A Word From Ron – One Key for One Lock

A couple of months ago I came across an old bike lock in the attic. Getting ready to go on vacation I thought it would be handy for our bikes. So, I brought it down, set it on the counter and began looking through all the drawers and garage bins. I knew exactly what I was looking for. A small metal key with a blue and black plastic cover. I racked my brain thinking of where it could be and then it hit me. A couple of years ago, while I was cleaning out the garage, a little bin, filled with old keys from previous houses, and various little pieces that went with appliances at those houses were tossed into the garbage.

This was a whole bin of little adapters, connectors, hardware pieces, and keys, all in one place, in case I ever needed them again, but only useful for that one house. All except that bike key. Every single piece in that bin was created at some point for one use, only one! They, like that key, fit only one place. They served one purpose; they were set apart for one thing.

It’s interesting, Paul uses similar terminology in describing himself in Romans 1:1,

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God. KJV

When I moved to the Czech Republic as a missionary, I learned a number of years later that others were told I was “off limits.” In other words, the church denominational leadership wanted to make sure that no one tried to tempt me to be involved in other regions, they wanted me strictly focused on Southern Bohemia. So, they did. They left me alone and we focused strictly on Southern Bohemia.

Paul seems to describe a similar, self-imposed separation, focused strictly and entirely on the Gospel of God. He seems to indicate that he has one declared purpose for living, taking seriously his calling as an apostle, and his willful “enslavement” to Jesus. Not just his primary, but his sole purpose was the Gospel of God. Like a key having simply one use, was Paul’s calling to the Gospel, made evident by beatings, persecution, and imprisonments. In fact, through each his commitment was made stronger and his testimony made more legitimate.

Many Christians spend most of their life searching for “the thing” that will bring satisfaction and joy in their life. They move from place to place, job to job, church to church, even relationship to relationship only to find emptiness, time after time. Perhaps it’s because their “key” was intended for “one lock,” one they actually feared trying. That is to be totally committed, totally sold out for serving Jesus and the Gospel of God. Which locks have you tried your keys in?

Dr. Ronald J. Barnes, Jr.

President / CEO

July 11, 2022

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