FOCUS 40 Devotional 40

The Chair Day 40

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out…” —Acts 8:26–27a

There is an amazing story in Acts 8:26–27. Phillip was having great success as an evangelist among the Samaritans. Suddenly, God calls him to go to the desert. There is no explanation, just the command to go. As you fast and pray for people far from Christ, be open to the idea that the Holy Spirit may take you down a path and lead you to people you never intended to meet.

I have a chair in my office that reminds me that God’s plans are not always what I have decided to do. Several years ago at Thanksgiving, my wife and I went to Brenda’s parents for the thanksgiving meal. It had been a very stressful time at church and I was glad just to eat a lot and watch football and probably fall asleep. Esther, Brenda’s mom, told me about her neighbor, Julie, who was very sick. Julie was a Lutheran, but she had not been to church for a long time and they could not get a pastor to come out and give her Communion. Esther wondered if I would go over and take Communion to Julie. I was less than excited. I needed a day away from constant demands! Surely Esther of all people should know that. I reluctantly went to Julie. She was a tiny woman sitting in this little lounge chair. I talked to her about Jesus’ love and had prayer with her and served Communion. The next day Julie told Esther that during that prayer she asked Jesus into her heart. Two week later Julie died. Every time I look at that chair I realize how close I came to missing God’s plan.

As you pray today, remind the Holy Spirit that you are available to the Julies in your world. The Bible calls these special moments kairos moments, opportune times that if we are available God can use us to change our world. Transforming Hearts…Transforming Lives!

Dear Father, as I pray for people I know far from you, help me to be open to those opportune moments you place in my life. In the loving name of Jesus, amen.

 Dr. Steve Birch, Pastor, White Chapel Church of God, South Daytona, Florida

Have an awesome Resurrection Day celebration with our risen Lord and carry the Focus 40 spirit with you all year long!

Copyright © 2011 by Church of God Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. This document may be downloaded, reprinted, or distributed free of charge for ministry and educational purposes provided that the copyright notice on this page appears without modification. The contents of the booklet may not be modified or abridged in any way, and this electronic version of the booklet MAY NOT BE RESOLD in any print or electronic format.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NRSV are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked Phillips are taken from The New Testament in Modern English by J. B. Phillips, 1962 edition, published by Harper Collins.

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