"Lost and Found: A Lost Opportunity"

There are an amazing number of times when I’m reminded that God is much, much smarter than me--and that He plans things on a much deeper and much better level than I do.

Take this week, for instance.  See, I threw myself into preparing to be out of the office on a personal retreat over the next week, and I tried to be on top of every detail that I could.  But somehow, I never actually put my notes for Sunday School onto my work computer... meaning that I got to Sunday School this week and had nothing to teach to the class... meaning that we were forced to “wing” it and do something of an interactive overview of what we’ve been learning about the Holy Spirit.  As the discussion proceeded, it became very clear that God was pointing out to people that the core of what we’ve been learning is that He’s actively, tangibly involved in every part of our lives, and that there’s nothing “mundane” or “purely physical” or “purely temporal” that God’s Holy Spirit isn’t interested in--into every moment, every day, every interaction, we’re bringing the very presence of God with us, an embassy of the Holy Spirit.

Funny thing is, Randy was doing announcements at the beginning of the worship service, and he suddenly recalled that doing that requires sharing an invocational prayer.  So he trotted over to the library copy of our Book of Worship and found himself drawn to the first invocational prayer in the book... which happened to be about how every moment of our lives is an opportunity to live out the Holy Spirit’s power.

And Mark had already independently decided to close our service out with a hymn that prayed, “May the mind of Christ, my Saviour, live in my from day to day... May the Word of God dwell richly in my heart from hour to hour... May the peace of God, my Father, rule my life in everything... May His beauty rest upon me as I seek the lost to win.” 

All three of us independently felt led to express the theme that this life is a constant opportunity to be continually--in every moment--consciously letting God’s Spirit move in us and direct us so that we can be ambassadors of His Kingdom to this lost and broken world... which, ironically, was not what I was originally going to teach about in Sunday School, but was what I was going to preach about in the message this week.

Jesus gave one last parable to the Pharisees in His teachings in Luke 15-16 about “Lost Things”--a lost sheep, a lost coin, a lost son, a lost job, and now a lost opportunity.  After both had died, neither the rich man nor Lazarus the beggar had the opportunity to make life choices about God’s Kingdom.  We’re given only one chance in this lifetime to make those sorts of decisions--decisions to accept Christ or decisions to share Christ (both of which are ultimately decisions to follow Christ).  Once we die, the chance to change our lives to honor God is a closed question.  We can’t beg, “Let me do that over again!  Give me another chance to do it right!” because that opportunity is now lost.

But even though we only have one life, one chance to do things right, we nonetheless have that opportunity in every minute of every day in this life.  Every moment is an opportunity to reach out to the lost, to encourage a brother, or to teach a sister.  Whether we choose to invest our moments, our words, our resources, etc., for the Kingdom or for this world is up to us.

So choose this day--and every day--whom you will serve. 

Choose this day--and every day--where you will invest yourself, and where you’re expecting your dividends.

Jesus Christ calls us to live for the Kingdom today... and to make that conscious decision every day...