• Word Of Life Church

Opportunity in Disguise

—Home Church Sermon— If I were to ask you;

How many opportunities you have had in your life,

what would you say?

My guess is that you would be thinking more about the “Qua­lity” of opportunities rather than the “Quantity” of opportunities.

You might be thinking,

“I’ve not been given many opportunities.”

Or you may be thinking,

“I’ve been given a lot of opportunities”.

It seems that people have a tendency to go either

positive or negative in their answer to the question

about opportunities. 

On the POSITIVE side, the answer to the question

“How many opportunities that you have had in

your life: might sound something like:

(These come from a “I’m blessed”, “Positive” perspective)

“More opportunities than I deserve.”

“God has given me too many good opportunities

to even count.”

On the NEGATIVE side, answers might be:

(These come from a “Life-is-not-fair”,

“Negative” perspective)

“Less opportunities than I deserve”

(“I’ve been ripped off”)

“Not as many opportunities as

- fill in a name of anyone that you are jealous of .

(“I deserve more opportunities compared to _____”.)

That is where jealousy comes in.

We are tempted to think that things that

others have; we deserve.

On the NEUTRAL side, one might say:

“I have no idea how many opportunities that I have been given.”

“Only God knows.”

The fact of the matter is that it is impossible to know

how many opportunities that we have been given.

NOT because there are too many to remember or count,

but rather because there are so many that we

did not even realize WERE opportunities.

I wonder how many “Unrecognized Opportunities”

have come our way.

It seems easier to count the “Unrecognized Opportunities”

that others have been oblivious to doesn’t it?

We are all aware of opportunities that we may have missed.

Often it becomes evident when we feel “Regret”.

How many of your feelings today are a result of your

not having taken advantage of a past opportunity?

This is the case with most of our feelings of regret.

A regret is usually a bad feeling that we get when we

realize that things would have gone better in our life

if we had only acted differently when faced with one

or more of our past opportunities. 

Regret is a heavy burden for many people and going

down the road of regret usually does not help

our current situation in life. 

So, let’s start all over.

Let’s start with today.

This is the day that the Lord has made,

“This is the day the Lord has made;

 let us rejoice today and be glad.

-Psalm 118:24

Today is not just another day.

It is a day with “New Opportunities”.

We are all faced with “Opportunities”,

But many times, they are disguised as

“Impossible Situations”.

How we respond to them will make all the difference in our lives.

The Pessimist

Sees the “Difficulty” in every “Opportunity”.

The Optimist

Sees the “Opportunity” in every “Difficulty”.

Do you see the emphasis in these two approaches?

Is your emphasis more on the “Difficulty”,

or

On the “Opportunity”?

Do you see the “Difficulty” as simply a “Difficulty”?

Or do you see it as an “Opportunity” for God to do

something wonderful that you would not have seen

if you simply saw the “Difficulty” part of the thing?

God will always supply us with “Opportunity”.

They are called promises in the Bible.

Don’t let “Difficulties”, blind you to the

“Opportunities” and “Blessings” that God provides you.

When we work hard at seeing “Opportunities” in every “Difficulty”,

than we will be

Making the most of every opportunity"

as the Bible says we should.

Ephesians 5:1,2,15-20

Follow God’s example[Regardless of the difficulties

in your life] therefore, as dearly loved children and

walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and

gave himself up for us [The cross was a “Difficulty”.

But Jesus’ love for us was worth going to the cross.

It was the only “Opportunity” to open up heaven for us]

as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God…

Live as children of light 15 Be very careful,

[Especially seeing “Difficulties” as “Opportunities”.

That is God’s perspective.] then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,

MAKING THE MOST of every OPPORTUNITY

because the days are evil.” 17 Therefore do not be

foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is…

20 always giving thanks to God the Father for

everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Jesus made the most of every “Opportunity” even

though they were filled with varying degrees

of “Difficulty”

Example:

One very great “Difficulty” for many people is

being the bearer of bad news.

“Being Jesus to others” includes the need to do

this from time to time.

Jesus played that difficult role throughout his ministry.

But, playing that difficulty role offered

“Opportunities” for “Blessing” to others.

Look at what Jesus had to say to Peter below.

“Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must

go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands 

of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law,

 and that he must be killed

and on the third day be raised to life.

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.

[Peter is rebuking, firmly scolding and correcting

Jesus for what Peter thought he said that was wrong.]

Never, Lord!” he said.

“This shall never happen to you!”

[Notice that Peter saw the DIFFICULTY of the fact

that Jesus “Must be killed” and didn’t see

the “OPPORTUNITY” that Jesus presented to his disciples

that on the third day “Be raised to life.”]

Jesus turned and said to Peter,

“Get behind me, Satan!

You are a stumbling block to me;

you do not have in mind the concerns of God,

[You are not thinking Godly]

but merely human concerns.”

-Matthew 16:21-23

Difficulties can be either:

“Stumbling Blocks”

or

“Stepping Stones”

It is up to you, which role the difficulties will play.

It’s up to you, how you will respond.

It’s up to you, what you will do.

For that “part inside all of us” that wants something,

but doesn’t feel the strength or faith to act upon it,

there is good news…. God will help us.

“It is God who works in you to will [To “want to”]

and to act [To follow through]

in order to fulfill his good purpose.

-Philippians 2:13

Please take him up on it.

Please ask God to help you with the “Want to”

part as well as the “Follow through” part.

We all need to because Jesus said;

“The spirit is willing, [Wanting]

but the flesh is weak.”

-Matthew 26:41

[That means that the Godly part of us may be

willing and wanting to do many things,

But, the sinful part of us may “Not Want”.

Are you acting on the “Dying” parts of life rather than

the “On-the-third-day-be-raised-to-life” parts of life

that Jesus focused on with his disciples

in the verse above?

“Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must

go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands

of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the

law, and that he must be killed [The “dying” part]

and on the third day be raised to life.

[The “On-the-third-day-be-raised-to-life” part]

-Matthew 26:21

Let’s all be aware of our sinful tendency to look at the

“Difficulty” part of things, rather than

the “Opportunity” part of it.

God turns the “Difficulty” into “Opportunity” for

him to be him.

Let God “Be God” and trust him in all things.

Let’s not act thoughtlessly.

Let’s not act negatively.

Let’s not act unappreciatively.

God wants us to view EVERYTHING

as an “Opportunity” and a “Blessing”, because

he is only about “Blessing” us.

Welcome those blessings.

Welcome those “Opportunities”.

Welcome those “Difficulties”, because

they are “Opportunities in Disguise.”

Don’t ever make excuses not to.

“Excuses” will always be there,

but “Opportunity” may not.

Let’s not miss any “Opportunity”

that God sets before us.

Remember my devotion last Wednesday which talked

about Walt Disney and how Art Linkletter

missed the opportunity to cash-in on the surrounding land

to “Disneyland” before it was built.

God’s grace and promises for your life, outshines,

out-thrills and out-fulfills anything that

Disneyland has to offer.

Prayer:

Lord, I thank you that you are a God of opportunities.

While it is true that some opportunities come and go,

those that are tied to your promises never do.

They are always there for me, even when I have not

taken them in the past.

Help me to have the strength to overcome any fear

that might tempt me not to respond properly

to my opportunities.

Help me to properly recognize them.

Help me to have faith to live your way

and not mine.

And forgive me when I have not.

In Jesus’ name.

Amen!

 Pastor Dave


Word of Life Church

17525 W. Bell Rd.

Surprise, AZ 85374

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Word Of Life
   Church & preSchool

623-544-3000

wolchurch@wordoflifeaz.org

17525 W Bell Road

Surprise, AZ 85374

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