The greatest gifts we’ll ever receive…other than the gift of salvation…aren’t those piled under the Christmas tree or given at your surprise birthday party.

Most of those gifts. . .eventually lose their appeal and sometimes their value.

However, everyone has spiritual gifts that only increase in value and will never go out of style.

John C. Maxwell said:

“When you find your spiritual gift, God will give you an opportunity to use it.”

Of particular focus is the need to use our spiritual gifts.

Spiritual gifts are not given to entertain us.

Spiritual gifts are not given to make you appear as some super saint.

Spiritual gifts are imparted to strengthen individuals and bless the Body of Christ.

Romans 12:1 in the New King James Version says:

 

Have you ever said. . .I just wasn’t in the right place at the right time?

Perhaps you said. . .my timing always seems to be wrong. . .I can’t catch a break.

Or … things didn’t work out the way we wanted. . .we were hoping for a different result.

John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach at UCLA, once said:

“Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”

How can you make the best out of the way things turn out?

It’s simple really. . .by positioning yourself for the desired result.  Here are seven keys to help you do just that.

1) Look at Every Day As A Potential Day for Miracles.

We serve a right now God. . .wanting to manifesting His power TODAY.

Yes, we should stir our faith and the faith of others by the recounting of our Lord's miracles.  But, we must be expecting miracles "in the moment"...this moment. . .our defining moment.

Acts 5:12 in the New King James Version says:

“And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. . .”

I encourage you to write down the areas of your life where you need miracle manifestation.

It doesn’t matter how impossible your situation may seem . .because as it says in Luke 1:37 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition:

“For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.”

As human as Mary was, she is not remembered for her humanity but because of her faith in a virgin birth.

Above it all, I believe she anticipated the reward of faithfully fulfilling the call of God upon her life.We can learn much from Mary. She believed what must have seemed absurd.Today she is an example in proving that nothing is impossible with God.

We also encourage you to Create a Personalized Confession on how to make the impossible….possible…using the Word of God.

“Heavenly Father, I thank that whatever I ask in prayer…and believe that I receive…it will be granted to me according to Mark 11:23-24.  I rejoice that you are empowering me to overcome every attack of the enemy and that you infuse me with inner strength causing me to be self-sufficient in your sufficiency according to Philippians 4:13.

“Father, your Word says that if I believe on you and I do. . .that I shall do the greater works.  I rejoice that all things are possible to those who believe and I believe according to John 14:12.

“Lord, I’m ready to shout because nothing is impossible to me and that no word from you is impossible of fulfillment according to Luke 1:37.

“And, I call all this done in the strong name of Jesus.  Amen.”

2)  Words Of Faith Guarantee A "God" Result.

Proverbs 25:11 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”Words are important.  They are powerful.  They have the ability to build up or tear down.

A word fitly spoken can change the course of a person’s life.

A Word from the Lord that is obeyed leads to blessing. . .when those same Words are ignored it can destine a person to a life of mediocrity.

Words can inflict pain or joy . . .misery or laughter.  For my part, I prefer joy and laughter.

Words start wars.

Words bring peace.

Words justify the believer.

Words condemn the unbelieving.

Our words have consequences . . . we decide whether they are good or evil.

Proverbs 18:20 in the Amplified Bible says:

“A man's [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil].”       

Words will either bring life or death to you. . .

Proverbs 18:21 says:

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” 

Whether your words bring life or death is up to you.

Proverbs 18:21 in the Message Bible says:

“Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose.”       

Here’s the bottom line. . .it’s found in Proverbs 18:20 in the Contemporary English Version which says:

“Make your words good-- you will be glad you did.”

3)  Each Day Contains The Potential For Good News.

Proverbs 25:25 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far [home] country.”

This is a better day than this day last year.

A year ago, I was taking two kinds of chemo and what hair I had. . .was beginning to turn loose.

I’m not visiting four different doctor’s office on four different days of the week.

A year ago, our amazing Grand Sugar Sophia was still inside her Mommy.  Because of Sophia. . .I now have over 1,700 photos on my smart phone

I’ve now read more books. . .studied more scripture. . .have deeper revelatory insight than I did a year ago.

My children are all in a better place than they were a year ago.

And yes, I love my fine wife Bev of 44 years one month and 20 days more than I did a year ago.

But frankly, I expected things to be better. . .and they were.

How can I be so sure that each new day carries the potential for good news?

Ephesians 3:20 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].”

The New Living Translation of Ephesians 3:20 reads this way personalized.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within <<Your Name>>, to accomplish infinitely more than <<Your Name>> might ask or think.”

Now that ought to make you shout HALLELUJAH.  THANK YOU JESUS.4)  Gloomy Tunes Guarantee An Overcast Day.

You will never reach your desired result in life by listening to the wrong people (which you probably know but are you still doing it?).  But it may surprise you to learn that listening to the wrong music can adversely affect your destiny as well.

Proverbs 25:20 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“He who sings songs to a heavy heart is like him who lays off a garment in cold weather and like vinegar upon soda.”I love music.

Music is an incredibly powerful force.  Few things move me like music.

Think about the songs you sing.

For instance, I love the music of Ray Charles but you’ll never hear me sing “Born to Lose.”  That song is scripturally inaccurate and when sung will become a self-fulfilling prophecy for you.

Actually, we have been designed and destined to win. 

How about the Garth Brooks song “my friends are from low places”?

That’s the problem. . .friends from low places attitudinally and friends with low ambitions, if any at all.

Really, I don’t believe I’d be confessing that.

How about the crying songs?  It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want toBlue eyes crying in the rain.

One of my favorite Temptation songs is “Papa is a rolling stone.”  I love the music. . .the instrumental intro is about 4 minutes.  However, the words are seriously negative.

Listen to music that will inspire you.  My playlist includes:

O Happy Day by the Edwin Hawkins Singers

This Joy That I Have by Shirley Caesar

The Days of Elijah by Judy Jacobs

Amazing Grace sung by Aaron Neville

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Stand By Me by Ben E KingWhen The Night Is Falling by Dennis Jernigan

Ephesians 5:19 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord,”

Faith-filled music will help you overcome seemingly impossible odds and intense adversity.

5)  What You Look Upon The Longest Becomes The Strongest.

Job 31:1 in the New Living Translation is a rather direct scripture.  It says:

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman.”

We discussed this one morning this past week on Rich Thoughts For Breakfast.

Galatians 5:16:

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

I first heard this Galatians verse taught as a “quit quit” and “don’t don’t” verse.  In other words, live a godly life by not going to movies, watching television, dancing, smoking, drinking, looking at girls or anything that doesn’t happen within the four walls of the church.

The verse says:  “…you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

The word fulfill is the Greek word teleo (G5055) and it means:

“to bring to a close, to finish, to end, to pay.”

In the Strong’s Concordance the Greek word (G1939) for lust means:

“desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust.”

The Greek word for lust is mentioned 38 times in 37 verses according to the Hebrew Concordance of the King James Bible.

As I began to read those verses. . .I felt stirred to discuss the first one on the list which is Mark 4:19 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition:

“Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.”

Our focus determines our future.

That which we focus on the longest becomes the strongest. . .in our thought life.

If I think on the things of the flesh I will be dominated by the flesh.

If I make conscious decisions throughout the day to focus on spiritual things I will be led by The Holy Spirit.

Colossians 3:2 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.”

6)  Self-justification Will Never Impress God.

Job 31:40 in the New King James Version says:

“Then let thistles grow instead of wheat, and weeds instead of barley.”  The words of Job are ended.”Job was an admirable man.

Job was also a very human man.  That should give all of us a lot of hope since God spoke very highly of Job.

He spent a lot of time comparing himself to others.

The more he looked at others, the better Job felt about himself.

Hebrews 12:12-13 in the Message Bible really stirred my spirit when I read it.  The verses say:

“So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!”

What would make people sit on their hands and drag their feet. . .it happens when they make excuses trying to justify what they’ve done or didn’t do.

The American Heritage Dictionary says that an excuse is “the act of justification.”

Before we make any excuses, we need to check out what Proverbs 24:11 in the Message Bible says:

“Rescue the perishing; don't hesitate to step in and help. If you say, "Hey, that's none of my business," will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know— Someone not impressed with weak excuses.” 

What’s a weak excuse?  Anything that suggests the power of God and your faith can’t overcome every obstacle.

Here’s an absolute fact.

Successful people make plans. . .unsuccessful people make excuses justifying why they haven’t completed their assignment.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 in the Message Bible says:

“Don't you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? "If you don't work, you don't eat." And now we're getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep. Friends, don't slack off in doing your duty.”

If we spend our lives looking for excuses. . .justifying our inaction. . .we’ll never find the time to find the answer to our problems.

People with excuses will never be remembered for what they did . . . or even what they could have done.7)  Faith Will Always Get The Attention Of God.

Luke 1:45 in the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition says:

“And blessed (happy, to be envied) is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from the Lord.”Human emotion will never depart from our lives.

I will always experience emotions and so will you.

Emotions will come representing themselves as faith.

God's heart is moved by my tears.   God's hand is moved by my faith.

My answer is in His heart. My results come through the movement of His hand.

There is one more thing we want to share with you.

God hears when you speak to your faith. . .which will make it grow.

2 Corinthians 4:13 in the Good News Translation says:

“The scripture says, “I spoke because I believed.” In the same spirit of faith we also speak because we believe.”

There are also times. . .when you will speak about things of faith before they ever manifest in the natural realm.

Romans 4:17 in the Amplified Bible says:

“(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.”

The boldness of your faith will open doors of opportunity for you.

Miracles.

I love hearing about miracles. . .talking and testifying about them.

I love it. . .when we personally experience miracles.

I love writing and teaching about miracles.  In fact, during the past week we’ve talked about miracles on two of our Rich Thoughts For Breakfast calls.

I spend a lot of time ruminating about miracles.  Now ruminating is a good word when it comes to miracles.

Ruminating means:

“think deeply about something; think about, contemplate, consider, meditate on, muse on, mull over, ponder on/over, deliberate about/on, chew on.

My faith is always looking for God's next "suddenly."

When our faith and the ability of God intersect . . .miracles manifest.

Acts 19:11-12 in the New King James Version says:

Words from Harold and Bev

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Harold Herring

Never let your circumstances define your destiny.  Rather create the circumstances that will assure your destiny.

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Bev Herring

Never allow anyone other than God to determine your worth and value.