Expired! Expired! Expired!


Many of us have probably seen the insurance commercial on TV where the aunt is going through the refrigerator of the newly wed couple. She is pulling several products from the refrigerator and loudly proclaiming, “Expired, expired, expired!” No doubt all of us have several expired items at our homes, as well. We probably all have seen cans of soup, vegetables, and other assorted items at the grocery store that had long since passed their expiration dates. The grocers continually pushed these cans to the rear to make room for the new arrivals. The cans looked perfectly good, except for their expiration date stamped on the bottom. While we may wonder out loud if they are still good, we quickly change our minds and grab the newer cans.

Paul writes in Galatians 6:10, “So then while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”  The phrase “While we have opportunity” suggests that today’s opportunities may no longer be available tomorrow. Opportunities have expiration dates. Jesus said in John 9:4, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.”  Do we miss the opportunities that come before us because we feel that we can do it later? Few things are as common place or as tragic as missed opportunities.

Doors once open to the gospel can suddenly slam shut, leaving us alone with our feelings of regret. On the other hand, taking advantage of the opportunities God provides produces great rejoicing, gladness, and happiness. Paul and Barnabas, upon returning from their first journey, reported all the “things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.” (Acts 14:27)

Paul’s life was marked by his desire to take advantage of opportunities placed before him by God. Paul wrote letters even while being held in a Roman prison. We need to remember that as we think about what we did during the recent pandemic and the isolation and restrictions placed upon us.

According to Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:13, the whole of life is to “fear God and keep His commandments.”  Life is one giant opportunity to fulfill that purpose. As we travel through life, we are either taking advantage of opportunities or shoving them to the back until they are no longer useful.

Each day brings new opportunities. Each day brings us nearer to our eternal destiny. For each one of us, there is an expiration date known only in the mind of God. Psalm 90:12 says,  “Teach us, Lord, to number our days.” Don’t let the opportunities to serve God pass us by and become like expired cans shoved to the back of the shelf.