As of Sunday, January 27th, there are 338 days left in 2019. Now, we don’t know what you’ve done differently in the first 27 days of this year. . .but we challenge you to seize every opportunity from this day forward.
I’m going to ask you four questions . . .three of them come from the book 2 Chairs. If you have not read the book we encourage you to do so as soon as possible.
We spent the first two weeks of this year discussing the book on Rich Thoughts For Breakfast. . .the calls are available at www.haroldherring.com under podcasts.
If you take them seriously, these four questions will be life changing.
Question # 1, Does God know your situation?
Question # 2, Can God handle your situation?
Question #3, Does God have a plan for your life?
Question #4, Are you maximizing the opportunities God is sending your way?
First, what does the word opportunity mean to you?
According to Dictionary.com it means:
1. an appropriate or favorable time or occasion:
2. a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal.
3. a good position, chance, or prospect, as for advancement or success.
American Heritage Dictionary defines opportunity as:
“A favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances; A favorable or suitable occasion or time; A chance for progress or advancement.”
Did you notice that both definitions said “opportunity” was a good position, chance or prospect….one said it was a chance for progress.
Lots of people talk about looking for the right opportunity.
The bottom line is too many people who claim to be preparing for an opportunity are stalling and making excuses.
To succeed financially or in any other manner, you have to do something, to start something.
President Abraham Lincoln once said:
“I’ll study and get ready and be prepared for my opportunity when it comes.”
Whitney Young, Jr., an amazing civil rights leader, once said:
“It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”
The reason a lot of people aren’t prepared is because they are constantly killing time.
Have you ever said or heard someone say they’re just killing time?
What that says to me is they may be murdering an opportunity.
Let’s see…15 minutes a day…seven days a week for one month equals 465 minutes or nearly one eight-hour work day that month…
Can I give you a revelation….if the right opportunity was so easy to find…someone else would already have it…because they’ve been looking for it.
All of my life, I’ve heard people talk about ‘when opportunity comes knocking.’
Well, I’ve got a word for you. When opportunity comes knocking, you still have to get up and answer the door.
Thomas Edison, the famous inventor, said:
There are way too many people looking for opportunities in the wrong places. . .they’re waiting to win the lottery, Publisher’s Clearinghouse or for some rich relative to pass away before they pursue with passion. . .the thing that is stirring in their spirit.
Orison Marden, a doctor and author, said:
Pastor Charles Swindoll said:
As you seize opportunities. . .there will be opposition because the enemy does not want you to succeed.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 16:9 in the Message Bible:
“A huge door of opportunity for good work has opened up here. (There is also mushrooming opposition).”
But in every crisis. . .you can find opportunity.
President John F. Kennedy passed on this wise observation:
This world was not designed to be trouble free; therefore we need to come to grips with what that means. Our lives are a testing ground for the next level God wants to take us to.
We can either look for the opportunity in the problem so we can advance or avoid it and not advance.
James 1:2 in the New Living Translation says
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”
Why would James be inspired by God to write that?
We find the answer in James 1:3-4:
“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
John D. Rockefeller, an industrialist and faithful Christian, once said:
25 Scriptural Keys To Opportunity
1. What is the real opportunity we should be seeking?
Galatians 6:10 says:
“Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”
When we get saved, our motivation changes from getting to giving as the character of Jesus develops within us.
We should live to give, not to get.
When the word opportunity is mentioned, most of us focus on the benefit that comes to us.
Galatians 6:7-10 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.
“For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.
”So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God's family with you, the believers].”
I want you to notice that Paul uses the word opportunity in the context of an opportunity to give. He sees our lives as being conducted so that we are people who are constantly seeking to give to others, not to receive from them.
This is truly kingdom mentality. It is revolutionary. It is entirely different from the world. Yet it is also our key to reaping a mighty harvest.
2. Who creates your opportunities?
Judges 14:4 says:
“His father and mother didn’t realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time.”
Who creates opportunities……….the Lord does.
The only way for you to know about those opportunities is to spend time with Him.
3. Where do the right opportunities come from?
Colossians 4:3 in the New Century Version says:
“Also pray for us that God will give us an opportunity to tell people his message. Pray that we can preach the secret that God has made known about Christ.”
You may think: My boss gave me an opportunity. . .and you can’t think that if you want. . .but I prefer to think it was the irresistible charm of Jesus flowing through you. . touching the heart of your boss with supernatural favor in your behalf.
4. Others may think it’s time for your opportunity, but does God agree?
King Saul had been pursing David with a vengeance and all of a sudden the King is placed within David’s reach to harm as he pleased as we read in 1 Samuel 24:4:
“Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’ So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe.”
Someone may be offering you an unbelievable financial deal or opportunity. . .but the question is what does God think about it?
Remember, if the deal seems too good to be true. . .it most generally is.
5. Be ready when God gives you the right opportunity….
Matthew 10:18 says:
“You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me.”
Obedience to His Word. . .will always produce right opportunities.
6. To find the right opportunity you might have to endure hardship.
Mark 13:9 says:
“When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.”
When you’re fulfilling your vision, others will seek to hinder your obedience.
Here’s a question for you to ponder.
Do you see difficulties in every opportunity, or do you see opportunities in every difficulty?
7. Opportunities can be for evil.
Matthew 26:16 says:
“From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.”
If you’re looking for trouble. . .you’ve come to the right place.
Never put yourself in a compromising position with a co-worker, neighbor or friend.
8. Opportunities can be for good or evil….they are what you make them.
Mark 14:1 says:
“It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law were still looking for an opportunity to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.”
Luke 20:20 says:
“Watching for their opportunity, the leaders sent spies pretending to be honest men. They tried to get Jesus to say something that could be reported to the Roman governor so he would arrest Jesus.”
9. Evil will seek opportunity against you.
James 1:13-15 in the New Living Translation says:
“And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”
10. The opportunity for evil will come again.
Luke 4:13 says:
“When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.”
Sin will always look for an opening.
11. Don’t give others, the opportunity to speak evil of you.
1 Timothy 5:14 in Today’s New International Version says:
“So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.”
12. Even your enemies are amazed at how you’ve seized your opportunities.
Luke 23:8 in Today’s New International Version says:
“Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle.”
13. Keep looking for your opportunity.
Acts 3:12 says:
“Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness?”
When opportunity knocks, some people object to the interruption.
14. Opportunity will come at just the right time.
Luke 21:13 says:
“But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.”
15. The right opportunity will come if you have faith.
Romans 1:10 says:
“One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you.”
16. When the right opportunity comes, expect some opposition.
1 Corinthians 16:9 in the New Century Version says:
“…because a good opportunity for a great and growing work has been given to me now. And there are many people working against me.”
17. When you are obedient God will open doors that others can’t.
Romans 1:10 says:
“One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you.”
18. Make the most of every opportunity.
Ephesians 5:16 says:
“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”
Colossians 4:5 says:
“Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.”
Colossians 4:5 in the Message Bible says:
“Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don't miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”
19. When you do what’s right, the opportunity you’ve been seeking will come to you.
Galatians 6:9 in the New Living Translation says:
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
20. Remember, tough times offers an opportunity for personal growth.
James 1:2 says:
“[Faith and Endurance ] Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”
21. Sometimes there is a season and a reason for your time of preparation.
Acts 19:8 in the Message Bible says:
“Paul then went straight to the meeting place. He had the run of the place for three months, doing his best to make the things of the kingdom of God real and convincing to them. But then resistance began to form as some of them began spreading evil rumors through the congregation about the Christian way of life. So Paul left, taking the disciples with him, and set up shop in the school of Tyrannus, holding class there daily. He did this for two years, giving everyone in the province of Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, ample opportunity to hear the Message of the Master.”
22. Use your opportunities to be a blessing to others (to fulfill the second greatest commandment).
Galatians 5:13 says:
“My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don't use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love.”
23. Even when bad things happen, you get another opportunity
Genesis 39:20-21 in the New Living Translation:
“So he [Potiphar] took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained. But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.”
Man’s adversity is always God’s opportunity.
24. God will give you the right opportunity.
1 Corinthians 2:12 in the New Century Version says:
“When I came to Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord gave me a good opportunity there.”
25. You’ve got to be looking for your opportunity
Acts 27:13 in Today’s New International Version says:
“When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.”
Francis Bacon, the English philosopher and author, once said:
“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”
What opportunities are you maximizing TODAY?
What opportunities to be a better employee? A better boss. Even a better husband or wife…son or daughter or friend?
You need to start where you are. . .with what you’ve got. . .at this moment in time.
First, you must know that you have the God-given ability to perform at a level you never previously thought possible.
Write this down. .
“God has given me an ability to perform at a level I never previously thought possible…with unique opportunities that I’ve yet to see.”
Romans 12:6 in The Living Bible says:
“God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well….”
“God has given <<NAME>> the ability to do certain things well….”
This empowerment is a gift from the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 1:14 in The Living Bible says:
“Guard well the splendid, God-given ability you received as a gift from the Holy Spirit who lives within you.”
Second, according to Matthew 25:14 each of the three servants were given talents “according to their several ability.”
What you have at the moment is what you can handle. . .but I believe, and more importantly God knows, you can handle more with a little more understanding from the Word.
Remember, start with what you have. . .where you are. . .and make the most of it.
Don’t complain about what you don’t have, use what you do have.
Create a plan to get from where you are to where you want to be.
Once you start using what you’ve got. . .where you are. . .you will discover an amazing fact. You’re able to do and accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
Ask God to allow you to see opportunities that you’ve never seen before.
You can create your own opportunities…..Be faithful where you are and keep your spiritual eyes open for God to open a door.
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