Losing a key is a real worry. Finding it causes celebration. You probably both know the pain of losing a key and the joy of finding it - if not yet, prepare for it! It may be a physical key or a password, perhaps even an identity. Many will want to steal what you have and exploit your loss if they can. How many keys do you carry on your keyring? How many passwords have you had to store in your memory or somewhere else? They all unlock something of value to you. We are not born with a key to the meaning of life - how handy that would have been! It is something we have to search for and, if we have courage to open the door, then use. The slight difficulty is knowing which is the right key from the many alternatives - all cut precisely, maybe obviously with marked differences or possibly looking quite similar.
- ‘Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity’ - W Clement Stone
- ‘The dreams and passions stored within hearts are powerful keys which can unlock a wealth of potential’ - John C Maxwell
- ‘I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in’ - Virginia Woolf
- ‘I have to admit I've found myself doing the same things that a lot of other rock stars do or are forced to do. Which is not being able to respond to mail, not being able to keep up on current music, and I'm pretty much locked away a lot. The outside world is pretty foreign to me’ - Kurt Cobain
The idea of opening a door into a secret garden is appealing but what if it is forbidden for your own good because it is dangerous? You may find the key but supposing there are snakes, poisonous spiders and traps the other side. Not every key should be used for it may open a Pandora’s Box that could spoil rather than enhance your life.
- ‘The Lord will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure’ - Isaiah 33:6
- ‘I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven’ - Matthew 16:19
- ‘When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead; but he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! Though I am the First and Last, the Living One who died, who is now alive forevermore, who has the keys of hell and death—don’t be afraid!’ - Revelation 1:18 (TLB)
- ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour’ - Luke 4:18-19
What does it mean to have keys to the kingdom? People are not recognised for being in God’s kingdom by their denomination, length of time serving, by their knowledge of the Bible or their amount of charitable giving. They are known to be in his kingdom because they worship King Jesus, following him as they live out their lives. Not only does Jesus call us to ‘seek first the kingdom of God’, but he gives us keys and shows us how to use them. After Peter had first realised that Jesus was the son of the living God, Jesus told him that the church would be built upon that rock and that keys would be given. These are keys that were meant to open up doors in the same way that Jesus had demonstrated in his own life as he ministered to the needs of others. You have been given power to use these keys in his name to bind or loose things too- how? Through:
- bringing forgiveness to unlock grace and joy
- bringing kindness to unlock debts
- bringing faith in the name of Jesus to see people set free from bondage
- bringing reconciliation as ambassadors to unlock conflict
- bringing prayer to unlock healing
- bringing gospel news to unlock freedom
It is not always easy to use these keys as it involves some sacrifice of time, money or pride in doing so. As followers of Christ who opened up the way for us, we should be willing to use these keys to bring signs of the kingdom to others. This could be a good time to sort through your keys - label them, get rid of those that could be harmful or lead to unknown doors and be sure to keep them safe.
TAGS - jailer, strongman, liberty, jubilee, generous, escape