The Seven Gifts of Christmas #6

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The sixth letter that John wrote down was addressed to the church in Philadelphia. The sense of the message, preserved for us in Revelation 3:7-13, is somewhat different from the other messages that God delivered to His servant.

The church in Philadelphia didn’t seem to have any problems that needed warning about. Rather, God wanted to encourage them to move forward with Him.

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name” (3:7, 8).

Here is a church that has persevered and continued to be faithful. They have used all their energies in God’s service. Yet now, God calls them to push forward because He has provided for them an opportunity for ministry that no one can deny them.

This opportunity seems to be connected with their enemies (3:9) and the promise that as they embrace the opportunity God will turn their detractors into converts. They must not back away now.

God promises to protect them (3:10) even through the difficulties they will face and encourages them to take advantage of this door that He has opened for them. Because God holds the door open, no force in heaven or on earth can close it.

The sixth gift for Christmas that I can give Jesus is to seize the opportunities that He gives me to serve Him, to walk through those open doors. And at the same time, to count on His strength and protection to see me through until the task is completed.

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