Ephesians Day 25: Making the Most of Every Opportunity.
“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (5:15-16)
As Christians we’re called to make the most of our opportunities. Paul was writing this at a time of rising persecution for Christians, when the evil of Nero set the tone for the rest of the Roman Empire. Life in the ancient world was difficult enough, but it would have been much harder for early Christians swimming against the tide of their culture.
So I think Paul had in mind opportunities to help others in hard times. Other believers, but also people who do not yet know Jesus. When times are evil other people need our help all the more, and those still living in darkness need to hear the light-bringing message of Jesus.
It’s easy to make a case for the days being evil in our own time, so the parallels are obvious and the applications easy. Persecution is still rampant against Christians in the developing world. Corruption and autocracy are widespread, vicious wars are being fought in places like Yemen and Syria and many nations still struggle with systemic injustice and extreme poverty. Because of this context of great need, we as Christians should be taking every opportunity to do good, to speak up for the downtrodden and to fight against injustice and prejudice.
The spiritual need is great also, with billions of people alive on the planet today who don’t know Jesus. We should take every opportunity we can to reach them with the gospel. The good news is that the opportunities are greater and easier than ever before, thanks to modern technology.
None of this means that each one of us should try and do everything. This is a collective mission, not just an individual one. Each of us needs boundaries and to be able to say no to some things. The alternative is exhaustion and burnout. But most of us are probably in more danger of doing too little than too much. Are we doing enough with our opportunities? Or are we a little bit too comfortable with easy lives focused mainly on our own gain or benefit?
When days are evil we should take every opportunity we can to do good.
To take away: What opportunities do you have to share the good news of Jesus? Ask God for wisdom to know which opportunities to take and how to make the most of them.
This is the 25th post in a 31-day walk through Ephesians. I’d love for you to join me in exploring this amazing book of the Bible for the rest of the month of May. Every day you’ll find a new post with fresh encouragement from God’s word. I hope this series blesses you, and if it does, please share it with others. Thank you.