How To Make the Most of Your Opportunities

Opportunity.2

A young lady once consulted with her preacher. “I cannot stick it out any longer. I’m the only Christian where I work. I get nothing but taunts and sneers. It’s more than I can stand. I’m quitting.”

” “Will you tell me,” asked the minister, “where lights are placed?”

“What has that to do with it?” she reacted rather bluntly.

“Never mind,” the minister replied. “Answer my question: ‘Where are lights placed?’ “

“I suppose in dark places,” she responded. “Yes, and that is why you have been put in that place where there is such spiritual darkness.  You’re there to shine for the Lord.”

The young Christian realized for the first time the opportunity that was hers. She felt she could not fail God by allowing her light to go out. She went back to the workplace with renewed determination to let her light shine in that dark corner. In time, she was the means of leading nine other girls to the Light.

Opportunities are all around us.    Sometimes where we least expect them.  In unlikely places. Difficult places. Even dark places.  Opportunities to do good.  To serve God.  To minister to other people.

This is the third of three posts based on Ephesians 5:15-17. “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” 

In order for us to make the most of our opportunities, we need to do three things.

(1) We Need to Seek Opportunity.  Jesus said “seek and you shall find” Yet, what are we seeking?  Some seek easy.  Wealth.  Prestige.  Or acceptance.  We attract what we think about.  What we are looking for.  What we are trying to obtain?

Paul exhorted, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10).  A fair question for Christians is this: Are you seeking opportunities to do good?

(2) We Need to See Opportunity.   Jesus saw an opportunity to share His message with an immoral Samaritan woman where he stopped for a drink of water.  She was amazed that he would even talk to her.  Yet the conversion lead to her acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah.  And she shared it with others.  When the apostles returned from town they were also astounded.  Jesus’ response to them is appropriate for us today.

Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. (Jn 4:35)

J Oswald Sanders put it this way, “Eyes that look are common, eyes that see are rare.”  If we are to be successful spiritually, we need to open our eyes.  Really see.  Visualize the opportunities around us to do good.  And share the gospel message.

What opportunities do you see?

(3) We Need to Seize the Opportunity.   It’s not enough to seek opportunity or even to see it, we must seize it.  Jonathan Winters said, “I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it” How often have we had an opportunity just slip  through our fingers?  Knowing and realizing are not enough.  We are called upon to act.  To follow through.  To do something.

Seizing opportunities calls for courage, demands confidence, and requires passion.  And of course, seizing opportunity involves work.  “Opportunity is missed by most people,” once observed Thomas Edison, “Because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

In the days before modern harbors, a ship had to wait for the flood tide before it could make it to port. The term for this situation in Latin was ob portu, that is, a ship standing over off a port, waiting for the moment when it could ride the turn of the tide to harbor.

The English word opportunity is derived from this original meaning. The captain and the crew were ready and waiting for that one moment for they knew that if they missed it, they would have to wait for another tide to come in. Shakespeare turned this background of the exact meaning of opportunity into one of his most famous passages. It’s from Julius Caesar.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

Don’t miss the high tide of opportunities.  Seek them.  See them.  Seize them.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

7 Comments

Filed under Opportunity, Uncategorized

7 responses to “How To Make the Most of Your Opportunities

  1. Jebby Leighton

    Excellent thoughts and truths. How often have I thought about opportunities but not prayed that I would seize the opportunity.

  2. tommythornhill

    Nehemiah is an example of seizing the opportunity. He had prayed about the brokendown walls of Jerusalem and was distressed. When the king saw his countenace and asked what the problem was, Nehemial told him he wanted to return to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The king asked what he could do. the opportunity was there and Nehemiah seized it. He immediately asked for permission, protection and provisions to rebuild. I see that as an application of siezing the opportunity. Be ready while waiting. .

  3. Betty rhodes

    I agree Ken. As I look back over my life, I feel I had been placed specifically in every job I ever had; either because I needed to learn something from them or they needed to learn something from me, and probably both.

  4. Stephen Segrest

    My lunch break — An important lesson from the “Woman at the well” was that Christ “BROKE THE RULES”. She was only there during the heat of the day (compared to morning when other women drew water) because she had committed the sin of adultery. Under the “RULES”, she was made an outcast to “correct her” and “send a message” to other women to act Godly. The Apostles were shocked — Wouldn’t breaking the “Rules” be viewed as condoning or even encouraging people to commit adultery?

    • Not so, Stephen! The only “rules” Jesus broke were those of tradition. Not the law of Moses. Jesus’ point was not to deal specifically with her immorality, but to declare himself as the Messiah, which he did. Of course, he point out the fact of it, but kept focus on his real point.

      Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726 Church Office: 816-761-2659 preacherman@weliever.net web site: http://www.weliever.net/ blog: http://www.thepreachersword.com/ Church web site: http://hickmanchurch.com/

      ________________________________

      • Stephen Segrest

        Dear Ken — I respectfully disagree. I’d like to change the sentence you wrote to: “Jesus’ point was not to deal specifically with her immorality, but to BRING HER THE GOOD NEWS”. This is an important lesson that we should not create or allow barriers (directly or indirectly) from bringing souls the Good News. Today, like 2,000 years ago, this is often very difficult to do. And yes, by even talking to her (which the Apostles would not have done), Christ “broke the Rules”.

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