Amos 7:1-8:3; Revelation 3:7-13; Psalms 130:1-5; Proverbs 28:8-10
NT: ““Write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia: Thus says the Holy One, the true one, the one who has the key of David, who opens and no one will close, and who closes and no one opens: I know your works. Look, I have placed before you an open door that no one can close because you have but little power; yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Note this: I will make those from the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews and are not, but are lying — I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you. Because you have kept my command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one takes your crown. The one who conquers I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never go out again. 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 out of heaven from my God — and my new name. Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.”” (Revelation 3:7-13 CSB)
Ancient Philadelphia was located in a very earthquake prone region of Asia Minor. Its volcanic soil allowed it to produce grapes of renowned quality. Philadelphia was also known as “Little Athens” because of the many pagan temples that were erected in the city. The city stood at an important junction of the imperial road than ran from Rome through Troas, Pergamum, Sardis, and continued to Tarsus and the East. Because of its location on that key Roman road, the city had an “open door” to the rest of the world.
Apparently, the church in Philadelphia was not great in size or resources, but they faithfully kept the word of the Lord and did not deny His name – even in the midst of a city given over to pagan worship and an influential sect of people who claimed to be Jews, that Christ referred to as the synagogue of Satan. Despite their small size and lack of resources, the Lord Jesus said that He was giving them an open door that no one can close. Because they were faithful to Him and His word, He would give them influence and access beyond their natural size and resources. Even those who were of the synagogue of Satan would eventually submit to them because they were fully submitted to the Lord.
Throughout the Bible, that is a theme that is repeated over and over: in the kingdom of God, physical size and stature does not matter. When you are on the Lord’s side and remain faithfully submitted to Him, He will open doors that no man can shut… He will win battles that would be impossible to win… He will give influence that goes far beyond size and resources. God did that with Gideon. God did that with David when he faced Goliath. The Lord did that with a small uneducated group of disciples. The Lord still does that today. The church that I attend is not very large in number or in resources. My church has less than 1,000 members and a budget to match it size – yet it has influence in our city that matches and even surpasses some mega churches with thousands of members and an almost unlimited supply of funds. Right now, I am in a small village on the southern coast of Kenya, partnering with a small church family that was started by a man and his wife who simply began serving a leper colony here in the village. They are small and have very little resources, yet they have immense influence in the region and are making a powerful impact in this heavily Islamic region of Kenya.
When you remain faithfully rooted in the word, will and ways of the Lord, size does not matter. The King of kings and the Lord of lords – the one who has been given the keys of authority to heaven and earth – will open doors that no man can shut. And as you remain solidly rooted to His purposes in faith, He will firmly establish you forever in His presence and forever call you His own.
Psalms: “Out of the depths I call to you, Lord! Lord, listen to my voice; let your ears be attentive to my cry for help. Lord, if you kept an account of iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that you may be revered. I wait for the Lord; I wait and put my hope in his word.” (Psalms 130:1-5 CSB)
In psalm 8, David wrote, “what is a human being that You remember him, a son of man that You look after him?” When you consider the vastness of the universe and the immensity of the God that could have created such a wonder… and then you consider a single human in the midst of that, that human being seems so insignificant. Then, when you add to that God’s perfect holiness and blazing glory, and mankind’s enormous weight of sin, you realize that it is a miracle of God’s mercy that we are even still alive. As insignificant as we may seem in the scope of all time and space, the truth is that we collectively and as individuals are very significant to the Lord. He loves us and desires to see us fellowship with Him and accomplish the purposes He has for us. Therefore, He has provided an open door of forgiveness through faith in His Son, that little insignificant us could approach Him in reverence and receive freely of His love, life and grace.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that in Your kingdom and Your economy, physical size and quantity of resources does not matter. You take small little mustard seeds and grow them into trees. You can take little insignificant me and use me to impact the world in a positive way that far exceeds my size or my resources. Lord, as I place my faith in You and lovingly walk in faith and obedience, open doors that no man can shut – not for my own acclaim, but for Your glory and fame. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.