Monday, October 25, 2010

Every Opportunity

When I received the friend request, I knew the name sounded familiar. I repeated the name several times, and it dawned on me. The young lady had been a member of a teen Bible study I had co-taught several years earlier. It was so good to reconnect and find out that she was doing well. Now in high school, she continues to grow in Christ through an outreach on campus.

Knowing that I have the opportunity to impact lives for Jesus Christ is truly humbling. Beginning in my own family, each day offers me the chance to teach the principles of God's Word from ordinary experiences. The words of Moses reiterate this fact, "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up," (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; KJV). Basically, it should be natural to speak of the Lord and His ways. And to speak of Him often. Every time an occasion presents itself, whether to family or a new acquaintance.

Life is full of difficulties. From sibling rivalries to unfair treatment, what better time to introduce the caring, compassionate Savior, who invites us into His presence? "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need," (Hebrews 4:16). No matter what the difficulty, He wants us to leave our burden with Him, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you," (1 Peter 5:7). As prayers are lifted, and answers are received, faith in a mighty God begins to grow.

Good times can also present challenges. There is a delicate balance between enjoying a victory, and becoming prideful in its wake. Being reminded of the One who gave the victory goes a long way in cultivating the right attitude. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights..." (James 1:17a). Reviewing God's many blessings keeps us focused on His goodness, "O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever," (Psalm 107:1).

Numerous opportunities to share Christ's principles present themselves every day. I only need to keep my eyes open for the teachable moments. Each day we get the chance to make a mark on those who are in the sphere of our influence. Are we diligently teaching the ways of the Master? Pointing others to the Truth?

As you consider those on whom you have an impact, pray that the Lord would equip you to make much of Him! May we have the excitement of Peter and John, who boldly proclaimed, "For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard," (Acts 4:20).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the opportunities You give me to influence others for You. Equip me with the ability to share Your principles naturally with those You bring across my path. Help me to keep my eyes open for teachable moments, and to communicate Your ways so others may grow in their faith. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. It is a privilege to influence others for our Heavenly Father, and one I want to do more of. You are inspiring me with this.

  2. I do think about it sometimes, and pray for the Lord to order my steps in this way. You never know if you might be the only example of Jesus someone sees in a day.

  3. Several of us have been "talking" about our roles as Nannas, etc. We pray we can inspire and influence our next generation of little ones through and for HIM!

  4. . . . the only bummer is, is that when you move across the States, you have to say goodbye to all those lovely girls that you mentor. :(

  5. Sometimes I am halfway the day and I realized I didn't even ask the Lord to show me His opportunities for me... I want to be used, I want to be his faithful mouthpiece wherever I go.
    Great post Maria, thanks!

  6. I tend to over analyze instead of just letting God work through me His way. Thanks for this. You definitely ministered to me today.

  7. I needed this today. A young lady at work lost a loved one and is naturally grieving. She shared with me that she had a card reading done last night to help ease her anxiety, and immediately my heart ached. I listened without many words, but it bothered me that I wasn't bold enough to communicate God's desire for her to seek Him.

    Thanks for this post Maria.

  8. And isn't it great that truth can be multiplied in the life of a young person we influence? I know your heart must've been full to hear of your young lady doing so well. You are so right ... teachable moments every day. I'm anticipating one today when I pick up a discouraged daughter from school ... gives me much cause for prayer and being in the Word, so that there's something to draw from when the moments come.

  9. Terra - Thanks for coming by! These lessons have been challenges in my life as well - ones I'm learning day by day as I submit to the will of the Father! Have a blessed week! :)

    Karen - Oh, how right you are! I'm ashamed to say that sometimes my judgmental attitude rears its ugly head and instead of being the Christ-like example I need to be, I don't try to affect others for Him at all. It's good to know that when I'm in tune with the Master, He shows me the opportunities He has for me! God bless!

    Diana - What a blessing to be a grandparent! And what a responsibility!! I know your prayer will be answered (we can inspire and influence our next generation of little ones through and for HIM), because that's His will! Take a look at 1 John 5:14-15! Have a blessed week! :)

    Glenda - So good to see you! You're right about change - but I'm so glad for technology in this day and age, that allows us to stay in contact!! Have a beautiful week! God bless!

  10. Maria, this post is wonderful. There are so many folks that cross our path that need to hear of the Savior's love for them. Thanks for this gentle reminder.

    I know this young lady was blessed for having been touched by you. And You had to feel so good as you realized what an influence you have been to this young person.

    There is a blog of a young lady from India that I follow. She did a post on her hindu god and I know a lot of Christian writers who follow her that did not comment on her post. I did. I told her of Jesus. I told her that the God I worship is the one true God. Well, I was attacked. I went back twice, I think, to answer the attacks. But then I stopped. These folks were just being mean. Americans were being abusive with their words. But I still felt good, knowing that I spoke up. And will again. And again. I know a lot of young that have drifted away from God. It's the times we're living in.

  11. Marja - Thanks for your honesty! Isn't it easy to get caught up in our own agenda, to the exclusion of His?! Not that activities/tasks on our agenda aren't important,but it is a huge mistake to leave God out of our daily plans!! I know you're looking for those opportunities He's giving you this week, my friend!! :)

    Lynn - Hoping your week is going well! It's nice to know that the Lord doesn't ask us to do anything He doesn't equip us to do! It IS easy to over-analyze. It's comforting to know that all we have to do is follow His lead! Hugs & Blessings!

    Tamika - Glad to see you! Boldness is something I struggle with as well. When our heart's desire is to share Him with others,I know the Lord can and will give us that boldness, when we ask Him for it! Praying with you for your co-worker, that God would give you more opportunities to point her to Him. I can't help but know that this prayer will be answered, since it's God's will that all come to know Him! Have a wonderful week, and please keep me posted! :)

    Julie - Thanks for sharing your heart! Being properly equipped for those 'teachable moments' through prayer and Bible study is crucial! Praying for you and your daughter as you take advantage of the opportunities the Lord allows! Hugs and blessings! :)

  12. Hi Maria,
    Enjoyed your thought provoking post. This is a lessson I have had to learn the hard way!! I was so caught up with work and my own agenda and the Lord had to get my attention and it was painful! I am thankful however!
    Thank you for your encouragement and thought provoking posts.

  13. Hi Maria,
    Thanks for your beautiful post. I bumped into a special lady who was in a Bible Study group I lead 12 years ago. It was a thrill to meet up with her again (lots of squeals) and even better to know we will be in the same Bible Study group once more for a little while. Sometimes God allows us to re-connect with people from our past to remind us how much he values relationships. If they give us so much pleasure, imagine how much HE loves to be in relationship with us?
    Blessings to you dear one,
    Dotti :)

  14. Robyn - Thank you for sharing! You did the right thing! I'm sure the Lord will continue to use the words you wrote to draw this precious lady to Himself. I know the Bible is clear that when we live godly, we'll suffer persecution. There is a reward laid up for you in heaven, my sister!! Continue to be bold for our Savior, knowing that His Holy Spirit will continue to draw people to Himself! God bless you richly!! Have a beautiful weekend, Robyn!! :)