Summary: When we place ourselves in the right place at the right time Jesus can do amazing things in our lives.
THE JESUS MOMENT
April 9, 2003 is an important date to many people...what happened that day? The fall of Bagdad, and the Saddam Hussein Regime. The culmination of a carefully planned ground assault by the US and GB military. Yet for all its planning the day will probably be remembered for a spontaneous act, if you are like most American you saw a group of Iraqis aided by the American Military pulling down a statue of Saddam which stood boldly in a square in the midst of the city.
Actually there are probably more battles to be fought and a lot more political wrangling to be done but the moment that statue toppled has become symbolic moment, and perhaps a defining moment for a “free” Iraq.
What compelled a group of young Iraqis to attack the statue, what urged a group of soldiers to help...Opportunity. The opportunity came and they seized it, the media recorded in and the world looked on.
Our Scripture text today speaks of perhaps the most important moment in the history of the world...the death of Jesus on the cross. Jesus could have said no but he did not he seized the opportunity to become the sacrifice for the sins of the world. Listen to the Gospel of Mark as he gives his account of the suffering and death of Jesus.
I want to draw your attention today to a very small part of this story, to a seemingly insignificant person, but a person who also was faced with an opportunity. Simon of Cyrene he was given the opportunity to help Jesus, when nearly everyone else was hindering. From this brief glimpse of Simon on the pages of history we find an example of how to seize the opportunities we have for God. If you are going to seize an opportunity you first of all must understand that it is a matter of...
II. BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE.
A. Obedience puts us in the right place.
1. Simon was coming to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, all Jewish
People were commanded to participate in the Passover, it was a matter of obeying God’s command.
2. If you want opportunities to serve God learn to obey, this is
evidence that you love God, that you are willing, that you are
attentive to God
B. Desire to honor God puts us in the right place
1. Simon was from Cyrene that was a city in Northern Africa in
what is now Lybia. He made a journey to celebrate in Jerusalem
Jews could celebrate Passover anywhere something special about
Jerusalem, Temple, Holy City.
2. Desire moves us beyond simple obedience we seek and strive for Opportunity to honor God.
There is a system of navigational satellites that orbits the earth at about 10,900 miles. It is called the Global Positioning System, and anyone who possesses a special GPs receiver can receive information for navigational purposes .
When activated, your handheld receiver will calculate the satellites’ positions in orbit relative to your position on the ground and immediately tell you, within a few feet, exactly where you are on the face of the earth.
What technology has done for the physical world, God has done for the spiritual journey. GPs could just as easily stand for God’s Positioning System. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives acts as a constant spiritual navigational system. What should I do? How should I be? God’s Positioning System never fails to give us the correct direction and position.
II. BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME.
As Simon was headed into Jerusalem, Jesus was headed out of Jerusalem carrying his cross, The God of heaven and a Man from Africa met at that very moment of the page of history.
A. Timing is God’s department
1. Gal. 4:4" But when the time had fully come, God sent His son.”
2. Romans 5:6 “At just the right time, when we were still powerless
Christ died for the ungodly.”
3. Matt. 24:36 “No man knows the day nor the hour, Only the Father”
B. Responding to God’s timing is our own department.
1. Simon carried the cross of Jesus, it wasn’t his plan it was God’s
He was the instrument in carrying it out
2. How do we know that God is calling us? Simon was forced by
Roman soldiers to carry the cross, we might say he had no choice
the reality is that he had made choices that put him in that place.
Sometimes a situation compels us.
3. Esther was in the right place at the right time. Mordecai to Esther (4:14) “who knows but that you have come To royal position for such a time as this?” Sometimes a mature believer urges us.
4. Acts 2 the day of Pentecost, Jesus had told them to wait in