What Constitutes an Opportunity?
Sometimes an opportunity is an event, a moment that must be seized for it will quickly pass. At other times an opportunity presents itself as a gathering of individuals who need what we can do as much as we need what they can do. Together we have an opportunity we would not have separately.
On the Lord’s Day when we came together as the church to honor the Lord with acts of worship, our multiplied praises afforded us an opportunity to sense the presence of the Lord in a communal way. Every hour of every day the church is a community of faith, bound together in the name and power of Christ by the Holy Spirit. On the Lord’s day when we come together in one place, our awareness of the Monday-Saturday reality of our community is heightened. If we could all remember what an opportunity this is, we would treasure our time together in public worship.
Opportunities Each Day
Today, as the week continues different kinds of opportunity will come to us individually:
- We will renew relationships with co-workers, those we like and those we don’t like as well as those who like us and those who don’t like us.
- There will be work for us to do, opportunities to demonstrate our craftsmanship and skill. Work is also an opportunity to honor the Lord as we do our work in the name of the Lord, with all our energy, and as unto the Lord and not unto men.
- As we work our way through the week, conversations will turn to spiritual things. These times are opportunities to speak the truth of God into people’s lives. We must be gentle and let the weight of the Word have its effect.
- When people come to us with their problems, we have the opportunity to minister the healing power of Christ to them as we lovingly listen to their stories. The Holy Spirit will give us the right words to say.
- Temptations may confront us. Times of trial are opportunities to obey the Lord and not our fleshly appetites.
It is likely this week will bring us
- “second miles” to walk with someone,
- “cloaks to surrender to a someone who has already borrowed our shirt,
- enemies to pray for and do good deeds for, and
- even a cheek or two to turn when we have already been struck once.
- Needy people will cross our path and we will feel prompted to help.
All of these events are opportunities to please the Lord.
The Lord’s Prayer
In the prayer Jesus gave us, there is an overriding awareness of the opportunities the day will bring:
- “Your will be done…”
- “Give us this day…”
- “Forgive us…as we forgive…”
- “…the time of trial…
- “…deliver us from evil…”
Each day presents us with opportunites to do God’s will, to depend upon Him, to forgive others, to resist tempation, and to live holy lives in an evil world. We cannot know what the week will bring except for this: we know it will be filled with opportunities to please the Lord. What joy it will be to feel His smile as we worship, work, and witness in His name and by His power.
Colossians 3:16-17; 23-24
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Lord Jesus, help me keep my eyes open today for the opportunities You send my way. There will be good words for me to say, meaningful deeds for me to perform, ordinary duties for me to attend to, and people You put in my path for me to bless. Just as every hour is filled with minutes, this day will be filled with opportunities to life up Your name with my life. How the world needs to see You! I pray that you will be visible in me today. This is my great opportunity! For Your Glory, Lord! Amen.
Make Me a Blessing
Words: Ira B. Wilson; Music: George S. Schuler
1. Out in the highways and byways of life,
many are weary and sad; are weary and sad
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife
Making the sorrowing glad.
Make me a blessing, Make me a blessing,
Out of my life May Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O savior, I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.
2. Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love;
Tell of His pow’r to forgive;
Others will trust Him if only you prove
True ev’ry moment you live.
3. Give as ’twas given to you in your need;
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed;
Unto your mission be true.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved