Why were you born?
I can tell you. . .it wasn’t just because your Mom and Dad wanted to have a baby as beautiful as you.
You were born for a purpose. God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb.
Yet, too few believers understand their purpose or why they were born.
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”
According to Strong’s Concordance the word sleepest means “to fall asleep” but it also means:
“to yield to sloth and sin” and “to be indifferent to one's salvation.”
The Lord kept bringing the phrase indifferent to one’s salvation back to my remembrance and I was prompted to ask this question.
What does it mean to be indifferent to one’s salvation?
Dictionary.com defines indifferent as:
“without interest or concern; not caring; apathetic” and “not making a difference, or mattering, one way or the other.”
The Message Bible gives Ephesians 5:14 even greater clarity and plainly outlines our responsibility as believers.
“Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!”
I think it’s pretty obvious from this scripture that God does not want us coasting through life just waiting for the rapture, our express elevator to heaven.
As born-again believers. . .we’re to occupy until He comes. . .we’re to increase our talents and multiply our efforts. . .we’re to help spread the gospel. . .disciple the saints and heal the sick.
The scripture says that you and I are to “make the most of every chance we get.”
So here’s the question for you tonight. . .
How do we make the most of every chance we get?
Here are seven ways to make the most out of every chance you get.
1. Realize Why You Are. . .Where You Are
If you’re working the same job. . .in the same position you were ten years ago. . .if you’re still paying off the same debts. . .it’s time for some self-examination on your part.
Max DePree, businessman and author, once said:
“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.”
You’ve got to know why you are. . .where you are.
Is it fear? Is it a desire to be comfortable in your surroundings and in the things you do on a daily basis?
If you don’t like where you are … why in the world would you want to continue living where you are?
Some people continue to live where they are because of laziness.
Understand this God doesn’t do laziness.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-7 in The Living Bible says:
“Now here is a command, dear brothers, given in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ by his authority: Stay away from any Christian who spends his days in laziness and does “not follow the ideal of hard work we set up for you.”
2 Thessalonians 3:11 in The Living Bible says:
“Yet we hear that some of you are living in laziness, refusing to work, and wasting your time in gossiping.”
Never be too lazy to read a book. Take time to increase your knowledge and value in the marketplace.
Some people justify their lack of achievement by making meaningless excuses.
If there is one thing God dislikes more than laziness. . . its excuses.
Excuses by their nature imply limitations or an inability to break through the barriers of life. God does not impose any limitations on us. . .except that we obey His instructions.
Sadly, many of the imagined limitations are self-imposed.
Proverbs 22:13 in The Living Bible says:
“The lazy man is full of excuses. "I can't go to work!" he says. "If I go outside, I might meet a lion in the street and be killed!"
Romans 3:19 in the Amplified Bible says;
“Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the murmurs and excuses of] every mouth may be hushed and all the world may be held accountable to God.”
Regardless of why you are. . .where you are. . .once you realize you’re accountable to God. . .you’ll be seeking a new fire in your bones. . .when it comes to making the most out of every opportunity you get.
2. Let Go Of What’s Holding You Back
If you don’t face your fears. . .they will keep growing.
If you don’t face what you perceive to be your inadequacies. . .they’ll be magnified.
If you’re wondering what people will think if you fail in your new endeavor. . .you’ve lost your focus.
You need to be more concerned about what God thinks than anybody else in your neighborhood.
Mark 7:8-10 in the New International Version says:
“You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”
There comes a point in time when we realize that what we’ve been doing is not working. Let go, shake it up. . .change what we’ve been doing and do something new.
3. If It Works. . .Do It…If It Doesn’t. . .Try Something New.
In the Star Trek TV series and movies. . .it was always said that the starship. . . Enterprise, was going where no man had ever gone before.
It’s time to forget the way things used to be done. . .or have never been done.
If you want to make the most out of every opportunity that comes your way. . .you need to stop looking in the rearview mirror of your life. . .at what was or could have been.
Luke 9:62 in the New Century Version says:
“Jesus said, "Anyone who begins to plow a field but keeps looking back is of no use in the kingdom of God."
Some folks never seize the moment or the opportunity because they are too caught up with sins in their past. If that’s you. . .this next scripture is going make you shout. . .and buy a ticket straight out of your past.
Isaiah 43:25 in the Amplified Bible says:
“I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
The Message Bible translation of Isaiah 43:25 says:
“But I, yes I, am the one who takes care of your sins—that's what I do. I don't keep a list of your sins.”
How can God bring up your past sins. . .if He doesn’t even remember them or keep a list of them?
God will not bring up your past. . .but the enemy will. But he can only get away with it if you let him. That’s why you have to forget the past and move forward.
Philippians 3:13-15 in the New King James Version says:
“. . .forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
It’s time to make the most out of every opportunity God gives you. . .starting today and continuing through the next 59 days of 2022.
Isaiah 43:19 in the New Living Translation says:
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
God can’t do something new. . .as long as you’re staying where you are.
“A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what a ship is built for.” Anonymous
One more thing, it’s a foolish person who does the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
4. Good Habits Will Open The Doors For New Opportunities.
What is a habit? It is simply something you do so often that it becomes easy. In other words, it’s a behavior that you keep repeating.
Negative habits breed negative consequences….successful habits create positive rewards.
I want you to ponder this question. . .think about it before you answer. Maybe even write down several possibilities and then rank them in importance as they relate to helping you fulfill your vision and achieve your goals. Here’s the question:
What one habit would you like to have more than anything else?
Job 22:26 in the Amplified Bible says:
“You shall also decide and decree a thing, and it shall be established for you; and the light [of God's favor] shall shine upon your ways.”
The first step to establishing a new habit is: Make A Decision—purpose in your heart that you’re going to start acting in a specific way 100% of the time.
The second step is to simply act in that specific way for 21 days in a row. Work at it… don’t give up when you aren’t perfect…practice until you are perfect.
Studies show that if you do something for 21 days in a row. . .it becomes a habit.
Success is a habit. Mediocrity and failure are habits. A positive mental attitude is a habit. Debt Free Living is a habit. Exercise is a habit. Not exercising is a habit.
Everything you’re doing in your life right now, you’re in the habit of doing. But by the same token, what you’re not doing right now, you’re in the habit of not doing. And the only way to change a habit of not doing something is to start doing it.
You have to make a decision to change. It will take effort on your part.
Create the right habits and you’ll be amazed how opportunities begin popping up in your life.
5. Maybe You Need Somebody Different In Your Foxhole
When you speak something repetitively. . .it’s more likely to be heard, understood and done. That’s why, having somebody different in your foxhole is one of the ways to make the most of every opportunity.
Sometimes it’s called thinking outside the box. Find someone with a different prospective.
Without question. . .you need to break free from some of the people you’ve been hanging around with especially if they do not encourage you to excel.
Make no mistake. . .your attitude, speech and behavior are directly affected by your friends. If you’re comfortable doing the same things over and over with your current circle of friends. . .neither you nor they will ever maximize the opportunities that come before you.
I Corinthians 15:33 says:
“Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”
Do your friends encourage, discourage or ignore your dreams, hopes and plans for the future?
You only get one shot at living life. . .you don’t need anyone holding you back as you seek to make the most out of every opportunity.
Holding is a penalty is football and it should be in living life as well.
Job 12:4 in the New Living Translation says:
“Yet my friends laugh at me, for I call on God and expect an answer. I am a just and blameless man, yet they laugh at me.”
Make no mistake about it. If your friends are laughing at people who want more out of life because they’re happy right where they are. . .you can be certain they’ll never do anything to encourage you to take advantage of your opportunities.
Your friends are either empowering and encouraging you. . .or they’re not. If not, you need to find friends who will.
Get a sheet of paper and write down the following information about your seven closest friends. This exercise will tell you who will be of value in helping you move out of your comfort zone.
What does this person add to my life?
What's the greatest negative influence this person has on my life?
What's the last positive idea, scripture or thought this person shared with me?
Does this person motivate me to be all I can be in God?
If most of your friends would rather stay where they are. . .then you need to move on down the line.
6. Stupid Is As Stupid Does. . .But Wisdom Changes Things.
If you’re not maximizing your opportunities. . .it’s because you don’t know something or you’re not willing to do something with what you know.
Romans 1:13 says:
“Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.”
According to Strong’s Concordance the word ignorance means: “not knowing.”
Simply said, ignorance is not knowing the facts.
Now, stupid is knowing the facts but choosing not to do anything with or about that information and insight.
Benjamin Franklin said, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”
There is a sure way to cure ignorance. . . you get ahold of knowledge. And the Bible is a great place to start.
If you lack knowledge, it's your fault because knowledge is available.
Psalm 119:66 in the New Living Translation says:
“I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge.”
It’s been said that if you don’t like where you are in life. . .chances are. . .there’s something you don’t know yet.
How do you get knowledge and wisdom? You seek them.
Proverbs 4:7 says:
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
Increased wisdom will help you make the most out of every opportunity.
We want to ask you seven questions. If you can make a quick note, just answer yes or no.
Do you read your Bible on a daily basis?
Do you take notes on what you’ve read?
Does the Holy Spirit bring things to your remembrance as you read or take notes?
Are you reading any book any than the Bible at this very moment?
Is the book motivational, inspirational or practical?
Are you taking notes or underlining important facts as you read this book?
Is the Holy Spirit stirring things in you as you read the book?
If you answered “no” it is our considered opinion you are not going to experience all God has for you.
7. Keep Yourself Motivated With Your Opportunities For Success.
What will it take to keep you motivated on your move from mediocrity to success. . .from just getting by to more than enough. . .from average to excellence?
Are you more motivated by visual images of a goal or dream that you’re seeking to attain or fulfill? Is it a trip? Is it a new skill? Is it to do something significant to help your church or community?
My visual motivation is to be somewhere that overlooks the ocean, bay, lake, river . . . or any body of water. I find water to be both peaceful and restful. . .both of which motivate me to write great sermons and teachings.
For a young couple, it might be a photo of a home that takes them out of their noisy apartment. For others, it might be seeing their children or grandchildren become successful in a career.
Is there a picture that motivates you? What is it? Is the picture or photograph in a prominent place in your office or home?
Are you motivated by a person?
I’m motivated by my fine wife Bev. She is my rock. . .my strength. . .my Chamber of Commerce. . .my best friend. . .the person I want with me when dealing with every unexpected challenge in my daily routine. She motivates me. . .she inspires me to always look at things in a godly manner.
Is there someone who motivates you. . .a mentor. There are people who speak into my life and a word from them is also extremely motivational.
Find out how and what motivates you. . .it will help motivate you to take advantage of the next opportunity that comes your way.
One more thing, never lose your sense of humor.
Proverbs 17:22 says:
“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”
Laughter is the medicine which allows us to press forward after we make mistakes.
There’s another reason. . .you need to learn to laugh. . . it makes the devil mad.
When things don’t go your way and the enemy tries to get you down, just laugh him off and tell him that’s not going to work on you. Before you know it, those annoyances will be in your rearview mirror. You have enough promises and blessings from God to last you a lifetime.
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