A Message by Kent Munsey
Missio Dei doors are opportunities that lead us into God’s mission for our lives. When you become a Christ follower, you join with Him in the church’s collective mission, laid out in the “Great Commission”-- to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth and make disciples of all men (Matthew 28:19-20). Throughout this Missio Dei season, we have been learning about and looking for the open doors that lead us into the mission and purposes that God has for us--both individually and collectively as a church.
The Apostle Paul talks about an open door three times in his letters to the early church. One of those times occurs in 1 Corinthians 16. Paul describes an open door for him to stay in Ephesus (“For the present, I’m staying right here in Ephesus. A huge door of opportunity for good work has opened up here.” 1 Corinthians 16:5-9). He goes on to recognize those who played a part in opening this Missio Dei door for him, and he urges the Corinthian church to look to these particular five-star Christians as examples.
Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.
Would you do me a favor, friends, and give special recognition to the family of Stephanas? You know, they were among the first converts in Greece, and they’ve put themselves out, serving Christians ever since then. I want you to honor and look up to people like that: companions and workers who show us how to do it, giving us something to aspire to.
I want you to know how delighted I am to have Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus here with me. They partially make up for your absence! They’ve refreshed me by keeping me in touch with you. Be proud that you have people like this among you. -1 Corinthians 16:13-17
Through faithful Christians, the door was opened for Paul. This refreshed him.
Isaiah 28 tells us there are places of refreshing. Proverbs 25:13 tells us that people can be refreshing. In Exodus 31 we learn that on the 7th day after God created the earth, He rested and was refreshed, rejuvenated, revived. In 1 Samuel 16:23, Saul is having soul trouble, but when David would play the harp for him, Saul would be renewed.
It’s important for us to find people and places that are refreshing. It is necessary that are bodies are refreshed. It is essential that our souls are refreshed. This message, however, is not about how to be refreshed; it’s about how to BE refreshing. Proverbs 11:25 tells us that the generous will prosper, that those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
What can we learn from Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, the Christians that refreshed Paul?
The only thing better than walking through the door of salvation is to open the door for someone else to walk into the mission of God for their lives.
Hotels can be rated by how many doors you have to open to get to your room. In 5-star hotels, all the doors are opened for you. Likewise, a “five-star” Christian opens the doors for others to walk through. When you open the door for others, you refresh them, and God refreshes you.
A door keeper makes other people’s door experience better. If you want to be more like Jesus, desire to be a door opener. Jesus opened the door for us to get to God when there was no way. Opening doors for others is the essence of the gospel. When Jesus was baptized, three things happened: the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit came down, and the Father spoke. When you pray, you activate heaven’s door opening.
HOW TO BE A DOOR OPENER:
Keep your eyes open: In order to be a door opener, you have to keep your eyes open for others and their potential opportunities. You have to look beyond yourself.
Hold tight to your convictions: The enemy wants you to be so offended by other people that you decide not to help anyone else again. Even when people do not recognize or thank you, hold tight to your mission to be a Door Opener.
Be resolute: When you start to open doors for others, the enemy will come at you with everything he’s got. We have to be strong and resolute.
Love without stopping: Love, not obligation, is what motivates us to open doors for others. God loved you when you didn’t have the capacity to love him back. He opened the door so we could open doors for others.
We can open doors by giving our time and talents and treasure, praying in faith, being strong, and loving others. Paul talks about offerings in 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 and tells us to lay our offerings aside in advance so we can give. Giving financially and through service are some of the most practical ways that we can open doors for others to know God and to further God’s mission. Let’s join together as Door Openers for our families and friends, for City Church, and for the city of Chicago in this season.
Jesus, we thank you that you opened the door for us and made a way when there was no way. Help us to be more like you, and give us the desire to be Door Openers for others. We ask that you multiply our time and resources so that we can give abundantly just as you gave to us. Thank you for using City Church and each of us individually in the mission of God on earth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.