Fresh Hope – 6th August 2018

This week I was shopping in Birmingham with a friend. We were stopped by a man who was trying to sell insurance in the mall. After we assured him we weren’t interested in his product, he asked us how my friend and I knew each other. “Through church”, I said. There began a genuine conversation about church, faith and God. This salesman genuinely stepped aside from his job and was peppering us with questions about God. He wasn’t interested in a sale, or an argument, he really wanted to know why we believed what we did. ‘Tell me why I should become a Christian’, he asked. He had been desperately searching for truth in all sorts of religions and wanted real connection with God. He was openly listening to whatever we had to say. My friend and I were taken back by his genuine inquiries and hunger. I stammered my way through an explanation to his questions and curiosities, and gave him some contact details. As I walked away, I thought to myself, “I really wish I was more prepared for that conversation!”

1 Peter 3:15 says, ‘But in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect’.

It is amazing how as Christians we can ask God for opportunities to share the gospel, change lives, and minister to people yet be unprepared for the moment when it arrives. I felt God say that this is because many of us are reactive, not proactive. Rather than being on the front foot, and ready, we are instead living in reaction to that which happens around us. To be proactive is to be prepared. To be proactive is to look for moments to engage people with the gospel of Jesus.

Does God condemn me for missing the moment? Of course not! But I do believe there are many moments in our days where we have the opportunity to bring the love of Jesus in naturally supernatural ways. The question is – are we alert, and prepared? Are we aware? Are we fully present in the moment? Are we sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit?

Ephesians 5:15-17 says, Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, MAKING THE MOST OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is’.

I love how The Passion Translation puts it, ‘Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for his purposes’.

There were two ancient Greek words used for ‘time’. One had the idea simply of day upon day and hour upon hour. The other had the idea of a definite portion of time, a time where something should happen. When the Bible tells us to make the most of our ‘time’, it’s not suggesting you make the most of your time on earth (although that’s great advice!), the time spoken of here is speaking of a moment, a definite season of opportunity that Christians must recognise and make the most of. Now is the time, your time, to show people Jesus.  

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.