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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Seizing Opportunities

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders;
Make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation
be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may
know how to answer everyone
Colossians 4:5-6

In his autobiography, Just As I Am, Billy Graham tells of a conversation with John F. Kennedy. The President asked if Graham believed in the second coming of Jesus. Reverend Graham said he did and proceeded to tell him a little about the first and second coming of Christ. Before leaving, President Kennedy remarked that he would like to talk more about that some day.

Years later, the two men met at the 1963 National Day of Prayer Breakfast. Afterward, they walked to Kennedy’s car. President Kennedy opened the door, paused, and asked, “Billy, could you ride back to the White House with me? I’d like to see you for a minute.” However, Reverend Graham had the flu. It was a cold, snowy day, and so he told the President, “Could we wait and talk some other time.” The two would never meet again. President Kennedy was assassinated later that year. Graham states, “His hesitation at the car door and his request haunt me still. What was on his mind? Should I have gone with him? It was an irrecoverable moment.”

All of us can look back to a time when we missed an opportunity. Sadly, some opportunities come only once; which is why God encourages us to make the most of every opportunity (Colossians 4:6). Every conversation we have is an opportunity to speak God’s truth.

How do you view your conversations with others? Do you see them as opportunities to focus on yourself? Are your words centered upon your own feelings, thoughts and desires? Or do you see conversations as opportunities to listen to others and minister to them? How often do you allow God to use your conversations for His eternal work?

Opportunities to use our words for good will come. Will you watch those opportunities slip away, or will you seize them? Instead of waiting for an opportunity to just appear, why not create one? Plan to have lunch with that person who needs to know Jesus. Call that friend who has experienced difficulty. 

Lord, help me purpose today to use my words for good.

Jan Burkhart

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