Good morning my friends, I hope you are looking forward to another incredible day. I wonder what the Lord has prepared for us today. I love adventures. We are continuing with Galatians 4.
Do you remember this verse:
Make the most of every opportunity. (Colossians 4:5)
It seemed to be a theme in Paul's life and in his service to the Lord. It did not matter where Paul found himself or how he got there, he was always looking for opportunities to introduce people to Jesus. He writes to the Galatians:
As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. v. 13-14
Imagine, in some fashion Paul became ill but instead of allowing that illness to deter him from his calling he used it, or the opportunity it afforded, to present the gospel to a people who had not heard of Jesus. Unfortunately many of us do not seem to be made of the same stuff. Instead, we use every opportunity to shirk our calling. Be honest, compared to our forefathers we are pretty spoiled and wimpy. On a whole we have not made much of the opportunities afforded us to build our spiritual muscles.
Here's a question for you: Did God use illness to provoke Paul into action in a place he may not have thought of going? In other words did God use that illness to nudge Paul in the direction he wanted him to go? Some would say yes and others no. My opinion is that God will use anything and everything to bring about his will in our life and for his cause of saving the world. Remember this:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
If this is the general attitude of our God then we had better open our eyes to what he is doing around us. He will use the circumstances of our life to glorify himself so he may reveal himself to those who need him, the lost. Do not consider anything to be by chance in your life. If you are a servant of the LORD God then there is nothing by chance. Everything has purpose and reason and we had better start noticing the opportunities Jesus is giving us with everything that is going on in our life.
Throughout our day we need to ask for the eyes of Jesus, that we will notice every opportunity for doing, for being kind, for showing and sharing love and for introducing Jesus to the lost and suffering. Maybe you will find yourself in a hospital today through an injury or the illness of a loved one. Ask the Lord: Why am I here? Let him show you the opportunities. Maybe you will be called into your child's school for some reason. Perhaps you will be in the bank. Perhaps your neighbour will start talking to you even though you are in a hurry. Perhaps someone calls your home by mistake. Remember that you are not living your life in isolation for your own pleasure. You are a bearer of the greatest agent of change in the world. Remember these words of Jesus:
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8)
Words spoken directly to his disciples but I believe are intended for anyone who denies themselves, takes up their cross and follows Jesus. And I believe this applies to everything we receive from Jesus. We have received love; freely love. We have received forgiveness; freely forgive. We have received mercy; freely show mercy. We have received gifts; freely use those gifts for th benefit of others. Whatever he pours into us we need to freely pour into the lives of others, using every opportunity he gives to us to do that. He has equipped us with power so that we may serve him in every situation we encounter.
As you head out into the wild, wild world today, do not go in fear and do not be discouraged. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go. And you go not to please yourself but to please him. And you go not for selfish profit but to serve him and to do good. You are a servant called to serve in every circumstance and to make the most of every opportunity. Make it a good one, for his glory!