When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
We have limited time here on earth to do good. How do you maximize your opportunity to do good? First of all, look beyond yourself. In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul wrote, “With humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” My friend Bobb Biehl has a great saying: “Every life exists either to meet a need or to fill a greed.” Your life is either focused on meeting other people’s needs or satisfying your own greed. It cannot be both. If you are going to have a life that is marked by doing good, it begins with looking beyond yourself.
Second, ask God to create opportunities to do good. In Colossians 4:3 Paul prayed “that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ.” Paul was saying, “We are praying that God gives us an opportunity to share the gospel.” Friend, that is a prayer God will always answer. Whenever you pray that God will give you an opportunity to share Christ, or that He will give you an opportunity to do good to others, God is going to answer that prayer–but He may not answer it in the way you think. Opportunities to do good do not always come at the most convenient time. Sometimes opportunities to do good come disguised as interruptions in your schedule. Look at the life of Jesus. In Matthew 9, He was on his way to help somebody else, and a woman who needed healing started tugging at Him. What did He do? He interrupted his schedule to heal her. The Bible says we ought to ask God to create those opportunities for us.
Third, seize the opportunities that God creates for you. How do you know that you should be the one to meet a need? Ask yourself, “Do I have the ability to meet that need? If so, has God opened a door of opportunity for me?” On Paul’s second missionary journey, he wanted to take the gospel to Bithynia. But Acts 16:9-10 says, “A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” God closed the door to Bithynia, but He opened a door to Macedonia. Did Bithynia need to hear the gospel? Yes, but Paul was not the one to meet that need. God had another plan for Paul, and He will do the same for you. Back when I was a youth minister, I got a call from a pastor inviting me to be an executive pastor at his church. My wife Amy and I were excited–we started packing our bags. But a couple of weeks later, the pastor called again. He said, “Robert, there is some real unrest in our church right now. I don’t think it would be fair to bring you into that situation.” I was devastated. It seemed like that was where I was supposed to go. As it turns out, that pastor was gone within a couple of months; had I gone there, it would have been a disaster. But shortly after that, God opened a door of opportunity for me to go to a church in Eastland, Texas. I thought God was leading one way, but He said, “No, here is an opportunity you are to meet.” If you are going to do good, seize the opportunities that God creates for you.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #10: Do The Next Right Thing” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.