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"Opening the Door to a Resurrected Life," John 20: 19--31; Pastor Richard Strode

Easter evening after witnessing Jesus' atoning and redemptive death for our sins, His disciples were hiding in fear behind closed doors. They were scared that a knock on the door would lead to their arrest and execution. His disciples also closed their minds to the fact that Jesus' resurrection opened a door for them to be reconciled with God and to become a new spiritual creation. Like the disciples, we sometimes live in fear, retreating from the world behind locked doors (physical and mental) because of constant reminders of hateful violence often directed toward us. We would like to shut down and sit out from troubles of this world while wondering if the Lord hears our prayers. If locked doors were unable to keep Jesus from extending His Peace and Spirit to His disciples, as Believers we must be comforted by the fact that Jesus will also intervene in a life-changing manner even when we close our minds to that reality. Through His gift of the Holy Spirit those disciples gained a heart to boldly proclaim the Gospel. They were no longer frightened; they became bold proclaimers of the gospel. The Lord's gifts of Peace and the Holy Spirit will continue to be available for our transition to being a new creation. Are you willing to let go of the past, embrace the Holy Spirit and become what the Lord intended you to be, if only you would open your mind?

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