Every now and then I read something that at once inspires me while also feeling like being punched in the gut. In his book, “Counter Culture”, David Platt writes, “I don’t want to waste the opportunities God has given me to live out the gospel by which God has saved me in the culture where God has placed me.” Let that sink in for a moment.
It’s a great mantra by which to live our lives. It’s also a convicting scale we can use to weigh any decision with which we are faced. Are we doing all we can to serve and love others in the context in which we’ve been placed? If not, why not?
How many opportunities have we let slip through our fingers because we weren’t prepared or engaged enough to be ready for it? It’s inexcusable. With all the resources we have at our fingertips, many of which are free, not being able to seize every opportunity is simply not acceptable. How will we explain all the missed chances to Jesus when we meet Him? How will we justify our failures? Every day God places multiple opportunities in our path. It is incumbent upon each of us to be ready and able to respond.
Recognizing opportunities has much to do with the way we see and move throughout our life. Where is our focus? For what are we looking? Why do we imagine we’re here in the first place? We are here to love, honor, and serve God first. Next we are to love, honor, and serve others. If we can keep this in mind, our focus and the way we see the world will change. It will become less about us and more about the mission of Christ.
As an American, it’s difficult to conceive of a greater blessing than being born in a land of such freedom and plentiful resources. With these blessings comes a great responsibility. We are accountable for what we do with what God has given us (Matthew 25:14-30). To those who have been given much, much will be expected. Therefore, much will be expected of me and each person born in the United States and all other countries blessed with wealth and freedom.
With so much available to us in our culture, and with the call to spread the good news of Jesus so clear (Matthew 28:18-20), to not do so is to rebel against the very commands of Christ. It is to waste one’s life. Don’t waste your life. Don’t miss an opportunity.
We should get up each morning excited and determined to look for and seize every opportunity God puts before us. Seizing an opportunity can be as simple as sharing a smile, lending a helping hand, or providing a shoulder on which to cry. It might mean giving up some of our time or money, changing our plans, or placing ourselves in uncomfortable situations. Whatever it takes, don’t miss an opportunity to live out the gospel in full view of the world. You never know which opportunity may be your last. Don’t waste it; seize every moment you’ve been given to live out the gospel you know in the context in which you live, all to the glory of the One you love.