Welcome in Jesus name to Harrow International Christian Centre. We are so privileged to have you with us. Our prayer is that you will be at home among the family of God here. You are in a safe place where you can express your love to God in worship.
In these days we are being challenged by the Holy Spirit to open up our lives before God in transparency and allow His grace and mercy to work in the deep recesses of our heart. This is a day to engage with Jesus and allow Him to cleanse and renew us by the Holy Spirit.
I am reminded of Revelation 3 v 20 where we read ‘Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door. I will come in and eat with him, and he with me’. How many times we have heard this verse quoted in an appeal for people to receive Christ for salvation and of course it can correctly be used for this purpose. The challenge is to allow Christ in by opening the door of our lives, however, this verse is spoken to the Church in Laodicea who believed they were spiritually rich when in actual fact they were in a place of spiritual poverty. They were spiritually lukewarm which is why Christ is presented as being outside the door asking to gain entrance to revive and bring spiritual fire.
Laodicea was established two hundred and fifty years before Christ came with the population being made up Syrians and Jews who were transplanted by the Babylonians. The city grew to become the capital of West Phrygia and a centre of banking. Much wealth was accumulated because the land in the area was rich and fertile producing crops and healthy food for animals, particularly sheep whose wool was woven into coats and carpets. It was also famous for a product called ‘Phrygian powder’ which was said to have healing properties for those who suffered from disease of the eyes. Jesus is standing outside of the Church because they are taken up with the riches and wealth of the world rather than the spiritual wealth of being on fire with His Spirit. Jesus speaks and calls for them to recognise their spiritual condition. They thought they had no needs. They had acquired everything, yet in reality they were pitiful, poor, naked and blind. Jesus says, ‘Come buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
The deep love God has for us means he disciplines us and calls us to be earnest and repent, because to him who overcomes he will give the right to sit with him on His throne just as Jesus overcame and sat down with His Father on His throne. ‘He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.’
When I was young boy I loved to walk into the upper room in my Nana’s home. It was designated; ‘the prayer room’ and was full of the tangible presence of God. Hanging on the wall was the famous picture of Jesus holding a lantern in his hand as he stood and knocked at a door that represented the Church or a person’s life. There is no handle on the outside of the door. The door can only be opened from the inside. Let us open the door to Christ as individuals and as a fellowship recognising our spiritual need as we respond to the sound of His voice. Let us hear what the Spirit says to us as his Church.