Everyone loves the weekends. There is something about knowing that you get to sleep in on Saturday (hopefully) and have two days free of work. I used to love getting up and watching Saturday morning cartoons with a big bowl of cereal. Now for those with kids or housework, I understand the plight that there is no such thing as a weekend. Nonetheless, we all love the weekend. If you are reading this, and went to that dark pessimistic place in your heart and are refusing to come out, try to remember a time when weekends were amazing. Take a second to think about how this weekend will start. Most of us have tasks we need to complete such as yard work, shopping, or simply just spending time with family. When you are making your plan for the day, how often do you think of the opportunity you have every weekend at church?
While Paul was wrapping up his letter to the church in Corinth, he wrote them his “weekend plans.” “I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (I Corinthians 16:5-9). As much as Paul wanted to see the people of Corinth, he tells them that he has an amazing opportunity in Ephesus.
In life when we are blessed with any amazing opportunity, we run into adversity. What do you tend to focus on? Many times in life, I know I focus on all the adversity I see rather than the opportunity I am given. This takes an entire shift in how we view our lives. I wonder if Paul was looking at the advertising in Ephesus, or if he was looking at the opportunity. How did Paul get to this place in life? Paul could have gone to live with the people he knew in Corinth, help that church get some things right, get ready for another journey (which we should all be eager to go on journeys for God), but instead, he stayed in a city that he knew he would run into adversity. He knew he would face people who hated him. Paul did not see the negative, the painful, the awkward, and the struggle in the situation; he saw the opportunity.
Now back to this weekend. What opportunity has God placed in front of you that you have not seized? For many it is getting to church consistently. Let’s face it you may have randomly opened your email and saw this devotional. Some of you have the great opportunity to get involved serving. Satan loves to make sure there is always some sort of adversity in the way to keep God’s people from serving as Jesus served. Yes, serving takes time, energy, and sometimes-even money. However, are you letting those adversities get in the way of you seeing how God can use you? Now for the coup da grace that most of us struggle with…. inviting someone to church. Inviting someone to church can become present numerous adversities. Those difficulties can range from your own fears and self-consciousness to issues with the person you are trying to invite. No wonder these things pop up, the enemy does not want us, or that person, to get closer to God. So this weekend, take a moment to think of that person whom you know God wants you to bring to church. It can be hard, it can be awkward, but think of the opportunity.