Philadelphia

Are You Willing To Step Through The Doors God Opens In Your Life?

Tim Lundy
Feb 21, 2021    39m
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Are you aware that God opens doors for you to share the good news of the Gospel? The true question is, are you willing to be faithful and to take that step through the door God opens in your life? Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: 00:01 Well, Venture, as we are near the end of this series, we only have two more weeks. Where we've been looking at these seven churches, seven real churches that Jesus wrote letters to. Remember, they're real churches, with real people, and real problems. And I don't know about you, but the last few weeks, it's been pretty tough, Jesus has been pretty direct. And these churches that, you know, they're names of churches, cities, that we really haven't heard of, Thyatira, Pergamum, Sardis.

Tim Lundy: 00:34 I've got good news for you this week, Jesus is writing a church, and this is a really positive letter. He is really excited about this church, and what's in front of him, and it's actually to a city that you've probably heard of. If you turn to Revelation 3 verse 7, he writes to the church in Philadelphia. Now, before you get ahead of yourself, it's not that Philadelphia, we're not talking about Philly cheese steaks, the Eagles, the Liberty, bell, any of that. In fact, the Philadelphia in the United States originated from the Philadelphia that we're looking at here, about 30 miles South of Sardis, there was a little bitty town called Philadelphia. In fact, it started in 189 BC, a little background, there was this king named Attalus, he was a King of Pergamos, but he started this city. And Attalus had a nickname, his nickname was Philadelphia. Because he was known as someone, if you know Philadelphia, what it means in Greek, city of brotherly love, he loved his brother, and so they named the city after his nickname.

Tim Lundy: 01:50 Now the city had one problem though, it was built on a hillside, it wasn't just a hill, it was a volcano. And the volcano because of seismic activity would often have issues, and they experienced a lot of earthquakes. In fact, if you read through the history of Philadelphia, several times, earthquakes destroyed the city, people struggled with permanence there. And Jesus is writing this church, it's about 96 AD, and as he writes the church in Philadelphia, he points out to them, they have some unique opportunities, they have a unique open door that only he can place in front of them.

Tim Lundy: 02:33 Let's look at this letter, if you read with me starting in verse 7, we always start with a characteristic of Jesus. And so look how Jesus describes himself, and maybe you've seen this in the letter, usually the way he describes himself pertains to something he's about to tell them. So look what Jesus say, he says, "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens." So as Jesus describes himself, notice, he says he is the holy one, he is the true one. And you see the point in your notes there, Jesus is literally the embodiment of holiness and truth. He's not just saying he is holy, and when he describes holiness, it's that part of being separate, of being pure, of being above all of creation. He's not just saying he is holy, he's not just saying he is true, he literally says, I am the holy one, I am the truth. He's the embodiment of reality, and truth, and purity, like no one else, because he accomplished what nobody else could do, in fact, he had to be in order to accomplish that.

Tim Lundy: 03:58 You know, it was interesting, Wired Magazine, a few years was talking about this small town in North Carolina. You've probably never heard of Spruce Pine, North Carolina, it's this remote area, it's up in the Appalachian. And this town, it's a backwater town in every way, and yet it is absolutely vital to your life. Because out of every place on the planet, they have found the purest quartz. I mean, it's fine, almost like sand, this quartz that is used to make silicon. And because it is so pure, they mine it there, and they use it for cell phones and for computers, Because in the process of creating these chips, you have to have silicon that is pure. When I read a little bit about the process, all that it goes through, the heat furnace, and the sandblasting with the heat furnace, that gets it to about 90% pure, and then they keep going to 99% pure. They finally have to have it to a level that it's 99.999999999. I think I said that, right, that's nine nine's after the point. I mean the level of purity in order for it to work, otherwise was your phone calls and your computers and your chips and all that's involved with it, doesn't function.

Tim Lundy: 05:26 Now, as pure as that is, when Jesus declares, you know what he says, he doesn't say 99 with any 9's, he says, I'm a hundred percent, I'm a hundred percent pure, I'm a hundred percent true, I'm a hundred percent real. And because he is, he's able to do what nobody else can do, he's able to say when nobody else can say, and that's why each of these letters have had so much authority. I don't know about you, every week, I'm always left with these passages, where it's just so striking to me the power of what he says. The power to a church 2000 years ago, but boy, it lives today, and the reason it does is because he's the holy one, because he is the truth.

Tim Lundy: 06:22 Look what else he says, he says, he's the rightful ruler of the throne of David. He says, I hold the key to the throne of David or the key of David. And he's describing the fact, now we'll read a little bit later with this church, they were facing intense persecution from the local Jewish synagogue. We talked about it a few weeks ago in another letter, where a lot of times these churches, one of the groups that would persecute them the most were the Jews. The Jews felt very threatened by Christianity at this point, they wanted to differentiate themselves. They resented the fact that church would use the Old Testament scriptures as their scriptures, and they really resented that they would claim that Jesus is the Messiah. And Jesus declares in this letter that he's writing to his church, he says, Hey guys, I'm not just the Messiah, I'm also the King, I hold the key to the throne. God had made a promise to King David, the greatest of all the kings, he had made a promise to David that one of your heirs will always rule on the throne. And Jesus is declaring here to this church, yeah, I'm the fulfillment of that promise.

Tim Lundy: 07:35 The third thing that he points out, Jesus has the sovereign power and authority to open and close doors. He says, when I open it, it stays open. When I close it, it stays closed. I have the authority to work in history. I have the authority to work in your circumstances. I have the authority to work in ways, specific ways. And we're going to see in this letter that he's given them an opportunity, and so he declares his authority to be able to do so.

Tim Lundy: 08:03 So Jesus describes who he is, and then usually at this point in the letter, there's a combination of compliment and criticism. And here's the thing about this letter to Philadelphia, kind of like the church in Smyrna, he has no criticism, there's nothing they're doing wrong. He just compliments them. In fact, read with me as Jesus says, "I know your works. Behold I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut." I like this line, he says, "I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet." Remember, he's talking about that local group that is persecuting this church, and Jesus uses strong terms to describe this. Again, and I said this a couple of weeks ago, but I want to make sure I'm really clear here. He's not anti-Semitic, he's not against Jewish people, remember Jesus is Jewish. In fact, Romans 11, Paul describes the fact that even though we're in a time period where the church is the part that is the manifestation of God's kingdom, they'll come a time where the Jewish people as a whole will be grafted back in. Paul says to the church, he says, you should never be haughty about this, because we have our faith because of what God did through the Jewish people, and one day they will come back in. In fact, I think Jesus's describing that a little bit, he said, "One day, they're going to come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you."

Tim Lundy: 09:54 Then he finishes as he continues, "Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth." There's a lot in those verses, let me just kind of walk you through what he's complimenting them for. Look at the first thing, he's telling them despite their limitations, I want to compliment you because you're obedient and you're faithful. He looks at this church and he says, I know you have, but little power. That's Jesus's nice way saying you don't have much, you're not a very powerful church, you're not a wealthy church. I mean, you look at this church and unlike some of the other ones he described, some of the other churches like Ephesus, man, they got this great heritage, all these apostles and prophets that were their pastors in the past, and yet Ephesus had problems. Look at Thyatira, a wealthy church. You look at Sardis, that should have had this reputation of all this going on. I mean, all these other churches, they have so much. And he looks at these guys and Jesus just says, hey, let's call it like it is, you don't have much, you don't have much power, you don't have much resources, but you're faithful and you're obedient with what you have.

Tim Lundy: 11:17 You know, it's striking to me, the two churches he compliments the most are the churches that have the least. And I think it's a warning to us, sometimes when we have the most, when we have resources, when we have money, when things are going well, we can be prone to the problems that he's described in these letters come into a church or coming to our life. And sometimes you look around and the people that have the least, the people that are going through the hardest times, God has used that season in their life, especially those who choose to obey, who trust him no matter what. I love twice in this passage, Jesus is describing to them, he says, you kept my word, man, you were obedient in that. You just unwavering, not asking questions about it, just unwavering in it.

Tim Lundy: 12:16 You know, I heard a story that kind of remind me of this. In Fort Bragg, North Carolina army base in Fort Bragg. There was an officer there, Army Specialist Jeff Lewis, and he's 23 years old. He probably wasn't an officer yet, he's a specialist though. And he got his orders that he was to go with the 82nd Airborne and go out for a parachute jump. Now that doesn't seem too strange until you realize that Jeff Lewis was a supply clerk, he wasn't part of the 82nd Airborne. Somebody had made an error somewhere along the way and sent him those orders. He'd never parachuted, he'd never been trained in it. Do you know what Jeff did? He went and did it. Fortunately wasn't hurt in the process, but somebody asked him later and they were like, didn't you think it was strange to get these orders? And he said, well, a little bit. They said, why'd you do it? He said, here's the reality, if the army tells me to do it, then I'm going to do it. Now, he did it because there was an error in the system, but I love that simplicity to it. That he goes, man, if I'm told to do it, I'm going to go do it.

Tim Lundy: 13:30 And that's part of what Jesus is saying to this church, he goes you guys don't question. And here's what you can know, when Jesus tells you to do something, remember he's the holy one, he's the true one, he's the pure one, he never has an error in the system. So whatever he tells us to do, we know that we can confidently obey him and trust him in it, see that marked this church.

Tim Lundy: 14:00 The second thing he compliments, he says, God's going to vindicate them. He said, the synagogue, these people that are persecuting you, he said, one day, they're going to come to your feet, they're going to recognize that you have the truth. Now, this is an interesting passage because what Jesus is quoting here was often said to the children of Israel. In fact, if you look back in the Book of Isaiah, back in Isaiah, 60, Isaiah 49, there's different passages where he tells the children of Israel, you have these enemies around, trust God though, he will bring them to your feet. Well, now Jesus turns it and he says, my church, this little church, even if you're being persecuted by those who think they're doing it as part of Jewish faith, I'm going to show them what you're doing is right and you can trust me.

Tim Lundy: 15:02 I think it echoes as well to the same thing that Paul was speaking about in Romans 11, that one day Paul says there's a partial hardening over Israel right now. I mean, I don't know if you've ever interacted with it. I've got several friends who are Jewish, who have come to faith in Christ. And a lot of them, because they've taken that step, they've experienced rejection from family, they've felt like they had betrayed their family and in ways. And when you talk about it and talk to them, and they described that journey around it, it can be difficult. And the only way I can describe it as the same way Paul does, there's this partial hardening. When you look at all that we believe came out of Judaism, it came out of the truth of that, that was ultimately manifested in Christ. And I live with the hope of Romans 11, I live with the hope of later in this book in Revelation, that God will bring revival. He'll open the eyes, not just of some people, but of all in the nation of Israel. And I think he's speaking of that, even to this church here.

Tim Lundy: 16:17 The third thing he promises, he says, I'm going to protect you from the suffering that's going to come. He says, there's about to be this hour of trial, there's about to be suffering on the planet. And I think it's the same thing, remember earlier, when he told the church in Smyrna, he said, there's a wave of persecution and you guys are about to face it, and some of you are going to be thrown in jail. Now over here in Philadelphia, though, it's a little bit different. He says, I'm actually going to protect you from that persecution. And again, it speaks to the mystery of God, that you have two churches, both of them faithful, but for some of them, he says, I'm going to have you go through that suffering and persecution. For others, for his purposes, he says, I'm going to protect you from that. And again, it reminds me of the mystery of God, that we don't always understand his purposes. I mean, in my mind, I would go, but God, if they're both being faithful, why don't you protect both? And yet it's through the suffering that he's doing something unique in the church in Smyrna. It's through protecting, and maybe the protection was because of that open door he'd placed in front of him, it's through protection that he's doing something unique in the church in Philadelphia.

Tim Lundy: 17:32 And I say that to you because in a church like ours, I see it happen all the time. We pray for some people who are facing sickness and they're healed, some who are facing cancer, and whether it's through surgery, whether it's the treatment, man, they rebound, they go forward. And others, the cancer stays, the sickness stays. Some their marriages are restored, and others the marriage breaks up. Some are praying desperately for a job, and they're still looking for work, and others, the opportunity shows up. There's some of you, you desperately want a relationship or you'd love to be married, and God hasn't brought that person, and you're faithful in it. And then you look over and there's somebody else, and it just feels like, oh man, God answered their prayer. And it's easy in those times of comparison, that if you're the person who's experiencing the suffering, it's easy to turn on yourself and go there must be something wrong with me. And that's why I put both these letters side by side, two faithful churches, faithful Christians. And we can't compare, because we don't always know why God is doing, and why he allows it. But here's what we can know, he is the pure one, he's the Holy one, he's the true one, and he has purpose no matter what we go through. And so whether he spares us from it, or whether we go through it, the same call is that we will trust him and obey him in it.

Tim Lundy: 19:22 As we look at that, look at this call to action that he gives to this church, verse 3:11, he says, "I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown." Again, he doesn't criticize him at all, but he does call them to action. And that first line, he says, I'm coming soon. And what this refers to is, we have to recognize our time is short and we have to live in light of his return. Jesus says, I'm coming soon. Now there's part of me that I kind of go, well, I beg to differ Jesus, you said this 2000 years ago, you still haven't come back yet. But if you read through the Bible, there's always this sense of expectation, it's going to happen soon. Because the reality is from God's perspective, I mean thousand years to us is like a day to him, is what it says in scripture. Life is but a vapor before God. And there's this mindset that he wants them to have, and he wants us to have to live with this sense of expectation that guys, I don't know how many I have in this life, you don't know either. I don't know if he's going to return today, and even if I have the privilege of living, what we would call long lifetime, it's vapor before God. And Jesus says you need to live every day as if time is short and he's coming soon. Live every day, that if there's anything I need to resolve, if there's anything that's undone, if there's anything I need to make right with someone, if there's anyone I need to share with, there's a healthy sense of urgency there to live in light of that.

Tim Lundy: 21:19 You know, Ray Pritchard talks about being in China and he met a young couple of pastor and his wife that were, they just felt called to minister to the Mongolian people, very closed area. And because of their sacrifice, they often had to live apart. And this young wife had very poor health, she and some of the other women had opened up a noodle shop just for the Mongolian people because it fostered a place of conversation. But her health was struggling so much, they didn't know if she could keep doing it. And as Pritchard talked to this woman, he said, why are you still doing this? Listen to her words, she said, "Jesus is coming soon, and we must tell the Mongolian people about him, they need to know Jesus. And then just in honest estimation, she said, I know my health is not good, I only have another year or two left, so we must do this now." Now what a perspective? I've got to be honest, if I thought I only had a year or two left, I probably would be tempted to pull back that much more. But she looks at it and she goes, I only have this window of time, I only have this lifetime. I want to make the most of it.

Tim Lundy: 22:46 That's what he's telling this church, he says you don't have a lot of power, but you have a great opportunity, live with a healthy sense of urgency. And then he says, hold on to what he's given you in preparation for the reward to come, just hold fast to what you have so that you don't lose your crown. As I t told you last week, you can't lose your salvation, but you can't lose your reward. Paul said that, Paul said I want to run the race in such a way, I want to live my life in a way, that I don't just run, I run to win. He says, I don't want to be one of those people that when I stand before Jesus, and all of my life is placed there on the altar, it just burns up because I only lived for here. He says, I want to live in a way that my life produces the gold and the silver and the precious stones, the things that will count for eternity. Jesus says the same to this church, he says, hold on, don't give up, hold on to the crown that is promised you.

Tim Lundy: 23:51 And then the third part of it, and he's been saying this through the letter, but I want to make sure that we really focus on this. He says, take advantage of the open doors that he places in front of you. He says, I'm placing this open door in front of this church, I'm giving this church a unique opportunity. And when he talks about an open door like that, he's talking about something outward, he's talking about an opportunity that they have missionally to be used by him. He's put something in front of them. Here's the reality, because they're not having to deal with stuff on the inside, he's not having to correct a bunch about this church, he's giving them an opportunity to be used on the outside. It's great picture for every church. How do we live in a way that we are always prepared that, man, when Jesus places an open door, we're ready to step through it and we trust him in that, and we take the opportunities that are there.

Tim Lundy: 24:48 You know, a lot of times when we talk about open doors, we talk about this when we're trying to make a decision in our life. But what he's describing here is this open door to be used by him, this open door of mission and opportunity. And a lot of times those opportunities don't look like opportunities, they look like obstacles. A lot of times they come just like this church during hard times. I've got to be honest, when I think about this last year, this year of COVID and being closed and all that we've been through with it. You know, as we've gone through this, I've seen the obstacles of COVID, but I'll be honest, I think Jesus has opened so many doors for our church because of that. When I think of the COVID relief fund, that literally you, as a church, you've given over half a million dollars. And we continue to meet, we continue to be able to give that money away, we continue to be able to help families that are in desperate crisis.

Tim Lundy: 25:50 I'm always amazed sometimes when we look at the different cases and we'll ask, how did we find out about it this family? Oh the [inaudible] school district called, oh the Union school district. These are public schools who are recognizing, you know, who could help these people, a church, and they're coming to the church for help. Now, if you'd asked me a year ago, hey, Tim step through this upper door, as a church, you need to give away half a million dollars. I would have looked at that and gone, you're crazy, a half a million dollars, do you know how much money that is? But here's all God asked us, he said, there's people in need in your community, and you just step forward with the resources you have. And it's blown me away to watch our church family, to watch each of you, as people just keep giving, just because we want to step through an open door that God's placed.

Tim Lundy: 26:52 I look at the open door he's given us of doing these services online, now, again, it looks like an obstacle. I'd much. rather you were here in this room with me right now. I promise you that. I mean preaching in front of a camera, it's not the most enlivening thing in the world. I mean, there's a lot of times I'll tell a joke and there's no laughter, I've often thought I need a laugh track button that I can kind of press and get my own laughter with it. And I'll go home a lot of weeks, and Lea will ask me, she's like, well, how'd it go? And I'm like, I don't think it went so well because there's no response, there's no feedback in it. Now some of you are probably saying, yeah, Tim, cause it doesn't go so well. But see that's the good news, you're not here, you can't heckle me in person, so I don't have to take that. It's been a challenge in ways, and I know it's been challenging for you and we've longed to be together.

Tim Lundy: 27:46 But you know, in another way it's been an open door. There's some of you that are a part of our church and these services for the first time, because you can engage it. Every week, I hear about people that, hey, you know, I was able to invite a neighbor or a friend. I've talked to families who are getting engaged church together. This last Tuesday night we had First Step, that's our class, that's that first step when people want to join Venture and become a partner here. It was great, we did it by a Zoom call, and hearing the different people that have connected with our church over the last year. In fact, we had one lady when I asked for questions, she said, hey, when you start meeting back in person, are you still going to do the online service? And I said, oh yeah, we're absolutely committed to it. She goes, oh good, because I live in Nevada. And I was like, Nevada? She goes, yeah, I live in Nevada, is it okay that I'm joining the church. We were like, absolutely, because it was an open door that we didn't see possible before.

Tim Lundy: 28:49 Guys over and over again, sometimes when we think it's an obstacle, it's an open door. You have open doors in your life. You have things that God's placed in front of you. Now it may not look like an open door, maybe you're scared to step through it, but do you trust God that he's given you that opportunity? You know, usually the open door in front of us is a person, it's somebody God's placed in our life. It's a neighbor, or friend, or coworker, and you might look at them and you go, nah, I don't know about that. But here's where I would trust God, when Jesus places people in your life, maybe people really far from God, don't pull back from that.

Tim Lundy: 29:38 You know, we had a neighbor, and I've told this I think here at Venture, but years ago, a neighbor that used to live in Little Rock, right down the street from us. An older single man, Mr. Bud, and Mr. Bud was kind of shy and to himself. But we lived on a cul-de-sac, and we had little kids at the time, and we were always playing out in the cul-de-sac, Lea had the kids out there. And she's great about getting to know our neighbors, and so she got to know Mr. Bud, and he had an extreme problem with stuttering. He had stuttered all his life, it was really hard for him to communicate, and I think it's one of the reasons that he didn't have a lot of friends, didn't know a lot of people. But as Lea kept meeting him, she invited him down for dinner. And so Mr. Bud came down and he had dinner with us, and we talked to him. But again, it was hard for him to ask questions. In fact, I would always crack up, the clearest Mr. Bud ever was, was when he would cuss under his breath. He'd get mad at himself because he couldn't get something out, and then he cussed, and then he felt self-conscious because he was cussing at the preacher's house. But we were talking about it, and finally he got it out, he said, I know you're a preacher, but I don't believe in Christianity. And he kind of looked at me like, is that going to be an issue? He said, I just don't believe in that, I don't know that I believe in God. I said, Bud, it's okay, we're neighbors, that's okay, that's not a deal breaker for us.

Tim Lundy: 31:08 So he kind of looked at it, and over the next months, you know, I can't tell you many times I would pull into the cul-de-sac and I'd see Lea out in the front yard. And she'd be down at Bud's house, and just standing in the driveway, talking to him. And I knew what that meant, because you never had a short conversation with him, it was a difficult conversation just to able to communicate, but she would spend so much time down there. And I'd always kind of pull in after a long day, you know, I'd go into the driveway and I always say it myself, she is a better person than me. And the reality is she is a better person than me, I'm not just saying that, people that know us well would say that too. Especially on these kind of issues, I may have my strengths but on this man, just reaching out with him.

Tim Lundy: 32:01 One day she came home, she said, hey, what are you doing on Thursday? And I'm like, what am I doing? This was a Tuesday. I said, what am I doing on Thursday, my Thursday is slammed. She said, clear your calendar, you're taking Bud to the doctor. I'm like, I'm what? She said, yeah, Thursday morning, you needed to take Bud to the doctor. He asked that you take him. And I'm sitting there and I'm looking at my calendar, and you know, I almost answered, you know, I'm kind of busy as a mega-church pastor to just clear my calendar. But it doesn't always work real well when you throw the attitude of, I'm kind of a big deal with your wife, it doesn't really work well. And she wasn't having it, and so I had to clear the calendar.

Tim Lundy: 32:41 Thursday morning, I go pick Bud up, and he was a little embarrassed, he was having a colonoscopy, he didn't want Lea to even know the procedure he was having. And I drove him, and he was kind of quiet. And we got to the doctor's office, I could tell he was nervous, but I was kind of hoping I could drop him off and then maybe come back in a couple of hours. But he put his hand on my arm and he said, you are staying aren't you? And I realize Bud's nervous. So I said, yeah, Bud, I'm here. And he went back for the procedure, he came out a couple of hours later. And as we were driving and I was taking him home, we didn't talk a whole lot. But I'll never forget when we pulled up into the driveway, he reached to get out of the car and he kind of looked down and he didn't even look at me. And through the stuttering, he said, you meant it, didn't you? I said, Bud, I meant what? He said, you meant it when you said we were neighbors, and you'd be my neighbor no matter what. And as he said it, I mean was part of me that thought, honestly, no, I did not mean it. My wife meant it, I didn't really mean it, but I'm glad she held me to it because it makes all the difference.

Tim Lundy: 34:10 Guys, there's people in your life, there's people around us, and they may look like interruptions, sometimes they even look like an obstacle. But Jesus looks at them, and he's placed them there, because they're open doors. Now he's responsible for what they do with the truth. To my knowledge, Bud passed away and he never came to Christ, it wasn't for lack of witness. And there's a part of me that's hopeful that somewhere along the way in the journey before he passed away, Bud gave his life to Jesus, but I don't know. But here's what I do know, he's the open door that was placed before our family. And there's open doors all around us, do we trust him enough to treat people not like interruptions or obstacles, but open doors.

Tim Lundy: 35:21 You know, the final part of this, he makes a promise to overcomers, and I'll just summarize quickly. He says in Revelation 3:12, "The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." Look at this promise, he says two things.

Tim Lundy: 35:50 One, they're going to have a permanent home with God, you're going to be a pillar in the temple of God. And I got to think, if I live in a city next to a volcano and I'm used to earthquakes and the whole city gets destroyed, and Jesus looks at me and he says, hey, I've got a home for you, I've got a city for, you and it's permanent, and you're going to live with me there forever. That would mean a lot to those people, and I think it means a lot to us.

Tim Lundy: 36:16 And not only that, you're not just going to be permanent there. Look at the second part, he says they will be claimed by him and named by him. See, you're a permanent part of my city, you're a permanent part of my future, because you're up permanent part of my family. I'm going to claim you, I'm even going to name you, and call you my own. That's the promise of our savior, to all of us that know him. And I've got to tell you as those who know him, if there was ever a time that we should be sharing him, it's now. Guys, I think I season is coming, post-COVID, where God is going to open doors like never before. Open doors with your neighbors who haven't seen people for a long time, and I think you're going to have an opportunity with them. Open doors through technology and these other forms, to be able to send out church and expand church, like never before. Open doors with the ministry and the needs that are there, that I think we're going to be able to build on and step through. And I think on a personal level, I think those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ, I think he is going open doors all around us with people who need to know him if we will open our eyes and we will trust him with it.

Tim Lundy: 37:51 Will you pray? Father, I thank you. I thank you for this church. I thank you for this letter, I thank you for the promises of it. I thank you that you love us enough, that even though we are people with little power, you give us great opportunities. Lord, I pray for anybody hearing this, that they know what the open door is, they know who you've placed in front of them, would you give them courage to step through it. Lord, I pray for Venture, that you would open more doors, that you would give more opportunities. Lord, we want to be a church that's outwardly focused, we want to be a church that is sharing with others what we've experienced. We are a people know we have a home, we are a people who know that you've claimed us, we are a people that know that forever we will be a part of your family. Father, I pray that we would love you while there is time, and we would share that truth to everyone around us who needs to hear it as well. Lord, we pray these things in Christ's name. Amen.



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600