Reach out, Take, Pull In (the Holy Spirit)


Being raised as a missionary kid, in a home, in the village of Malkangiri, in Orissa, India, the sight of birds (usually sparrows), flying in and out of the house at their own free will, was a common thing. Now hold on to that thought, please.

Genesis 8:9 reads that when the dove that Noah had sent out from the ark to see if the universal and global flood waters had abated from off the face of the earth, she returned to the ark and Noah reached out (put forth his hand), took her and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

It is interesting to see the level of detail in this verse that can be easily missed by someone who is cursorily reading through the Scripture. Notice, how the Bible says, that Noah first reached out (put forth his hand), he then took the dove, and then he pulled her in, not just into the ark, but unto him. This implies that the dove did not just fly back into the ark, which would seem to be the natural thing for her to have done, since there was no place outside the ark for her to rest the sole of her foot. What could be the significance of such detail that is revealed in the Bible?

It makes me wonder if the Scripture is symbolically revealing to us this hidden treasure of how the Holy Spirit of God (symbolically represented as a dove at the baptism of Jesus) operates. Unlike the birds (sparrows) of Malkangiri, he does not simply barge in, but waits patiently outside our lives (Revelation 3:20) to find rest in our lives. Like Noah, he wants us to reach out to him (put forth our hand to him), to take him, and pull him into our lives, unto ourselves. He will not force himself on anyone!

Points to ponder:
The Holy Spirit of God is waiting to rest in your life. He reaches out to you so that you can reach out to him. He takes you as you are so that you can take him into your life. He pulls us from sin unto Salvation so that we can pull him into our lives to live as sanctified people and not as slaves to sin. Have you reached out, taken and pulled the Holy Spirit of God into your life, unto yourself?

Genesis 8:8-9 (KJV)
8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

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She saw, she took, she gave … so must we


Genesis 3 records the account of the fall of man from the glory of God, for Adam and Eve, willfully sinned by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and of evil, which God has specifically commanded them not to. The Bible states that when Satan, the serpent, beguiled Eve, and when she saw the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and desirable for gaining wisdom, she took and ate it and gave it to her husband who was with her and he ate it as well. Through this act of seeing, taking, and giving, man (and woman) disobeyed God and brought death into the world (1 Corinthians 15:21).

The Bible counsels us to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8) and that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). When we see the God of the world manifested fully in his Son Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:9), through his inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16) and his Word (John 1:1), do we desire him and take him and commune (eat) with him (Revelation 3:20). Jesus said that we must remember his death and resurrection, in communion (1 Corinthians 11:24), but we must not just stop there. We must give (share) him with the others who dont know him, so that they may have life – life abundant (John 10:10) and eternal (John 3:16).

Points to ponder:
She saw, she took, she gave … and death came into the world.
Do we see, take and give … the Light of the world (John 8:12) to those who are dying?

Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Psalm 34:8 (KJV)
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Entering by Christ and letting Christ Enter


Jesus said, “I am the door and if any man enters by me shall be saved” (John 10:9), but we must recognize that for one to enter in by Jesus Christ, that person must allow Jesus Christ to enter into his/her life, for Jesus will come into the life of any man who hears his voice and opens the door to his life (Revelation 3:20).

Points to ponder:
Are you entering by Christ Jesus for your salvation? In other word’s have you let Christ Jesus enter into your life for your salvation? No one is excluded, for any man who hears the voice of God and responds by opening his life to God shall be saved.

John 10:9 (KJV)
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Professional Speaking :: Jesus The Key Holder


I am assuming that it is equally surprising to you as it was to me, to find out that “Key Holder” is actually a professional job title, like a Doctor or Engineer or Lawyer. Kyle Glazier, eHow’s contributor writes in the ‘Money’ section of eHow.com, that a key holder is an employee (generally in a retail setting), who takes on additional responsibilities similar to those held by management with the main distinguishing feature of having the ability to open and close the store.

Now would we be able to consider Jesus to be The Key Holder? Absolutely. Isaiah 22:22 is prophetically referring to Jesus Christ, in describing the duties of Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, to whom it is stated that the key of the house of David will be laid upon his shoulder and what he shall open, none shall shut and what he shall shut, none shall open. Isaiah 9:6-7 refers prophetically to the coming of Jesus the Messiah, on whose shoulders shall rest the government. In the book of Revelation, it is said of Jesus, who is holy and true, to be the holder of this key of David (Revelation 3:7), which is God’s government in and through Jesus, a government of peace, of whose increase there shall be no end (Isaiah 9:7). The Gospel of Matthew (first book of the New Testament) establishes that Jesus holds the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:19) and Revelation (last book of the New Testament) establishes that Jesus who was dead is now alive and alive forevermore and is the holder of the keys of hell and of death (Revelation 1:18). Jesus is The Key Holder – holder of the keys of the kingdom of heaven and of hell.

Points to ponder:
Jesus is the Key to have access to God the Father, because no one can come to Father God, except by Him and this door that he has opened to heaven (Revelation 4:1) no one can shut. He is also the holder of the keys to hell and to death and when we believe in him and receive him, and repent of our wicked ways, he shuts the door to hell and to death, for we inherit eternal life, and that door which he shuts (to death) no one can open. The Bible says, “Behold, Jesus stands at the door (of your life) and knocks, if you hear him, and open your door, he will come in and dine with you and you with him.” (Revelation 3:20). Have you opened the door (of your life) to Jesus, The Key Holder, so that he can open the door to heaven and shut the door to hell and death for you?

Matthew 16:19 (KJV)
19 And I [Jesus] will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Revelation 3:7 (KJV)
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Revelation 1:18 (KJV)
18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Revelation 3:20 (KJV)

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Knocking God


When we hear of the phrase “Knocking God”, we are often reminded of the Bible verse from Revelation 3:20 which states, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
This is God knocking at the door of a sinner’s heart seeking to Commune with the one who responds.

But God is not only knocking at the door of the sinner’s heart. He is knocking at the heart of the saint (the one who is sanctified by the blood of Jesus, for having believed in Him) as well. Song of Solomon 5:2 states, that the beloved (God) is knocking and asking his loved one to open unto Him.
This is God knocking at the door of a saint’s heart seeking the Companionship of the one whom He loves.

Points to ponder:
If you have not yet believed in Jesus and confessed of your sins, behold, Jesus is standing at the door of your heart, knocking. If you hear his voice, open your heart to him and he will come in to commune with you.
If you have believed in Jesus and are sanctified by his blood, Jesus is standing at the door of your heart, knocking. If you hear his voice, open your heart to him so that he can have the companionship that he is seeking.

Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Song of Solomon 5:2 (KJV)
2
I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

Lesser known characters :: Rhoda


Peter was imprisoned by Herod but miraculously an angel of the Lord came to him and rescued him from prison. Upon his rescue, Peter comes to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many had gathered to pray. As Peter knocked at the door, the one who answered him was a girl named Rhoda and when she heard Peter’s voice, she recognized that it was him and with gladness, she ran and told how Peter was standing outside. In her gladness, she did not open the door. Those praying inside said unto her that she was mad, but she insisted that it was Peter. Peter continued to knock and when they opened the door, they were astonished to see that what Rhoda was telling them was indeed true.

What can we learn from Rhoda?
Rhoda heard Peter’s voice and recognized him. She did not have to see that it was Peter but believed without seeing that their prayers was miraculously answered. Jesus said, blessed are they that believe without seeing (John 20:29) and behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice, let him open the door and I will come in and dine with him and he with me (Revelation 3:20). Let us also be like Rhoda, believing without seeing for in doing so, we are counted as blessed, and if we hear Jesus knock at the door of our heart, let us harden not our hearts but let us open it, so that he can come in and commune with us.

Acts 12:12-16 (KJV)
12
And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
13
And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
14
And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.
15
And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.
16
But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

Proverbial Relationships with Neighbors :: Hasty and Halting


Proverbs 25:8-20 gives counsel on relationships with neighbors. This section advices us that we must at times use our feet and tongue hastily, while at other times, we must halt them, lest we weary our neighbor and be hated.

The Bible instructs us that we must not go forth hastily to strife (dispute) but when we have a dispute, we must be hasty with our feet to go and make peace; to amend the relationship and reconcile (Proverbs 25:8). We must also be hasty with our tongue, to debate our cause if we are at fault or speak words of compassion (mercy) and forgiveness, if we have been wronged (Proverbs 25:9). A word spoken at the right time (fitly) is like apples of gold in settings of silver (Proverbs 25:11).

The Bible is balanced in its counsel. We are also advised to halt our feet and tongue, when dealing with neighbors. Have you ever come across someone who is always in someone else’s business. Every time that person is encountered, people often exclaim something to the effect of “Oh no, here he/she comes!” We are to mind our own business. We are not to be bothersome. We are to halt our feet from our neighbor’s house lest we make them weary and hate us (Proverbs 25:17). If we are respectful of the other person’s time, we are more likely to be invited. We must also exercise restraint and halt our tongue from speaking lies and giving false witness against our neighbor. For in doing so, we end up, pounding (mauling) and piercing our neighbor for no real cause, because a man who bears false witness is a maul (to pound) and a sword, and a sharp arrow (to pierce) (Proverbs 25:18).

The word ‘Neighbor’ according to Merriam Webster’s dictionary is defined as one living or located near another. We live on earth and God is in heaven (Ecclesiastes 5:2). We are in this sense God’s neighbors. According to the parable of the good Samaritan, the one who had mercy is the one who is a neighbor (Luke 10:37).

Jesus was hasty with his feet to come and settle the strife (dispute) of sin between God (Himself) and us (mankind). He was hasty with his tongue to speak words of eternal life, love and compassion (mercy). Jesus also halts his feet. He does not barge into anyone’s life, but waits patiently at the door, knocking, and waiting for the person to open their life and let Him in (Revelation 3:20). Jesus halts his tongue, being God, for He cannot lie or bear false witnesses (Numbers 23:19), but instead truthfully mediates for us, even if we sin (1 John 2:1). Jesus Christ is the best neighbor one could ever have.

Jesus said, love thy neighbor as you would love yourself. This would mean, we should learn from the Scriptures how to relate with our neighbors; know when to be hasty and when to halt our feet and tongue.

Points to ponder:
1. Do you have anyone to go make amends with? Be first to go and settle the dispute and reconcile! Be hasty with your feet!
2. Is there someone who deserves a word of forgiveness or compassion or mercy from you? Withhold not your words that is fitting! Be hasty with your tongue!
3. Are you considered by others as being bothersome? Halt your feet and withdraw them from your neighbor’s house, lest you be hated.
4. Do not lie or bear false witness against your neighbor. Halt your tongue!

Proverbs 25:8-11 and 17-18 (KJV)
8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:
10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.