“Be careful how you live — making the most of every opportunity” – Ephesians 5:15
We go to work. We train. We do our thing every day. But do we notice the opportunities right in front of us? Do we really see the needs around us? If we open our eyes, we will see opportunities to make eternal impact.
Jesus told a story about a rich man who missed an opportunity every day. While he was enjoying the blessings of his own life, he failed to notice a man right in front of him. The beggar named Lazarus was feeding on the rich man’s leftovers found in his trash. This poor man endured disease, poverty, and loneliness while he begged for scraps and fought for his faith. The rich man didn't even notice.
One day the rich man found himself on the other side of the grave begging for help. His lack of true faith kept him from enjoying eternal riches, and he finally noticed the poor man. He saw Lazarus enjoying eternal joy while he suffered in a place of torment.
Why didn't the rich man notice Lazarus during his lifetime? What keeps us from seeing the needs around us?
1- He was rich. His problem was not that he possessed money. His money possessed him. He didn't notice the opportunity in front of him, because his identity was wrapped up in his possessions.
2- He was clothed in purple and fine linen. This was not simply the attire of a rich man, but it was also what those in high religious positions wore. He didn't notice the opportunity in front of him, because his religion was not based on inner convictions. It was based on outer reputation.
3- He feasted sumptuously every day. This man did not just eat meals. He threw a party every day. He literally filled up on pleasure. He didn't have the desire to fill the needs of others since he was too busy filling his own desires.
1- Which description reminds you of your own blind spots in seeing the needs of others?
2- Who do you see every day who needs your attention?
3- Pray for eyes to see opportunity. Commit to being open to the needs of those you see every day.
4- Look up James 1:27 & memorize it.