“Be very careful, then, how you live … making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV
What if we as believers began to see the everyday opportunities that God places in our path as “kingdom opportunities”, as opportunities to invest in eternity. I believe we would all begin to invest wisely in the lives of those around us and we would be motivated not to miss the divine opportunities to do eternal good.
But what I have found is that “kingdom opportunities” – those openings for ministry often come at inconvenient times; a friend who wants to talk, a child with a problem, the chance to lend a hand to someone in need – can get squeezed out of an overly tight schedule. As I think back on the past 24 hours – were there some “kingdom opportunities” I saw [or see now in retrospect] and yet deferred because I was “too busy” and missed the “kingdom task” God gave me the privilege to experience?
The best people to reach and influence the world are all of us who are already in that world.
We all have a high calling to be an ambassador for the King in our sphere of influence. God is already working there whether we recognise Him or not. God has a Kingdom Agenda and invites us to join Him in His mission. God Himself is present to work through us to accomplish His Kingdom purposes in ways that reveal Him to a watching world.
A Kingdom Opportunity lets us experience God!
If people experience God’s kingdom, then I figure that they may be more open to want to know Him.
We have an extraordinary opportunity in our sphere of influence to live out the principles of God’s kingdom, whether that be generosity, compassion, caring for people, honesty, integrity and other qualities that reflect who God is and His kingdom. The principles of God’s kingdom and the world are in opposition. In my experience people are very attracted to kingdom principles and it often softens their hearts to be open to God.
We need to make the most of every Kingdom Opportunity
Paul challenges us to be stewards of time, “making the most of our opportunities” (Ephesians 5:16). Paul understood that because of Christ’s victory on the cross, time is redeemed. Our efforts to use time in ways that make a difference for the kingdom of God will not be wasted. God will establish our work through the power of his grace.
A Kingdom Opportunity becomes God’s Mission Field
When we think about our sphere of influence as God’s mission field we must look at Jesus as our ultimate role model. There are several things we learn about Jesus’ methods of speaking into the lives of those He encountered. Jesus used the setting He was in to reach people. One thing I have noticed about the method of Jesus in speaking to people was that He dealt with each person in a unique and personal way. There were no formulas.
I never force an opportunity to “share Christ” with anyone, but I have found that God always opens the door. Jesus modelled this when He answered the disciples’ question regarding the greatest commandment “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Luke 10:27). When we are motivated to love Christ and serve Him, evangelism is a natural by-product, not an end in itself, of the relationship. For me the bottom line priority for every believer is to love God and to love others.
The question for you and me is, “How can God use men and women – like ourselves – to impact our workplace, communities, cities, and even nations?” Let me assure you, God wants to demonstrate His love and power in your sphere of influence.
Charles Spurgeon says it so well:
Let us be on the watch for opportunities of usefulness; let us go about the world with our ears and our eyes open, ready to avail ourselves of every occasion for doing good; let us not be content till we are useful, but make this the main design and ambition of our lives.