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Encounters With God

I preached a message I titled "Encounters with God" this past Sunday. There were several who responded to the message indicating their lives were wonderfully changed, and for that I give the glory to God, who alone is worthy. Instead of giving the message as I preached it here, I thought it would be better to expand the message and give some additional thoughts to help someone recognize the Hand of God at work in the worst of circumstances.

Basically, I would like to point to several instances of people in the Bible whose problem brought them to an encounter with Christ.

In John 8:1-11, there was a woman caught "in adultery, in the very act." Here is a question to ponder: What if she had not been caught? Would she have had this encounter with God? Would she ever hear Him say, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more"?

In Mark 5:21-34, a woman "which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and was nothing bettered, rather grew worse." What if the woman was healthy? Would she have been as diligent to seek Him out? "Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."

In the little book of Philemon, we have the record of Onesimus who apparently robbed his master and ran. He got caught and landed in prison in Rome with Paul. Being caught and put in prison could be a blessing, especially if you are locked up with someone like Paul, who is a good Christian witness. Verses 15-16 tells us that Onesimus is now not a servant, but a Brother. I am sure that someone reading this can identify with it. You went to jail or prison a thief, robber, drug pusher, etc., but you came out a "Brother." There are many other Bible examples of people who were brought to Jesus by a problem. I give you on last example.

In Mt. 27 and Luke 23 we see the crucifixion. Hanging on both sides of Jesus are two thieves. One of them accepts Christ and is promised Paradise, and the other rejects. Suppose the one who accepted Christ was not caught? Suppose he got away? Suppose he got off at the Courthouse and he never me Christ? Who was better off, him or Barrabas who was released to the Jews in the same chapter? He could have been hanging on one of the crosses beside Jesus. See Luke 23:18-25. He got away, but he still had to meet God one day!

I do not know who you are or what your problem may be, but if it is used of God to bring you to Christ, it will be worth it forever. Has your problem brought you to an ENCOUNTER WITH GOD? That may be the purpose of it all.

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