I was in the dairy section at the grocery store when a man next to me reached for sour cream and said, “So, how ‘bout them Chiefs?”
Looking around I realized he is talking to me. “Uhh …,” and I made a vague comment as I moved on to the cottage cheese. So did he. I grabbed my lowfat small curd and headed toward the butter as he continued to chitchat about football.
Anyone who knows me knows I don’t care how my local sports teams are doing. But, I had heard enough talk to come up with an intelligent response for this guy. However, after laying hold of the margarine with my left hand poised just so, wedding set glistening under fluorescent lights, I quickly steered my cart into frozen foods.
I chuckled and shook my head, “What in the world was all that was about?” As I reached for a bag of tater tots I glimpsed my red sweatshirt. It bore the familiar logo of our local football team. My clearance rack, comfy, grocery store attire labeled me as a fellow sports fan. I was an impostor.
I identify myself as a follower of Jesus. I have a “team sweatshirt,” but I’m not always willing to take advantage of the opportunities God gives me to act for Him. We are encouraged to be ready to do so “whether the time is favorable or not.” (2 Timothy 4:2 NLT)
Every moment is a God-given opportunity to testify to the truth of the gospel.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
I am ashamed of my list of excuses. I imagine myself too busy to engage in conversation while waiting in a checkout line. There are times I wear “introvert” like a badge and avoid meeting new people in a gathering. Too tired. Not qualified. Bad mood. Sad. Wounded. The list goes on and on. Maybe you could add a few of your own.
Every moment. It doesn’t matter who we’re with or what is happening.
Every moment. Demonstrate the truth of the good news of Jesus.
If anyone has the right to preach this, it’s the apostle Paul. His example of using every moment as a God-given opportunity is astounding.
- Bitten by a snake, he shakes it off, continues building the fire, and heals the sick. (Acts 28:1-10)
- While teaching, a guy falls asleep and right on out the window to his death below. Paul goes to the man, restores him to life, and continues teaching. (Acts 20:7-12)
- In prison for preaching about Jesus, Paul and his companions sing praise songs and minister to their cellmates until an earthquake breaks the chains and opens the prison doors. Does Paul run for this life? No, he stays put and tells the guard about Jesus. This grateful guard takes Paul to meet his family where Paul preaches and they all believe. In return, Paul receives a bath and a home cooked meal! (Acts 16:16-40)
When Jesus sent His disciples ahead of Him to minister to the people, He said, “…Freely (without pay) you have received, freely (without charge) give.” (Matthew 10:8b AMP)
What have we received from God without having to pay for it? Grace. Mercy. Comfort. Forgiveness. Love. Help. Acceptance. Kindness. Because we have freely received, we can freely give. Every moment of every day is a God-given opportunity to give….
“For in him we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:28 NLT)
A favorite God-truth is to remember we are never alone. Never abandoned by God. This is a truth we can count on at all times and it brings great comfort to our souls. Let’s consider that God’s presence with us isn’t only for us. Because God is with us:
- We can be kind when we’re cranky.
- We can forgive when we’re angry.
- We can comfort when it’s inconvenient.
Our day-to-day “normal” may not be riveting or monumental, but God lives in us and works through us to impact those with whom we come into contact.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10)