Opportunity

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An up-front disclaimer – sometimes the things I write in these daily blogs are still truths ‘in process’ for me. If my words come across in a way that implies that “Jerry has it all together and is living in completely perfect serenity,” please know that I am often teaching myself, listening to the Spirit, learning from the Word of God. Today is one of those days. I know what I am writing is true but I am also doing the hard work of applying this to my life. Some days I do better than others, as you do, I know.  So, remember we are on a journey where we walk together, ‘keeping in step with the Spirit’ as He leads us to life.

The statistics that were reported in yesterday’s press briefing (4/1/2020) made me catch my breath, the implications sinking in. I am not all that alarmed for myself, having reconciled myself to my own mortality a long time. I love being healthy and hope that God allows me to live a long, productive life before I find my home in Heaven. But, there are many questions about the long-term effect of this crisis. What kind of world will be formed for my children out of all of this? How will Christ’s Church emerge from this?  In my prayerful musings that followed, and into my prayer in the evening, the Spirit whispered but one word –

Opportunity.

The words of Joseph, spoken to his brothers as they stood in his royal palace, echoed in my mind. Remember him?

God gave him a promise of great leadership when he was a teen. For the next 20 or so years, his life went from bad to worse; sold by jealous brothers into slavery, jailed on false charges of sexual assault, and forgotten by people for whom he did good things. But God never forgot him and he miraculously became the Prime Minister of Egypt, God’s man in the right place at the right time. When his starving family showed up for supplies, he eventually revealed his true identity to them. With an astonishing grace, born of profound faith, he said: “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you? As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people.” (Genesis 50:19-20, NLT)

This viral crisis that grips our world is an opportunity.  Some say it is God’s judgment on a world of violence, greed, and injustice. It is not for me to say. Others suggest that it is the beginning of the Last Days before the Return of Christ. Perhaps, but Jesus did remind us that “when reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places.” (Matthew 24:6-8) What I do KNOW, most certainly, is that good and evil will compete for the hearts of people.

That struggle is one where Christians can shine with the bright light of Jesus, where opportunities are found! So I am praying for revival of faith among apathetic believers and new faith to be born in the minds and hearts of those who do not yet know the love of God.  Honestly, we face a big challenge of faith that invites us to be open to ways to love Him and others. Let’s step up to the challenge with confidence in the promise of Jesus.  He says, “I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, The Message)

It is a mistake to think that representing Him well requires a complete knowledge of the future. The Lord seldom reveals the plan for tomorrow until we are walking faithfully with Him – today.  We will not experience His provision for Wednesday’s need unless we have lived for Him faithfully on Monday and Tuesday.

Here’s the word from the Word for those who are ready to ‘make the most of every opportunity.’

“What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see .. So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith.  Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God  and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” (Hebrews 11:1,6 NLT)
_______________________

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
(this song speaks of the faith that leads us into deep water,
where we find His opportunities)

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep my faith will stand

 And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

 Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sov’reign hand will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

 Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Joel Houston | Matt Crocker | Salomon Ligthelm
© 2012 Hillsong Music Publishing (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
CCLI License # 810055

 

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