Posted by: peebles | December 27, 2011

Ephesians 5:16 (NIV) ~ Making the most of every opportunity.

Up is a 2009 American, computer-animated, comedy-adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. In the film, Carl Fredricksen, is a shy and quiet young boy who meets an enthusiastic and outgoing girl named Ellie. As they are playing together, they discover that they share the same interest in exploration, and their hero is the famous explorer, Charles F. Muntz.

Ellie tells Carl of her desire to move her clubhouse to Paradise Falls in South America, and makes Carl promise to help. Carl and Ellie grow up, get married and grow old together in the old house where they first met, while Carl made a living selling balloons, and Ellie worked as a zookeeper. Unable to have children, they repeatedly try to save up for the trip to Paradise Falls, but, as life would have it, other financial obligations arise which require them to use their savings over and over again. Just as they’re finally about to take their trip, Ellie becomes ill and dies, leaving Carl regretting not doing it sooner. Your heartstrings are touched and you find yourself with this overwhelming thought, “If only.” 

If you allow setbacks to keep you from fulfilling your dream of taking that step forward, you will one day look back when you are old and unable to do all the things which you once dreamed of and say, “If only.” 

It is said that two of the saddest words in the English language are, “If only.”

If only I had taken that step of faith,

If only I had the courage to ask her out,

If only I had applied myself more at school,

If only I had responded to God’s calling and gone to Bible College,

If only I had acted upon His leading to be a missionary,

If only I had taken the step of faith and trained for the ministry,

If only I had said, “Yes,” to Jesus when He called me to serve Him. 

There have been many people like Carl, who never took the opportunity to go and do something when Ellie was younger,  and lived with the sad thought, “If only.” 

I remember well the story of the couple who, in their twilight years, sat at the table one day and asked each other, “So, when we first got married, what did God say to you?” They both said the same thing: “God was calling me into the ministry, to go into the mission field.” Then the man said to the woman, “But I did not want to say anything to you just in case you never had the same calling.” She said the same thing. Then, with tears in their eyes, they wept as they embraced in a gesture of trying to comfort each other and whispered, “If only.” 

My friend, if you have a dream, a vision from God, then may I encourage you to do it. We only have one life to live, so let us live it for Jesus Christ, on fire with the Holy Spirit. For He who has called you will fully equip you for whatever task He has called you to do. It is time to rise above the shortcomings of life and take that step of faith. We should never let our shortcomings or fear dictate our path, but fully turn over every situation to God so He can turn things around for us. He will turn our negative into a positive, and He will supply all our needs. Our text for today says in Ephesians 5:16 (NIV), “Making the most of every opportunity.” We will never look back with tears of regret in our eyes, saying, “If only,” because we have willingly said, “Yes,” to Jesus.

God bless you my friend, Matthew

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