Straight from an Opportunistic Heart
By Lisa Elliott
Making the Most of Every Opportunity
When was the last time you had the opportunity to share the Good News of the Gospel of Christ with someone? To me, there is nothing that compares with the excitement of sharing God’s love and forgiveness with someone, especially someone who doesn’t know Jesus as their personal Saviour and Lord. It is the greatest gift we, as believers, can offer. We simply need to seize the opportunities that lie before us as the Lord opens the door. Colossians 4:2-5 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Maybe you’d say it’s not your spiritual gift. Or perhaps you’re not very good with words. Or maybe you feel you don’t have the answers. Let me encourage you by saying that you have what it takes and you don’t even need to have all the answers! Jesus is the answer. The best tool for witnessing is simply sharing what He has done in your life. And, you never know who’s watching as you live it out. Nor do you know how or when that opportunity will come.
The year that my son, Ben battled leukemia, many were watching. Health professionals including nurses, doctors, personal support workers, therapists, homecare professionals, and anyone who caught a glimpse of my Facebook prayer journal were all given a peek into our lives. Even so, I didn’t know just how closely we were being watched until after Ben was promoted to his heavenly home in heaven. Nor did I expect the opportunities that came my way.
One of his oncology nurses asked if she could come to our home to see where Ben had lived while he was alive. After the house tour, we sat down with a cup of tea and a, knew-it-would-be-necessary, box of Kleenex between us.
After fumbling with her words for a moment, she finally spilled them out and said, “Tell me about your hope.” She had witnessed our yearlong battle firsthand. And, like others, marveled at how our family was still standing. Still, her question startled me.
Thankfully, I had learned the importance of always being prepared to give an answer for the hope I had, found in 1 Peter 3:15-16. But, after sharing how I had put my hope in Jesus and entered into a personal relationship with Him when I was fifteen, it was obvious she wanted more. In this moment, I knew I had to rely upon the Holy Spirit to give me the words, to say. I took into account Matthew 10:19b-20 which says, “Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking.” If there was ever a time to have Him put His words in my mouth, this was it.
“If you had the prescription to cure cancer, would you keep it to yourself?” I asked her.
“Of course not!” was her immediate response.
I then went on to tell her I have the prescription for eternal life, and I would be remiss to keep it to myself and not share it with those who are spiritually dying.
She didn’t make any decision that day to put her hope in Jesus. But, I knew He had given her a lot to think about.
If you are a Christian, you hold heaven’s finest treasure, the prescription for eternal life, right within your own heart (2 Corinthians 4:7). You have the words to say because God’s Word has been planted in your heart (Psalm 119:11). You are the temple of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). You are the aroma of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:15). You are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). The Apostle Paul said, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3). “You are the light of the world… In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
Here are some practical ways to make the most of every opportunity he gives us to shine our light for him:
- Open your eyes to see where God is working and join Him. You never know when or where He’ll show up.
- Open your ears to hear the questions people are searching to find answers for, then point them to the Answer—Jesus.
- Open your hands to serve others in need. There are many practical ways we can be the hands of Jesus: meals, childcare, house cleaning, yardwork, etc.
- Open your home to offer hospitality. Who knows, you may even host an angel! (Hebrews 13:2).
- Open your heart to share what God has done and is doing in your life. And, finally,
- Open your mouth. “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15-16).
What are some of the open doors of opportunity God is encouraging you to explore?
“You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day,
By deeds that you do, by words that you say.
Men read what you write, whether faithless or true,
Say, what is the gospel according to you?”
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple, Dancing in the Rain, and A Ministry Survival Guide. She’s also a writer for Just Between Us Magazine, theStory, and Good Ground. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (three on earth, one in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, ON, Canada.