Summary: Encouragement to recognize and take advantage of opportunities God places in front of us.

Making the Most of Every Opportunity

Ephesians 5:15-16

June 2, 2002


Have you ever walked away from a situation frustrated because you realize you just missed an opportunity?

Maybe it was to make a sale, or make an improvement, or maybe even make a point.

Maybe it was an opportunity to minister to someone you haven’t seen in a while, or to give someone a quick word of encouragement.

Maybe it was an opportunity to learn from someone who had something to contribute to your life, either for your career or family life.

Don’t you just hate that? Especially when you don’t realize it until it’s about 2:30 in the morning when you wake up to get a drink of water or something?

You slap your forehead and go, “What a fool I was to not take advantage of that! Why didn’t I recognize that when I had the chance?”

Today I hope to help you lessen those occurrences a bit, and I want to do that by looking at a small, two-verse passage of Scripture that I think will be very helpful.

I have it printed in your bulletin, so just follow along as I read it aloud.

Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

I want to help you become someone who is able to recognize and take advantage of opportunities when they come your way, no matter what they might be.

In doing that I want to show you three actions to take from this passage of Scripture that will give you a leg up in this area.

Let’s get started, shall we? The first action we need to take in order to make the most of opportunities is to…

I. Be Careful.

How many of you grew up singing the song…

“Be careful little ears what you hear…eyes – see…”

Why do we need to be careful? What’s the big deal?

The issue is the mind. Be careful what goes in your mind, because it’s there forever. You think you’ve forgotten it, and then something triggers the memory, and it’s staring you in the face.

Your brain retains what goes in. You might be able to delete your computer files, but you will never be able to totally delete what has gone into your brain.

Be careful what you read. Be careful what you watch. Be careful who you hang out with. Be careful what you put into your body, because it can effect your mind.

What you put into your mind can dull the brain into missing opportunities or ways to make the most out of them.

To me, this is one of the most convincing arguments against drug and alcohol use.

I know it’s true that there is nothing in Scripture that specifically says, “Thou shalt not use drugs,” and the debate rages about whether or not Jesus turned water into real wine or just grape juice. That’s not an argument I care to get into, so don’t bother coming up to me with your opinion, okay?

Verse 18, right after our key Scripture here does say to not get drunk with wine, but to be filled with the Spirit.

I’m convinced that the issue isn’t having a beer or two, but the fact that drunkenness and drug use cause you to surrender your mind and will.

You simply cannot think clearly when you are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The issue of control is so key. Why choose to give control of your mind over to a chemical or a weed? Does that make a lot of sense? I don’t think so.

I gotta tell you I just laugh when I hear people telling me we should legalize marijuana. They say that they’re not hurting anybody when they’re smoking in their basement, so it’s not a big deal.

Well, let me tell you from the viewpoint of someone who’s been there, that’s a stupid argument.

When you’re stoned, you get very hungry. We called it, “getting the munchies.” What happens if you run out of your food before you run out of hunger? You go out and get some more.

Now you’re either out walking, or worse, driving to get more food. Then you’ve placed lives in jeopardy just as surely as if you were drunk.

When you’re drunk or stoned, you don’t think clearly. You can’t be careful when you surrender your mind to chemicals, folks, it’s just that simple.

God wants us to be clear of mind, filled with God’s Spirit, rather than distilled spirits.

When in doubt about something, don’t. Get advice from godly people before making important decisions.

Be careful in your speech and in your work habits. Consider others before yourself.

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