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Charles Stanley - A Passing Opportunity


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Have you ever walked away from a situation and thought, all of a sudden, I missed it. I just missed it. You say missed what? Missed the wonderful opportunity to give my testimony. A wonderful opportunity to give a word of encouragement to somebody that you knew were going through a difficult time. A wonderful opportunity to reassure someone who is in great doubt. An opportunity to be of specific help to someone who needed you at that moment.

Often times we let the opportunities go by not recognizing the opportunity is a gift from God, it's a privilege we have, it's a moment in time in our circumstances in which we are able to make a decision that impacts our life or maybe impacts someone else's life. Often times we just ignore wonderful, godly opportunities. You see, the truth is, an opportunity is a gift from God. If you will think about how God works in your life and how he gives you direction and guidance in life, is it not true that he will give you this opportunity or that one. He will show you to go here or there. He will show you to speak to this person or that. He will show you a particular way that you can serve him in a particular place, or the opportunities he gives you to work in the people around you and the people you meet.

Every day is a day of opportunity. Yet many people never take advantage of it. They take life as it is and never think what's the source of this, what is the purpose of this. They don't think about why they are even living. They think they live from one day to the folks and maybe everything is going to be all right never stopping to think that every day in the life of a believer is a day in which God is personally involved in the life of that person with one opportunity after the other. Think about it, you awakened this morning with the opportunity of coming to church and hearing the truth of the gospel and singing and worshipping the Lord. You wake up on Monday morning with the opportunity, you say that's what I am worried about. The opportunity of going to work.

You say, well, I don't like that. Suppose you are one of those millions of people who do not have a job to go to? Suppose you are one of those people you have lost your home. You couldn't even sleep in the home you bought. You couldn't even drive in the car that you once owned. There are multitudes of opportunities that go right by us. Think about the opportunity you have to have a family. You have sons and daughters who love you, a wife or husband who love you. Think of all of the wonderful ways God expresses his love to you and the wonderful opportunities he gives to serve him back. Many people go through life never relating that as a gift from God. But it is a gift from God.

Think about this. He gives you an opportunity to build relationships with people that may last for years. He gives you the opportunity of making financial decisions that prophet you and your family. We could think of many ways in which he gives us opportunities. Think about this above all. Think about the opportunity of having heard about Jesus and having trusted him as your Savior and having your name written in the lamb's book of life and the assurance that you have that you are going to heaven when you die and the awesome privilege of being in dwelt by the Holy Spirit who guides you, leads you, directs you and teaches you. Think about the promises you have from Almighty God. Think about the opportunity you have to own a copy of the living Word of God. Think about the opportunity you have to be instructed, to be taught, the opportunity you have to share with other people.

Many of you have the opportunity to teach the Word of God, to sing the Word of God. Think about all of the opportunities God in his goodness, love and mercy has poured upon you and is there every single day for you to enjoy. That doesn't mean every opportunity is always a joy. Some opportunities are real challenges. Some of them testers and trials. Some of them bring great advantage to us. But some of them are sacrificial, that is you give yourself to the Lord in response to an opportunity he gives you, you pour out your life into somebody else or somebody else's life and God blesses and encourages them and strengthens them. In the process you get blessed.

When I think about opportunities, you say, well, how would you define that? To make it simple I put it on the screen here for you to look at. It is a favorable time or occasion, those special moments when we are in a position to make a decision that will impact our lives in a positive way. God is giving us opportunity every single day. Some opportunities come, some go. Some don't stay very long. Remember this, opportunities don't last forever. Some opportunities are very short lived. That's why you and I need to be very, very sensitive to what God is doing in our life. Sometimes God may challenges you to something, you say oh, I don't want to do that. Forget that. That may be a specific challenge from God that is an opportunity for you to serve in such a way that brings blessing to you and to someone else. Everything that comes our way is not an opportunity.

For example, when I think of opportunities as we sit here that have a positive impact on our lives you say, what about the bad opportunities? I don't think in terms of a bad opportunity. But a bad opportunity is more clearly described as a temptation, as an enticement of evil. That is God's opportunities are for good, a positive impact. The devil, he will give you an opportunity to rebel against God, sin against God and wreck your life. It's a temptation. It's a snare. Satan is always acting to do so. What about the opportunities that God gives you? The truth is you are where you are right now today in your life as a result of what? As a result of responding to opportunities that God has given you. Which means that many of you are walking in the Lord, trusting him, obeying him, and many of you have refused to trust Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. You have heard the gospel. You have had many opportunities to be saved. Yet you have said no time after time.

I want to remind you and warn you there will come a day you have heard it for the last time. You hear that's old stuff old hat I have heard that. Every time you heard it was a divine specific, deliberate brat opportunity God has given you that your whole eternal destiny might be changed. Don't over look the opportunities of God. The best thing you can do is get in the Word of God and start reading God's word. As you begin to read the Word of God and you begin to listen to God speak to your heart here's what happens. He uses his word to show us what opportunities are there. He uses his word to open our heart to what he wants us to do.

I want us to look at a passage of scripture. It's a brief passage. You wouldn't think about this in terms of opportunity. But when you realize what happens in this particular passage you realize the same thing can happen to you and me. Opportunities do not come and stay. They come and they go for a very short time. For example when the pilot starts his jet down the runway there's a moment in time when he cannot abort that plane. He passes a certain spot at a certain speed he has to keep going no matter what. His opportunity to abort is over. There are times in your life and mine where opportunities will pass us by. That's why we have to be sensitive in the Word of God. Turn if you will to Mark chapter 10. I want us to look the at these verses about this particular person. It's a simple but a wonderful example of what we are talking about when it comes to opportunities.

Let's talk about the setting for a moment. It is Jericho. In and out of Jericho, the gates there and so forth. So here's this man who is sitting there beginning in verse 46 of this tenth chapter. Then they came to Jericho and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, a bond beggar named Bartimaeus the son of Timaeus was sitting by the road. When he heard it was Jesus the Nazarene he began to cry out Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me. Many were sternly telling him to be quiet. But he kept crying out all the other. Son of David, have mercy on me. Jesus stopped and said, call him here.

So they called the blind man saying to him, take courage, stand up, he's calling for you. Throwing aside his cloak he jumped up and came to Jesus. And answering him, Jesus said, what do you want me to do for you? The blind man said to him, I want to regain my sight. Jesus said to him, your faith has made you well. Immediately he regained his sight and began following him on the road. Here is a blind beggar. One of many blind beggars. When you think about the fact that he was blind, that was very prevalent.

I think 31 times for example in the scripture you find Jesus dealing with blind people. Of all of the things he had to deal with blindness seemed to be prevalent. In the 9th chapter of John, the disciples were having a difficult time figuring all of this out. They said to him in this ninth chapter second verse, they saw a man blind from birth and his disciples asked him, rabbi, who sinned this man or his parents that he would be born blind. That was hear attitude. If a person was blind they had some disease that person either sinned or their parents had sinned and this was their judgment. Jesus simply answered and said to him, it was neither that this man sinned nor his parents but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. Then he goes on to talk about and what happens, he heals the man of his blindness.

Now, when you think about Bartimaeus being blind, I want you to do something for a moment. I want you to close your eyes for 10 seconds. Don't cheat on me. Just close them for 10 seconds. Now, open them. Suppose you had to live every day like that. Suppose you couldn't see anything. You would have to feel around to find your way. Every step you would have to be very, very sensitive of what was happening. You wake up every morning not to a day but to darkness. So what happens is there were many, many, many blind people. And the way they made their living is sitting along the road side around the gates begging. That's the way they made their living. Every day they would have to drag their self to some place to sit and ask for alms and hope that someone helped them. Not only was he blind but he was a beggar. That's all he could do. When you were blind you were helpless and decimate.

There may be families to help you to some degree but the truth is your days were all nights, and your future was all centered in one thing, how do I get enough today begging, sitting by the road side hoping to get just enough to eke out an existence. No wonder they wanted to be healed. There was nothing they could put on their eyes for example. They could go to a pharmacy or a doctor who could say to them, sure, I could take care of that for you. What do you want me to do? It was a lifeless kind of life. I tell you something worse than that. There are people who see with their eyes but they are spiritually blind.

You think about what Paul warns us about in second Corinthians, he simply says this. In whose case the God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God. He says the devil blinds people and therefore they think they are seeing. They can physically see but spiritually they cannot see. The truth is they are like Bartimaeus to some degree. That is they wake up every day in their spiritual blindness. They go about their work in spiritual blindness and disobedience to God and wondering why life doesn't work out any better. If you tell them they are blind they want to fight you about it they say I am not blind I can see as good as you can. With your eye you may but without your heart and spirit and without Christ you can't. A beggar no hope and assurance of anything. Here is a needed opportunity. He needs help. Where does that help come from?

Well, those beggars in those days had their own line of communication. They couldn't see but they could hear. Often times listened much better than you and I would, because that's the only thing they could do. They had to remember what they heard. One of the things that Bartimaeus had heard about, he heard about Jesus. They didn't know who he was. He did note he was a Nazarene according to this passage of scripture. He also heard about the fact that the healed blind people, that he raised the dead, he healed the lepers. This man, whoever he was, he was performing miracles. More than likely Bartimaeus was thinking, I wonder if there will ever be an opportunity for me to meet this person. He had heard about him and requesting over yonder and there. Here he was with no hope of anything.

Yet a day of opportunity came. It was an unexpected opportunity. How long he had been there, I don't know, but the truth is, he wasn't blind from his birth, because when he spoke to Jesus he said that I may regain my sight, not just have it. So somewhere along the way by disease he had become a blind person. And what was his hope? He had no real genuine, true, literal hope. No basis for hope. He heard about it. Of course, naturally, on this particular occasion what was happening was the feast of the passover was taking place in Jerusalem. It was about 15 miles from Jericho to Jerusalem. Pretty good sized walk. On this particular day there were crowds walking by, and Jesus was part of the crowd and his disciples and all of the other folks were on the way by the throngs on their way to Jerusalem. Bartimaeus sitting on the wayside were listening as people were walking by knowing it was a passover but having no real assurance Jesus was anywhere close by. The truth is it was a wonderful time of opportunity for him, but he didn't know it.

Watch this. There are opportunities God sent to your life and mine. We are not aware of it at the time. This is why we must learn to live with a sensitivity to the work of the Spirit of God in near life. There are lots of times lots of ways God will give you an opportunity for something that with this person or that situation that circumstance, finances, whatever it might be, but if you are not listening you will miss it. On this occasion part may Bartimaeus was listening to all of the things going on, all of the sounds, all of the talking of people. In the process of doing so he must have heard the name of Jesus. When he did, he must have started thinking and thinking rapidly. I wonder if Jesus is in this crowd. That's who everybody keeps talking about. So his opportunity was not only unexpected. But when you look to see what's happening here, it became a life changing opportunity for him. There are many times you and I face opportunities and we don't know what they are.

I want to go back to say how do you sharpen your spiritual skills to be able to identify and get into the Word of God? You begin to watch how God worked in people's lives in the New Testament and the Old Testament. You begin to watch how he desires to work in your life. What God does, he makes you sensitive. You become sensitive to the voice of God if you spend time with him, listening to him, reading his word, watching how he worked in everybody else's life. I say that again because that's the way you learn how he operates. Here is Bartimaeus. There may be an opportunity because he has heard people talking about Jesus of Nazareth. He had heard enough to believe this man possibly could be the Messiah. He possibly could be the Son of God.

So in the process of thinking through all of that he could have made a decision. He could have made the decision, that's probably totally impossible. Why am I sitting here as a poor beggar with no repetition. I think somehow I am going to be able to meet the Son of God and he is going to do something for me. That's totally pathetic. That's not the way you thought. He thought, suppose there's some possibility. Suppose there's some opportunity that I might have to meet this man. What did he do? He decided to find out. He began to cry out Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me. Jesus, Son of David, have mercy upon me. He knew enough and heard enough to know he could cry out and cry out those words. What happened was, the scripture says the people around them walking by sternly rejected him. That simply means they said, shut up. Be quiet.

Their thinking was simply this. This is the Son of God. This is Jesus walking along here talking and sharing with us and helping us to understand. This poor blind beggar who is absolutely worthless and has no value whatsoever, you are interfering, you must call to God. He began to cry out Jesus Son of David have mercy upon me. They worked on him, the more they did the louder he got. He could have said, I better back off. If this is the Son of God I will embarrass him. If this is the Son of God, he could have rationalized all kind of things. He had one thing in mind, he was blind and he wanted to see. Here was an opportunity. The fact that Jesus was close by with something that had not happened before and he was not about to let it get by. He began to call out to the crowd and they began to try to shut him up and quiet him down. He kept calling out.

When I come to this next verse I love it in the kings James version. Because it says, and Jesus stood still. I love that. I tell you why. Because it says to me, if Jesus would stop dead in his tracks on his way to one of the most important journeys of his entire life, ultimately most important, and he would stop for the cry of a poor blind beggar, I don't ever have to worry about whether he is willing to listen to me or not. He's willing to listen to you. He's willing to listen to any one who will cry out to him. so he cries out to Jesus and cries out and cries out with a lot of uncertainty and maybe a little bit of fear. All of a sudden the Bible says Jesus stopped.

Can't you image when he stopped everything got quiet. What would stop Jesus on his way to the passover. What would stop him? Was it some roman general or roman emperor? Poor, blind beggar. There were lots of them. Why would the man who is the Messiah stop for somebody like this? They didn't understand who he was. What happens is now all those people who were saying shut up, be quiet, don't you know who this is, oh, take courage dear brother. He is calling you. Come on. Just a bunch of hypocrites. Excuse me. Because they changed their attitude all of a sudden. Watch this. Bartimaeus hadn't changed. He was still a poor, blind, worthless beggar. But here's what happened. I love it. Jesus gave him identity. That identity was what? He was a human being in need and Jesus loved him no matter what.

So they call him. I love this part. Here's what I love about him. Bartimaeus didn't have — he probably had almost nothing, but he had a garment. The scripture says when Jesus called him, he through aside that garment and jumped up. He didn't just say let me think about this. He jumped up. Because somehow he knew this was his one opportunity to get his sight. Hoping and praying somehow this man who healed others would heal him. He wasn't about to waste a moment. He jumped up, through aside his garment. You say what's so significant about that? He wasn't coming back. He knew and believed that he was going to be healed and he wouldn't need that old filthy dirty garment. Jesus said what do you want me to do for you.

Do you realize Jesus has probably said that to you many times. You didn't even know how to pray. You were in despair: you were discouraged: you were despondent. You get on your knees to talk to him and you say, oh, Jesus, I am this. Oh, Jesus I am that. I wonder how many times he said to you, what is it you want me to do for you? I don't believe Jesus said that to Bartimaeus sternly. But very lovingly the Son of God said to him, what is it you want me to do? He wanted Bartimaeus to tell him. Jesus knew what he needed. But isn't it interesting, he didn't say what do you need. He said what do you want me to do for you? He said rabboni, that is Lord, master, I want to receive my sight. I want to regain my sight.

How did he address him, what the word rabboni means my master or my Lord. He must be the Messiah. Who could raise the dead? Who could heal the blind. Who could make the leper clean. Only the Son of God. When he addressed him he called him, my master, my Lord, I want to regain my sight. Jesus right there gave him his sight. Interesting the word used there is the same word used for save. That is when Jesus saved somebody. For example Paul said to the Philippians, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved. This is the same Greek word. Not only was he healed, his sins were forgiven and his blindness would disappear. He became a whole perch. His scripture says his response was I am sticking with you. Forget the way I lived. He began to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

You say what's so significant about that? Several things. No one is insignificant in the eyes of God. Your friends may have turned you away. You may have never felt you had no significant dance at all. You may have grown-up thinking sort of second rate or you may think there's nothing important about my life. Who am i? I have heard people say who am i? What would God work in my life. Often times I hear them say why would God want me? Because he loves you. He wants a personal intimate relationship with you. He wants to give you the best in life. That's why he doesn't want to turn you away. When you ask forgiveness of your sins you will get it. You come to him asking for eternal life, you are going to receive it. He is there ready to receive, to listen, to hear, he knows your heart when Bartimaeus came to him he came with fear.

Can you image this? Being totally blind and standing in the presence of a Son of God. Can you image the vibrations, the winter between the two of them? Can you image the heartbeat of blind begging Bartimaeus standing at the moment of opportunity in his life? He is saying think about standing in the presence of God. It would be like standing in the presence of no one else. Think about the fact that you are standing in the presence of omnipotence, omniscience, omni presence, mercy and love and goodness and grace and kindness and you are standing in the presence of all of that. He couldn't see, but he had to feel something. It was indescribable. Then Jesus opened his eyes. I don't think we could conceive of that. Jesus said what is it you want me to do for you. Lord that I may regain my sight. He gave him his sight.

If you should say to the Lord Jesus today, Lord, that I might be saved, he will save you. Lord, that I might be healed. You know what? God chooses to heal some, he doesn't always choose to heal everybody, and people will tell you, if you have enough faith you will get healed no matter what. Is that is a total violation. Sickness, there are so many suffering and journeys in our life we wouldn't choose yet God uses them. On this occasion he choose to save him. He choose to heal him. He took advantage of an opportunity. It was a passing opportunity. That's what this whole passage is about. It's about a passing opportunity.

You say I don't have many opportunities in life. Let's see if you do. For example, if you think about getting up this morning you had the opportunity to come to church and worship among other believers and to read the Word of God and to hear the Word of God and to sing with the choir and orchestra. You had the opportunity God gave you to make this a wonderful day. In fact God gave you an opportunity to come to a place this morning in order to hear a challenge for your live that could change the way you are living your life and could change what you are doing with your life. You are here as a result of an opportunity. God gave you to hear from him today that you are a child of God, that he has opportunities for you, that you are a person worthy of God speaking to you because of his grace, love and mercy. You have come to a place of opportunity for God to do something in your life that could revolutionize the way you are living. You have the opportunity of thinking about your life. The opportunity of having a future. You have the opportunity of living out your life in such a fashion that listen, because you lived, somebody else's life would be changed.

He said for example Paul said in Ephesians he said of God and your faith. Not of my works on your part. He created us for good works which he has preordained you and I should walk in them. When Jesus Christ saved you what happened? He began a spiritual journey with you. He says I created you for good, would. He preordained you and you should walk in them. It says this, our Heavenly Father safes us and he has in store for us all of these opportunities that through out our life we have wonderful opportunities. These opportunities really boil down to this. Ways in which you and I are to serve him. He says he created us in Christ Jesus for the purpose of good works which he fore ordained that you and I should walk in.

If he has created us for that purpose, what is our responsibility? We have a life in order to fulfill this purpose and plan. What opportunities do I have? What has God done for you already? He gave you the opportunity of being born. He gave you the opportunity of growing up. He gave you the opportunity of having good health. He gave you the opportunity of knowing, of being educated. You have experience. He gave you the opportunity to perform and out perform people in many ways. He gave you a mind that is sharp he gave you a body that is strong. In other words, God has repaired you for every single opportunity he has in mind. Therefore when a person says you gave me an opportunity but I don't think I can do that.

Do you think God would create you and give you opportunities that he knew you were not capable of fulfilling? No, he would not. You are a person built for opportunity. Think about that. You are built for opportunity. You are equipped for opportunity. Listen, he is so worked in your life you have the privilege and the know how. You have everything it takes to fulfill God's purpose in your life. It's an opportunity. You must know that in your body. I think one of the greatest sins of all is the sin of wasted time, wasted talent, wasted ability. You can sit around and excuse yourself and rationalize and say other people can do better. You realize God doesn't compare you with anybody. God has never compared you to anybody else. Comparisons are what we do. You know why he don't compare you? Because he knows there's nobody like you. You are unlike any other person in the world. You are a unique creation of God created for opportunity to bring glory and honor to him and to serve him all of the days of your life. That's who you are.

So when you look at Bartimaeus and realize here's what you could have done. He could have said, well, I am going to upset this crowd. Forget it. Died a blind beggar. He could have said maybe, I will just relax. Who am I to think I am going to get Jesus' attention? He made a decision. This may be my only opportunity to ever see again. If he is anywhere close by, I'm going to scream until somebody says something. Isn't it easy to give up and quit? Isn't it easy to say, you know, they may say this, they may say that. You are always going to find critics. There are critics every where. Remember this, one of the reasons people criticize what you do is because they don't feel like they can do it and your success makes them uncomfortable. You don't live your life on what somebody else thinks. You don't make decisions based on what people think you ought to have, you ought not to own, you ought not to have and you ought not to be. You have to ignore that. God created you with a lifetime of awesome opportunity.

The difference is this. The difference is the people who take advantage of their opportunity. There are people who take advantage of their opportunity who are handicapped in some ways physically. Isn't it amazing how they out do the rest of us. There are people who come from nowhere, almost no education and they invent things that amaze people who are supposed to be so intelligent. You can't estimate what God can do in somebody else's life. Don't try to estimate what he can do in your life. Surrender your life to him and watch him work. You are living in a day of awesome opportunity. You say I lost my job and I lost my house and I lost my car. I am sure that is terrible, but that doesn't mean you are finished. You are not finished because you have lost anything. God is a God of opportunity. He will give you the opportunity to gain it all back. I am glad I got rid of that.

Now what is the will of God in my life. Sometimes the best thing is all of the stuff that we place high value on so we can get down to the real thing. It is a wonderful opportunity to be a child of God every day. You had an opportunity to tell somebody else how to change their destiny. You have the opportunity to guide your children to be godly children and to do the will of God for their life. Opportunity after opportunity after opportunity after opportunity after opportunity after opportunity. It is a matter of, do you believe it, number one, and number two, will you take advantage of it? You can give God no legitimate reason without taking advantage of the opportunities he has given you.

Let me tell you what is so significant about this whole passage. I titled this message, "A passing opportunity". You know where Jesus was going, he was going throw Jericho taking that walk to Jerusalem to the passover and to the cross to die for our sins. It was the last time he ever walked that way. It was Bartimaeus' last opportunity and only opportunity to be saved around to be healed. Suppose he had said, ah, that won't work for me. The devil gains victory after victory after victory over God's children who look at themselves differently than the way God looks at you. Remember this. This wasn't an opportunity. It was the only opportunity that Bartimaeus had. And don't you know that he said a thousand times, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you I got up. Thank you I didn't list tone critics. Thank you I tossed that old garment away. Thank you for changing my life.

Isn't it interesting that Jesus did not come through Jericho saying I know there's a bunch of blind folks so we are going to have a big meeting. No, he didn't do that. He waited and walked and talked, always available for any one who would believe him, trust him, call upon him and believe him. God's not going to cram opportunities down your life. He is going to offer them. He is not going to make you take advantage of the opportunity. Let me say this. There's one opportunity you cannot avoid to miss. That's the opportunity to be saved through your faith and the death of Jesus at calvary. That is the opportunity to surrender your life could terrorist. How many opportunities. I have been going to church for years I have been saved. Grow. You will have the opportunity to be saved one last time.

You say, when is that going to be? I don't have any idea. What I want you to sees this, opportunities are passing. There are people who would probably say I missed that opportunity, he took advantage of it. Look at him and look at me. People say I am going to get saved when I get better. No you won't. You will get saved when the Spirit calls you and draws you. That is why it is so important when you listen to the gospel and the invitation to confess your signs to Christ and take him as your Savior. You don't know that our you are another opportunity. You go to bed at night you have no assurance you will wake up on this side. Take advantage of the opportunity to give your life to Christ.

If you are a young person and God is calling you to some area of service for him, you are considering it, take advantage of it. Obey him. There's some opportunities once you turn them down and time goes by the opportunity is gone. If I said I had the opportunity you can make a billion dollars in 30-days hands down, no question, and you believed me? How long would it take you to ask me, tell me how to do it? Isn't this interesting how we get side winded by material things. What's a million dollars compared to your eternal life? No comparison. I am pleading with you in Jesus' name, this is the way you trust Jesus as your Savior.

First of all you acknowledge the fact that the Word of God is true, that he is the Son of God. You acknowledge the fact that when he lived he lived to go to the cross, lay town his life, shed his blood for our sins. You believe that his death on the cross paid that sin in full. You couldn't explain it all. You ask him to save you by his grace. You are not coming because you deserve it. You don't understand a lot of things about it. You know he died for you. He paid your sin debt in full. You want cleansing and a new life and you are surrendering your life to Christ. The most important decision you will ever make, and the one decision you don't want to let go by. You have the occasion at this very moment to change your eternal destiny. But you must choose it.

Remember what Jesus said to Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus, what do you want me to do for you? I would ask you this question, what do you want God to do for you right now? It's an occasion, an opportunity for you to be saved and to go to heaven when you die. Or maybe you are saved and God is speaking to your heart, what do you want him to do for you? Do you want him to show you his will for your life. Let me ask you this. Are you willing to do whatever he calls you to do? Has he called you again and again and again to some area of service and you have excused it, rationalized it? Suppose you don't hear that call any more. Suppose God becomes silent.

Do you think you have escaped the call of God? No. The opportunity passed you by. I don't know of anything any more serious than to answer God's call whatever it is when he calls you. Bartimaeus, one moment in time changed his life for good. For you, one moment of time right now can change your eternal destiny. Whatever you are, wherever you are I plead for you to ask Christ for forgiveness of your signs. Surrender your life to him and watch him work.

If you are a believer and you are running from God, having it your way, stop and ask God to forgive you and to cleanse you. Surrender your life to him and tell him you are willing to obey him. The next opportunity he brings to you, the answer, God, is yes. It will change your life. It's a decision you must make. One thing for certain, listen carefully, you cannot avoid the present opportunity of this moment. You may ignore the challenge, but you cannot avoid the fact, you have an opportunity to thank him for what he has done in your life and is doing for the opportunity to make things right. You have been planning on being saved. It is an opportunity. It is an opportunity for you to surrender your life to Christ.

You are saved. But's all about you. It's an opportunity to get honest with the Lord, let him begin to use you for his glory. But the important thing is this. You are sitting right now in the presence of an opportunity. What will you do about it? Maybe God has challenged you to tell somebody else about him and you have ignored it, walked away from it. Maybe you ought to ask forgiveness of something. Maybe it's time to catch up. Maybe it's on opportunity to go and straighten out something between you and someone else. That is a rift between you. Maybe it's an opportunity for you to commit yourself to get serious about living the Christian life and getting in the Word of God, praying every day, letting him work in your life. This is a moment of opportunity. I pray that you will respond to it according to the way he tells you to, not what I suggest. I pray that you will do it.

I pray, Father, how grateful we are for your love, your patience, your goodness, your kindness to us. I pray the Holy Spirit will speak deeply, strongly to every single person who is listening to recognize that you are a God of grace, goodness, love and mercy. But you offer opportunities that have a limited span. Thank you for your kindness toward us. Thank you for this simple passage of scripture. Thank you for reminding us we are people of opportunity. You give them to us for your honor and glory. We pray this in Jesus' name.

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