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Thursday, September 15, 2022


"Open Doors, Closed Doors"

Message summary: Ultimately it's God who opens and closes doors. What peace that brings to the quivering heart! Let us all keep serving God in the door He opens and trust that He knows what's best for us when a door is closed.

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"'Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.' So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. And they prayed and said, 'You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.' And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles" (Acts 1:21-26).

This week I visited with a longtime friend who is being considered for a church staff position. He is excited about the opportunity and earnestly praying that a door of opportunity may open for him. However he also realizes he is not the only candidate and is thus submitting his desire to God's will in the matter. Like most of us he has had the experience of closed doors (an expression for an opportunity not opening up) and was musing with me about Joseph. He was one of the two disciples being considered by the early church to replace Judas, who had betrayed the Lord and had been stricken from the Twelve. In the end Joseph was not selected and that particular door for him was closed.

Colossians 4:3

The Biblical concept of open doors comes from verses such as 1 Corinthians 16:8 where Paul wrote "a wide door for effective work has opened to me" and Colossians 4:3, "At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ".

But today we'd like to know whatever happened to Joseph, perhaps asking a question few have given any thought to. This Joseph was also called Barsabbas and Justus, a man who appears only in the first chapter of Acts and then disappears from the Bible record. The only information we have about this particular Joseph is that he was a disciple who had been with the Lord from the beginning of His ministry and witnessed His resurrection. These are pretty astounding credentials.

He, along with Matthias, was being considered for a very important ministry role. Actually, the opportunity of a lifetime. The disciples had an opening to fill among the Twelve and he and Matthias were up for it. Here's the Scripture reference, "So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias". After an earnest prayer and a selection procedure Matthias was chosen.

What happened to Joseph? Did he get bitter or resentful? Was he envious of Matthias? Did he question the fairness of the selection process? Did he stew, "Life just isn't fair".

Or did he go on, like millions have since his time on earth, to faithfully serve God the remainder of his life in relative obscurity? We really expect this to be the case. After all when one door closes another opens if our hearts are willing and Joseph seemed to have a willing heart.

We believe there are a lot of people like Joseph. Really, each of us can relate in one way or another. We've all had disappointments haven't we? That job offer that fell through, the personal rejection that still stings, the election or promotion that went to the "other guy".

How we handle it is what really matters. Sometimes it is made clear to us why a door didn't open, though not always immediately, but more often over time. At times more training or skills were needed for a particular job situation. There are those circumstances where God was protecting us from a potential danger we ourselves could not see at the time.

We've found that God closed the doors we had hoped to walk through on more than one occasion to provide a much better opportunity that was not available at the time. The above examples and many more turn into life lessons that can't be learned just by reading a book or taking a written examination.

Open Doors, Closed DoorsUltimately it's God who opens and closes doors. What peace that brings to the quivering heart! Let us all keep serving God in the door He opens and trust that He knows best when a door is closed.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we desire to have You guide us in the paths of righteousness that lead us in the way everlasting; where we can be of value to others and find inward fulfillment as well. Sometimes the next step we take is clearly visible and other times it is a step of faith when darkness seems to veil Your leading. As we earnestly pray we can trust You who stills the tempest and turns darkness into light. We pray for discernment, just as the apostles did when having to choose between Joseph and Matthias. We want a good and teachable spirit as we follow Your leading in all matters, whether a door of opportunity is opened or whether a door is closed we continue to wait for You to open the right door for us. Amen.

Note: Truth be told we never hear any more about Matthias either!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"He Will Carry You"  Video  Brian Free and Assurance

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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