TOWARD THE GOAL

AADON’T BE JUST “GOOD ENOUGH”

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:14, NIV

God has planted His seed of hope, power and victory inside of you! All you have to do is allow God to bring the best out of your life and decide you won’t settle for “good enough.” It may not always be easy to do this, but it’s very possible! Perhaps you have made a hurtful mistake in your past, and that is still haunting you. If you let the enemy tell you that you’re not good enough for God’s forgiveness, then you’re settling for less than God’s victory. Setbacks are part of life, but Jesus said He came to give you an abundant life! If you decide to strive for excellence, there is no limit to what the Lord can do through you and with you.

WHEN YOU SEE GOD’S GRACE, HE SEES YOUR FAITH

Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

Many a time, people ask me, Pastor, I know that God’s promises are true, but how can I be sure that His promises will come true in my life?”

My friend, if you want God’s promises to be sure in your life, you cannot depend on yourself. If you depend on yourself—your obedience, goodness, service and even faith—you will not be able to receive God’s promises. But when you depend on God’s grace—His unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor toward you—that is when His promises become sure in your life.

This was true of the woman with the issue of blood. (Matthew 9:20–22) She didn’t go around saying, “I must have faith…I hope that I have enough faith…I will have faith…I will not lose faith.” No, she was only conscious of the grace of Jesus—how He always healed the sick, how powerful He was in raising the dead and how willing He was to use that power for her healing.

She just saw His grace abounding toward her, so much so that she said, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” And when she came behind Jesus and touched the very hem of His garment, she was healed. At that same moment, Jesus stopped, turned around and said to her, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.”

When the woman saw His grace, God saw her faith! And so it was by grace, through faith, that God’s promise became sure in her life.

God wants you to see His grace. And when you see His grace, He sees your faith. God says, “For by grace are you saved through faith.” The Greek word for “saved”, sozo, doesn’t just mean to save from hell, but also to heal, preserve and make whole. So it is by grace that you are made whole, kept healthy, preserved and blessed. It is by grace through faith that God’s promises become sure in your life.

My friend, don’t worry if you feel that you lack faith. Begin to see God’s grace in your situation and He will see that as faith. And because He sees your faith, you will receive the breakthrough you need!

Thought For The Day :
When you see God’s grace, He sees your faith, and you will receive your breakthrough.

IN PLACE, BUT NOT CONNECTED …

‘You cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me.’ John 15:4 NLT

‘Mobile phones can be life–savers…but the batteries have a limited lifespan and need to be recharged. One weary weekend I was as drained as my phone battery. I went through my evening routine, dutifully placing my mobile phone on its charger. Unfortunately, I neglected to plug the charger into the socket. Next morning I woke refreshed—but my phone was no better than the night before. It was in the right place… but it wasn’t connected to the power source! Sometimes the consequences of not “plugging in” can be more severe…many people dutifully march to church every week, but leave as drained as when they came. They’re in the right place, but they’re not plugged in to the power of God…and without that it doesn’t matter if you sit in a pew or on a barstool… You can study the Scriptures for hours on end, “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 NAS); you can even do great things for God but lack power in your life. If I’d left my mobile phone on the charger for days or weeks instead of overnight, it wouldn’t have helped. Multiplication of effort isn’t a substitute for true power… Guard against things that disconnect you from the power source…obviously sin will do that, but so will weariness. We can’t remain connected if we’re weighed down by busyness. We can spend so much time doing things forGod that we neglect our relationship with Him.’ Jesus said, ‘You cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me.’ That means reading the Bible, praying and resting in His presence.

TAP INTO GOD’S CREATIVITY

He…reveals His thoughts to man.’ Amos 4:13 NIV

I read a story: ‘A while back I bought an interesting torch. Before I decided to buy it I asked the sales lady how long the battery would last. “As long as you do,” she replied. “What do you mean?” I queried. “You are the battery,” she explained. “There’s no battery inside. You have to pump the handle at the bottom of the flashlight to make it light up.” I tried it, and sure enough I generated the power needed to make it light up! As soon as I stopped pumping the light went out… If you make the right commitment to an idea but it seems impossible…pray…and keep pumping. Bright ideas will come your way—ideas that come from God’ (Isaiah 48:17). Albert Einstein said it’s important that we never stop asking questions, or lose our holy curiosity. God’s Word says He ‘forms the mountains…creates the wind, and reveals His thoughts to man.’ Imagine tapping into the resources of a God Who knows you and can fill your mind with imaginative, inspired, innovative ‘thoughts’. Jesus knows the mind of God, the plans of God, the will of God and the purposes of God because He is God. And Paul says, ‘We understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.’ (1 Corinthians 2:16 NLT) As Ted Engstrom observes, ‘Creativity has been built into every one of us. Each of us lives less of the life God intended when we choose not to release the creative powers we possess.’ When you tap into God’s creativity, He helps you see things not as they are, but as they can be. And that can change your life!

HE WAS BORN A SAVIOR …

Luke 2:11, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus did not grow into being Lord and Saviour. He was born that way. Jesus was God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). What a great mystery!

How could Almighty God limit Himself to the form of a man? And even if He did that, how could he possibly start as a baby? These questions defy human ability to fully understand.

At the dedication of the first temple, Solomon said, “But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!”

(2 Chr. 6:18) How much less the body of a little child!

Part of the answer lies in the fact that God is a spirit (Jn. 4:24). Spirits are not limited by time and space. In Jesus’ spirit, He was the eternal God who created the universe. The physical body of Jesus was just His “earth suit” that He used to manifest Himself to mankind. All of Jesus’ deity could fit inside that body.

Even though this is still hard to grasp, it helps us understand how Christ Himself can live in us as believers (Col. 1:27). If all the glory of God could fit inside the physical body of Jesus, then all the fullness of God can dwell in us too (Jn. 1:16). Believe that Christ is in you today.

HEALING

MEDITATING ON GOD’S WORD BRINGS HEALING

He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. – Psalm 107:20

A brother from the United States wrote to me with a wonderful praise report. He said that he’d been suffering pain in his upper back for almost two years. One day, after reading my teaching about meditating on God’s Word, he decided to run with it. So on his way home from work that day, he decided to just meditate on Psalm 23:1, speaking it to himself over and over again—“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

He said that he must have muttered the verse at least 50 times as he pondered on Jesus being a good shepherd to him—how kind Jesus is to provide for him, lead him, tend lovingly to his needs and heal him.

The effect? “Every breath seemed to just release deeper and deeper waves of healing throughout my entire being and I started to notice the pain in my back just dissipate,” he shared happily. “And by the time I got home, all the pain was gone!”

Beloved, if you need healing in your body today, I encourage you to prioritize God’s Word. Meditate on it. Speak it and declare it over yourself. By His Word, God heals and delivers His people from every kind of destruction!

OUT OF THE DARKNESS

I cried out to God . . . . Who is so great a God as our God? —Psalm 77:1,13

I don’t know what desperate situation gripped Asaph, the writer of Psalm 77, but I’ve heard, and made, similar laments. Over the past dozen years since I lost my daughter, many others who have experienced the loss of a loved one have shared with me heartbreaking sentiments like these:

Crying out to God (v.1). Stretching empty arms heavenward (v.2). Experiencing troubling thoughts about God because of horrible circumstances (v.3). Enduring unspeakable trouble (v.4). Cowering under the feeling of being cast aside (v.7). Fearing failed promises (v.8). Fearing a lack of mercy (v.8).

But a turnaround occurs for Asaph in verse 10 through a recollection of God’s great works. Thoughts turn to God’s love. To memories of what He has done. To His marvelous deeds of old. To the comfort of God’s faithfulness and mercy. To reminders of God’s wonders and greatness. To His strength and redemption.

Despair is real in this life, and answers do not come easily. Yet in the darkness—as we remember God’s glory, majesty, power, and love—our despair can slowly subside. Like Asaph, we can rehearse God’s acts, especially the salvation He brought through Jesus, and we can return to where we once were—resting gratefully in His mighty love.

Lord, we cannot fathom the depth of Your character or the wisdom of Your actions when trouble visits us. Help us to inch our way back into Your arms through a rehearsal of Your goodness and a recollection of Your glorious love.

Remembering the past can bring hope to the present.

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