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Opportunity Knocks
by Mark Perkins, elder on July 2nd, 2012

I trust some of you can relate to the following scene:

It had been a busy day, full of demands on your time and energy.  You can’t wait to get home to kick off those shoes, put on that old T-shirt and comfortable shorts, enjoy a nice dinner with your family and then lay back in that overstuffed easy chair for a little rest and relaxation.  Then it happens…a knock at the door.  As you peer through the frosted glass window of the door, you see the images of two young men with matching white dress shirts with name tags, patiently waiting on your doorstep for the opportunity to share their message with you.  Immediately, you are confronted with a decision…do you answer the knock at the door or simply ignore it, opting for the comforts of your easy chair and hoping they will move on to knock on your neighbor’s front door?

Over the last couple of weeks, I had not just one, but two instances where individuals with a cause or a spiritual message came to my front door.  The Lord has convicted me that these visitors who come to my front door are God-given opportunities, not inconvenience.  One of those doorstep visitors was “Keith”, a young man with long unwashed hair and unshaved face, who was going door-to-door seeking financial support for a local group of environmentalists.   At that moment, I had a choice to make, not about endorsing an effort to save the planet, but whether I should open my mouth and share the hope I have in Jesus Christ, the one who saves lives.  I felt a sense of urgency given I knew that I most likely would never see this young man again. 

Keith agreed to sit on my front patio where I had the opportunity to share with him about the one true God who loves him and wants to have a relationship with him and how He sent his only son to die on the cross for our sins.  Keith shared that he had been homeless at one point in his life, but that he had recently begun to read some of the Bible.  At that point in our conversation, Keith’s phone rang and it was his ride waiting to pick him up.  As we shook hands and parted ways, I encouraged Keith to continue to read his Bible, which reveals God’s plan of salvation.

As I have reflected upon my brief encounter with Keith, I am reminded of the many other relationships I have at my office, my neighborhood and even within my own extended family with people who need to hear the same message of hope in Jesus.  Why do I not have the same sense of urgency that I had with Keith?  Why am I not as willing to open my mouth and share?  Once again, I am reminded of the challenge issued by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 where Christ has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us.  I am humbled to know that God desires to include us as He carries out His plan of redemption.

Oh Lord, may I capture the significance and seriousness of my responsibility to be your ambassador!  When opportunity knocks (sometimes literally), help me be the ambassador you want me to be.

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Keith - July 13th, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I want to encourage you. A young lady, with possibly the same environmental cause, appeared at my door. She could have been on the same team with Keith, working our neighborhood. I was busy at the time and told her I was not able to meet with her. At least you made this young man a priority and found the time for him. Way to go! I still feel bad that I did not invite her in and meet with her. Keith heard the good news. The woman who appeared at my door did not. I missed my opportunity. Thanks making the most of your opportunity.
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