Colossians 4:5 “Act wisely toward outsiders, redeeming the time.”
“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.”H. Jackson Brown
The quote from this famed author is a nugget of truth by which many can relate. How many people regret missed opportunities in life. A chance encounter that was disregarded, investment advice that wasn’t heeded, or a past love that was forsaken.
The list of opportunities missed can be a dismal portrayal of foolishness and yet if your alive and reading this…hope remains, opportunity will arise once more.
The Value of Opportunity
When considering whether an opportunity is worthwhile, one must consider a few important points.
- What is my risk if I pursue it or ignore it?
Whether the decision I have to make is relational, monetary, or spiritual, the way we go about making decisions can lead to all forms of anxiety. The concern is the possibility of looking back and regretting the move you made years later.
When it comes to making spiritual decisions, obedience is the key to everything.
Romans 6:16 “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?”
With Jesus as our King, it is His direction and leading by which His people seek after. Since the Lord has a perspective that I don’t hold and all that He does is good, my risk of following Him is extremely low.
Since my perspective is very limited and I am not inherently good, then my risk of following my own plans is extremely high.
2. Does an opportunity honor the Lord or is it selfish in nature?
The life of a believer is one that continues progressively toward emulating Christ in who we are. The image of Christ in us is only limited by the measure of sanctification that has occurred through the Spirit. The process of being set apart is a process of becoming less like the world. If we forget who we are as believers, we miss the opportunities presented to us as servants of the Lord. When we make a commitment for Christ, we commit to following Him all our days, we take on His countenance, and we are called to walk in His love.
If I live solely for myself, I look to my own interests rather than what I’ve been called to do. My selfishness becomes a limiting factor as whether I can bear the fruit of the Spirit in my life.
Romans 6:13 “Do not present the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and present the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.”
3. When I take an opportunity, can I see God blessing me in it?
The blessings of God are many. A key indicator of God’s blessing is the fact that nothing can hinder His work. Doors open when there seems to be no solution, the Lord supplies your needs in the midst of sacrifice, and others are blessed because of your faithfulness which leads to glorifying God.
The opportunity to honor the Lord in service is connected to a particular time frame. Delay your obedience at times for even a short period of time and you might miss a blessing He had in store for you.
The Focus of our Attention
We often assume someone’s position before we even get to know them. A few well placed questions helps you know where someone is coming from and how to minister to them. Just because someone is nice doesn’t make them a christian. Just because someone is wrestling with sin, doesn’t mean they are an unbeliever.
We place so much emphasis on the external position of someone and neglect the position of their heart.
Matthew 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is holy; do not throw your pearls before swine. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”
Share some spiritual insight the Lord recently revealed to you and they will look at you like your from another planet. Unbelievers have no spiritual relevance to the things of Christ, they may know of Him, but they do not know Him.
When we share victories and spiritual truth learned through obedience with another believer, we encourage them in their faith. Conversations about practical living grow out of these moments of praise to God and we sharpen one another in their walk with Christ.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.“
All we are trying to do is take marching orders from the King. Our lives are far shorter than we could ever imagine. The opportunities to impact someone do not last indefinitely, sometimes those times come in just a flash, never to return.
Redeeming the time is taking every opportunity afforded and honors the Lord in the midst of it. The reward is realized now in by experiencing God’s pleasure and the reward will be realized one day seeing those you may have impacted for His glory.
Live faithfully, submit to God’s work and He will use you, if you are willing.
It’s up to you.