Tag: opportunity

Opportunities

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Opportunities.

Let’s talk about opportunities.

Opportunities God may give; and opportunities we may miss.

You’ve heard the phrase, “A window of opportunity”? How many times? Probably a lot of times. And have you heard the scripture, “Windows of Heaven”? Yes?

But have you ever considered the window of opportunity, and the window of heaven, could be one and the same?

And if they’re the same, is it possible to miss the opportunity God has for us because of disobedience on our part?

Simply, yes. It is possible.

A passage from Malachi:

“Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!” (God’s words to his people)

“But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’

“You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” (Malachi 3:8-12 NLT)

No, dear one, I am not going to give the same old, worn out interpretation of the “Tithe Chapter”. To me, there is so much more God wants to get across to his people than just tithing.

And no, I don’t believe God tells us to prove him with our tithe. I don’t believe it for a minute; though I believe in tithing.

The people of God had turned away from the Lord. It was evidenced by the way they pulled back from bringing their tithe to the priests. Instead of helping support the work of God FIRST, they were taking care of their needs FIRST, and then giving their leftovers to God.

So he said, “You folks need to return to me.”

“How?”, they replied.

“The way you left.”

Did you know that people can tithe and STILL be far from God?

If a person tithes, yet turned to the worship of idols, would God’s blessing of open windows be theirs? No. God would say, “You need to return to me by turning away from your idols.”

The very thing that opens up Heaven’s windows; the very thing that brings the windows of opportunity, is OBEDIENCE.

Obedience to the revealed will of God.

Obedience. Obedience proves God.

He says, “Do thus and so, and I’ll do this and so.” We obey, he honors his word. He’s not a liar, nor is he a manipulator.

Obedience opens the window of opportunity, and the windows of Heaven.

So does this answer the questions, “Why don’t we see Heaven’s windows opened more?” “Why do we miss so many windows of opportunity?”

Jesus said, “I always do what my Father tells me to do.”

“So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” (John 8:28-29 ESV)

And notice:

“Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires. ” So John agreed to baptize him. After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened…” (Matthew 3:13-16 NLT)

Heavens were opened as Jesus obeyed his father. Opened Heavens translates to opportunities to touch someone with Heaven’s touch. Isn’t that what we really want? I know it’s what God wants.

Much more than our piddly pocket change.

Or our thousand dollar checks.

He wants our heart.

Don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime, as the rich young ruler did when he walked away from Jesus’ instruction on how the young man could “return”. He walked away from the greatest opportunity of his life because obeying was too high a price to pay.

God has set before each of us windows.
Opportunities abound, when one walks with God.

Are you going to settle for miserly living? Or will you align your heart and mind with the lover of your soul and say, “Yes, Lord! I have come to do your will! Your wish is my command.”

Do the right thing, and watch the windows open wide.

“Go and do the same”

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“One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”

The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.

“By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.

The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”

Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.””(Luke 10:25-37 NLT)

The “Good Samaritan”, a story of hope, restoration, encouragement, healing, and compassion. It’s ALSO a story of people who COULD help, but for some reason, chose not to.

It illustrates the truth revealed in 1 Corinthians 4:20 – “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.”(NLT)

I ask you, what greater power is there than love?

I think everyone in the world can quote John 3:16, “for God so loved the world…”, but there is a verse in First John 3:16 and 18 that is a Word from the loving God to us, and one we need to know as well- “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters…Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”(NLT)

The Good Samaritan had the opportunity to help because at least three others chose not to! The robbers left the Jew naked and dying, the lead pastor (by the way,not responsible for the Jew’s predicament) chose to cross the road and walk on by, and the associate pastor did the same.

Each person COULD have and SHOULD have helped. I suppose the lead pastor and the associate pastor could have given the dying man some cash and some booklets on healing and prosperity before they crossed the road. They may have even given the guy a copy of my book, The Power Of Encouragement.

Regardless of the fact those two weren’t responsible for the condition they FOUND the dying man in, they WERE responsible for the condition they LEFT him in.

Maybe the preachers thought someone else would come along with more time, more resources, and better trained. “After all”, they thought, “there are people a lot more suited for this type of work than I am. Besides, he has lots of friends throughout this area who can help.”

But the man was dying, already half dead. No guarantees more help would come. But the first two men chose to walk on by.

Think about this: if the lead pastor would have stopped to help, the associate pastor and the Samaritan would have been available to help others; and The Lord knows there’s plenty of needs to go around!

Let’s do good as we have the opportunity. Usually, hurting people aren’t real picky about who drives the ambulance.

Jesus described the Samaritan as, “Good”. How would He describe you?

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