"Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days."
- Ephesians 5:16 NLT
In living my life for God, and trying to be sensitive to opportunities for ministry, I've noticed that the Lord can use almost anything to draw people to Him. For instance, let's take the subject of pets. I know a lady who never gave God much thought, until her beloved dog got very sick. She knows that I am a woman of faith, so when she gave me some signs that she was open to hearing about prayer, I told her that her pet was a gift from a loving God, and that she could pray for his welfare. It hurt my heart to see how stunned she was to hear that we had the kind of God who cared about our every concern. No one ever told her that the Lord wanted an intensely personal and intimate relationship with her. I ministered as much truth to her as I sensed she was able to handle at the time, and I told her that I would pray for her and her beloved pet. When her dog made a miraculous recovery, and even lived two more years, she was "hooked" on the things of God, and she has been a great woman of faith ever since.
I've learned that the Lord can also use pets to draw believers into a deeper walk with Him. When a lady that I met over the internet through my ministry contacted me about her ailing pet bird, I gave her a promise from God for her to stand on. Psalm 36:6,7 (NLT) says: "You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is Your unfailing love, O God!" I told this dear lady to use this Scripture as a declaration of faith and praise, every time she was tempted to worry about her sick bird. Though her precious pet had been near death, he made a miraculous recovery that created in this woman a deeper faith in God and His promises than ever before.
The Bible says: "Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days." (Ephesians 5:16 NLT) When we walk in close fellowship with the Lord on a moment-by-moment basis, He will put people in our paths who are receptive to hearing about Him. God desires that we be sensitive to these opportunities, and that we make the most of them. Often, we will sense that someone we know is feeling desperate and alone, because of some trouble or turmoil in their lives. Their needs may seem trivial in our sight, or they may seem the size of a mountain. In either case, we should whisper a silent prayer, and ask the Lord how we can minister to them in their time of need. He knows what they need to hear, and He will give us "the right words at the right time," if we make ourselves available to Him. (Matthew 10:19 NLT) The Message Bible translation of Ephesians 5:16 says: "Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!" We can't afford to have the attitude that we have plenty of time to minister to those around us. Satan is working relentlessly to keep people away from God, and we must not pass up even the smallest of opportunities that the Lord brings our way.
When someone asks you to pray for their pet, or anything else that seems unimportant to you, remember what the Word of God says: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything." (Philippians 4:6 NLT) Meet that person right where they are at the time--at the point of their greatest need. The Lord is giving you a chance to show others what a caring and personal God we have. Don't waste that opportunity, but seize it with all your heart. Then watch the Lord use you to touch and change lives for all eternity!
Prayer: Lord, thank You for saving me and making me an Ambassador for Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:20) Give me eyes of faith and a tender heart, so that I may always be sensitive to opportunities to minister Your love and truth. Thank You that as I make the most of every opportunity You bring before me, You will bless me, use me, and promote me in extraordinary ways!
- J. M. Farro