Monday, April 7, 2008

confessions about opportunities

We kicked of our Confessions of a Pastor series on Sunday talking about the opportunities that we deal with.  I talked about several opportunities in my life that I have taken advantage of, some I wished would have taken and some I missed.  It is awesome to look at Scripture and see how some people lived "poured out" for God.  Which is....how God desires for us to live and to claim opportunities.
 

Proverbs 16:9 (nlt) ---The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.

 
Who do you know that lives "poured out" or "full out" for God?  Our small group Bible study came up with a good list of people we know who live that way, and then we compiled a list of some characteristics those people have.  Here they are (and man are they challenging to each of us):
 
always positive, patient, giving, kind (even when persecuted), put others first, selfless, sympathetic, good listener, place God first in their lives
 
Awesome list and one that makes me look even deeper about the people from the message Sunday: Paul, Jesus and the lady that poured perfume on Jesus feet.
 
Paul said: 2 Timothy 4:6 (nlt) --- As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near.
 
Remember that this guy was once feared by Christians because he threatened to kill them.  Then Jesus changed his life.  Paul lived poured out in huge terms.
 
Jesus said: Matthew 26:28 (nlt) --- for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.
 
Aren't you glad that the blood of Jesus covers our sins and issues us forgiveness?  He was poured out, willingly poured out for our good and for our salvation.
 
The lady who put perfume on Jesus' feet (Luke 7:35-39) lived life poured out for Jesus.  She gave something that cost her much to the one that she cared the most about.  Think about how you hold and treasure your possessions.
 
During the message I told stories of two big men of faith:  Bill Bright and Adrian Rogers.  At the beginning of both of their ministries they humbled themselves and became willing to be "poured out" for God.  Are we willing to let our lives be "poured out" for Jesus?  When opportunities present themselves, remember you only have one life to live and that you may have no other time to touch lives, the ones around you.
 

Colossians 4:5 (nlt) --- Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.

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