entry into the place where we want to feel comfortable and safe. It’s the intrusion of someone determined to do us harm in one way or another. Millions of home burglaries occur in North America each year. About a third of them include a physical assault. But even if nothing valuable is taken, and no one’s physically harmed, a break-in can instill fear and anxiety that lingers for a long time.

The word welcome is used several times in the New Testament, translating several different Greek words. One of these (hupodechomai) means to take by the hand, to receive as a guest. For example, we read that when the Lord Jesus came to the town of Bethany, “a certain woman named Martha [the sister of Mary and Lazarus] welcomed Him into her house” (Lk. 10:38). A tax collector named Zacchaeus did the same, and “received Him joyfully” (Lk. 19:6).

The Apostle Paul commends the Thessalonian believers for welcoming God’s truth.

“You received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God” (I Thess. 2:13).

Today, Christ is not physically present in the world. But we welcome Him into our hearts and lives when we believe what the Bible says about Him. The Lord Jesus says,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine [feast and fellowship] with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20).

That invitation was extended to a lukewarm, self-satisfied church that seems to have shut the Lord out (vs. 16-17). But it can also represent the individual who is called upon to receive (believe on and trust in) the Saviour.

“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (cf. Jn. 1:12).

Revelation 3:20 is depicted in a famous painting by William Holman Hunt (1827-1910). Hunt called it The Light of the World. It pictures Christ, holding a lantern, standing before a door, preparing to knock. A notable thing about the painting is that there is no handle or latch on the outside of the door. The wordless message is that the one inside must open the door to Christ. He graciously waits a welcome into the individual’s life.

1) There’s a Saviour who stands at the door of your heart;
He is longing to enter–why let Him depart?
He has patiently called you so often before,
But you must open the door.

You must open the door,
You must open the door;
When Jesus comes in, He will save you from sin,
But you must open the door.

2) He has come from the Father salvation to bring,
And His name is called Jesus, Redeemer and King;
To save you and keep you He pleads evermore,
But you must open the door.

Questions:
1) Have you welcomed the Lord Jesus into your heart and life? (If not, I invite you to read God’s Plan of Salvation.)

2) How are you sharing, or helping others to share, the wonderful message of salvation?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Ina Ogdon)
The Cyber Hymnal (Ina Ogdon)
Hymnary.org


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