‘We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.’ Proverbs 16:9 NLT
Here are three important truths to help you enjoy the life God wants you to live:
(1) Believe God wants you to succeed. Give up the unscriptural notion that this life has no value. God has a special work for you to do—here and now (Jeremiah 29:11). You ask, ‘What defines success?’ Answer: the progressive achievement of a God–given goal resulting in feeling good about yourself. ‘Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do.’ (Deuteronomy 29:9 NIV)
(2) Consult God before you set your goals. The Bible says, ‘We should make plans—counting on God to direct us.’ (Proverbs 16:9 TLB) If you’re constantly stressed out and confused, you may be on the wrong track. Go back and check with God; what has He told you to do? It’s His will for you to succeed in these six areas:
‘Whatever he does shall prosper.’ (Psalms 1:3 NKJV)
(3) Invest in yourself. ‘Though it cost all you have, get understanding.’ (Proverbs 4:7 NIV) If you’re willing to spend money at fine restaurants but not on good books, your future is already determined. And the first book you need to invest in is a Bible. John writes, ‘And the Word was God.’ (John 1:1 NIV) That means each time you read God’s Word, you’re depositing more of God into you. Wow! Think how that affects your life! Cultivate a teachable spirit. ‘Let the wise listen and add to their learning.’ (Proverbs 1:5 NIV) This is the life God wants you to live!
WHEN YOU FORGIVE,
THE DEBT DOESN’T JUST GO AWAY. YOU ABSORB THE DEBT. THAT’S WHY FORGIVENESS IS SO HARD :
Say you lend a person one thousand dollars, but suppose that when the time comes for the loan to be repaid that person is unable to repay you. If you forgive that person of his debt, then that person no longer owes you anything. By forgiving, you forfeited the money—you absorbed the debt.
How is it that God is able to forgive our sins against him? He absorbed them by sending his son to suffer the penalty for our debts (sins). Christ absorbed the penalty of death so that we don’t have to. When God forgave us, he said, “There’s no need to repay me.” (We couldn’t repay God even if we tried, but now we’re freed from the burden of trying.)
When you forgive someone, you absorb their debt. That’s why forgiveness is so hard.
In Luke 7, Jesus tells this parable to Simon: “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Forgiveness is a sign of love. To forgive someone of a massive debt (in this case, five hundred denarii) is a sign of massive love. How is forgiveness a sign of love? Because if you forgive much, then you must absorb much debt (pain, suffering, loss, etc.). Our sin against God is the biggest possible debt we could have; so for God to absorb that is a sign of his endless, measureless love.
When He forgave us, God didn’t just ignore our debt; he absorbed our debt.
JESUS IS THE WAY
— NOT AN ADD ON, AN EXTRA, AN OPTION, OR A SUPPLEMENT :
In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” There is no other way.
Yet many people think that they can be saved through other ways. Religion is not the way; your pastor is not the way; baptism is not the way; church membership is not the way; doing good things is not the way. There is only one way to be saved: Jesus.
As a well-known song proclaims: There is only “one name under heaven whereby we must be saved” — Jesus!
Salvation comes down to this: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but
whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him (John 3:36).
Similarly, 1 John 5:12 says, He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. It is clear that Jesus is the only way.
PRONOUNCE YOURSELF CLEAN!
Matthew 8:3 – Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed. Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Most of us are familiar with the healing of the leper in Matthew 8. It is a beautiful account of Gods willingness to touch and heal the sick, no matter how unclean they may be. Whenever we doubt Gods willingness to heal us, we should listen to the words of Jesus again: I am willing; be cleansed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever!
Since the Bible is clear about Gods willingness to heal, why do we still have problems with our health? Why do we still experience symptoms in our bodies?
I believe that the answer is found in what Jesus told the leper to do next. He told him to go and show himself to the priest. (Matthew 8:4) This was the law then for lepers who were healed. (Leviticus 14:23) And he was to hear the priest pronounce the word clean over him. (Leviticus 14:7)
You see, as believers, when we received Jesus, His blood cleansed us from sin as well as sickness. (Isaiah 53:45) But we keep hearing people pronounce sin, sickness, poverty and death over us. We keep hearing people tell us that we are unclean, undeserving, poor, weak, and that it is only natural that we grow old and sickly, and die.
God is waiting for a priesthood that will rise up and pronounce His people clean!
But Pastor, where can I find such priests?
Who are the priests today? You and I! In fact, we have more authority to pronounce good things than the Levitical priests of the Old Testament. They were just priests. But we are king-priests by the blood of Jesus! (Revelation 1:56) Where the word of the king is, there is power. (Ecclesiastes 8:4) And by the word of a priest, every controversy and every assault shall be settled. (Deuteronomy 21:5)
Beloved, God has cleansed you, so pronounce yourself clean! Right now, put your hand on your heart and pronounce good things over yourself. Say, I pronounce myself clean, righteous, healed, whole and abundantly supplied by the blood of Jesus! By your word as a king-priest, every assault against you shall be settled!
The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out. – Proverbs 20:5, NIV
You are equipped with everything you need to fulfill your passion and purpose in this life! Everything you need is on the inside of you — like deep waters. You draw those deep things out when you stay open and humble before the Lord. You draw those things out when you are submitted to His Word. That’s what makes you a person of understanding. Proverbs also tells us that a person of understanding delights in wisdom. A person of understanding is even-tempered. A person of understanding is not easily led astray and maintains peace and order. (Prov. 10:23; 15:21; 17:27; 28:2)
Don’t just live on the surface of life today. Draw from the resources that God has placed on the inside of you. As you keep your heart open by obeying the Word of God, His purposes will become clearer; His provision will be more clearly seen. His direction for you will unfold so you can move forward confidently in the direction of your dreams!
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