Upcoming Opportunities

on April 27, 2020

One of the main tasks of living a Christian life is to offer hope through the good news of Jesus. The disciples went before us and now it’s our turn to proclaim God’s message. In 2008, Oyster Bay Baptist Church offered a training class on how to tell what life was like before trusting Jesus, what influences a decision to follow Him, and how new life in Christ makes a difference.

In my first attempt to unfold the gospel, I was a little timid because individual family members and friends said not to push my beliefs on others. Pastor Jerry explained most people build friendships first then tell their story mixed with gospel truth so God can prepare their hearts. The first person with whom I shared the Christian message was kind enough to listen until I asked, “Would you like to invite Jesus into your life?” She said, “No, not at this time. I need to clean up my act first.” I tried to explain that God loved her now, but she changed the subject quickly. Others rejected Jesus too.

I also remember the ones who decided to accept Jesus. It took years of prayers and people interceding for my husband, Bill, to guide him to Christ before he died. Never give up on the Lord to open a door for someone to receive grace. He doesn’t want one person to head in the wrong direction. The Will of God is to allow every person to turn to Him and change the way they think and act.

God fuels those who have the desire to unfold their faith experience. He uses this get up and proclaim fuel to draw people to Him.

The Bible says, be prepared to answer everyone who asks to give the reason for the hope that we have. (1Peter 3:15). That’s why telling about our relationship with Jesus and the promises He offers from His Word is essential. I keep the following quote at the forefront of my mind; “Your life is the only Bible some people will ever read.”
For twelve years, I’ve been a promoter for Jesus, who carries a burden to encourage those who have no hope. Friends and neighbors are looking for something to hold onto in the current coronavirus crisis. Call someone today and encourage him or her in their faith or show them how to receive God’s promises. To encourage myself, I study God’s Word allowing His promises to wrap around me like a soft hug. I also concentrate on the Lord’s faithfulness in my past trials.

The only requirement to receive hope is to allow the Spirit to work. Each day, look for upcoming opportunities God gives in His message of hope for all.

What opportunities have you taken to provide hope for others?

24 thoughts on “Upcoming Opportunities”

  1. Linda, thanks for your encouragement. Very true that opportunity to offer hope is needed. I too have run into many who believed they would come to God later, after they cleaned up their act. But Romans says there are none righteous. None who seek Him. All have fallen short. What influences our decision to follow Him? Only Him. Only God can make a dead heart alive.

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Jeff. Your last sentence, only God can make a dead heart alive is such truth.

  2. Nancy says:

    Good message Linda.

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Thank you, Nancy.

  3. Pim Miranda says:

    Linda, thanks for your encouraging message. And thanks for receiving me and listening so patiently to me the other day, and rejoicing with me for the Lord’s victory in me. I very much enjoyed our time together.
    Now I wish you a safe journey up north, and I pray that the Lord’s angels surround you and keep you safe. I pray that you will find peace and restoration this summer.
    I am looking forward to seeing you again in the fall.

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      I enjoyed our time together, too. Sharing what the Lord is doing in our lives brings any conversation to a deeper level.

  4. Such a good piece, Linda. God gives opportunities. He knows the time and place and prepares hearts to listen.

    I love that you didn’t get discouraged with the ‘no’s’ because they happen. But the ‘yeses’ happen too, and we can rejoice and refuel with those!! 🙂

    Blessings, hugs, love, and prayers!!
    Your friend,
    Amre Cortadino

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Amre, I can’t wait to see how God will use you when we get back to our new normal. Thanks for your lovely comments.

  5. Charlotte Black says:

    Beautiful! Thank you neighbor!!!! Safe travels my friend. I love you.

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Love you back, Charlotte. Thank you for leaving a comment.

  6. Cathy Burkhead says:

    Hello Dear Friend! You have such an encouraging message to share with two of my family members that need to read about hope and the examples you’ve given to never give up and help open the doors for others.
    May you have a safe trip traveling to your home in Tennessee. I will be talking to you soon!
    Prayers are with you,
    Love Cat

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Cathy,
      God’s message of hope is powerful, perfect, and always on time.

  7. Sally Cressman says:

    So glad to hear Bill accepted Jesus before he passed away. My sister made her decision weeks before she died. Prayers for you and your family.

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Thanks for sharing, Sally. Death is difficult. Knowing our loved ones are with Jesus turns difficult to joy.

  8. Nita says:

    I was one of those praying for Bill every Sunday at Oyster Bay Baptist Church. God is so precious and has His own timing. I’m so thankful that Bill asked Jesus to come into his life.
    We have moved to Mobile to be neat grandchildren.

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Thank you, Nita, for praying. My favorite saying is more prayer-more power. You have always been a faithful prayer warrior. God bless you.

  9. Tina Bannister says:

    Awesome, did you calculate what the 40 days I’m the Bible vs today? Makes a person think 💯 luv ya!😀❤

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      So good to hear from you, Tina. Stay safe, healthy, and look for those opportunities.

  10. Bona Hayes says:

    Safe travels, Linda. Your loving smile often brightened my day. I will carry the quote “Your life is the only Bible some people will ever read,” with me today. It reinforces my hope in God’s love acting through me.

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      You may use, quote, or share anything I have. May God bless you abundantly, Bona Hayes. I’m sure our paths will cross again.

  11. Diane Clark says:

    My dear Linda, I am always inspired in your presence as well as in your writings. I will forward this email to many who I feel lead to to share it with. My greeting card ministry lately has been focusing on those who live alone or are in caregiving facilities. Snail mail can be kept and re-read rather than just a flash by text, etc. COVID-19 is changing us forever…I do not believe this is anything temporary. God is transitioning us and is demanding that many more come to know him as their personal Lord and Savior. We must make him Lord, not just be a lukewarm believer. I continue to share with neighbors and the few lives I touch in the “Safer Home” environment. Can’t wait to be able to return to church in a corporate setting but I do not expect that to be soon. I especially want it to be safe… For now we must focus on Isaiah 32:18: My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      A lukewarm believer must realize Jesus died for us. How can we remain indifferent to Him? I enjoy your comments Ms.Diane, keep them coming.

  12. Shannon says:

    Happy tears…praising God for your husband’s salvation!!! So, so glad to hear that!

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Many prayers guided my husband to understand the love of Christ. I’m so grateful for praying friends. You’re one of them. Thanks for stopping by, Shannon.

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