Making the Most of Every Opportunity

Stanton Petersen on Jul 16, 2020

Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

To live carefully in this evil day, we must make the most of every opportunity presented to us. The idea is that for His purposes, God gives us choice moments to seize. We must be alert, ready, and then act when those opportunities come our way.

I remember when I came over to America from South Africa many years ago. My father-in-law, an avid fisherman, brought me out on the lake for an afternoon of fishing and fellowship. I am not much of an angler, but I was excited to spend time with him. Now, we were both in the same boat, had the same bait and the same fishing rod. Almost immediately upon casting our lines in the water, my father-in-law caught a fish. Two minutes later, he caught another one; and then another one. This went on for hours! There I sat with my fishing rod... still no fish. Not one. What made things worse was that my father-in-law would tell me every few minutes, "You missed a fish," "Missed another one." I literally spent hours on the lake and never caught a thing. In other words, I missed every opportunity I had to catch a fish.

I learned two valuable lessons that day.

The first lesson is that it's not the number of hours spent, it's how you capitalize on the moments given to you. My father-in-law was alert and ready to catch the fish when the opportunities came his way. I, on the other hand, was not so vigilant (despite the many hours I spent on that lake). The Chrisitan life is very much the same. Instead of seeing time as seconds flying by, we must see time as opportunities flying by and seizing them for God.

This framework requires Christians to make a mental shift. When we see time from an opportunity perspective, we realize that some moments are more valuable than others. For example, the five minutes that I have to share the Gospel with a friend seeking to know more about God is much more valuable than the five minutes I spend scrolling social media. Or, the brief opportunity that I have to shepherd my kids while they're still young should take high priority.

God is calling us to prioritize these moments for Him.

The second lesson I learned that day out on the boat was to be prepared. My father-in-law was able to make the most of his opportunities because he studied and practiced catching fish. In the same way, Christians need to study and prepare for opportunities to share the Gospel of Christ and encourage others.

One of the ways we can do this is by practicing our testimony or learning the Romans Road (using scripture found in the book of Romans to share the Gospel message). Being prepared is essential for making the most of our God-given moments.

The days are evil. As Christians, we can quickly become distracted and swallowed up by busyness and our worldly mindsets. If we are not careful, we will lead wasted lives. Therefore, we are called to live attentively by looking for opportunities to do good and thus bring God glory.

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