4:20 – Expanding Opportunities
#faithbites #faithjourney expanding
In my lifetime I have seen many exciting and dismaying events. Today, I want to focus on those that expanded opportunities. I remember the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and how it expanded opportunities for East Germans and signaled the beginning of the end of the cold war. I saw health care expanding for everyone, even though it wasn’t perfect. In 2008, I was the first African American President elected. Today, I saw the installation of our first female, first Indian, first African-American Vice President sworn into office. During the inauguration, I heard the first Youth Poet Laureate of the United States say something like “a skinny black girl with dreams of being president able to recite for one”.
This #faithbite isn’t about politics or change for political correctness. It’s about expanding opportunities for everyone. No one should be limited by who they are born to, where they are born, the color of their skin, or anything other than the content of their character as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said.
For me and many others, the great expander of opportunities is Jesus Christ. Through him we are a new creation, we have limitless opportunities to serve, and have eternal salvation.
The question is are we going to help expand those opportunities by sharing the love of Christ or are we going to keep them to ourselves by hoarding him and his word?
- Acts 4:12 – Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
- Colossians 4:5 – Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
- Galatians 5:13 – You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Opportunities will only continue expanding for all people if we do our part. This doesn’t mean to believe everything out there or even change your mind, it means to allow people to live and be who they are destined to be. It is our job to help everyone have the opportunity to know Christ, be saved through him, and have the opportunities and inheritance that he provides.
Of all the verses I’ve shared over the years, Galatians 5:13 is ringing true today as we as a nation embark on a new path. Let’s break that down.
- We are called to be free – this is what most people think of as America or being American. Land of the free, home of the brave. That God created us, Jesus died for us, to allow us to be free to live, love, and worship him.
- Do Not use your freedom to indulge the flesh – We have so much that we can give to others but often we use it to indulge ourselves. We have to think about the actions we take. Are they glorifying God and advancing His kingdom or are they advancing our own aims?
- Serve one another humbly in love – this is the crux of loving our neighbors. Are we serving them with humility and love? Are we working to give them the same opportunities that we have as Americans and as children of God?
This is something each of us needs to reflect on. First, how are we using our knowledge, gifts, treasure, ability, and position to help others expand their opportunity? Second, how do we help boost others up their ladder? This is the way we serve and glorify God.
Finally, opportunity is not like a pie. A pie only has so many pieces and once dolled out, it is gone. Opportunity is infinite. Helping someone else achieve their dream, their goal doesn’t take away from your dream and your goal. We can all grow together.
Father God, we ask for blessings on our nation and our new leaders. Help them and guide them by your will and your way. Let them be the leaders we need to expand opportunities for all people. Lord, we also know this is a hard time as many of us “lost” during this election and we are trying to find out where we fit in this new age. We ask that you guide us to serve humbly and with love in all things we do.
Lord, we often struggle with selfishness and our idea of what is right. Help us change our mindset so that we focus on what you say is right and how you want us to live. Lord, we will fight for you and your way. Let us turn that fight into fighting for our neighbor’s right to live, explore, serve, and worship. We love you and pray all of this in your name, Amen.