Sunday, July 08, 2007

Luke #8 – At Just the Right Time

Luke #8 – At Just the Right Time

“’And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end’” (Luke 1:31-33 – King James Version).

My world was rocked on March 2, 1997. That was the day that I surrendered to Christ. In a split second my whole life; its course and results; were dramatically shifted; changed; transformed. It came at just the right time. I was sick of everything, especially myself. Nothing filled me (I have told you all that before). Nothing satisfied. I remember in the moments leading up to surrendering to Christ I literally asked God that “if this salvation is not all Your word says it is…please kill me. I can’t go on like I am.” Now, that may sound morbid, but it was not. I was casting all my care upon Him. It was an all-or-nothing measure. I had tried everything else; GOD HAD TO BE THE ANSWER. Know what? He was! I was at the end of my mental, emotional, and physical rope. When I realized success, popularity, money, women and the host of other things I had tried would not work I finally came to the point of total emptiness. This was the perfect point, the perfect time for Christ to enter in! There was nothing in the way! My best efforts had failed and I was ready for His transforming presence. I was primed for a miracle; He was it! My situation was so bad that I knew that God would have to do something if anything could be done. It really was just the right time. Obviously, God knew that better than I did.

We cannot read the Scripture above without considering Galatians 4:4, which says, “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (KJV). In God’s timing…and that’s important to realize…He sent Christ into this world. It was no accident. It was no coincidence. It was not a frivolous decision. The world needed help. The world was primed; ready for something to happen. All that God had planned to redeem man and all that man had done to rebel against God came down to this moment. It was the beginning of the end of sin! Before Jesus could live perfect, die sacrificially and rise triumphantly He had to be born. Before Christ could be born in just the way and just the place that Scripture had prophesied He had to be placed in a woman’s womb.

God’s timing is miraculous to say the least. If we only considered how society was ready for this it would be amazing. Travel had become easier in the Mediterranean since the Roman Empire had come to power. Trade had opened between formerly isolated societies. People were moving around on a regular basis. The idea that many “gods” made sense was becoming supplanted by Greek philosophy. Those same philosophies were causing many to question things they’d always believed. Greek had become the common language (much as English is today) that allowed people from different cultures to communicate more easily than anytime since the tower of Babel. There are many more factors, but the point is this…God’s timing was in this moment. No coincidence. He knew better than any His plans and His timing. The fullness of time was at hand. Even if all those events had not taken place God’s sovereign plan was coming into effect.

I am comforted by the fact that God is watching over this time in which we live. Nothing surprises Him. Nothing changes His plans. He is still in the business of redeeming mankind. There might be someone you know and love that you desire to see saved. Trust God, pray, and share the truth with them. In just the right time, God will show up. You might be in a difficult relationship or in a difficult job place. Trust God, He has a different timing than you.

What, then, is our part? (1) Be ready to be involved. Be open to God using us to do something amazing. Be ready for Him to do it in OR through us. (2) Expect God to do something. He’s always at work. Seek to recognize what He is doing around you and take part in it. (3) Become familiar with His plan. Mary never doubted that the Messiah was coming, she just didn’t understand how she would be pregnant without knowing a man (Luke 1:34). That is a subtle yet amazing fact. If we are familiar with what God wants to do we will be more ready to recognize, receive, and respond to Him. (4) Know that hope is not lost. As long as we have not stood before the judgment seat, there is time to act.

We may question God’s methods because we don’t understand God’s ways, but we certainly should not be surprised that He wants to do something. At just the right time, He will. Will you be ready?

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