Recently I ate lunch with a group of women who serve in the women’s ministry at their church. We were discussing the details of me speaking at their upcoming women’s retreat.
As I met each lady at the table, one made a mention that she had gone through my “Start Here" Bible study. After lunch, I asked her to share with me the details of how she had been connected to my book.
She went on to explain how a friend's invitation led her to church. Toward the end of the sermon, the pastor asked if anyone would like to come forward, pray and place their faith in Christ. When she heard that invitation, something stirred inside her heart. She felt the need to walk forward, pray, ask Jesus to forgive her sins and trust Him for eternal life.
Afterward, the woman who brought her to church, along with another, began to meet with her weekly using my book, "Start Here: Six Foundational Lessons for Growth in Christ." She said, “Lori, that Bible study helped me start my walk with God. I don’t know where I’d be had those two ladies not stepped in and swooped me up!”
Consequently, her story reminded me of one of my favorite passages in scripture from Acts 17:26-27.
“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”
These verses teach us that:
● God created mankind. He is our creator and has an order to his creation -- it is not haphazard or by chance.
● God determined the times set for them, meaning he determined when a person would live. This means if they should be on earth now, or back in the 1800s, the 1500s, or even in the future.
● God determined the exact places they should live. He decides if a person is born here in the United States, in the Philippines, in South America, etc.
But why? Why be so careful, so exact as to when we would live and where? Well, scripture tells! So that we would seek him and reach out for him and FIND HIM.
God, knew the best set of circumstance for each individual person to come to know him personally. For me, the best set of circumstances to come to know him were: being born in 1972 here in the United States. He knew the best time for your grandparents to know him -- where they should live and in what country. The same for your ancestors and the same for your children and grandchildren in the future. He sets it up so that we are in the best possible set of circumstances for salvation and to be with him for eternity.
And so it is with the women around us.
Might it be that the women around us are here now because God knows their path will cross yours? That God knew you would be reading books and blogs about discipleship and you would catch a vision for your life being used by God to further the Great Commission?
Throughout the book of Acts, men and women are sacrificing, some even their very lives, to spread the gospel and disciple young believers. Today, you and I are carrying on that work! One by one, we are taking personal responsibility to pass on our faith and disciple others in the Christian faith.
Make your prayer today— “Lord, you have put people on earth, in my surrounding area, to cross paths with mine so I can help them come to know you and grow in you. Lord, who can I swoop in on and help today?”
Whether speaking, training, or discipling, Lori brings a passion to see women raised up to be all they can be in the Lord, teaching to women of all ages on a wide variety of topics. She currently makes her home in Katy, TX, with her husband Alan and two young children Josh and Jake.