Winds of Opportunity
by Teresa Marshall
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I have been thinking about the multitudes people going through hurricane Katrina. The emotional and spiritual trauma they are experiencing. When I see all the horrendous massive devastation that has leveled neighborhoods and whole towns on the news. It causes me to consider what it is going to look like when the Rapture takes place. There will be global devastation. This spurs me on to witness to my friends and neighbors who don’t know the Lord.
The ones who are suffering from the hurricane are more apt to be asking and searching for spiritual answers, too. The big question is "WHY?" I feel with each disaster God is speaking to our nation. This is a wake up call to return to Him, and to restore the values this nation was built upon. "If my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face. Then will I heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14...Healing starts with asking for forgiveness of personal and corporate sin by God's people. Afterwards we can go out and be "salt and light" to a world that is dying spiritually.
Our nation no longer values life and therefore the soul of that person has no value either in man’s eye. I ask myself, “Have I slid so far off the foundation of value's that anything goes that is anti-Christian?” Do I no longer value human life? Therefore do I no longer respect the soul of that person whether they are an unborn baby or a Senior Citizen? If I do value someone's soul and to build a relationship where I can share Christ. It will cost me of my time, and talent. Who has time in this fast moving society? Everyone is looking out for themselves.
Who is there to help when a disaster strikes and I lose everything materially? Maybe this is right where Jesus wants me to be. So I can spiritually see my need for a Saviour who desires to clothe me in His garment of righteousness and forgiveness of sin. When Jesus is in my life, I have all I will ever need or want because He's my provider. Like Job says, "The Lord gives and takes away." By taking away, the Lord wants me to see my sinful greedy heart.
Possessions do not fill that void within. Relationships are so shallow. I use them to promote and achieve my wants and goals. Afterwards it is onto another shallow relationship to help me climb the corporate ladder. Or I may even being climbing the socially acceptable stairs of doing good within a local church. It's all for self recognition. Yet deep down there is a yearning for a secure relationship. So when nature’s winds of adversity blows, there is Someone there to hold me in the darkest of nights. Those nights of not knowing how or when the re-building will transact. The Lord calms my worried mind with His words of "Fear not, for I am with you..." If I die here. I know the Lord has built a mansion for me where there will be no hurricanes.
As I grow in my relationship with the Lord. Possessions no longer hold me captive, because I see in Matthew 6:33, which states, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; all these things shall be added unto you.” When I put the Lord and his will first, He will see that I have food, shelter, and clothing. What more do I require to maintain life here?
When I am secure in knowing the Lord is my Provider. I can focus on others who are suffering and share with them about Jesus. He all one ever needs for this lifetime and for all eternity.
I saw on the news where a woman’s diabetic mother was rescued and had no shoes. She died from lack of medication.It would be better to die with no shoes and to be wearing Jesus. But had someone told her about the Lord?
It breaks my heart when I see pictures of those who have died and are covered with a sheet. Did they have family with them? Or had they gotten separated from their family? Did they die alone without family and friends? If they didn't know the Lord, then they truly died alone for all eternity. So as a child of His. I need to be going forth bearing precious seed of the gospel. The harvest is ready but the workers are so few.
If you or I had gone through this hurricane would we know how to share the gospel? Would we know how to explain why we have a hope and a peace within, even though we have lost everything materially that we owned? I Peter 3:15 states, “Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. “ (The Message Bible).
I would be able to tell someone how I came to know the Lord while a junior in Bible College. Even though I had been brought up in church and knew the plan of salvation, it was all head knowledge. At college my Bible was just another textbook to learn from and pass the class.
One day in a Christian Educational class we were on the subject of witnessing to children and using a witnessing tool call the Wordless book. The Wordless book has various pages of different colors. For each color this represented a spiritual truth.
Green--I'll live forever with Jesus.
Gold/Yellow--Living in Heaven and walking on streets of Gold.
The only way I can go to Heaven is to accept Jesus in my heart. Not literally, but to put my faith in Him and to believe one hundred percent that what He says is true, for Jesus doesn't lie.
Black page--represents sin. It should be a Red page because in Isaiah it says, "Though my sin was scarlet or red like crimson they shall be white as snow." Why, because when Jesus shed is pure blood it washes my red sin away and I stand before Him a new creation in Christ.
White Page –Is for purity. He clothes me in a garment of white because of Jesus and His work on the cross.
When I grasped that concept the Holy Spirit enabled me to see that I needed a Saviour. Then I asked Jesus to forgive and to save me. My life has never been the same according to II Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (NAS)
It hasn't been all smooth traveling, but with the “hurricanes” He has allowed in my life, He's the anchor of my soul and He gives a hope and peace within. He does know the plans He has for me. Then I'd ask the person, "Now wouldn't you like to have a hope and peace within that only Jesus can give? Even when you have literally lost everything? Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you, regardless how hard the winds of life or nature may blow.”
Another tool I like to use when I'm going to Wal-mart, the Library or the fitness center, is a tract. You can buy them, or I make mine and print it onto a business card, because I am on Kingdom business. When I don't have time to talk to someone, I hand them a business card. It states very plainly the plan of Salvation through John 3:16. Then there is a prayer on the back, which they can use or they can formulate their own prayer. Afterwards if they want more information, I have added my e-mail address. This is planting spiritual seeds. I never know how the Lord may use this card. He says when His word goes forth; it won't come back empty handed. So some of us plant the seed, someone else may come along and water the seed, by maybe inviting that person to church. The Lord gives them recall of John 3:16. The Holy Sprit enables them to understand spiritually that they need to accept Jesus. Then we all take place in the harvest in eternity. It all began with just a seed of His word going forth.
This also helps those who have recently come to know the Lord how to witness in two ways. The first way is building a relationship with our next door neighbors or a co-worker someone you come in contact with on a daily basis’s. You can have lunch and share the Bread of Life. You can invite someone over to your Home and share how Jesus has moved in and is bringing changes in your life....
Secondly, when you are out and going various places. You can hand the cashier a card and encourage her to read it on her break time.
When you are returning books to the library. Put a card in as a bookmarker.
If you use a public phone or restroom, lay a tract down where someone will see it. If you are looking at magazines, insert one.
Paying bills insert a card as long as the bill is paid on time.
When you are eating out, leave one with an appropriate tip.
I get excited because I never know where the Lord may have me to place one. Like at the fitness center, I place one in the locker that I use. When I ride the van, I place one on the seat. As I'm going through the hospital I will place one in the waiting room areas.
Jesus says in Acts 1:8 we are told to be witnesses for Jesus. But we don't go in our own strength. Only the Holy Spirit can give one the ability to understand spiritual truth. So we pray and ask for His power to give us the boldness to speak forth His word. Or to bless these cards as His word goes out and whoever picks it up, that their heart will be open.
It's tremendous to witness for the Lord. The confidence and boldness comes each time we do share the Lord with someone. That doesn't mean each person will accept the Lord when we have shared. But we have given them the Word and have done what is required of us.
A testimony is telling what the Lord has done for you, how your life has been changed. It's good to have your testimony written down and have some key thoughts to present. Yet, you want to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading in witnessing to that person and meeting them where they have the most need.
Maybe it's fixing a meal for a sick neighbor. Or the new neighbor who is moving next door.
It might be providing transportation for someone.
Here again it comes back to us being open and willing each day for the Lord to use us to be salt and light. This is why we can tell them about the peace and hope within. The Lord enables us to stand when the hurricane of life begins to blow.
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