I was sharing with someone yesterday, that when buying dairy items like Half & Half I always looks for the expiration date that gives me the most time to use the product. I was surprised that others do the same thing. It allows us to take advantage of the product longer. We are reminded that ministry opportunities also have a shelf life.
This past Sunday we finished a sermon mini-series looking at the practical application of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life. Our verse reminded us to take advantage of those opportunities to serve God before they expire. “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10) I want us to focus on the word “opportunity.” It is a word that reminds us that ministry opportunities have an expiration date. Here are a couple truths to consider.
First, we are reminded that God wants to use us. What we often forget that we are His plan for bringing the good news to others. The previous six verses share several examples of ways He wants to use us from reaching out to a fallen brother or sister, to helping carry other’s burdens and even supporting our local ministry. Now there are many other samples in the Bible, but the point is, God wants to use you.
Second, He works through the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that opens our hearts to do something. It is also the Holy Spirit that enables us to make a difference. It is fitting that Paul ends this sections by reminding us to not become distracted. We are here to minister to others.
Third, our ministry is be to everyone. This is a vital insight to being used by the Lord. We need to realize that He looks at people differently than we do. He sees them as a lost soul in need of saving grace. We need to remember that God looks at the heart. I am Thankful that He saw my need. I was one of “those kind of people” that many in the faith would write off. The Lord, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, invited me to church. We need to embrace that God loves all people and especially those that are different from us in their lifestyle choices, cultures and even personalities.
The opportunity is when God opens those doors into hearts and we have a limited time to act. The limitation is not on God’s part, but our part. I am afraid that too often we delay and miss an opportunity to be used by the Lord. Will you respond to His voice before the opportunity expires?
-Pastor Joe Parkinson