Friday, February 19, 2010

Making the Most of Every Opportunity


“Making the most of every opportunity.” (Ephesians 5:16)

Throughout our lives here on earth we have many opportunities to make choices that will affect us or others in different ways. Life gives us opportunities to love others including our enemies, serve our neighbor, grieve with our friends, give to the needy and so much more. The question we must ask is are we “making the most of every opportunity?”

Paul, in Ephesians 5, is not presenting this statement as a question but rather how Christians ought to make good use of their time. This is a matter of wisdom. The days in this life are short therefore we must not waste the time. We read early in Ephesians the beauty of the gospel where God raises dead hearts to life. As Christians we understand every soul was created to spend an eternity somewhere. Our focus has turned from the temporary to the eternal. We have a small grasp of what that life will look like but because of God’s grace we understand our inheritance is with Christ in his dwelling place. “Making the most of every opportunity” is spending our days here on earth looking toward the future while serving others with the gospel for the glory of God.

The warning from Paul in verse 15 is “Be very careful, then, how you live.” Once we are awakened by God’s mercy to us we realize every step we take in this life has a purpose. God sovereignly uses us as his instruments to spread to gospel so others may repent and believe in Christ’s atoning work on the cross. But we must not just say it; we must also live the life we proclaim. We must be careful how we live because others are watching to see if what we say matches up to how we live. Every opportunity presents itself as important in view of eternity. Paul then says, “Not as unwise but as wise.” We know from the Proverbs the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. To know the Lord and walk as wise people we must be in his Word knowing him and his will for our lives. “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17). The fool does not understand the will of the Lord because the Holy Spirit has not illumined his mind. We must be careful how we live walking in wisdom “making the most of every opportunity.”

I’ll ask again: Are you “making the most of every opportunity?” Are you wasting your life by focusing so much on this temporary world that you are not preparing yourself for the next? As Paul said be careful how you live. Be wise! Don’t be like the fool who has said in his heart there is no God (Ps. 14:1). Don’t be foolish by living this life for yourself thinking you are okay with God because of a commitment you made in the past or because you grew up in a Christian household. Those were great opportunities to hear the gospel but “making the most of every opportunity” is letting the gospel transform you for a lifetime. Don’t be duped into thinking all is well when you haven’t picked up a Bible for years. Don’t think all is well if you haven’t spent time communing with God and his people. Here is God’s will for every Christian: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). If you are not dying to self and suffering for the sake of Christ and following him daily you will always be a fool never “making the most of every opportunity.”

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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