People are a gift from God, so right now in this room there could be someone who's a gift from God for you and you wouldn't even know it, but there is a way you can unlock it. Whatever you disrespect will move away from you, whatever you respect will attract towards you. We can become offended when people don't meet our expectations, and start to dishonour and disrespect them. Prejudice can stop you receiving people, pride is a terrible thing, causes us to judge, find fault, see the worst, and build a wall that stops you receiving. Discerning? No, you just didn't have enough love to celebrate them and receive them.
I want to share with you something that will just be a blessing for you. I want to share with you a couple of principles that can unlock the gift that is in the lives of other people. How many of you know you need other people in your life? You may not think so but you do need other people. In fact, actually God's designed it so we can't succeed in life without other people. I know you'd like to go it alone and it's just me and God, but people who become lone rangers like that become very weird strangers indeed, so life is not made for just living alone with God, just me and God. We actually need people.
In fact God sends people into your life. How many know that God brings people into your life that are the answer to what you need, or they have the answer to what you need? So once we get to accept that, and face that, here's the thing - if I believe that God brings people into my life to help me get where He wants me to get, well who are they, and how can I unlock it? The problem is, they don't sort of come along and say: well God has sent me to you to change your life, and help you succeed. How many have had anyone come up to you and say that? It just doesn't happen does it? So what happens instead is, we have a whole lot of weird and wonderful people coming in and out of our life, and the question is: which one came from God, and which one can help us?
So since you don't really know, the temptation is for us to miss the opportunities to unlock for our lives what God has for us. I learnt, I was in a church in Dannevirke, and God showed me the key a long, long time ago. Very, very simple, and I want to share with you two things tonight. They're things you can do, and if you would just see them as principles of the kingdom that work, and that they're right through the Bible. They're things you can immediately start to practice in your life, and it will start to impact your own life. It'll start to unlock what people have to give. It's interesting, it said: counsel lies deep in the heart of a man, but a man of understanding will draw it out. So you can have someone next to you, who may have exactly the wisdom you need to solve the problem you're facing, but unless you know how to draw it out, you'll miss it.
I have seen over the years, many people miss things. One of the things, when I went into the church that I ended up pastoring, I remember going in there, and God teaching me this principle very quickly. I was in a group that the Pastor worked with, but out of all the people in the group, I was the one that received the most from him. I got more than anyone else, and it's not that he had more time with me. It's not that he put a lot of time into me at all, but it was because of how I positioned myself in relationship to him, and I want to share with you those two keys. They're very simple, and they're found in scripture, and they're principles that Jesus taught, and then I want you to begin to think about how you could apply it into your own life.
It works in marriages. It works in families, it works in a business, it works in school, it works everywhere in life. These are principles of the kingdom. It's how life works, so here's the thing. People are a gift from God, so right now in this room, there could be someone who's a gift from God for you, and you wouldn't even know it, but there is a way you can unlock it. I love what Brian was sharing; he made a lifestyle choice of generosity, and so the things I will share with you, they need to become lifestyle choices, that you'll actually operate your life according to these principles; and as you do, you'll find things will shift around your life. If you violate these principles, you will find many things that God intended for you will not actually happen, because you've literally frustrated it. I know that's hard to understand, but let me just show you.