"Be very careful, then, how you live-- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15-16
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” Hebrews 3:15
God gave you a gift this morning—a new day in which to serve Him. This day already has been filled with opportunities for you to worship Him, pray to Him, serve His people in some way. Time is utterly precious, and I want to urge you to make the most of it. How? The following are some basic ideas:
1) Have a quiet time:
Seek the Lord in prayer, fill your heart with His words, worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. This time, double the time you usually spend doing each of these things. Try waiting on God and listening to Him after you ask Him for wisdom, guidance, ideas for ministry, or conviction of sin. Say to Him, “Lord, please reveal to me some area of my life that is not pleasing to you.” Then be quiet and listen. Or say, “Lord, show me some way I can serve you today… something I haven’t done before.” Then be quiet and listen.
2) Reconcile with an estranged friend:
Perhaps there’s a relationship—friend, church member, relative, co-worker—that is not what it should be. Perhaps some words were spoken, some things were done that were not loving. Maybe you were the one sinned against, maybe it was the other way around. It really doesn’t matter, because Matthew 5 and Matthew 18 have it covered from both ends. You be the initiator, and reconcile today. Or perhaps there has been no sin, just that time and distance have caused a friend to drift out of your life. Pick up the phone and call—encourage them and tell them you miss their friendship.
3) Witness to someone today:
Begin by asking God to make you alert to opportunities to share your faith. Then keep your eyes open to someone that may be in need. Maybe you’ll be at a grocery store and see someone needing help unloading their groceries. While you’re doing it, invite them to church or ask if they know the Lord. Get a tract that you can give to someone if you only have a few seconds. Take a faith step today!
4) Encourage someone in Christian ministry:
Perhaps you know a missionary serving the Lord on the field. Take thirty minutes and write a very encouraging letter. Think how you would feel if you were in Asia or Africa somewhere, and you received a letter. What would make you smile? What would build you up and make your arms strong for the work of Christ? Perhaps you might want to go further and put together a “Care Package” with delicious treats, interesting books/magazines, small gifts of love. Or maybe it would be someone in your church—a Sunday school teacher or church worker or staff minister. Or maybe someone in another church that you know personally—a pastor who is getting discouraged in ministry.
5) Support a ministry financially:
Calculate how much you spent the last time you went out to eat or bought something for entertainment. Double that amount (or more) and give it to a Christian ministry that is seeking to advance the Kingdom of God. Put the stamp on it today and get it in the mail.
6) Help the poor and needy:
Make a dessert or a meal and drive it to the nearest homeless shelter. Purposely drive to where someone is begging and give them a bag of groceries that they can eat without needing a kitchen. Make sure there’s a gospel tract inside, and that you look for a chance to witness to them when you give it.
7) Sing praise songs to the Lord:
Make a list of your five favorite hymns or choruses and write them on a 3x5 card. Sing them in a rotation as you have opportunity throughout the day.
8) Thank the Lord while driving:
If you have a drive today for an errand or commute, spend one full session behind the wheel doing nothing but thanking God for the many blessings He’s lavished on you. Speak them out loud, and reach to as many categories in your life as you can: spiritual blessings, family blessings, church blessings, material blessings, national blessings, etc.
9) Memorize Scripture:
Choose three favorite verses and memorize them today. Read each of them ten times, and then say each of them ten times. Say them again tomorrow. Perhaps writing them on a 3x5 card will help.
10) Intercede for Your Church:
Pray for fifteen minutes at the end of the day for your church. Pray for the ministry of the word. Pray for people to be saved and baptized. Pray for families to have their family worship times. Pray for genuine church unity in the word. Pray for financial faith-filled sacrifices to be made. Pray for people to use their spiritual gifts.
Make the most of today. Don’t let a moment be wasted!