RECOGNIZE THE OPPORTUNITY! SEIZE THE MOMENT!

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:39-43 KJV What is the worst situation you can find yourself in? What do you do when you are in such a position? Does the situation bring out the worst in you or does it cause you to manifest qualities that elevate you to a level resulting in heaven taking notice? Do you allow your situation and circumstances blind you to the powerful possibilities that manifest themselves or are you, despite your situation, maintaining a watchful awareness, ready to seize the moment when it presents itself? Despite the circumstances we may find ourselves in, despite the environment we may be exposed to, despite the opposition we may be facing we need to be ready to enter that door of opportunity when God opens it. We must seize the moment when it presents itself for we may not have that chance again ever in this lifetime. No one exemplifies this more than the thief (malefactor) crucified with Jesus. He delivered a stinging rebuke his partner in crime who was railing at the situation, the world and the Lord. Then he made that life transforming, eternity placement declaration: Lord Remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom! It was an accidental encounter with an astonishing answer It was a brief episode with eternal consequences It was a crucial moment with critical commitments It was a decisive moment that decided destinies. This thief made a final steal actually stealing home! Even though it may appear that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time his subsequent actions made it the right place at the right time because of the use he made of that transient opportunity. Notice what he did: 1. He acknowledged Jesus as Lord 2. He believed the gospel of the kingdom! 3. He pleaded for mercy. He followed the pattern later outlined by Paul to the Romans! That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9-13 KJV And he received his request! He had the privilege of following behind the Lord right into Paradise. He took full advantage of the opportunity presented to him at the final moment. It was the same opportunity both had. Let's call him Pious and the other Impious

and wept over it. excruciating pain and could probably have been justified for screaming and cursing like the other criminal Impious. Luke 19:41-44 KJV Remember Ruth? The whole story portrayed seizing opportunities as they present themselves! REMEMBER: Doors opened by God cannot be closed by man. even thou. And when he was come near. because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. It was a great tragedy enacted as they missed the time of their visitation. But he answered and said. caught up in the mad rush of popular opinion. saying. and thy children within thee. I know you not. and compass thee round. He did it for a purpose! And you see a lone chariot heading your way in what may seem a chance encounter you should be able to draw the obvious conclusion even as you hear His voice! . the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins. the bridegroom came. Lord. at least in this thy day. Impious was busy railing at his position and screaming at the Lord. that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee. two and two of all flesh. and keep thee in on every side. If thou hadst known. running with the crowd. wherein is the breath of life.Pious was suffering horribly. Doors opened by God are only for a specific time Doors opened by God will always bring glory to God And when God shuts the door no man can open it! The door was shut in Noah’s day And they went in unto Noah into the ark. as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in. and the rabble is not usually right. he beheld the city. went in male and female of all flesh. Matthew 25:10-13 KJV We need to be ready to move with God We need to be aware of God's movement. seemingly righteous men who cared nothing about them but only their own personal agenda and agenda. Some of us are like Impious. in extreme. open to us. crowds are not generally correct. Saying. Lord. And shall lay thee even with the ground. And they that went in. Watch therefore. For the days shall come upon thee. Impious was going along with the crowd and following popular trend and opinion. They were both in the same circumstances but with all things being equal we see the nature of the person in their reactions and expressions. Verily I say unto you. Pious was busy observing the Lord and seeing what the one failed to see. We need to remember popular is not necessarily proper. When God sends you away from a mighty Holy Ghost meeting into the dessert. Genesis 7:15-16 KJV When the foolish virgins of the parable returned they found the door shut: And while they went to buy. Pious had made up his mind about Jesus and was ready to seize the opportunity. The crowds wanted Barrabas in their moment of madness and were urged to choose Barrabas. for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. They were swayed by unscrupulous. and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another. going along without rational thought.

in spite of the illogical instructions. Numbers 9:15-23 KJV And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle. because the cloud abode thereon. we need to let go in Word Based Faith and take His hand. and fire was on it by night. to get up and walk through that door in confidence and faith that what God has promised He will do and will bring to pass what He has spoken! We cannot afford to let this chance pass by us for it is crunch time and we need therefore to wait upon the LORD to reveal this door to us. 20 And so it was. or a year. and the appearance of fire by night. according to the commandment of the LORD they abode in their tents. remaining thereon. 17 And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle. and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD. at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses. He Leadeth Me Oh Blessed Thought! Saviour Like A Shepherd Lead Us! Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah! Just hold on to His Hand and feel the tug and follow His lead. the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire. throughout all their journeys. 16 So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day. the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: 37 But if the cloud were not taken up. in spite of the unfavorable circumstances. they journeyed. then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD. when the cloud abode from even unto the morning. 38 For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day. and journeyed not. or a month. 22 Or whether it were two days. and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents. then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode. 23 At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents. 21 And so it was. 19 And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days. No man can shut the door God has opened for you. 36 And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle. when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle. It is for you recognize that door. and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed. confident that He is with you! . in spite of the hostile environment. until the morning. namely. the children of Israel abode in their tents. 18 At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed. then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. they journeyed. then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up. there the children of Israel pitched their tents. and journeyed not: but when it was taken up. that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle.WHEN GOD IS READY AND WANTS US TO ACT HE GIVES INDICATION! Exodus 40:34-38 KJV Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation. 35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation. We need to search His Word to confirm the message to our hearts and even though it seems contrary to all that we may be holding to or previously believed. and that the cloud was taken up in the morning. and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. God's message to you this year is that in spite of the encroachment of the enemy. in the sight of all the house of Israel. He has created a door of open opportunity for you.

Joseph Henry Gilmore. today he is best remembered for this one gospel hymn hurriedly written when he was just twenty-eight years of age. it was replaced at the busy Broad and Arch intersection by a large new office building with a prominent bronze tablet containing the words for the first stanza of "He Leadeth Me." ." When the First Baptist Church building of Philadelphia was demolished in 1926. where it first appeared the following year. He related this story: "I had been speaking at the Wednesday evening service of the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia about the truths of the 23rd Psalm." Without her husband's knowledge. William Bradbury. handed it to my wife and thought no more of it. as a candidate for pastor of the Second Baptist Church. thinking. in 1865. the composer of the music.He Leadeth Me Although the author of this gospel hymn. and had been especially impressed with the blessedness of being led by God Himself. the wonder and blessedness of God's leading so grew upon me that I took out my pencil. and in remembrance of its distinguished author. Later that evening. discovered Joseph Gilmore's text and wrote the fitting melody to match the words. New York.' and that was the first time I knew that my hurriedly written lines had found a place among the songs of the church. Gilmore sent the quickly written text to the Watchman and Reflector Magazine." The inscription states: "This is in recognition of the beauty and fame of the beloved hymn. He related: "Upon entering the chapel I took up a hymnal. was highly respected in his day in both religious and educational circles. Joseph Gilmore went to Rochester. Three years later. 'I wonder what they sing here?' To my amazement the book opened up at 'He Leadeth Me. Mrs. wrote the text just as it stands today.

"Miles. "that's no news. and in a twinkling were fast asleep." "Go to. And there was a terrible noise. and to keep awake he played on a fiddle he had and began singing a song. TIME IS PAST. He dropped his fiddle and fell on his knees. "and d'ye think I would wake my master to tell him that great piece of news? Time was. "Sure enough. and the Brazen Head opened its mouth once more and clanged out. and this is all that comes of it? Time is? I'll warrant thee. This Brazen Head is about to speak." quoth Miles to himself. "Well. We look to you to take our place. and the Brazen Head opened its mouth and spoke just two words. Then there came a deep rumbling and grumbling sound. which he made up as he went along. Time is for some to weep. on that instant come quickly and wake us. Have no fear. well. I'll not wake master for that. and made up verse upon verse. So he kept awake. Time is for some to sleep. .' " And so did merry Miles sing to another jolly tune. but the moment you hear the Head speak. So the two friars lay down. "sit you here and watch. so that poor Miles was half dead with fear. A half an hour more." Miles was a faithful fellow." said Friar Bacon. and the mouth opened again. old Boy:— 'Time is for some to eat. indeed! Away with ye! 'Time was when thou a kettle Wert filled with better matter: But Friar Bacon did thee spoil When he thy sides did batter. and there came forth the words. wagging his head. and laughing at that great Brazen Head. And thereat it fell over on its face and brake all to bits. Miles now was left to himself. old Brazen Head!" said he aloud. TIME IS. Another half hour passed. and there were great flashes of fire.' " So honest Miles sang to the tune of his fiddle. and he promised Friar Bacon he would do as he was bid. but Friar Bungey and I have watched so long that we must needs sleep. Time is for some to laugh. TIME WAS. and the room was full of smoke. and by and by there was a great rumble and quaking sound." said Miles scornfully. "Hath the great Friar Bacon worked at thee all these months.

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