Golden Opportunities

Introduction:

We are entitling this sermon as:  “Golden Opportunities.”  Just as gold is a valuable and precious metal from which our monetary system is based; just so, many things are referred to as being “golden.”  When used in this manner it has reference to that which is excellent, of great value, and very precious.  The term “opportunities” indicates the right time and circumstances favorable to achieve worthwhile endeavors.  Thus, “Golden Opportunities” pertains to worthwhile endeavors every faithful child of God should pursue. 

Someone has said, “There are three things that will not come back:  (1) a spent arrow; (2) a word hastily spoken, and (3) a lost opportunity.”  Also, there is an old proverb that states:  “Opportunity only knocks once!”  This may be true about some things, but not necessarily all opportunities.  However, it is a fact that specific opportunities are not always available.  The Apostle Paul, in writing to the churches of Christ in the providence of Galatia, states:  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).  That passage declared:  As we have therefore opportunity.”  That statement implies we do not always have specific opportunities. 

You would surely agree that we, as individuals and collectively as a congregation, have neglected worthwhile opportunities.  For example:  in our secular life, we may have failed to invest in a profitable business opportunity, or in applying for a good job of employment.  As Christians, we may have neglected the opportunity to discuss the way of salvation to the lost.   

We should look upon life itself as the greatest opportunity.  The wise man Solomon declared:  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God, and keep his commandments:  for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Eccl. 12:13-14). Let us impress upon our minds the importance of seeing and seizing the many opportunities that come our way.  In the inspired words of the Apostle Paul:  Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16).  In other words, let us not waste time seizing our opportunities. 

Discussion:

What are some of our daily opportunities? 

I.                   EVERY DAY OF OUR LIFE WE HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO BE A BLESSING TO SOMEONE IN NEED

Gal. 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” 

A.         This admonition would cover a broad range of services we might render.

1.       There is always a brother or sister, or a fellow human who needs encouragement. 

2.       And giving encouragement to one who is disheartened is as needful as reproving the disorderly. 

1 Thess. 5:14-15, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.  See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.” 

B.         It would be wonderful if you and I were as quick to edify and commend as we might be to criticize and condemn.

1.       We should not wait until someone dies to express how we feel about them.

2.       Let us give them roses while they live!

3.       This would apply to all those who have meant something to our lives.  These include:  our parents, elders in the church, former teachers (this would include those in public schools and our Bible class teachers), and faithful gospel preachers.  Others would include friends who have helped us to take courage and to make right choices in life.

4.       We should realize that we are indebted to many, many for their kindness and assistance.

5.       So, don’t wait until they die—express your appreciation unto them while they are still living.

6.       There are opportunities on every hand to reach out and extend a     helping hand, or to show sincere interest in those struggling under a heavy load. 

C.   We are living in a frustrated, problem-laden world.

1.      There are opportunities on every hand to reach out and extend a helping hand, or to show sincere interest in those struggling under a heavy load.

2.      One of the greatest gifts you will ever be able to give in this life is understanding or moral support. To one who may be carrying a heavy load, or struggling with some difficult problem. 

II.                EACH DAY ALSO BRINGS US OPPORTUNITY TO PRAY

1 Thess. 5:17-18, “Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks:  for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 

A.         The moments we spend in prayer are the best moments of our day.

1.       God deserves our hearty praise and thanksgiving, and we need His wisdom to make right decisions and His help to carry out our duties and responsibilities.  

B.         This admonition to pray is needful and worthwhile in a host of ways.

1.       The Apostle Paul emphasizes the following at: 

1 Tim. 2:1-4, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of truth. 

2.       We should also pray for missionaries and write them letters of encouragement.

3.       We should pray for the sick—that if it be in keeping with God’s Will, their days be lengthened and their health restored.

4.       We should pray that doors of opportunity be opened for us to teach lost souls the Will of our Lord. 

III.             EVERY DAY THAT WE LIVE WE HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK OUT SOME WANDERER AND BRING HIM (OR HER) BACK INTO THE FOLD OF GOD

Gal. 6:1-2, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” 

1 Tim. 2:23-26, “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him as his will.” 

A.         To reach out unto the erring and unfaithful brethren is a much needed work in which every faithful Christian should be involved in.

1.       Often discouraging, it can also sometimes prove one of the most rewarding and challenging noble works in which we can be involved.

2.       There are dozens, yea hundreds, who once walked in the way of Christ, but who have let the influence of the world turn them aside. 

1 John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof:  but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 

3.       Do we care enough to win them back and thereby:  …save a soul from death and hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20)? 

B.         Ask the elders of the church, or the preacher for a list of those who have become unfaithful and out of duty. 

IV.              THERE IS ALWAYS THE TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH THE WAY OF SALVATION TO THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER HEARD OR OBEYED THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.

A.         Every day we have opportunity to “sow the seed of the kingdom.

1.       Some of it will fall by the wayside; some into rocky or thistle infested soil.

2.       But some of it will surely fall into “good ground” – good and honest hearts, and bring forth fruit of obedience & salvation. 

B.         Are you constantly looking for opportunities to sow the seed, the pure word, in the hearts of men and women; boys and girls?

1.       This is the greatest work in all the world and one to which every Christian can be engaged.

2.       Even if you have been a Christian for just a short time; you can use: Bible filmstrips, printed messages, and ask more experienced Christians to assist you in teaching others the gospel of Christ. 

C.         Remember the Words of Jesus at: 

Matt. 16:26, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” 

1.       Do we really believe these words?

2.      Have we applied them to our own life?

3.      If so, then surely we will have love and concern for others as well as ourselves.                                                   

Conclusion: 

  1. These are just a few of the multitude of opportunities that come our way daily.
  2. I pray these things may serve to remind us of the importance of making the most of  every opportunity which comes our way.  This will enable us to “redeem the time” and use each day to God’s glory.
  3. If you have departed from the Lord, we implore you to return to your first love
  4. If you have never obeyed the gospel of Christ, we encourage you to repent of your sins, confess trusting faith in Christ, and be baptized into Him without delaying another day.
  5. If you are subject to the Lord’s invitation then we urge you to come right now!

--Dub Mowery

(A sermon borrowed and enlarged)

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