When opportunity knocks, open the door. You never know if it will knock again.
Do you recall a missed opportunity you wish would return? In 2000 the Detroit Lions had the opportunity to acquire Tom Brady in the NFL draft. But they opted for Stockar McDougle from Oklahoma. In fact, every NFL team missed Brady because he didn’t get drafted until the 6th round. Missed opportunity!
Apple Computers was started by 3 friends, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. Of the three, Wayne was the oldest and most financially secure. He became concerned that the business debts would fall on him and sold his 10% stake in the company for $800. Today, Apple’s value is over $2 trillion. Today, Wayne’s share would be worth $201 billion. Missed opportunity!
Jesus used 3 illustrations to show the seriousness of spiritual opportunities. Don’t miss these opportunities.
And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninehvites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.…The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. (Luke 11:29-30, 32)
The religious leaders kept asking Jesus for a sign to prove that He was the Messiah. The only sign He promised was ‘the sign of Jonah’ which is His death, burial and resurrection. As Jonah was in the belly of a whale and came out, Jesus would die and rise again. In this passage Jesus isn’t comparing Him to Jonah, He is comparing the religious people to those in Nineveh. Nineveh heard the message of judgment and repented. But the people that heard Jesus didn’t. Jesus is ‘greater than Jonah’ – Jonah didn’t care, Jesus did; Jonah didn’t perform miracles, Jesus did; Jonah didn’t offer repentance, Jesus did. The Ninevites were pagan and didn’t know about God, the Jews did. The Ninevites repented and escaped judgment, the Jews didn’t
Jesus offers anyone an opportunity to repent. Though the wages of sin is death, you can turn from your sin and receive the gift of God – eternal life. Have you repented and turned from your sin and turned to Jesus?
One of the greatest missed spiritual opportunities was experienced by Judas, one of the original followers of Jesus. We know he was not a true follower of Jesus, despite many opportunities. He started following Jesus, was chosen to be an apostle, selected to be the treasurer, involved in many miracles, sat next to Him at the Lord’s Supper, and eventually betrayed Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yet, each opportunity he refused to surrender his life to Jesus. For all eternity, he will remember these missed opportunities. Don’t follow his example.
The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. (Luke 11:31)
The Queen of Sheba (south) heard about Solomon’s wisdom and traveled over 1,200 miles to see if it was true. It was and she said Solomon was twice as wise as she had heard. But Jesus was easily accessible to the people of His generation. There is no indication she was invited, but Jesus continually invited people to hear Him. Solomon was wise, but Jesus is infinitely wiser and greater than Solomon.
Through Jesus we have access to the greatest wisdom document in world history – the Bible. We have more opportunities to learn than any generation in history. Yet, we often neglect these opportunities. May we learn true wisdom in God’s Word that will help us in every aspect of our life.
Egypt has over 4 billion barrels of oil and produces almost 700,000 barrels a day. Do you know how oil was discovered there? One of the directors of the Standard Oil Company remembered the Bible story of Moses as a baby. His mother put him in a basket “daubed with slime and with pitch.” The man reasoned that where there was pitch, there must be oil, and if there was oil in Moses’ time it is probably still there. It was and oil has been produced for decades. If the Bible can give wisdom on where to find oil, just think how it can help you discover peace, joy, and love.
No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. (Luke 11:33-36)
Jesus uses light as a metaphor for truth. Truth has come into the world through the Person of Jesus. Yet, many try to hide that truth. The problem was not lack of light, but lack of sight. The truth was everywhere but they were spiritually blind and refused to see it. Truth needs to be shared.
Those who have received Jesus have an opportunity to share the light we have received. Rather than hide this light in the darkness, let us take the opportunity to shine it. Though some may be blind and refuse to see, there may be some who accept Jesus and it will change them forever.
A 13 year old Mongolian inherited land from his father. Through strategy and fighting, he conquered village after village. Eventually Genghis Khan ruled over 2 million people. His empire stretched from China to India. The bulk of his empire went to his grandson, Kublai Khan. Two Italians in his court named Polo (Father and uncle of Marco) told him about Jesus. Interested, he sent them to request 100 missionaries. “When we learn about Christianity, there will be more Christians in my empire than all Europe.” But they could only get 2 friars and Marco to follow them to the Orient. When the 3 showed up, Kublia asked “Where are the missionaries?” No one was willing to go. Missionaries eventually did go but it was too late. Can you imagine what the if the largest communist nation today would be like if it were the largest Christian nation?” Missed opportunity!
God gives us opportunities every day. Opportunity to change our life. Opportunity to learn wisdom. Opportunity to share the light of the Gospel with others. Many people wait for an opportunity. But opportunity is an invisible thing that if you don’t recognize it -it will pass you by. But sometimes opportunities come to you as opposition. Are you running away from an opposition because you don’t see it as an opportunity? Joseph had his enslavement. David had his Goliath. Daniel had his lion’s den. Opportunities don’t go away; they just go to the next person.
Whatever you are going through, ask yourself…
- What does God want me to turn from?
- What does God want me to learn?
- What does God want me to tell others?