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Responding to Our Opportunities

CharlesStanley

Memory Verse: Luke 10:25-37

I. An opportunity is defined as a favorable occasion when we have the option of making a decision that could have a positive impact. However, as believes, we sometimes fail to discern a chance to serve because we see it as an obstacle or interruption to our lives.

The Good Samaritan recognized a divine opportunity when he saw one. His godly actions revealed his devotion to the Lord. We, too, demonstrate our spiritual condition by how we respond to the opportunities He sends.

II. How we respond to opportunities reveals whether or not:

A. We can discern between an obstacle and an opportunity. The priest and Levite viewed the man lying by the roadside as an inconvenience. As spiritual leaders, they should have been the first to help a suffering man. After all, the Law commanded them to love their neighbors as themselves (Lev. 19:18; Luke 10:27). They missed a chance to demonstrate God’s love, and in doing so, revealed the true nature of their relationships with Him.

B. Jesus is Lord of our lives. If we ignore God-given opportunities, we fail to let Christ direct our lives. Once we discern that the Lord is asking us to take a step of faith, we must act obediently.

C. We are ready to utilize our spiritual gifts. Responding properly demonstrates that we are willing to exercise our spiritual gifts. Sometimes, the smallest amount of loving concern can make all the difference to a hurting person.

D. We are willing to give to those in need. Our actions reveal our heart toward those who are less fortunate. If we are reluctant to give our time, attention, money, and effort to help others, then we need to take a good look at our relationship with God.

E. We have the courage to respond. Sometimes, God requires us to take risks. Fear of the robbers could have kept the Good Samaritan from helping the wounded man, but he chose to act anyway. Even the fact that Jews and Samaritans were enemies didn’t stop him from having compassion.  Do you have the courage to act when God asks you to, even when there is a risk involved?

F. We trust God to enable us. The Lord will never ask you to do something that He will not empower you to accomplish. You never have to respond without His enabling presence.

G. We have a servant’s spirit. Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant” (Mark 10:43). As believers, we should not be so consumed with our own concerns that we are unwilling to show compassion to others.

H. Our priorities are in line with God’s. Opportunities reveal our primary concerns. The priest and the Levite prioritized getting home over stopping to help their fellow countryman. But the Samaritan took the time to have compassion on a fellow human being. Aside from our devotion to Him, God’s highest priority for our lives is how we treat others (Luke 10:27; Matt. 7:12). Is one of your goals in life to show kindness to other people, hurting or not?

I. We live by faith, not in fear. The open doors God provides might include an element of danger or difficulty. How we respond reveals whether we are acting out of faith or fear.

III. Conclusion: Do you usually respond wisely to the opportunities God gives you? Or have you begun to view them, for the most part, as interruptions to your life? I want to challenge you to begin asking the Father to open your eyes. Pray for discernment to recognize daily opportunities and for the courage to respond in faith every time. If you will act in obedience, He will do amazing things in and through your life.

(Copyright 2011 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.)