One Sunday morning duty is to pick up a lady who has no transportation and deliver her to the church then go home and pick up Barbara to get her to church. When I deliver the lady to the church I unlock, carry my briefcase inside, make sure the AC is set right, etc. I usually lay my keys on the front pew as I go about my duties and when I leave, I usually either get to the car or the doors of the church to remember that my keys are on the front pew. So I come back in the church and say to the lady as I am walking to the front pew, “I won’t get very far without my keys.” That little routine has been duplicated more than once. It is slightly irritating to me that I forget those keys. I will probably start putting them in my pocket. It is easier to dig them out of my pocket rather than walking back in to get them. I always have every good intention to remember them when I toss them on the front seat, but the preoccupation with getting everything done has been overruling that good intention.
There are some keys to the kingdom of God that we need to have with us. (These are some keys that Jesus gave Peter – Matthew 16:19) If we leave them lying around, we are not going to get very far in a successful life in the Spirit and power of God. The first key is understanding the power that is in the name of Jesus. His name represents all that he is and has available to us. We are told that his commandment is that we believe on the name of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another (1 John 3:23). And that is the next key, that we love one another. This involves forgiveness to the seven times seventy extreme (Matthew 18:22). Forgiveness is keeping our heart clear toward all people. It is not accepting their evil and accepting them treating you like dirt. When we have a goal of love in line with God’s goal that all people be saved, we maintain a clear heart toward them, but that is not that we endorse the evil and wrong they have done. Through Christ, God has extended forgiveness toward every person. Not every person receives that forgiveness with a grateful heart. They persist in their evil. That which is extended toward them returns to the sender. The sender is free, but the would-be recipient continues in bondage with no reconciliation. Living in the power of Jesus’ name, of who Jesus is and of what Jesus has accomplished for us, is key number one. Living in the love of God which comes by the infilling of the Spirit of God is key number two. If we keep these keys with us at all times, we can live freely in God’s freedom for our spirit, soul, and body.