Speaking to the Soul – March 7

Serving God

The Risen Lord said: “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.”
Revelation 3:8

These words were written to the church in the prosperous city of Philadelphia. Most of the seven churches were criticised for some aspect of their life, but not this one. They were probably small in number, but they had persevered in the face of opposition and had been faithful. The Lord encouraged them by saying he had opened a door for them, and because he had opened it, no one would be able to close it. What an encouragement this must have been for them.

It was clearly tough going for the Christians in Philadelphia. The danger at such times is that we turn in on ourselves. We just try to survive. But I believe that God wants us always to keep our minds and hearts open to new possibilities and opportunities. I wonder what the door was that he opened for this church. We are not told, but God
is always in the business of opening new doors for his people. I love the way in which the apostle Paul constantly looked for new opportunities and prayed for more. In his letter to the Colossians he said: “Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains” (Colossians 4:3). Most other people would have seen their chains as the closing down of all opportunities, but not Paul! He was so eager to serve the Lord that even being in prison struck him as an amazing opportunity for his ministry.

I often speak with people who look back at their lives and the amazing opportunities they had to serve God in the past. But they now feel that life’s opportunities have narrowed down, perhaps because of age or illness. It cannot be doubted that life constantly changes for all of us. Sometimes it is obvious that we have amazing opportunities open before us. At other times it feels more like staring at a brick wall. But be sure of this: as we open our lives to God, even today, he is longing to show us new opportunities for serving him.

What opportunities is God giving you to serve him today?
Lord God, thank you for this day and for the privilege of serving you. Help me to grasp every opportunity you give me and use them for you. Amen