TAKING THE OPPORTUNITY – “No Reserves, No Regrets, No Retreats”

Today’s Bible Study in Galatians 6:10:   LIFE HAS A PURPOSE…

NIV BIBLE:  Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

LIVING BIBLE:  That’s why whenever we can we should always be kind to everyone and especially to our Christian brothers.

MESSAGE BIBLE:  Every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. 

Most OPPORTUNITIES come by way of A PROBLEM, A TRIAL, or A TEST.

Opportunity defined:  A favorable chance or opening offered by our circumstances, an occasion, a possibility.

AN OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED…(John 6:4-12) –

We’ve got a BIG PROBLEM here in this biblical account…5,000 HUNGRY PEOPLE!

John 6:4 –  “Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was approaching…”

Many teachers say 5,000 are men and doesn’t include women and children.  Now is this going to be a BIG PROBLEM, or is it… A BIG OPPORTUNITY???

VERSES 5-12 (NIV):

[5] When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip,  “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”  [6] He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.  

[7] Phillip answered him,  “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”  [8] Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up,  [9] “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” 

[10] Jesus said,  “Have the people sit down.”  There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them.  [11] Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted.  He did the same with the fish.

[12] When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples,  “Gather the pieces that are left over.  Let nothing be wasted.”

JESUS already knew what He was going to do.  I don’t think we can realize the scope of the problem here–the scope of the presented opportunity.

In my hometown, a Big Mac sandwich, Fries, and a medium soft drink on average runs about $7.01.

Google Image Search, Advance Search Setting

 

So $7.01 x 5,000 = $35,050.00.

The Disciple ANDREW had the answer as his human reasoning focused on the PROBLEM rather than the OPPORTUNITY.

I think most of us have had an ‘Andrew Moment’.

JESUS took the little boys OFFERING and said thanks…Nothing was lost, and they gathered up the leftovers.

Often people have the tendency to allow their PAST determine their FUTURE and what is denied can never be healed.

Let us not forget that not all OPPORTUNITIES are good…

And in the COURSE OF TIME, choices matter, behavior matters, and how you treat others matter.

Many times ANGER, BITTERNESS are the drivers of OPPORTUNITIES…

And in the COURSE OF TIME…

CAIN OFFERS THE FRUIT…

ABEL OFFERS THE FIRSTLING.

Cain gets ANGRY at his brother but why not at himself?  You show me what ticks you off and I’ll show you what makes you tick.

Genesis 4:3 – In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground.

One event can drive one to right or to wrong.  It might come down to ATTITUDE regarding the OPPORTUNITIES set before us which will set in concrete our words and actions.

Genesis 4:5 – So Cain was angry, and his face fell.

Check it out–SIN, COMMISSION OR OMISSION, SIN lies behind WARS & STRIFE.

Genesis 4:7 (AMP) – If you do well, will you not be accepted?  And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.

The New Testament Records the Sad History of Missed Opportunities –

There’s no record of CAIN ever repenting, rather, he throws out the EXCUSE-

Genesis 4:9 (NIV)

“Am I my brother’s keeper?”

HEBREWS 11:4 –

Perhaps we need to burn some bridges behind us…the BRIDGE could be an OPPORTUNITY!

HOW MANY PEOPLE, DO YOU THINK, LOOK BACK?

Luke 17:32 “Remember Lot’s wife?”

[33] Whoever tries to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it and quicken it  (AMP).

When we can take full advantage of an OPPORTUNITY, we find what lurks in the SHADOWS, an OPPORTUNITY to return.

ABRAHAM, SARAH AND OTHERS OPPORTUNITIES – 

Hebrews 11:8-16 (NIV)

[8] By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  [9] By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  [10] For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

[11] By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. [12] And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the sand on the seashore.

[13] All these people were still living by faith when they died.  They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.  And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.  [14] People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.  [15] If they had left, they would have had the opportunity to return.  [16] Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

This Brings A Series of QUESTIONS to ask oneself:

WHO ARE YOU?

WHAT ARE YOU KNOWN FOR?

WHAT WORDS WOULD YOU HAVE OTHERS SPEAK ABOUT YOU?

We ALL have OPPORTUNITIES in the menial task we face every day.  OPPORTUNITIES to demonstrate who we are!

OPPORTUNITIES to demonstrate the FLESH or the SPIRIT man.

Romans 12:10 (AMP) –  Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], GIVING precedence and showing honor to one another.

Do I REACT or do I ACT by FAITH?

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) – Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

ARE YOU:

  • FAITHFUL?  DEPENDABLE?
  • ARE YOU KIND?  TENDERHEARTED?  DO YOU CARE?
  • DO YOU ENCOURAGE OTHERS?  REFRESH THEM?
  • DO YOU MODEL FORGIVENESS?

LIFE Does Have A Purpose…

Does the OPPORTUNITY make me a VICTIM or a VICTOR?

How many of us take the OPPORTUNITY to drive down the road while looking in the REARVIEW MIRROR?

Philippians 3:13 (TLB)

[13] No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energy to bear on this one thing:  Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.

OFTEN, Christians just want to LIVE IN THE MOMENT…

We only want to think of the “right now!”

Sure, we face all kinds of TROUBLES and TRIALS every day, but by TAKING THIS MOMENT AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE CHRIST,…

We look ahead!

Never forget that JESUS IS A REWARDER— a return or recompense, restoration, award, prize, bounty, satisfying, worthwhile, fruitful.

HEBREWS 11:6 (AMP)

[6]  But without faith, it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him.  For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] BELIEVE God exists and that He is the REWARDER of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].

THERE ARE GREAT OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD!

Deuteronomy 30:15 (NIV) –

[15]  See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.

Deuteronomy 30:19 (AMP) –

[19]  I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you LIFE AND DEATH,  the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.

WE have OPPORTUNITIES to PRAY, READ the Bible, WITNESS, to DREAM BIG…

A missionary served in Egypt.  He died after serving there and in the front of his Bible was penned:

NO RESERVES,

NO REGRETS,

NO RETREATS.

OPPORTUNITY IS YOUR CHOICE.  WHICH PATH WILL YOU CHOOSE?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

CREDITS –

Bible Translations Used:  New International Version (NIV) and the Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted.

– BIBLE HUB-

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6 Replies to “TAKING THE OPPORTUNITY – “No Reserves, No Regrets, No Retreats””

  1. I love how you tied this together Mel. We are faced with many trails and often my response is to complain and get angry that another hard thing is in my way… Bug God is often giving me an Opportunity to have faith in Him and Follow His leading to share my faith and grow His Kingdom. Thanks for the reminder to keep my Perspective Christ Centered.

  2. “ANGER, BITTERNESS are the drivers of OPPORTUNITIES…” Oh so many times our reactions are missed opportunities! As someone who has had a disabling illness, I, and others like me- can easily forget that though some abilities may have been taken away or lessened- others gifts remain within us and opportunities abound. Great study Mel

  3. I think you make an excellent point Mel. A lot of Christians are waiting for that ‘big opportunity’ where they will get to do something amazing for Christ. But we fail to realize that every single day we are presented with many, many opportunities to show dramatically who we are… and more importantly, WHOSE we are. For example, when we’re when offended, do we choose to forgive or not? Where there is need, do we give or withhold? When we’re rejected or marginalized, do we respond in love or anger? The world tells us to ‘look out for ourselves’ but Jesus says ‘love others more than yourself’ It’s in these kinds of daily decisions that perhaps few ever see that each of us individually really take advantage of opportunities that God provides and ‘let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’ Thanks for something to chew on, Mel!

    1. And yes, sometimes what we “chew” on doesn’t always taste well, so we want to spit it out! ‘ 7 times we should forgive? No, seventy times seven.” So if I forgive someone 490 times, I’m done with forgiveness? THANKS Karen for your insight on the TRUTH!

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