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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Learning To Seize the Moment and Fulfill A Purpose

In review of Ephesians 5:15-16 it says, “Be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good.”

Bottom Line:
Think about how you live, be thoughtful and not foolish. Understand what God would want you to do and make the most of opportunities that come your way.

What this means to me:
I’m encouraged to be careful in how I live, not foolish, but wise. I am to make the most of every opportunity that I’m presented with.  I am to not act thoughtlessly, but to really understand what the Lord wants me to.

Today's verse comes from the middle of Chapter 5 in Ephesians. It follows a passage about living in the light, in which Paul encourages us to imitate God in all we do, living a life filled with love by the Spirit's power.

Paul encourages me to be careful in how I live, not like a fool, but rather wisely. I am to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way.  He then goes onto to remind me not to act thoughtlessly, but to really understand what the Lord wants me to. He concludes with the recommendation that I give thanks to God for everything.

This reminds me recently of an older message series I have been listening to on “Living a Purpose Driven Life.”  There is a strong point made that I should be living my life for the purpose that God made me for.  It’s important to realize how he’s gifted me and to use it fulfill the unique purpose He gave me.  Part of this is the dream he has implanted in me.  The question is “What am I doing with this dream?”

Sadly most dreams never come true. It’s likely that its not from being smart enough, outgoing enough, or spiritual enough. Usually, a dream won’t come true because of an unwillingness to take the necessary risks to reach it.

I’m reminded of a sad one-sentence commentary about a king who failed to achieve an important ambition in his life: “[King] Jehoshaphat built a fleet of trading ships to go to Ophir for gold, but they never set sail — they were wrecked at Ezion Geber” (1 Kings 22:48 NIV).

While it’s a tragedy for your ship to never come in in life, it’s a greater tragedy for me to build a ship and never set sail. Imagine the energy and expense expended by King Jehoshaphat. He built an entire fleet of ships to go after the gold, and not one of them set sail. They never got out of the harbor. Evidently a storm came up and, while these ships were in the harbor, they slammed against the rocks and were destroyed.

I think a lot of people spend their whole lives waiting for their ship to come. But what I’m realizing is that God isn’t waiting for my ship to come in. He’s waiting for me to sail it out of the harbor.

What I’m learning is that the Bible’s antidote to that kind of tragic procrastination is as simple as an overdone catchphrase, one that is difficult to apply at times: “Just do it.” Today’s verse reminds me to, “Be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good” (Ephesians 5:15-16 TLB).

I’m urged to seize the moment and act now. To live a life with unfulfilled dream / purpose would be a tragedy. Ships aren’t made for the harbor. They’re made to set sail.    

In the next few days I’ll be considering more what purpose God had created me to do. It’s built around how he made me, my passions and the talents his given me. He wants to use me in a way that only I can fulfill. I just need to identify it, understand what God’s will is and act wisely toward accomplishing it.

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