Quoted from 'Let's Make the Most of Every Opportunity' Sermon, California Conference, 2014|
Making the Most of Every Opportunity!
“Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light'”. (Ephesians 5:14) The Lord is calling you to wake up from your deep spiritual sleep and He will shed His light on you and bring you into a totally new era. In Ephesians 5:15-16, we are urged to "see then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil". Seize every opportunity, because the days are evil. Rise up and let the light of the Lord shine in you and know what God wants from you… “Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, Entreat the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me and my people; … 'Moses said to Pharaoh, Accept the honor of saying when I shall intercede for you' … so he said, 'Tomorrow',” (Exodus 8:8-10) Obviously, Pharaoh had something to think about until the following day. He had asked Moses to put off praying for relief from the frogs for another day, hoping that he would find an answer at his magicians and sorcerers. However, contrary to Pharaoh's expectations, the frogs multiplied. In the same manner, when you attempt to find an answer to your problem without the Lord, the problem becomes more intricate and complicated. The Lord is your real comfort and relief.
Do you want to get rid of the frogs in your life? To experience relief from any sense of anxiety, worry, fear, impurity or failure? You need to heed the call of the Lord for your life and surrender control over it to God. Tell Him that you want to wake up from your slumber to enjoy His awesome light and to experience peace and serenity.
“And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.” (Mark 14:3) Mary made the most of this opportunity. Jesus praised what she did noting that she did a beautiful thing, although the disciples rebuked her. She realized that the Lord had to die and rise again from the dead and that she would not have another opportunity to anoint the body of the Lord when it is placed in the tomb. As for the other women, they missed their opportunity. They went to the tomb to anoint the body of the Lord at the break of dawn on Sunday, but found that He had already risen from the dead.
Seek to make the most out of every opportunity. You need to make an explicit expression of your love towards the Lord. We often express our love to Jesus in ways that cost us nothing, such as singing spiritual hymns and attending spiritual meetings.
Nonetheless, the Lord expects sacrifices to be offered to Him; just as Mary did when she presented a fragrant offering as a sacrifice to Jesus, and as the Church of Macedonia gave far beyond their ability.
Do you really love the Lord who laid down His life and died for your sake? Seek the help of the Holy Spirit so that you would not miss the opportunity to express your love to the Lord in ways that are costly and dear; that you would be able to say that 'whatever gain you have, you count as loss for the sake of Christ'. Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to express your love to the Lord through offerings that go far beyond your ability, in terms of money, time and/ or effort.
The sacred Scripture states “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,” (Matthew 25:1-3). In this parable, there is a close association between wisdom and understanding on the one hand and the Word of God on the other hand. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7: 24).
Are you a wise person who establishes his/her own house on God's word? Are you among the wise virgins or the foolish virgins who had the appearance of being wise but did not give heed to the Word of God. They did not carry enough supply of oil, which represents the Holy Spirit; hence they missed the opportunity.
Make the most of every opportunity that is available to you to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Such opportunities include attending spiritual meetings; seeking the infilling of the Holy Spirit; and, making sure that the lamp is filled with oil, because you cannot experience success without the Holy Spirit, you cannot conquer sin apart from the Holy Spirit, and you cannot function effectively in ministry and yield real fruit independently of the Holy Spirit. The infilling of the Holy Spirit is the true way towards fullness of joy, love and wisdom. The infilling of the Holy Spirit will make your light shine in this world.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatia 6:9-10) This is a message of inspiration and encouragement to the servants of the Lord to wait upon the Lord when the fields yield no fruit.
We are called to 'do good'; an act which encompasses providing spiritual support and physical assistance alike. Make the most of every opportunity, and avoid wasting your time, because the days are evil. It is worth noting that the most significant type of help is to guide people to come to the Lord and to submit their lives to Him.
Let your life be guided by this principle; 'Devote yourself to an unselfish life, for even Christ did not please Himself'. Jesus Christ laid himself down on the cross. He went around doing good. As for us, we are called to help the needy; to offer a cup of cold water to those who are thirsty; and, to break your bread to the hungry.
Wake up and let the light of the Lord shine in you. Rise up and redeem the time, because the days are evil. The Lord will grant you strength through the help of the Holy Spirit and He will restore the opportunities that you have missed or lost.