A preacher had a phone number that was very similar to that of the Public Library’s “Dial-A-Tale” system. Any time a child wanted to hear a fair tale, the youngster would call the number and could listen to a story. Since the preacher’s number was only one wrong digit different, the preacher often received wrong calls. At first, he tried to explain that it was the wrong number to the child, but seeing the problem wasn’t going away, he decided to use this as an opportunity. He bought a copy of the Three Little Pigs and set it next to the phone. Whenever a child dialed the wrong number, the preacher would read the child the story.
Opportunities are often unexpected. They are usually inconvenient. They might cause us to have to think outside the box. It’s possible they will take us out of our comfort zone. But if we’re willing to use them, they can be life changing.
It’s ironic, but one of the hardest opportunities to take advantage of is evangelism. We have the most precious, exciting, and life-changing message of all time, and sometimes we can hardly even utter a word to someone else. It seems hard, scary, and intimidating. However, if we would simply watch for and be willing to take advantage of the opportunities that come, so much good could be done.
Jesus was a master of looking for opportunities. He took advantage of the opportunity with the woman at the well (John 4). He was able to use the situation with the woman caught in adultery (John 8). Paul too was great at using the opportunities that came to him. He used the alter to the “unknown God” to teach people the gospel (Acts 17:23). He became “all things to all men” so that he might win some (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
We don’t have to be perfect like Christ or an apostle like Paul to simply look for opportunities to teach the gospel. All we have to do is be willing. Let’s be praying for open doors, for the vision to see these opportunities, and for the courage to use these opportunities.