In Acts 20, we see a busy Paul gathering the disciples together, encouraging them once more, then beginning his travels again. He went through Macedonia, “encouraging believers wherever he found them, and came to Greece.” A group of believers gathered to share freshly baked bread and the conversation buzzed in the crowded upstairs room. “Paul carried on an extended dialogue with the believers, taking advantage of every moment…” (Acts 20:8a VOICE)
Paul was living out what he would later instruct in Ephesians 5:16, to “make the most of every opportunity.” And he makes me feel lazy and selfish. I want to pop my earbuds in instead of talking to the person next to me on the plane or bus. I want to look at my phone instead of watching my son’s soccer game. I want to sit in church instead of serving on the worship team. I don’t make the most of every opportunity. But I want to.
For me, this begins by heeding Brother Lawrence’s instruction to increase my awareness of the presence of God in every day, moment and activity. When I am aware of God’s Spirit, I listen to the Spirit more, react, and engage more with those around me. The other day I was at a restaurant for lunch and just wanted to get my food and go. But when I increased my awareness of the Holy Spirit, I was prompted to engage my server, and learned that he was from Kathmandu! We had a good chat, and I plan to visit him frequently this year and try to build a friendship.
Acts 20:8b finishes with, “The conversation stretched on until midnight,” which is a beautiful picture of what our generosity of time looks like when we taking advantage of every moment. Thank you for your generosity of treasure by investing in God’s work around the world. You have seized a unique opportunity to propel God’s love and justice, and as a result, lives will never be the same.
May we increase our awareness of God’s Spirit and make the most of every opportunity.
– Adam J. Nevins