It’s hard to find any “good news” in the bad news of being diagnosed with cancer. But Ellen did, and she told me about it after a recent seminar I had in her area. I’m really excited about how God uses the A Life That Matters book and training to help everyday believers help people they know be in heaven with them. Ellen told me she’d read the book about that when it came out, but she didn’t really look for or see many opportunities to tell people the good news about Jesus…until she got cancer.
Suddenly she was in the middle of a lot of people, in her words were “facing their own mortality; people whose future was suddenly uncertain because of that chilling word – cancer. Now, because of what she was going through and what they were going through, her cancer strangely qualified her to share the Christ who died and rose again to get us ready for eternity. Ellen said, “I went back. I re-read your book so I’d know what to do.” Well, God has used Ellen in a powerful way. She said, “Ron, I have led so many cancer patients to Jesus – people from many different religions and people with no faith at all!” Wow!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Amazing Reason Why You Are Where You Are.”
It turned out there was an eternal reason – a life-saving reason that Ellen had found for being a cancer patient. What she was going through uniquely qualified her to help some people around her be in heaven with her. That’s the reason you are where you are. Jesus assigns us to places and to situations to be, as Paul said, “…ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). If you have eyes to see, your personal situation right now is loaded with opportunities to bring up the difference that a relationship with Jesus makes.
You may feel like surely there’s someone who could do a better job of representing Jesus. You’d better take that up with Him. You’re His chosen representative, because He planted you in the place you work, the place you live, the school you go to, the activity you’re involved in. And people listen to people who are walking the same trail as they are, who are in the same tribe. Moms listen to moms, truckers listen to truckers, salesmen to salesmen, farmers listen to farmers, engineers to engineers, athletes to athletes, dads listen to dads, and students listen to students. You got it by now, right? You are uniquely qualified to reach people like you. And you may, in fact, be their best chance to find Jesus, or maybe even their only chance.
The prayer of Colossians 4:3-4, our word for today from the Word of God, becomes a very significant prayer for you. I call it The Three-Open Prayer. The verse that follows, Colossians 4:5, says: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders” (that’s people who are outside of Jesus) “make the most of every opportunity.” Don’t miss chances to be their spiritual rescuer and to bring up Jesus. Now, here’s the prayer that paves the way for the rescue: “Pray…that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly as I should.” Okay, The Three-Open Prayer, “Lord, open a door.” A door is a natural opportunity to bring up your relationship with Christ. Then, “Lord, open their heart.” Get them ready to hear about You, Lord. And then, “Lord, open my mouth.” Give me the courage, the words and the approach to use to present You clearly. You got it? Open a door, open their heart and open my mouth.
See, there’s an eternal reason why you are where you are occupationally, geographically, situationally, parentally, physically, emotionally, maybe even medically. You’ve been given a stretch of spiritual beach where Jesus has assigned you as His lifeguard, and you can be sure there are spiritually drowning people there within your reach.
There’s meaning in the situation you’re in…forever meaning, life-saving meaning. You’re there to rescue. Don’t let them down. Don’t let Jesus down.