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From a Mother's Heart

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By Bea Wallen

Missing or seizing God-given opportunities

 

In many ways our lives are defined by opportunities missed and opportunities seized. According to the Bible, we are to take advantage of opportunities by responding with bold action when we recognize them as God-given chance to participate in his purpose.

How many times have you missed an opportunity to witness or encourage someone? According to the Bible every believer shares the privilege and responsibility of witnessing. We should always be ready to tell the “Good News”. Ready to tell the story of how we met and how we experience our relationship with Jesus.

Sometimes we must build genuine relationships with other people by showing kindness, or by offering a helping hand. By doing this we open the door for an opportunity to minister to them. This is what Jesus did: see Matthew 9:10,11 And so it was as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.

And when the Pharisees saw it they said to His disciples “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

We should make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.

John Wesley gave this good advice: “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.”

Colossians 4:5,6, Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Always be ready to help and encourage those who are struggling to learn more about Christ and His Word. Phillip seized this opportunity to witness to the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:30,31,35: So Phillip ran to him, and heard him reading from the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I unless someone guides me?” And he asked Phillip to come up and sit with him. Then Phillip opened his mouth, and beginning at this scripture preached Jesus to him.

Everyday life can open doors of opportunity. It might be a conversation at the office water cooler. It could come in the form of a surprising question from a person you meet in the supermarket (this has happened to me many times). It might develop through the cultivation of a friendship with a neighbor. Sooner or later, every follower of Jesus Christ has an opportunity to be a witness to who Jesus is and what he has done. You don’t need to be a preacher or a teacher. Like Phillip – we may be prompted by the Spirit to strike up a conversation with a stranger and have a divine given opportunity to share our faith. Sharing our faith does not always bear immediate fruit, but sometimes our role is simply to plant the seed and trust God to bring the harvest. Read Luke 8:14-15, Not every heart responds. Not every heart is ready for the gospel to take root and grow deep. Sometimes our most important work is to remove a few stones or thorn bushes so that the soil of person’s heart may become more receptive. When your efforts seem to be rejected don’t be discouraged. Keep scattering the seed, and trust God to bring the growth. Out actions are, in themselves, a testimony to the world, “that they may observe your good works” I Peter 2:12.

Most of all- don’t feel like you are insignificant. Moses offered every excuse in the world, but God saw great potential in him, see Exodus 3:1-4:14. God desires sincere hearts. What you do for God may seem insignificant at the time, but God rejoices in what is right, not necessarily in what is big. Be faithful in the small opportunities. Begin where you are, doing what you can, and accept God’s pleasure over your smallest steps in the right direction.

From my heart.