What Are You Doing with Your Opportunities?
So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10
Opportunities. They are all around us. Opportunities to make a difference in the lives of people. Opportunities to minister to someone who desperately needs a word of encouragement, a listening ear, a hug of care and concern, and sometimes even material assistance.
AT THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE
This week, I encountered a dear lady who was helping me at the doctor's office. I was feeling terrible and just knew I had the worst cold known to man (well, maybe not quite that bad). As she took my vital signs and asked me how I was doing, I felt impressed to ask her how she was doing. After a long pause and a few composure-gathering swallows she said, "Okay." It was pretty obvious she wasn't okay.
Before she left the exam room, I asked her if there was anything in her life that I could pray about. That question opened the flood gates for her to share her heart and her hurt, her doubts and her fears. I prayed for her right there, and gave her a big hug, and told her to know that God loves her. He knows what is going on, and He will be with her every step of the way. He is El Roi, one of the great names for God which means, "You are the God who sees [me]." God sees us in our times of distress and fear ... and will take care of us as we trust Him (see Genesis 16).
EXPERIENCING JOY AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE
It has well been said that J-O-Y comes when your life is focused on Jesus first, others second, and you last. When you and I use our lives to brighten the life of another, it gives such great meaning and purpose to our days.
The Bible says that we are Christ's ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are His representatives on earth. Our citizenship is in heaven ... and we are merely strangers and aliens on this earth. But we are here for a specific purpose: to make a difference in the lives of people for Jesus Christ. We are here to be His witnesses, to lighten the load of those who are hurting, losing hope, and needing to connect with the God who sees them and loves them.
Here is a question for you to honestly and soberly consider: Are you really experiencing joy and a sense of purpose in your life? If not, could the reason be that you have lost sight of the two greatest commandments—to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself? Remember, the acrostic J-O-Y. If you start out with Y (you first), you won't experience it.
THE PRAYER GOD LONGS TO ANSWER
Think how different your life could be if you started out each day with this sincere prayer: "Dear God, help me to be sensitive to the people You will put in my path today, people who need a word and a touch from You through me. Help me see the opportunities all around me to make a difference in people's lives for Christ, to ease their burdens and let them know You are El Roi, the God sees them and will take care of them if they will simply trust You."
May you experience His joy as you focus on your calling—to be His ambassador in this world until He calls you home.
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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.