Did you see that beautiful sunset last week? And the stunning view of the snow that fell across your front yard a month ago? What about those five deer grazing in the field that you passed on Monday? No, I didn’t. I was too busy posting selfies with a Starbucks Frappuccino in my hand. I got 50 likes on that, by the way. We tend to be caught up in the latest technologies and don’t set it aside long enough to see God’s glory. But we also miss something bigger than the five deer in the field. We miss the one soul standing on the street corner, holding a sign, begging for food. We miss the one soul at our school suffering from depression. We miss the one soul that comes to our house for Thanksgiving dinner. Mark 16:15 commands us to teach to word to the world, but we miss those opportunities because we’re too busy retweeting about Jennifer Lawrence. And our phones are not the only barriers hindering us from taking just one opportunity; our excuses are just another layer to the wall. There are three things that we need to do to be able to break those walls down.
1. We need to realize the impact that one person can have with just one opportunity. In Acts 16 when Paul and Silas were in prison there was an earthquake that shook the doors loose and the chains off of the prisoners. The guard, having failed in his duty to keep watch of the prisoners, was about to kill himself right when Paul took that one opportunity to save that one soul. But it wasn’t just the guard that was saved. Verse 33 says, “And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.” Because Paul took that one opportunity, a whole family was saved. But it can go further than just one family being saved. In John chapter one we see that John the Baptist took the one opportunity to teach a man named Andrew. Well, Andrew then goes to teach his brother, Simon Peter. And Because Simon Peter believed, he became a follower of Jesus, eventually leading to his sermon in Acts chapter two. In verse 41 it says, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” Because John took that one opportunity to teach Andrew, it lead to three thousand souls being saved. Imagine the impact you, just one person, could have with just one opportunity.
2. The next thing we need to do is to go into action, turning off our iPads and taking one opportunity. I promise that those Instagram pictures will still be there when you get back. In Acts 9, we read about the conversion of Paul and in verse 20 it says, “Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.” Meer days after he was baptized he was already going into action to spread the word of God. However, Paul hadn’t faced persecution at that point in time. Later on in his life we read that he is beaten, thrown into prison, and even stoned, yet he still spread the word of God every opportunity that he had before him. He did all of this without excuses, but we won’t even say “hello” to the person in the elevator because we have a screen shoved in our face. Which leads me to my third and final point.
3. We need to fear the results of one person missing multiple opportunities. Remember earlier when I talked about Paul converting the jailor and his whole family? And because John taught Andrew, it led to 3,000 souls being saved? What if we could talk to that one person, which could lead to many being saved? Most people would think, ‘Oh, someone else will come and teach them.’ What if nobody does? Let’s say you’re standing next to a girl on your basketball team after a win, it’s a perfect opportunity to teach her about Jesus! But instead you pick up your phone to post an “after-game selfie.” Imagine, standing in the final judgment next to that same girl and her asking, “Why didn’t you tell me?” Is it because you’d rather check your phone than talk about our one Lord and Savior?
We walk through this life with heads tilted down, scrolling through Facebook aimlessly. Each person you walk past is another missed opportunity, another soul not saved. Why miss just one opportunity because of excuses? Because it’s too awkward, because of their tattoos, or their social status? And why take away that one opportunity because you can’t look up from your phone? Einstein once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction.” Because technology has taken away human interaction, it takes away opportunities to do the Great Commission. Acts 17:6 says, “But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, ‘These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.’” These men are referring to Paul and Silas as being men who have turned the world upside down by spreading the gospel. So why don’t you, as one person, put down the technology and the excuses and turn this world upside down one opportunity at a time?
By Rebekah Youngblood
Rebekah is from Tuscaloosa Alabama, she is currently studying to become a nurse at Freed-Hardeman University, and she really really likes Taco Bell.