Evangelism, Mentor/Mentee, Salvation, Teacher/Student

My Divine Opportunity

I recently started a unit on power with my freshmen World Studies class.  In order to introduce the concept and help them to define it, I used the following short poem:

I took my power in my hand

And went AGAINST the world

‘Twas not so much as David had

But I was twice as bold

I aimed my pebble, but myself

Was ALL the one that fell

Was it Goliath was too large

Or was myself too small?

–Emily Dickinson

As soon as the student finished reading the poem, I heard, “Who is David? Who is Goliath?”  I was actually surprised!  I knew that many of my students were “un-churched,” but I thought the story of David and Goliath was just known by everyone whether they went to church or not.

DIVINE OPPORTUNITY!!  I took it and ran with it.  I told the students the story of David and Goliath and then had them tell me why the author alluded to that particular story in the poem.  Not only did they completely understand the poem after my explanation of the story but they were also able to come up with a working definition of individual power.

The icing on the cake was how the students applied the lesson to their lives that DAY! The poem compares Goliath to the world.  I asked the students, “Who or what is your Goliath?”  Their answers ran the gamut from Math Class to marijuana to anger.  After class throughout the next couple of days, students would see me in the hallway and say, “Ms. Richard, I’m going to fight my Goliath; I’m ‘bout to pass this Math test!” or “Ms. Richard, I fought my Goliath today, I was about to cuss somebody out but I walked away!”

I am so excited about the new directions my students are taking and pray that God continues to draw them toward Him.  I had prepared an entirely different lesson that day but God took what I prepared in a different direction.  “…To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue…” (Proverbs 16:1 NIV)

Above everything else, God has mandated us to, “…Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation…” (Mark 15:16 NIV)  Many times we take this as we must become a missionary and go to Africa or stand on the street corner and pass out tracts. While that is the ministry of some it is NOT mine!  We must seek out and be open to the opportunities that God gives us to minister wherever we find ourselves.  Whether that is school, work, or even in the grocery store.  “…The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise…” (Proverbs 11:30 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for the opportunity You have given us to share Your love with others.  Guide us daily as we go about our lives.  Give us opportunities to minister in our everyday lives.  We ask that You also give us the strength, the willingness, and the wisdom to minister when the opportunity is presented.  Help us to not only be a good witness to You in what we say, but if we never say a word let our lifestyle draw others to You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to pray and ask God to give you divine opportunities to minister in your everyday life.  I EMPOWER you to ACT when those opportunities present themselves.  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV)

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Preaching to the Choir

Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois.  She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher.  Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery.  She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Evangelism, Salvation

Preaching To The Choir

I am quite sure the vast majority of us have heard the phrase, “Preaching to the Choir.” Just in case you are in the minority let me give you the definition according to urbandictionary.com :). Preaching to the choiryou are trying to make believers out of people who already believe, or convince people who are already convinced.

And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5: 31-32 KJV)

As much as I love writing for EmpowerMoments, sometimes it can be an overwhelming task. Although I don’t always get it right, I want my messages to speak to people at all levels. Sometimes I notice that many of the blogs are written for people who have some foundation and experience with Christ. Although you may receive confirmation and encouragement through the process, my goal is to reach people who either have shaky foundations or none at all. I am trying to reach and teach my fellow “breakers of the ten commandments.” My goal isn’t to judge through my writing but to let you know that I relate to your human experience. Just like many of you, sometimes I wonder if God hears me or knows the trials I am going through. Some of you may wonder if God even cares about you. At times, I have the audacity to question Him too. Many times I get so caught up in finding a scripture to fit “my” story, that I almost miss the opportunity to convey the story in a way that it is relevant to your life.

Just as it is with EmpowerMoments, it is with life. Many of us find ourselves entertaining friends, family and even strangers in our daily encounters. It is our opportunity to bring someone to Christ but sometimes we can be judgmental, “holier than thou art” and turn people away. Jesus’ style of witnessing was refreshing. He showed mercy and compassion through His actions and won souls by telling illustrative stories (parables) that people could relate to. Unlike the supercritical Pharisees, He didn’t spend His time sharing the good news with people who already knew it, instead He dined with sinners.

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (Luke 15:1-7 NIV)

Many of us need to be more like Jesus. Step out of our comfort zones and look for lost sheep. The majority of us don’t have to look far and some of us don’t have to leave the house. What we have to keep in mind is that God loves sinners (not sin) just as much as He loves everyone else; therefore, our approach should be out of love. We are called for His purpose and that is to make believers out of nonbelievers. Will you continue to preach to the choir or search for lost sheep?

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for allowing my life to be a testimony for You. Help me to teach in a way that shows more of You through the lessons You have taught me. Forgive me and show me when I am placing judgment and self-righteousness in the way of relating to people and winning souls for You. Lord, if there be anyone that is reading this who does not know You, God I ask that you open up their heart to receive You and that they beg Your forgiveness for their sins. Send someone in their life that can minister to their spirit. Allow them to be a witness for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Today I EMPOWER you to look beyond the choir! Go to lunch or have a sit down with someone that is a lost or wayward sheep. I EMPOWER you to remember from whence you came and let your light shine while you bring others to the fold.

Ms. Chancee` Lundy currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a small business co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend, community servant, and child of God. She is passionate about causes that truly uplift the community. One of her favorite scriptures is Hebrews 11:6: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.