(Read Matthew 11:12)
Dynamic: Since you started serving the Lord, what threats have you had?
This is one of the most inspiring verses, but at the same time, it’s a verse that challenges. Jesus is giving an explanation about what John the Baptist did. He explains that when John the Baptist preached, the Kingdom of God advanced. To advance means to move forward. In other words, when John the Baptist preached, he moved the Kingdom of God forward.
Every time you take the initiative to obey God and preach in this world, you are moving the Kingdom of God forward. In simple words, the Kingdom of God makes its mark. But every time you decide to do God’s will, the enemy will want to ruin the process because you’re stepping into his territory.
Do not be dismayed. DO IT BECAUSE THE ONE WHO IS IN US IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THE ONE WHO REIGNS IN THIS WORLD.
Remember that you have a God who will not leave you alone (Joshua 1:9) and that he gets excited about those who are bold.
Lord, help me to have the initiative to do Your will and not be intimidated when the enemy wants to frustrate me. You are always with me. In the Name of Jesus, AMEN.
“Who do you want to please?”
(Read Romans 12:2)
The world teaches us that in order to be successful and make it far in life, you have to do things that you may not like to please others. And little by little we turn into someone we don’t even know; we start to look like others, like those of the world. Do you know what? The world tries to conform us to its image and likeness. But it’s time to get out of that mold.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world…” the Apostle Paul tells us, “but be transformed”. God made each one of us unique, different, and special. Why? God created you the way you are to fulfill His purposes here on the earth. ‘But it’s so hard.’ “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Phil. 2:13).
Good News: You don’t have to do it alone. God is here to help you, to give you the strength and the desire to do things well, and to teach you how to please Him above others. Do you dare?
Share a moment when you pleased others instead of pleasing God. What can you do differently next time?
Lord, forgive me for the times that I haven’t tried to please you and have tried to please others or my own flesh. Transform my mind, and give me the desire to do Your will.
In the Name of Jesus, AMEN.
Living on purpose is the only way to really live!
“Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation…” Acts 13:36 (NIV)
In the Upper Room, as Jesus was concluding his last day of ministry with his disciples, he washed their feet as an example and said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” John 13:17 (NIV). Once you know what God wants you to do, the blessing comes in actually doing it.
You may wonder, “What about God’s will for my job or marriage? Or where I’m supposed to live or go to school?” Honestly, these are secondary issues in your life, and there may be multiple possibilities that would be in God’s will for you.
What matters most is that you fulfill God’s eternal purposes regardless of where you live or work or whom you marry. Those decisions should support your purposes. Focus on God’s purposes for your life, not your plans, since that’s what will last forever.
It’s easy to drift away from what matters most and slowly get off course. To prevent this, you should develop a purpose statement for your life and then review it regularly.
Imagine what it is going to be like one day, with all of us standing before the throne of God presenting our lives in deep gratitude and praise to Christ. Together we will say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased” Revelation 4:11 (NLT)
We will praise him for his plan and live for his purposes forever!
Point to Ponder: Living with purpose is the only way to really live.
Verse to Remember: “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation…” Acts 13:36 (NIV)
Question to Consider: When will I take the time to write down my answers to life's five great questions? When will I put my purpose on paper?
Blessed are the balanced; they shall outlast everyone!
“You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing.” 2 Peter 3:17 (NLT)
One of the events in the summer Olympics is the pentathlon. It is composed of five events. The pentathlete’s goal is to succeed in all five areas, not just one or two. Your life is a pentathlon of five purposes, which you must keep in balance.
These purposes were practiced by the first Christians in Acts 2, explained by Paul in Ephesians 4, and modeled by Jesus in John 17, but they are summarized in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of Jesus.
These two statements sum up God’s five purposes for your life:
A great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will make you a great christian.
Point to Ponder: Blessed are the balanced.
Verse to Remember: “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.” Ephesians 5:15 (NLT)
Question to Consider: Which of the four activities will I begin in order to stay on track and balance God’s five purposes for my life?
The Great Commission is your commission!
“And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.’” Mark 16:15 (NLT)
You have a choice to make. You will be either a world-class Christian or a worldly Christian.
Worldly Christians look to God primarily for personal fulfillment. They are saved, but self-centered. They love to attend concerts and enrichment seminars, but you would never find them at a mission’s conference because they aren’t interested. Their prayers focus on their own needs, blessings, and happiness. They want to use God for their purposes instead of being used for his purposes.
In contrast, world-class Christians know they were saved to serve and made for a mission. They are eager to receive a personal assignment and excited about the privilege of being used by God. World-class Christians are the only fully alive people on the planet. Their joy, confidence, and enthusiasm are contagious because they know they’re making a difference. They wake up each morning expecting God to work through them in fresh ways.
Which type of Christian do you want to be? If you want to be like Jesus, you must have a heart for the whole world. You can’t be satisfied with just your family and friends coming to Christ. There are over 6 billion people on earth, and Jesus wants all his lost children found.
The Great Commission is your commission, and doing your part is the secret to living a life of significance.
Point to Ponder: The Great Commission is my commission.
Verse to Remember: “May your ways be known throughout the earth, your saving power among people everywhere.” Psalm 67:2 (NLT)
Question to Consider: What steps can I take to prepare to go on a short-term missions experience in the next year?
God has given you a Life Message to share!
“And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere… or wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God…” 1 Thessalonians 1:8 (NLT)
When you became a believer, you also became God’s messenger. God wants to speak to the world through you. Paul said, “… we preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.” 2 Corinthians 2:17b (NLT)
You may feel you don’t have anything to share, but that’s the Devil trying to keep you silent. You have a storehouse of experiences that God wants to use to bring others into his family. The Bible says, “All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true.” 1 John 5:10a (NLT)
Your Life Message has four parts to it:
Your testimony: the story of how you began a relationship with Jesus.
Your life lessons: the most important lessons God has taught you.
Your godly passions: the issues God shaped that you care about most.
The Good News: the message of salvation.
Is anyone going to be in heaven because of you? Will anyone in heaven be able to say to you, “I want to thank you; I’m here because you cared enough to share the Good News with me?” Imagine the joy of greeting people in heaven whom you helped get there. The eternal salvation of a single soul is more important than anything else you will ever achieve in life.
Point to Ponder: God wants to say something to the world through me.
Verse to Remember: “And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.” 1 Peter 3:15b-16 (NLT)
Question to Consider: As I reflect on my personal story - who does God, want me to share it with?
You were made for a mission!
“Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.” John 17:18 (NLT)
God is at work in the world, and he wants you to join him. This assignment is called your mission. God wants you to have both a ministry in the Body of Christ and a mission in the world. Your life mission is both shared and specific.
Jesus clearly understood his life mission on earth. At age twelve he said, “I must be about My Father’s business,” and twenty-one years later, dying on the cross, he said, “It is finished.” Like bookends, these two statements frame a well-lived, purpose-driven life.
If you will commit to fulfilling your mission in life no matter what it costs, you will experience the blessing of God in ways that few people ever experience. There is almost nothing God won’t do for the man or woman who is committed to serving the kingdom of God.
If you want to be used by God, you must care about what God cares about; what he cares about most is the redemption of the people he made. He wants his lost children found! Nothing matters more to God; the Cross-proves that.
Always be on the lookout to reach “one more for Jesus” so that when you stand before God one day, you can say, “Mission accomplished!”
Point to Ponder: I was made for a mission.
Verse to Remember: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
Question to Consider: What fears have kept me from fulfilling the mission God made me to accomplish? What keeps me from telling others the Good News?
God loves to use weak people!
“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
A weakness is any limitation that you inherited or have no power to change. Everyone has weaknesses. In fact, you have a bundle of flaws and imperfections: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. Usually we deny our weaknesses, defend them, excuse them, hide them, and resent them. This prevents God from using them the way he desires.
When you think of the limitation in your life, you may be tempted to conclude, “God could never use me.” But God is never limited by our limitations. Sometimes, however, God turns strength into a weakness in order to use us even more.
Jacob was a manipulator who spent his life scheming and then running from the consequences. One night he wrestled with God and said, “I’m not letting go until you bless me.” God said, “All right,” but then he grabbed Jacob’s thigh and dislocated his hip.
What is the significance of that? God touched Jacob’s strength and turned it into a weakness. From that day forward, Jacob walked with a limp so he could never run away again. It forced him to lean on God whether he liked it or not.
If you want God to bless you and use you greatly, you must be willing to walk with a limp the rest of your life, because God uses weak people.
Point to Ponder: God works best when I admit my weakness.
Verse to Remember: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a (NLT)
Question to Consider: Am I limiting God’s power in my life by trying to hide my weaknesses? What do I need to be honest about in order to help others?
Service starts in your mind!
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:5-7 (NIV)
Real servants serve God with a mindset of five attitudes:
1. Servants think more about others than about themselves.
2. Servants think like stewards, not owners.
3. Servants think about their work, not about what others are doing.
4. Servants base their identity in Christ.
5. Servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation.
Henri Nouwen said, “In order to be of service to others, we have to die to them; that is, we have to give up measuring our meaning and value with the yardstick of others … thus we become free to be compassionate.”
When you base your worth and identity on your relationship to Christ, you are freed from the expectations of others, and that allows you to really serve them best.
Imagine what could happen if just 10 percent of all Christians in the world got serious about their role as real servants. Imagine all the good that could be done. Are you willing to be one of those people?
Point to Ponder: To be a servant I must think like a servant.
Verse to Remember: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5 (NIV)
Question to Consider: Am I usually more concerned about being served or finding ways to serve others?
We serve God by serving others!
“You will know them by their fruits…” Matthew 7:16 (KJV)
In our self-serving culture with its me-first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept. Jesus, however, measured greatness in terms of service, not status. God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you. Yet, it is possible to serve in church for a lifetime without ever being a servant. You must have a servant’s heart.
Notoriety means nothing to real servants because they know the difference between prominence and significance. In heaven God is going to openly reward some of his most obscure and unknown servants—people we never heard of on earth, who taught emotionally disturbed children, cleaned up after incontinent elderly, nursed AIDS patients, and served in thousands of other unnoticed ways.
Knowing this, don’t be discouraged when your service is unnoticed or taken for granted. Keep on serving God! “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.” I Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)
Even the smallest service is noticed by God and will be rewarded. Remember the words of Jesus: “And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:42 (NLT)
Point to Ponder: I serve God by serving others.
Verse to Remember: “And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” Matthew 10:42 (NLT)
Question to Consider: Which of the six characteristics of real servants offers the greatest challenge to me?
David V. Jimenez