by Ken Rolheiser

The Rock Parable and open doors

Elizabeth Elliot used to use a fictional parable (not from the Bible) that went something like this: One day, Jesus asked the disciples to pick up a rock and to follow him on a journey. Peter picks up a pebble, the least burdensome way to obey, and they journey all morning long. At lunchtime Jesus tells them to get their stones out, and he turns them all to bread.

Peter is a bit put out, and he’s hungry. Then, after lunch, Jesus tells them Pick up another stone, “We’re going on another journey.” This time Peter picks up a huge rock. He sweats and staggers under its weight all afternoon. Then, Jesus calls them over to the edge of a stream and has them all throw their stones into the river.

Again, Peter is put out, sulking, and thinking: “What! No bread!?” Jesus comes to him and gently asks him, “Peter, why are you upset? Who were you carrying the rock for?” Not once was Peter carrying that rock for Jesus…he was carrying it for himself, for what he would get.

We need to ask ourselves, are we serving, following Jesus, for what we will get in return? Or do we follow because Jesus models it and asks us to love? What happens if we follow Jesus’ call because he has asked us?

Now what is Jesus calling us to do today? There is little doubt our world needs healing, hope, forgiveness and love. We need to bring peace to the world. And Jesus promises to open the doors that will accomplish this.

“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close” Revelation 3:8. It is true. We are given special talents for the good of all. They are not ours to waste. And Jesus provides the means for their use.

The Holy Spirit will guide us and let us know if a door is closed. In Acts 16:6-7 Paul and Silas are travelling through the area of Phrygia and Galatia because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching in Asia. Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed for Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there.

Matthew 7:7-8 tells us, “Continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them.”

And we are assured, “when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John16:3).

“As we serve, we realize that we are blessed far more than we are a blessing. That’s just how it ends up working in God’s economy! And above all we love, because we are loved, and we are called to love! So love outlandishly today, and love for Jesus!!” Posted by Mike Howerton.

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