How to Make the Most of Our 2017 Opportunities

Nearly ten years ago, a Harvard student invited five people over to his dorm room to discuss a business opportunity. But, only two of the invitees showed up.

That Harvard student was Mark Zuckerberg, and the business opportunity was Facebook.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr., author of the New York Times best seller, “Life’s Little Instruction Book,” sums up the opportunity of the Zuckerberg’s billion-dollar meeting by saying:

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” 

As we start the second first full week of 2017 the question before us is this: how can we make the most of the opportunities that 2017 will present?

Like Zuckerberg’s classmates, none of us can fully understand the impact of the opportunities ahead in 2017. However, we can understand that opportunities are about making choices, and making the right choice requires wisdom. True wisdom only comes from God.

Scripture states it clearly, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5, ESV).

This passage begs the question, “For which opportunities should we be asking God’s wisdom?” The answer is simple, we should pray about everything.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us three things to do, which can be applied to our lives and opportunities in 2017.

First, we are to rejoice always – in good times and bad.

Second, we should pray without ceasing, and

Lastly, we ought to give thanks to God in all circumstances.

Wisdom is defined as the appropriate use of experience, intelligence, common sense and the opinions of others, to make the right decision for a given problem, issue or opportunity.

Having the wisdom to make the right choice, instead of making the best decision will be the leading factor for our 2017 success.

Proverbs 3:13-18 reminds us that God blesses the person who finds wisdom. Eugene Peterson in the Message Translation of the Bible, calls wisdom the very tree of life.

“You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom, when you make friends with Madame Insight.  
She’s worth far more than money in the bank; her friendship is better than a big salary.
Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth; nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her. 
With one hand she gives long life, with the other she confers recognition. 
Her manner is beautiful, her life wonderfully complete.
She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her.
Hold her tight—and be blessed!”
        
God’s will for us is that we seek the wisdom of the Lord; this will allow us to make the most of our 2017 opportunities.

Oh by the way, the two people who had the wisdom to meet with Mark Zuckerberg are now billionaires.

Happy New Year!

Marben Bland is the Pastor of Hill Chapel and Mitchell Chapel AME Churches in Sparta, GA. He is also an entrepreneur in addition to being a writer and speaker.

Wisdom

“Happy is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.” Proverbs 3:13-18

In Hebrew the word wisdom means to separate between good and bad, right and wrong.

Situations that call for Godly Wisdom

Frequently we are confronted with situations that call for wisdom. We must make the split second decision between good and bad, right and wrong. Often this choice is clear. However, many times it is not.

  • The law enforcement officer who must make a decision when to fire his weapon.
  • The parent who must decide on how far to go when spanking his child.
  • The spouse who must decide how long to stay with a man that she loves but abuses her.

 

Do we have Godly Wisdom?

These situations directly from the headlines of today calls for wisdom.   And while in hindsight we can easily and clearly say what course of action we would take. How can we ensure that the Godly wisdom to separate between good and bad, right and wrong, left and right, up and down is in our lives when the time comes for us?

  • To give compassion to a person who is trying my last nerve.
  • To give money again to a person who has squandered my money before.
  • To give trust to a person who has proven unworthy of it.

These are not happy circumstances but “Happy is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.

How do we obtain Godly Wisdom?

Therefore the question is how do we find godly wisdom?

In the 3rd Chapter of 1st Kings we find Two harlots had been arguing over an infant—both claiming custody of the boy.

The women bring their dispute to young King Solomon, and this is how he comes to a solution:

“Bring me a sword,” the young king commanded. “Divide the child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other,” the king said.

Then one of women cried out: “O my lord, give her the living child. Do not kill him!”

The other woman coldly replied, “Divide it.”

With that, the king returned the child to his rightful mother. The woman who was willing to give her son away to another instead of having him killed.

The Godly Wisdom of King Solomon

This oft-repeated account is used to exemplify the famous wisdom of King Solomon.

After the incident involving the two women, First Kings 3:28 tells us “…all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment”

Even today, Solomon’s wisdom is renowned the world over. Much of it is summed up in the book of Proverbs. Many verses there are finely polished nuggets of truth: “Iron sharpens iron”—“Go to the ant, you sluggard”—“A soft answer turns away wrath”—“A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself”—“Train up a child in the way he should go”—“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

God makes available to all of us wisdom, to do His will. And to live lives that will be a testament to the Lord’s presence in our lives.

So how do we acquire the “wisdom of Solomon”? It is by learning and applying Solomon’s individual proverbs? Or is by studying and emulating the life of Solomon? Or does wisdom comes to us as we get older?

Four focus for Wisdom

Solomon was wise and we can be wise also by focusing on these four things:

  1. Know that true wisdom comes from God.

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart” I Kings 4:29.

Solomon was wise only because God gave him wisdom. It was God’s wisdom, God’s understanding, and God’s heart that Solomon exercised on behalf of God’s people. We can be wise when we seek wisdom in God not in man.

2. We find and gain wisdom when we fear the Lord and obey His commandments.

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Psalm 111:10

God’s commands are so full of wisdom that if we just follow them our lives will be filled wisdom because we are living as God wanted us to do.

 3. Wisdom is not presence without God’s guidance.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

The Lord wants us to be happy and to do His will. And while it may appear that some are prospering without Him. True happiness and wellness are only possible with the Lord’s guidance.

  1. We must ask God for wisdom.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. James 1: 5

It is that simple, if we need wisdom all we have to do is ask, in prayer.

Final Thoughts: Separation between good and bad

In Hebrew the word wisdom means to separate between good and bad, right and wrong.   As we seek God’s wisdom Psalms 143:10 gives us a platform for reflection and prayer: “Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”

Seek wisdom and you will find The Lord.

 ©Copyright 2014 Marben Bland │

Marben Bland is a professional speaker, writer and business strategist. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace. Find more post at www.marbenbland.com