Archives For Opportunity

 

election-dayToday we vote. Millions of eager citizens of our great nation will go to the polls and cast their vote for the candidate they most feel will move our country forward in the right direction. I thank God for the right to vote and I believe you should also.

As a pastor and leader myself, I only ask you that you vote. In America, we have been blessed to do so, and I feel we should exercise that right with absolute joy and thankfulness.

I come today, not to endorse a candidate, but to share a few ways to pray for those in authority. After all, that is what is commanded in scripture. Scripture teaches that we should pray for those in authority.

1 Timothy 2: 1-5 teaches us, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,”

1. We need to pray our leaders recognize their decision will be weighed in eternity.

2. We need to pray for our leaders to have wisdom beyond themselves

3. We need to pray their lives are peaceful, quiet and godly

4. We need to pray for healing through out our land

5. We need to pray our leaders truly seek the heart of God

6. We need to pray that God’s will becomes the will of our leaders

We must remember, Those in authority are there by the will of God and God will use them to accomplish His ultimate plan.

Therefore, we pray for our leaders.

NO MATTER WHAT

1. We pray no matter if they are Democrat, Independent or Republican

2. We pray no matter if the leader is liberal or conservative

3. We pray no matter how immoral or how moral they are

4. We pray no matter how just or unjust their decisions might be.

We pray NO MATTER WHAT! We are Christ followers and our prayers and what we do truly matters. I leave you with a quote from N.T. Wright

 

“Our task as image-bearing, God-loving, Christ-shaped, Spirit-filled Christians, following Christ and shaping our world, is to announce redemption to a world that has discovered its fallenness, to announce healing to a world that has discovered its brokenness, to proclaim love and trust to a world that knows only exploitation, fear and suspicion…The gospel of Jesus points us and indeed urges us to be at the leading edge of the whole culture, articulating in story and music and art and philosophy and education and poetry and politics and theology and even–heaven help us–Biblical studies, a worldview that will mount the historically-rooted Christian challenge to both modernity and postmodernity, leading the way…with joy and humor and gentleness and good judgment and true wisdom. I believe if we face the question, “if not now, then when?” if we are grasped by this vision we may also hear the question, “if not us, then who?” And if the gospel of Jesus is not the key to this task, then what is?” ― N.T. Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is

Miracles Happen

What an incredible moment in Luke 18! The God of the universe, the creator of everything, asked Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?”

What a miracle! What a God opportunity! Bartimaeus was a blind man that saw his opportunity (no pun intended) MIRACLES HAPPEN…sometimes they are housed in an opportunity.

Bartimaeus is a model to imitate, and no, I’m not promoting NAME IT and CLAIM IT. God is not Burger King, where you can have it your way. I’m speaking of imitating the way he acts on his God given moment of opportunity, in spite of everyone around him telling him to keep quiet. He simply keeps calling for Jesus to have mercy and that opportunity leads to the miracle  that he needed.

Bartimaeus would have remained blind, had he not seized the opportunity of His God moment. Most often, miracles are found in obeying the opportunity God has placed right in front of you.

I like to say it this way: Miracles Are Often Wearing The Clothing Of Opportunity

My wife and I moved to San Francisco many years ago to start a new church.(We were there for 13 plus years) She and I appeared before the state council for our denomination and shared our calling. After pouring out our hearts, we were expecting 100% of the men to give us the green light and their blessing. It was just the opposite. They turned us down and thanked us for our time, and we walked out the door.

As we were walking down the hallway to leave, my wife was visibly upset. I asked her, “What’s wrong?” She responded, “What are we going to do?” My reply was simply, “Start a church.”

Seeing she was not satisfied with my answer, we returned to the board room. I knocked, and then pushed the door open. I apologized for the interruption, but shared with them that I had a few more things I would like  to say. I proceeded to tell them that we meant no disrespect, but we would be starting a church for our denomination, or an independent work because we had to obey God.

After a few moments of silence, a man at the end of the table (who is a dear friend of mine) began to clap and stand up. It was one a man standing ovation. I believe that is the way God does us. He gives us a standing ovation, when we obey the opportunity He has called us to obey, even when  everyone else is telling us, we can’t.

Allow me to share a passage with you with some comments.

Luke 18:35-43

35 As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.

  • Miracle Opportunities shows up often in everyday life if you have faith to see it.
  • The text say Jesus was drawing near Jericho, but in the case of Bartimaeus, Jesus was drawing near him.

36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 They told him,  “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”

  • He was listening to what was going on around him.
  • He was listening for his opportunity.
  •  Open your ears! You might just be surprised at what God is trying to set up for you.

38 And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

  • Psalm 23 tells us that goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life.
  • God has your life surrounded with goodness and mercy.

39 And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

  • He had a desire to move passed the one’s that were just curious about Jesus
  • “You may delay, but time will not.” –Benjamin Franklin
  • He opened every widow of his heart to the opportunity

40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41  “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”

  • Isn’t that really the miracle we all need, to recover our sight?
  • To see what God see’s; to see how God see’s things?
  • If we did, and acted on it more often, we would change our lives and those around us.

42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

  • The miricle for Bartimaeus was found in the opportunity of Jesus passing by. Once he was rescued, he followed and glorified God and everyone saw. I just love that. His life became a witness. You life can also.

Today, many will open their eyes to the miracle opportunities that surround them. Why not you?