Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

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The Gate Is Open

                                                                             
  July 13, 2016

Dear Friends,

We were carrying the yard tools back to our cottage.  I was a few steps
behind Ken.  He came to the fence and dropped the rakes over and left
them standing on the other side.  I carried my hedge trimmer and assorted
clippers to the fence and stopped.

That's when I noticed there was a lock on the gate.  That wouldn't stop me.  
Without thinking I started to reach up and over with them.  Then it hit me.  
If I dropped them over the fence I wouldn't be able to retrieve them.  I'd
need the key to do that.

Because we were on a mission trip and staying in an unfamiliar place I
couldn't just leave the tools anywhere.  I needed to make sure they were
secure.  So I did what I usually do in that situation.  I fretted.  I paced.  
I got more and more upset.

I walked by that gate three times that afternoon.  I kept asking myself
why it was locked.  It led to a fenced in yard behind the cottage.  I saw a
picnic table and lots of open space. It seemed like the perfect place to
congregate.  Yet I was locked out.

On my fourth pass I looked at it again.  Suddenly I realized that the lock
wasn't connected to anything.  I reach out and opened the gate.  It had been
unlocked all the time.  I had to laugh.  My assumptions had been all wrong.  
I could have gone in at any time.

It struck me that some people have assumptions about God that lead them
to believe that they have been locked out of his presence forever.  They believe
that the things they have done have put them on the outside looking in.

Nothing can be farther from the truth.  You see Jesus Christ is the key that
unlocks the gate to God's heart.   Romans 10:13 says that "Everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Through Jesus we have access to God's grace.  It is the key to our joy and
happiness.  So don't stand outside the gate.  Come in.  It is open.  Make
yourself at home.  There is a place for you and God is ready to bless you and
welcome you in.

God bless. See you in church.  
Cal
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