Taking Advantage Of
God Given Opportunities
SUBJECT: Taking Advantage of God Given Opportunities
SERMON TEXT: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but
as wise, making the most of your times, because the days are evil” (Ephesians
SERMON PROPOSITION: We must make plans for our lives.
SERMON OBJECTIVE: To show the congregation how to buy up for themselves
opportune time in the midst of evil days.
the most of your time.” (NASB)
the time.” (KJV)
the most of the time.” (RSV)
“Use the opportunity to the full.” (NLB)
The word used for time in this verse is not “chronos” time as such, but
“kairos,” “time as regarded in its strategic epoch-making, seasonable,
opportune seasons,” according to one definition. For example, the tree
bears fruit, in contrast to late autumn, when there is no more opportunity
for the tree to bear fruit. As this example concerning time relates to
our lives, it is a challenge to each of us to take advantage of every
opportunity that comes our way before it is too late.
Therefore, based on Paul’s teaching about time, THERE ARE THREE DECISSIONS
WE MUST MAKE ABOUT THE USE OF TIME EACH DAY. Hopefully these will be helpful
for each of us. The first decision we must make concerning time is this…
I. TODAY I WILL GROW SPIRITUALLY – This is a biblically based decision.
Peter writes, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Someone had said, “Either we are growing
in grace or we are groaning in disgrace.” If we do not make a decision
every day to grow spiritually, we will not grow. The reason we will not
grow is that the devil has an agenda for our life. In Ephesians 4:27,
Paul said, “And do not give the devil an opportunity.” We give him an
opportunity when we fail to grow spiritually. The truth of the matter
is – WE MUST MAKE PLANS FOR OUR LIVES.
Have you ever heard someone say, in response to question like this, “What
are you doing?” “Oh, I am just wasting time!” or “I am just killing time!”
It is a tragedy to spend time to kill time. Time spent and time killed
can never be reclaimed. We can never get it back. Like the sand in the
hourglass, when it is gone – it is gone! A dying queen was once quoted
to have said, “Time I have wasted and now time doeth waste me.” You see,
my friends, we must make a decision every day to grow spiritually, or
that valuable time wasted when we could have been growing will be lost
forever. Why is that so?
A. OPPOSITION TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH – The greatest opposition to our spiritual
growth is EVIL. Our text reads, “Making the most of your time, because
the days are evil.” Spiritual growth does not come automatically. If fact,
evil is in direct opposition to spiritual growth. The Greek word for evil
as it is used here is not “kakos” evil in the abstract. But rather, “poneros”
evil in active opposition to the good. Evil is in active opposition to
your spiritual growth.
In Ephesians 5:3, Paul describes some of the forms that evil may take
against us. He lists them as immortality, impurity, and greed. These are
joy stealers and growth killers. According to Paul, they must not “even
be named among us.” (Eph. 5:3).
B. OFFSETTING THESE EVILS – How do we offset these evils? Paul gives sound
advice. He writes, “…be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk
in love…” (vvs. 1,2). “Walk in love” is to order your behavior “in the
sphere of love.” Remember Paul said in our text, “Be careful how you walk.”
In other words, we are to conduct ourselves as accurately as we can in
accordance to the demands and to the commands of God’s word.
He goes on to say, “… do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even
be named among you, as is proper among saints.” (v. 3). Then in verse
four he says, “Let no one deceive you with empty words.” In verse eight,
he says, “Walk as children of light.” Finally in verse eleven, he says,
“…do not participate in the unfruitful deed of darkness…”
Pointing back to everything he has just said in verse fifteen, he writes,
“Therefore” or “See” (blepo), which means: “To discern mentally, observe,
perceive, consider, contemplate, look in the sense of taking care, take
heed.” “…be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making
the most of your time because the days are evil.” In addition to putting
on the whole armor of God each day, according to Ephesians 6:10-18, this
is our best defense against evil.
“…On the eve of the greatest moment in the nation’s history.” According
to Dr. Stanley, “Joshua struggled with feelings of fear.” But God encouraged
his heart with these words: “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble
or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua
1:0). Let us be encouraged by God’s wonderful strategy for spiritual growth.
The second decision we must make about the use of our time each day builds
on the first decision, which is…
II. I WILL NOT REST CONTENT WITHOUT THE BLESSINGS OF GOD ON MY LIFE –
Why settle for the world’s best when we can be recipients of God’s wonderful
blessings. Back in chapter one of Ephesians, Paul begins his Trinitarian
blessing with these words…
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed
us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians
The verse contains tremendous promises for every person who has put their
faith in Christ. One writer said “When we bless God, we praise Him, speak
well of Him. When He blesses us, it is not that He speaks us good, but
He does us good.” Making the best use of our time, I believe, is synoymous
with receiving God’s promised blessings. My friends, we do not have to
live another moment without the blessings of God upon our lives. The Bible
“We have not because we ask not.” The Bible also says, “Ask and it shall
be given to you, seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened
to you” (Matthew 7:7).
Since God has already “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the
heavenly places in Christ,” Why not lay claim to them by doing that which
is pleasing in His sight. A part of spiritual growth, according to Paul,
is “trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Eph. 5:10). Want to
please God and become a recipient of His wonderful blessings? Then give!
The Bible says…
“Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken
together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard
of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38).
We should be as determined as Jacob was not to rest content without the
blessings of God on our lives. After wrestling “with a man until daybreak,”
(Gen. 32:24). Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”
Are you and I that determined? Are we not willing to rest content without
the blessings of God on our lives. Time spent “trying to learn what is
pleasing to the Lord,” (v. 10), and, time spent “understanding what the
will of the Lord is” (v. 19), can assure you of God’s blessings on your
There is a third decision we must make about the use of time every day.
III. WHEN I DISCOVER SIN IN MY LIFE I WILL AGGRESSIVELY DEAL WITH IT –
You and I must be determined to seek, by the power of God, to rid ourselves
of any sin that God points out in our lives.
CONCLUSION: Where are you in your spiritual walk: Egypt, the Wilderness,
or Canaan? Discovering where you are, will you decide today to:
Not to rest content without the blessing of God on your life, and
Deal aggressively with any sin in your life that God has pointed out to
DECISION IS YOURS!
“A time of crisis,” as wise Eastern philosophers say, “is also a time
WILL YOU REDEEM THE TIME?