Manifesting Your Opportunities in 2013

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There are 93 days left in 2013. . .tonight I feel led to talk about how to maximize and manifest your opportunities for the remainder of this year.

First, what does the word “opportunity” mean to you?

According to 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 in both definitions it said that “opportunity” was a good position, chance or prospect….the other dictionary said it was a chance for progress.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve had say to me that they’re looking for the right opportunity.

The bottom line is that a lot of people who claim to be preparing for an opportunity are just stalling and making excuses.

To succeedfinancially or in any other manner, you have to do something, buy something, or start something.

Abraham Lincoln said:

“I’ll study and get ready and be prepared for my opportunity when it comes.”

Whitney Young, Jr. 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 equals 451 minutes or nearly one eight-hour work day a 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 go answer the door.

 Thomas Edison said:

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”   

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 once said:

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.

Charles Swindoll said:

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” 

Learn everything you can, any time you can, from anyone you can - there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.

As you seize opportunities. . .there will be opposition. . .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 once said:

When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters-one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.

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.”

John D. Rockefeller once said:

I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.” 

Colossians 4:5in 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.”           

Let’s look at that verse a little closer.

Use your heads. . .as you live and work among outsiders

Don’t miss a trick. . .don’t fall for tricks of the devil to take you off track

Make the most of every opportunity.

Be gracious in your speech. . . when someone’s been nice to you. . . or when it’s to your benefit. . .or when talking to nice people. . .is that what the scripture means?

No, the scripture simply says, Be gracious in speech. . .it does not specify how they will act. 

Our goal is to bring out the best in others, not to put them down nor cut them out.

  • Scriptural Keys To Opportunity

1.         What is the real opportunity that you 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 must change from getting to giving.

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:

7Do 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.

8For 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.

9And 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.

10So 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 giveHe 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 the 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.”

My boss gave me an opportunity. . .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

1 Samuel 24:4 says:

“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 to good to be true. . .it 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 13:9says:

“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

Romans 7:8 in Today’s New International Version says:

“But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.”

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

11.       Never 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.       You’ve got to be looking for your opportunity

Acts 3:12says:

“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, there will be opposition

1 Corinthians 16:9in 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….don’t waste your time

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.  But if you’re not obedient, then the opportunity you’ve been seeking will not come.

Hebrews 11:15 says:

“And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.”

20.       Even tough times are 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 a second opportunity

1 Samuel 18:21 in Today’s New International Version says:

"I will give her to him," he thought, "so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him." So Saul said to David, "Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law." 

Man’s adversity is always God’s opportunity.

24.       God will always 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 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 should always start where you are. . .with what you’ve got. . .at the moment.

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….”

Personalize    Fred, Joy, Cassandra

“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.

Remember, start with what you have. . .where you are. . .and make the best of it.

Third, you may not have the educational and/or vocational training required for the next position or job you desire.  However, 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.

And yes, You will begin to see opportunities that you’d never seen before.

You create your own opportunities…..START WHERE YOU ARE AND GET GOING.